The Firm

Virginia Hinrichs McMichael founded Appellate Law Group in 2013 because she believes that clients are best represented by seasoned appellate lawyers who can create cogent and compelling legal arguments that win on appeal.

McMichael has over 37 years of trial and appellate experience and was formerly a partner and head of the appellate practice group at Dilworth Paxson LLP. She has represented clients in all the Pennsylvania state appellate courts and the federal courts of appeals for the Third, Second, and Eleventh Circuits.

Since 2018, Appellate Law Group has been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women.  The certification helps Appellate Law Group’s corporate and public clients meet their diversity goals.

A high-quality brief improves the chances of success on appeal. An Appellate Law Group brief stands out — it’s thoroughly researched but also concise, readable, easily understood, and persuasive.

Appellate Law Group is capable of handling all aspects of an appeal, including advising lawyers during trial, identifying appealable issues, drafting notices of petitions for permission to appeal, motions to quash, appellate briefs, amicus curiae briefs, petitions for certiorari, and oral argument.  ALG attorneys will also work with lawyers before and during trial to assist with preparing and preserving the record for appellate review.

Virginia Hinrichs McMichael

Virginia McMichael, appellate attorneyVirginia Hinrichs McMichael has over 37 years of experience in commercial litigation and appellate law. She is a former partner and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Dilworth Paxson, LLC, a premier litigation firm. McMichael is a former attorney-advisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Before working at HUD, she was an associate in the family law firm Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin and Associates.  McMichael is fluent in Spanish and French.

McMichael has successfully represented clients in complex national and international cases in state and federal courts in a wide range of substantive areas of law — including bankruptcy, civil rights, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, family, international, labor, medical malpractice, municipal, products liability, real estate, RICO, securities, tax, and trusts and estates.

McMichael has a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, where she was a Senior Editor of the Texas International Law Journal, and an A.B. with High Honors in English from Middlebury College. She has an AV Pre-eminent peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a “Superb” rating from Avvo, and is a Super Lawyer in the area of appellate practice.

McMichael is admitted to practice in the state courts in Pennsylvania. She is also admitted in the United States Supreme Court, the Third and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers, a subsidiary of the Judicial Division of the ABA; the Pennsylvania Bar Association Civil Litigation, Family Law, and Solo and Small Firm Sections; the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Appellate Advocacy Committee and Women in the Profession Committee; and the Philadelphia Bar Association Appellate Law and International Law Committees.

McMichael is a board member of the Council of Appellate Lawyers, part of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association.  She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Committee and a Founding Board Member of Women Owned Law, a national organization dedicated to connecting and advancing women entrepreneurs in the law.  McMichael served for fifteen years on the Board of Supervisors of East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, a township with over 10,000 residents that is the home of the Great Valley Corporate Center, one of the largest suburban office complexes in the country.

Alyze Pierce

Appellate Law Group is pleased to announce that Alyze Pierce has joined Appellate Law Group as Of Counsel effective January 1, 2020.  Alyze earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was Chief Editor of the Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Journal and a Semi-Finalist in the Ames Moot Court competition.

Ms. Pierce received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where she was in the top 10% of her class and a member of the Cap and Gown Honors Society.

Before joining ALG, Ms. Pierce worked for K & L Gates, LLP, and Cohen & Grigsby, P.C.  where she represented clients in litigation in the areas of employment law, family law, probate law, and shareholder derivative suits.  Ms. Pierce has appeared in the state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, including the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  Former clients have called Pierce a “staunch advocate” who “truly cares about her clients.”  Alyze is known for her exceptional writing ability, her nuanced understanding of the law, and her strong work ethic.

The team at ALG is very enthusiastic about the addition of Pierce, who, with her breadth of experience, will make an immediate impact on the growing firm.  ALG Founder Virginia McMichael commented, “Alyze is a terrific lawyer with a very impressive resume.  Her exceptional research and writing skills will help Appellate Law Group maintain its reputation for producing cogent and persuasive appellate briefsShe will make a great addition to our team and we look forward to introducing her to our clients.”

Alyze is excited to join ALG, one of the few woman-owned appellate boutique firms in the country.  Alyze comments, “I was immediately drawn to the work done by the attorneys at ALG.  The written work produced by the firm is thorough, well thought out, and exceedingly persuasive.  In addition, I am incredibly impressed by the high level of care and attention paid to each client.  I am excited to be a part of this dynamic and energized group of women.”

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