Criminal Law is not for the faint of heart, but Christine Washington ’09 Michel is fighting the good fight. Michel is a criminal defense attorney at her practice, Christine A. Michel P.A. Law Offices. She has described her work as coming alongside people during the hardest times in their lives. Since graduating from Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Criminal Justice Emphasis, Michel has been around the world helping those who need it most.
A year after her graduation, she travelled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti where she worked as a Site Manager for TouchGlobal Crisis Response. She was part of a team working to rebuild after the 7.0 Mw earthquake in January of 2010. She served there for a year. In 2013, Michel went to Cambodia and worked as a Pre-Trial Chamber Clerk at the United Nations Assistance to the Khemer Rouge Trials. She then returned to Haiti where she worked temporarily as Acting Director of Family of Faith Ministries. It was in July of 2017 that Michel opened her law practice in Jacksonville, Florida. She works in criminal law as well as other areas including Immigrant Law and Family Law.
Michel used her time at Hope to develop her leadership skills that she has used in her career. During the 10 Under 10 Young Alumni Panel, Michel recalled a conversation she had with Vanessa Greene, the Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Vanessa Green encouraged Michel to be more involved at Hope, to step beyond her comfort zone and try more things on campus. Michel was soon involved in many areas on Hope’s campus, even becoming the President of the Black Student Union almost immediately upon joining. She competed on intramural teams, participated in Dance Marathon, and volunteered with CASA.
Michel thanks Vanessa Greene for encouraging her to become more involved on Hope’s campus because it made Hope feel more like home. She reflected on how she came into her own at Hope College through the leadership roles she served in and impactful relationships with professors. Michel is also thankful for the experiences at Hope that helped her grow in her relationship with God and for the close friendships she made and still maintains. These experiences and relationships at Hope gave her the courage and confidence to passionately pursue her dreams.
“Hope gave me ownership of my faith. No longer was church and Christianity something my parents made me participate in, but it was my own and I blossomed by going to the Gathering and Chapel and eventually found a closely knit group of believers to help me grow beyond what I could have imagined.”
Michel now lives in Jacksonville Florida with her husband, Johnson. Together they have a young son, Chase. Hope College is grateful for Michel and her continued support of her Alma Mater. She is a force for good in the world and Hope is proud to recognize her accomplishments so early in her career.
Its an honor to give Christine Michel ’09 the 2019 10 Under 10 Award. The “10 Under 10 Awards” honor emerging leaders who are making significant contributions by living out their callings; engaged in the local and global community through professional and/or volunteer involvement; and use their education to think about important issues with wisdom and clarity, communicate effectively to bridge boundaries that divide human communities and act as agents of hope living faithfully into their vocations. Designed for alumni who are within 10 years of graduation, they are presented by the Hope College Alumni Association. Make a nomination today!