Meet the Team

Gabriela Ferreira - Head Attorney

Gabriela Ferreira Santa Barbara Family Law Attorney
Gabriela Ferreira

Ms. Ferreira is the founder and CEO, she has been an attorney in Brazil since 1988 and in California since 2006. She is first-generation immigrant from Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English.

Ms. Ferreira is dedicated to her clients and to the legal community. She is currently a Commissioner on the board of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court Juvenille Justice and Deliquency Prevention Commission - JJDPC. She is also a board member of the Santa Barbara William L. Gordon Inns of Court, a member of the National Bar Association, California Bar Association Family Law Section, the Los Angeles Bar Association and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association. Ms. Ferreira is a past president and past board member of the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers - SBWL, Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation - SBWLF and Santa Barbara Barristers Association.  Ms. Ferreira is also a past board member of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

She has dedicated her life to not only helping others in the legal field but also volunteers her time helping animals in need, taking on foster dogs and cats for DAWG and other rescue groups. She provides pro-bono legal work for a foundation that assists homeless people.

For fun Gabriela loves to paint, do yoga and go for sunset runs on the beach with her three dogs.

Maria DoCouto - Attorney

Maria DoCouto, Attorney at Law
Maria DoCouto

Ms. DoCouto began her college studies in Brazil at the Federal University of Bahia.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree, Cum Laude, from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and her Law Degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Docouto has been practicing United States Immigration Law since 1997.

Ms. DoCouto’s background includes being a Legal Intern at the Immigration Court in Boston, Massachusetts; an Assistant District Attorney for Plymouth County, Massachusetts; a Co-founder of the Santa Barbara Teen Legal Clinic (a nonprofit organization providing immigration and other legal aid to juveniles); a Researcher on International Adoption Proceedings; a Researcher on Women’s Prosecution Claims for Asylum Protection; a Translator and Editor to the Portuguese language for the article “A Dermatologic Opportunity for the Cancer Prevention”, published in the Archives of Dermatology (1995).

Ms. DoCouto is bilingual ( Portuguese/English), fluent in Spanish, and dominates the written French language in which she is conversant. And most importantly, Ms. DoCouto is dedicated to providing an incomparable professional service to her clients.

Jasmin Velasquez, JD - Paralegal/Chief of Staff

Jasmin Velasquez, BA
Jasmin Velasquez, BA

Ms. Velasquez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from the State of Jalisco.  In her family, she is a first generation american born. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and proceed with her graduate studies. During her school years,  Ms. Velasquez was an honor student, well dedicated to her goals and still made time to learn music, be a member of the marching band and to become a talented painter.

Ms. Velasquez has been with the firm for almost 8 years working in various roles. She is in her final year of law school and plans on continuing in family law and immigration upon her graduation. She graduated from UCSB in 2013 with a degree in English and Chicano Studies. During her UCSB years she served as treasurer of San Rafael Hall Dorm.  

Jasmin is fluent in English and Spanish and has conversational skills in the Italian language.

Between work and school Ms. Velasquez has very little time for leasure. However, any opportunity she has, she dedicates to her passion which is currently reading and writting fiction novels.  Ms. Velaquez also volunteers with Ms. Ferreira's foster animals.

Ryan Ishii - Legal Assistant

Ryan Ishii
Ryan Ishii

Mr. Ishii was born in Orange County, California, to a third-generation Japanese-American dad and a Filipino immigrant mom. Growing up in the same area, Mr. Ishii then moved to Santa Barbara as a student attending the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an incoming 3rd year, he studies Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and intends to graduate in the Winter of 2022. After he graduates, Mr. Ishii plans to pursue opportunities in Washington D.C. or abroad before entering law school. 

Since high school, Mr. Ishii has been involved as a National Administrator for a student-led non-profit, worked as an intern in multiple political offices, and conducted research at renowned universities. He is also an active member in Kapatirang Pilipino, a Filipino cultural organization at UC Santa Barbara, and in the Japanese Language program. 

In his free time, Mr. Ishii enjoys playing basketball, running, or playing poker with friends. He also tries to brush up on Spanish and Japanese in hopes of using these languages in his future career.

Emi Guzman - Legal Assistant

Emi Guzman
Emi Guzman

Ms. Guzman was raised by Chilean and Japanese immigrants in Glendale, California.  She is currently a senior at the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a double major in Communication and Global Studies, and a minor in Japanese.

Ms. Guzman has interests in civil rights, free speech, the constitution, media, and technology.  In school she is a learner of various power dynamics, and hopes to one day pursue a post-graduate education in law or a degree program related to media, technology, and democracy.  In the far future, Ms. Guzman would love to open her own restaurant.  

Outside of academics, Ms. Guzman is involved in a co-ed business fraternity called Alpha Kappa Psi where she is the Director of Events.  She spends her free time cooking, watching TV, and hanging out with friends.