MISTY D. WILKS, ESQ.
7759 Emerson Road
West Lanham, MD 20784
Admitted, The State Bar of California, August 1998
Admitted, The State of Maryland Bar, March 2000
Admitted, The District of Columbia Bar, January 2008
Admitted, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, June 2009
Admitted, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, February 2010
Licensed, District of Columbia Substitute Teacher
HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW , Washington, DC
Juris Doctorate, May 1997
Honors and Activities:
Recipient, Academic Merit Scholarship
Founding Member, Huver I. Brown Trial Advocacy Moot Court Team
Elected, Student Bar Association (SBA) Representative
Associate Editor and Photography Editor, The Barrister Newspaper
Quarter-finalist, Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) Moot Court Competition, Savannah, GA
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, Los Angeles, CA
Bachelor of Science, Education – General Studies, May 1994
Honors and Activities:
Recipient, Black Alumni Association Merit Scholarships
Vice President, Alpha Delta Theta (Education Organization)
Resident Advisor, Parkside Co-Ed Dormitory
CEMANHUAC EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY, Morelos, Mexico
Course work in Advanced Spanish, Summer, 1993
ATTORNEY, Washington, DC, Maryland and California
Manage general practice focused on Business, Criminal, Personal Injury, Labor and Bankruptcy Law.
Involved in all aspects of client retention and representation, including: case analysis; strategy
development; client and witness interviews; legal document preparation; and the research and
investigation necessary to prepare for trial and administrative hearings and to negotiate with insurance
adjusters, prosecutors and attorneys. December 1998 - present.
Evaluate mortgage documents and financial statements to advise clients on bankruptcy, loan
modifications, and other foreclosure defenses and alternatives. Prepare filings and loan
modification packages, and negotiate terms favorable to my client.
Guide clients through small business start up process, determine entity type, draft and file
appropriate incorporation documents including service/trademark applications. Create,
review and negotiate business contracts, and leases. Advise and design policies to ensure
compliance with laws relating to employee rights, sexual harassment, OSHA, ADA, and other
relevant laws. Prepare essential business documents including employee handbooks and
Represent poets and other artists, draft appropriate contracts, advise on publishing projects
and negotiate performance/venue agreements. Initiate or defend contract disputes
throughout Maryland and District of Columbia courts.
Evaluate medical records, witness statements and client journals to prepare Settlement
Brochures in personal injury cases. Recommend and organize advanced financial structured
settlements when appropriate. Won/settled all cases above client satisfaction, including
those with six figure values.
Represent criminal defendants in misdemeanor and felony matters throughout Maryland in
District and Circuit courts. Negotiate dismissals, community service and necessary programs
ATTORNEY, Independent Contractor, The O’Neal Firm, Washington, DC
Draft and/or respond to EEO and other civil complaints raising any and all substantive, factual, procedural
and/or strategic defenses or issues. Conduct legal research and fa ct investigations to defend
reclassifications, suspensions and terminations. Use federal, state and local laws, the D.C. Mandatory
Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing Program (MEDAT) policy, collective bargaining agreements and
other policies to defend law enforcement union members and respond to agency action. Represent clients
in Maryland and D.C. courts, arbitrations and administrative hearings. Advocate successfully for the
reinstatement of more than 90% of previously terminated clients. June 2008-present.
CONSULTANT AND LIFE COACH, VW Consults, Nationwide
Small business development consultant and adult and youth life coach. Evaluate business practices and
design sales, marketing and business strategies to lower costs, create brand awareness , prevent and
solve problems and increase profits. Design result based programs and strategies to leave clients with
clear steps, goals, and identifiable benchmarks. Guide teenagers and adults through my “What Do You
Want to Be When You Grow Up” program. January 2003 – July 2009.
JUDICIAL CLERK, Judge Tillerson-Adams, Circuit Court, Prince George’s County, MD
Researched and drafted judicial opinions and orders for civil and criminal law cases. Researched and
wrote numerous memoranda on post convictions, child visitation, custody and marital property distribution,
including precedent setting issues such as great-grandparent visitation and deportation following a
criminal conviction. Listened to and resolved public complaints by liaising with the public, attorneys and
judges. Evaluated and supervised paralegal department. August 1998 – August 1999.
GUEST LECTURER, Center for Allied Health, Southeastern University – Labor and Employment Law.
SEMINAR LEADER/COORDINATOR/LECT URER, VW Consults and Freelance, Nation-wide
Design and provide workshops and seminars on criminal law, family law, small business start -ups,
entrepreneurship, career development, problem solving, crisis management, community activism and
diversity to small – medium groups (5-83) in communities, at libraries, and organized events such as
Ikea‘s Business and Wellness Conference, using interactive teaching styles and methods designed for
culturally, linguistically, and academically diverse audiences. 1990 - present.
PANELIST, National Black MBA Association, DC Chapter - Wealth Building Series, 2007
Entrepreneurship and Franchising, Georgetown University Washington, DC. August 2007.
PRIVATE T UTOR, create individualized and innovative teaching methods to tutor paralegal studies
students, repeat bar takers and other community college attendees. Help students navigate enrollment
and financial aid process occasionally using the Blackboard system. 2000 - present.
ADVOCATE/EDUCATOR, Inter-Ethnic Studies Curriculum Planning Committee, Los Angeles Unified
School District – Los Angeles High School
Founding member of high school association created by black and brown students to address deficiencies
in LAUSD’s curriculum; focused on cultural awareness, changing demographics, racial tensions, and
student empowerment. Gained the support of students and educators throughout California. Solicited
appropriate experts to assist in the development of “New Majority 2000: Empowerment for Social
Change.” Selected to, and successfully argued for, the implementation of the course, before the Board of
Education (featured on C-Span). While in college, continued to collaborate with curriculum development
committee; introduced and demonstrated the progressive teaching techniques I was learning. Developed
syllabi and teaching models using methodologies such as peer to peer teaching to foster a collaborative
learning environment that allowed for culture and language differences. After earning a degree in
education, I had the distinct honor of teaching the pilot course at Los Angeles High School. Worked with
committee to evaluate success of lesson plans based on feedback from educators, Board Members and
students. Modified lesson plans and helped prepare teachers guide. 1990 – 1996.
Chair, Youth and Exploratory Committees - West Lanham Hills Association, Prince George’s, MD.
Designing programs utilizing $675,000 in available funds to promote entrepreneurship, business and legal
awareness and to bring language and computer literacy courses to my neighborhood in accordance with
local, state and federal laws. Pursuing bonds, and other government funding available through
Neighborhood Stabilization Programs to purchase and refurbish a local home for our Learning Center.
Developing a “life coaching” curriculum based on differing learning abilities and culture-based learning
styles for youth, designed to promote empowerment, enlightenment and support for success by guiding
students to use available resources to create manageable steps to achieving their goals.
Research Interests And Papers
Updating previously written papers for submission
“Media Influence on Criminal Trials” Update from the last ten years
“Prisoner’s Rights? – Question or Fact”
“Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System”
In the process of combining and revising the following previously written papers –
“The Children are Our Future – Alternatives To/In the Juvenile Justice System” and “Juvenile Detention
Centers are Covered in Vivid Color – The Over Representation of Color in The Juvenile Justice System”
Grant Writer- Act as counsel, coordinator and liaison for The Village Nation (Los Angeles) and
consortium collaborators including the University of the District of Columbia GAP program, attend
pre-application workshops, read and summarize federal grant applications and present summary of
requirements to team members to facilitate preparation and submission of applications.
Foreclosure Defense – Pro Bono volunteer dealing with foreclosure crisis in Prince George’s County.
Attend regular workshops, meetings and training sessions to advise homeowners on loan modification,
bankruptcy and foreclosure defense. Available to Housing Initiative Partnership (H.I.P.) as Of Counsel
Youth Committee Chair and Active Volunteer and Mediator, West Lanham Hills Association
Active volunteer, The Community Forklift, a non-profit organization providing recycled building materials
President, ARIBA – Annapolis Road Inner Beltway Alliance, Prince George’s County, MD
Tutor, neighborhood kids through various community/volunteer programs and through VW Kids
Proficient in most current software for both Macs and PCs including legal research (Westlaw, Lexis, etc.),
word processing (Microsoft Office Suite, OpenOffice, etc.), electronic document management (Cataphora,
Concordance, Kroll Ontrack, Ringtail, IConect, etc.) other software. Familiar with Blackboard managing
system, blogging and social networking concepts. Spoken word presenter and poet. Avid reader,
motorcyclist and amateur photographer. Enjoy writing, construction, carpentry, home remodeling, travel,
music and collecting postcards.