PAULA J. FERREIRA
Paula J. Ferreira is best characterized by her integrity, strong leadership, and resilient strive for justice. Paula was born in Bogota, Colombia to Jose and Janeth Rodriguez. She is a graduate of Destrehan High School and attended Loyola University New Orleans, where she graduated with a Bachelor in Political Science and French minor. In May of 2009, she received a Juris Doctorate Degree in Civil Law at Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans. On October 22, 2009, she was admitted to practice by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Paula joined the Law Office of Miguel A. Elias in 2009. Although she has continuously practiced personal injury, workers compensation, criminal defense, and family law, her passion for immigration law has placed her at the forefront of the Immigration Department at the Elias Law Firm. She has represented clients from vast nationalities in deportation proceedings, adjustment of status, family petitions, victims of crime, undocumented minors, and asylum. She is admitted to practice in all Louisiana State courts and the United States District Court for the Eastern District. She has argued and presented briefs before the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and has presented briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals and Louisiana Supreme Court. Paula resides in Destrehan and is happily married to Harry M. Ferreira, Jr.
- 2018 Public Service Award recipient
Adam M. Klock was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a 2006 graduate of Jesuit High School and a 2010 graduate of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with a minor in History. After returning home from college, Adam found his passion for immigration law working with victims of human trafficking. In May 2014, he received his Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. While in law school, Adam had the honor of serving as Managing Editor of the Journal of Public Interest Law and as a student practitioner in the Immigration Law Clinic. After graduating from law school, he worked for local nonprofits in the field of immigration law. Adam joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC, in May 2017. He lives in New Orleans and is a proud member of the Louisiana Bar and a registered Notary.
Robert “Elliot” Duhon
Robert “Elliot” Duhon was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is a 2007 graduate of Louisiana State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication – Advertising and a minor in General Business Administration. During undergrad, Elliot was a member of the LSU Advertising Federation. He also worked with handicapped children. In 2012, Elliot graduated from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University with a Juris Doctor and Diploma in Civil Law. During law school, he studied abroad at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in Lyon, France, was a member of the Student Bar Association (representing as 3L Class President), and completed a summer externship in DUI Prosecution at the City Solicitor’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. After law school, Elliot pursued a career in oil and gas title abstracting in Illinois and Texas before moving to New Orleans in 2015, where he began the practice of personal injury law. Elliot is a proud member of the Louisiana Bar Association, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the New Orleans Bar Association, and the American Association of Notaries. In his spare time, he is an active member of Stonewall Sports New Orleans and the Krewe of King Arthur. In 2020, Elliot joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC.
Jimmy D. Whitehead III
Jimmy D. Whitehead III received his Bachelor of Arts from Mississippi State University. In
2020, he received his Juris Doctorate Degree in Civil Law with certificates in Social Justice and
Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Recently, in 2021, Mr. Whitehead graduated with a Master of Laws in Immigration and
Citizenship. While receiving his J.D. and L.L.M., Mr. Whitehead worked at the Stuart H. Smith
Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice. He started working as a student practitioner. On
September 4, 2020, he was admitted to the practice of law by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
After completing his J.D., he served as a Teaching Assistant at the Loyola Law Clinic, where he
took on immigration cases and mentored student practitioners and other volunteers. In December
2020, he was awarded the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Public Service Award. In March
2021, the Louisiana State Bar Association recognized him with a 2021 Law Student Pro Bono
Award for his work in creating and implementing a Medical-Legal Partnership between the
Loyola Law Clinic and Luke’s House Clinic benefiting low-income and indigent immigrants. In
May 2021, Mr. Whitehead joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC as an attorney and notary.
Omar Oceguera, Jr.
Omar was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. After graduating high school in 2014, he
earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Criminology at Louisiana State University in
2017. During his time at LSU, Omar joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC as a mail clerk and went on
to become a personal injury assistant at the firm.
Upon earning his Bachelor of Arts from LSU in December 2017, he chose to attend Loyola
University New Orleans College of Law in the Fall of 2018. While at Loyola Law he was a part
of the Loyola Maritime Law Journal, a member Loyola Law Latinx Law Student Association,
and an executive board member of the Legal Honor Society, Phi Delta Phi. In his third year of
law school, he worked as a student practitioner at Loyola Law’s Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and
Center for Social Justice in the immigration clinic. In addition, during his time in law school,
Omar continued working and gaining legal experience at Miguel A. Elias, APLC as a law clerk.
Omar earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in May 2021
On October 27, 2021, Omar was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Louisiana by the
Louisiana Supreme Court. Omar joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC as an attorney in October 2021.
Omar is passionate about helping others and a zealous advocate of those he has the privilege to
Robert W. Goeke
Named after his grandfathers, Robert William Goeke was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised outside Chicago, Illinois. He attended McDaniel College in Maryland, where he majored in English and Minored in Journalism and Spanish. Before Law School, Rob worked in Public Relations, interned for a U.S. Senator, served in AmeriCorps and taught Elementary School.
During Law School, Rob worked at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Clerked for (then) Judge Madeline Landrieu in the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Professor Ramona Fernandez in the Loyola Law Clinic. He also worked as an Immigration Law Clerk for Miguel Elias. In May 2016, Rob Received a Juris Doctorate Degree from Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, where he was a student practitioner in the Children’s Rights Clinic and received a Social Justice Certificate. He was a 2016 recipient of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Public Service Award for his work in the Law Clinic. On October 20, 2016, Rob was admitted to the practice of law by the Louisiana Supreme Court. He is admitted to practice in all Louisiana State Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Rob resides in New Orleans. He enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, his perfect daughter, and his favorite dog.
Robert D. Banks was born and raised in Staunton, Virginia before moving to Baltimore, Maryland after high school. While living in Baltimore, Robert received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Public Policy from the University of Baltimore, Summa Cum Laude. Robert moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2017 to attend Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. In 2020, he received his Juris Doctor in Civil Law. In 2021, Robert received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Immigration and Citizenship, Cum Laude, from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
While completing his J.D. and LL.M., Mr. Banks studied at the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice as a student practitioner, completing two semesters in the criminal defense clinic and one semester in the immigration clinic. On September 4, 2020, he was admitted to the practice of law by the Louisiana Supreme Court. After completing his J.D. and LL.M., Robert worked in private criminal defense before working as a Judicial Staff Attorney for the Honorable John A. Keller at the 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington, Louisiana.
Robert joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC as a criminal defense attorney and notary in June 2022.
Fatmeh Ali, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, possesses a strong academic background and a deep commitment to advocating for those in need. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Loyola University New Orleans, followed by the attainment of her Juris Doctorate in Civil Law from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2020. During her time in law school, Ms. Ali actively sought diverse experiences that nurtured her passion for championing the rights of individuals. She served as a law clerk for the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Louisiana Disability Rights Louisiana, and the Shoman and Karajah Law Firm in Ramallah, Palestine. Furthermore, she was a member of the Loyola Maritime Law Journal. Ms. Ali's exceptional skills as a Student Practitioner at the Loyola Family Law Clinic were recognized with the Law Excellence Award. She was also the recipient of the Gillis Long Poverty Public Service Award, highlighting her dedication to public interest work.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Ali assumed the role of a staff attorney at the Pro Bono Project, where she represented juveniles in various legal matters including Child in Need of Care, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, tutorship, and interdiction cases. She achieved a significant triumph by successfully appealing a directed verdict trial court ruling. Additionally, Ms. Ali was an associate attorney in a private family and criminal defense firm. Ms. Ali is admitted to practice law in all Louisiana State courts. Ms. Ali is an active member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Jefferson Bar Association.
In June 2023, Ms. Ali joined Miguel A. Elias, APLC as an Attorney, Qualified Family and Divorce Mediator, and Notary, furthering her commitment to delivering exceptional legal representation and mediation services.
Blake R. Bellefontaine
Blake, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has distinguished himself as a dedicated and accomplished legal professional. His academic journey began with the completion of high school in 2012, followed by the attainment of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Louisiana State University in 2016.
In August 2016, Blake furthered his education by obtaining certification as a Veterinary Technician. Demonstrating a commitment to excellence, he embarked on the pursuit of legal expertise at Southern University Law Center in the Fall of 2019. Throughout his tenure at SULC, Blake actively engaged in various roles, including contributions to the Student Body Association, membership in the Honor Code Committee, and an executive board position within the Criminal Law Society.
During his second year of law school, Blake undertook the role of a student practitioner at The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, showcasing his dedication to civil rights in the clinic. Simultaneously, he augmented his legal acumen by serving as a law clerk at Saunders & Chabert, Attorneys at Law.
Blake successfully earned his Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center in December 2022, marking a significant milestone in his legal education. His commitment to the legal profession was underscored when, on October 16, 2023, he was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Louisiana by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
In November 2023, Blake brought his expertise to Miguel A. Elias, APLC, joining the esteemed firm as an associate attorney. His passion for assisting others, unwavering dedication to clients and the firm, and his zealous advocacy for those he represents make him an asset to the legal community. Blake's professional journey is characterized by a commitment to excellence, legal proficiency, and a sincere dedication to the principles of justice.