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, BA - 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.

Becky Lawal - Client Liasion/Billing Officer

A.J. San Diego - Legal Assistant

A.J. San Diego
A.J. San Diego

Mr. San Diego was born in Auckland, New Zealand to Filipino immigrants. When he moved to the United States at four years old, his family built their own tax business from the ground up and sent four of their kids to pursue their dreams in college.

Sixteen years later, Mr. San Diego is expecting to graduate in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he pursues a bachelors of arts in Environmental Studies with a History minor. He currently intends on attending law school and practicing criminal and environmental law upon passing the Bar.

In the past years, he has been an active member of his Filipino community, serving as Executive Financial Coordinator for Pilipino Cultural Night, Academic Chair and now Professional Development Chair for Kapatirang Pilipino. He also dedicates his time to mentoring underprivileged highschool students for organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, H.O.P.E. at UCLA, and F.I.E.R.C.E. in UCSB.

Karen Trinh - Legal Assistant

Karen Kim Trinh
Karen Kim Trinh

Ms. Trinh was born and raised in Fremont, California with her parents and four sisters. In a family of engineers and doctors, she opted to pursue her interests in social justice and politics by studying to become a lawyer.

Today Ms. Trinh is a political science student at the University of California Santa Barbara pursuing her bachelor’s degree and aspiring to attend law school after completing her undergraduate schooling. Ms. Trinh additionally works as a public affairs intern at the Santa Barbara branch of Davies Public Affairs and has held multiple position in the Omicron Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity.

 Her previous experience includes being a research assistant for the university she attends, a recreational director for the City of Fremont, and an intern/events coordinator for NASA Ames Research center. In the past Ms. Trinh was a featured childhood cancer survivor speaker/representative at events hosted by The Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Elizaveta Mityanina- Intern

Ms. Mityanina was born in Vladivostok, Russia, and moved to the United States with her mother at the age of 10. She learned English as her second language while studying in school, and is currently studying her 5th year of Spanish. Ms. Mityanina became legally trilingual in her Junior year of High School. Russian remains as her primary language.

Today Ms. Mityanina is a high school student at San Marcos High School finishing her senior year. She is pursuing her educational goals while remaining in Advanced Placement classes. Ms. Mityanina is in the Major’s Program at her school in which she is studying the field of law. She aspires to become a lawyer in the future, potentially with an emphasis in criminal law.

Ms. Mityanina is a returning Intern who has had the opportunity to see the office develop throughout multiple years.