Cristina Mathews - Attorney
What I do:
My practice is focused on workers’ rights, family law, and estate planning and probate. If you need help in another area, I may be able to refer you to other resources or attorneys if I cannot assist myself. (You may also want to look at the free services I link to in the pages of this website dedicated to each practice area.)
Different kinds of services fit different situations and people, so I provide legal services in a range of ways.
Full legal representation is the most traditional: when I provide full representation, I represent a client throughout a matter. “Limited scope representation” may better fit other situations: in limited scope representation, I represent a client for just one part of a matter, and they represent themselves in other steps. And sometimes a client prefers coaching so that they can represent themselves or prepare their own documents, or simply information to help them choose a path forward.
I received my law degree from Berkeley Law in 2019, with a certificate in Public Interest and Social Justice. As a Self-Help Center attorney, I helped people without attorneys represent themselves, primarily in family law matters, at the Mendocino County Superior Court. Before and during law school I advocated for workers and consumers at public interest law firms.
Before becoming a lawyer, I spent two decades as an educator, half of that time as an English professor at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. My goals as a lawyer are the same as those that guided me as an educator: to develop the power and voice of the people I work with. I learned I could do that best when I listened well to my students and enabled them to direct their own education. When I was a professor, I had an excellent table in my office, one big enough that I could sit beside my students as we worked together on their writing. I didn’t bring that table with me to Fort Bragg, but I did bring that collaborative attitude.
I received a B.A. Summa Cum Laude from Yale College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from SUNY Stony Brook. The Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law published my article “Unlocking the Farmhouse Gate,” about California farmworkers’ access to legal services. I am a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association and participate in the Sustainable Economies Law Center legal fellows program. As a representative of the California Low-Income Consumer Coalition, I advocate for regulations that benefit low-income consumers.
I am proud to have served on a school board, raised a barn with my brother, and planted community trees. I lived in Point Reyes Station as a young person, and since then have lived in Orizaba, Mexico; the Bay Area; and northeastern Pennsylvania, among other places. I am glad to call Fort Bragg home.
I generally charge $100 for an initial consultation of up to an hour. We will discuss rates for any additional work at the initial meeting.