Our Team

Johanna A. Pickel  //  Attorney

Johanna Pickel has her Masters in Law (LL.M.) in Estate Planning and Elder Law from the Western New England University School of Law. She attended the University Of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) for her Juris Doctorate (J.D.), graduating in 2004. After graduating from the University of New Mexico Law School, Mrs. Pickel joined the United States Air Force as an assistant Judge Advocate General (JAG), serving in Florida, Japan, and Colorado. She is a veteran of the Iraq conflict, deploying with the Law and Order Task Force (LAOTF) in 2008.

Mrs. Pickel served as a JAG for almost seven years. Throughout her time with the Air Force, she provided estate planning services to service members, including deploying members and retirees. Her last military assignment was in Colorado, where she taught law at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. After separating from the Air Force, she moved back to New Mexico in 2011. After having a second child, Mrs. Pickel and her family decided to move back to her home town in Montana, but she travels back and forth between New Mexico and Montana on a regular basis.

Mrs. Pickel is originally from Kalispell, Montana. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Montana and worked with at-risk youth in Montana and the Bahamas. Mrs. Pickel then attended the University of Washington for her Master of Arts in Education, specializing in Special Education. She was brought to New Mexico State University for her final semester in order to teach special education at Oñate High School in Las Cruces and received her MA degree from New Mexico State University. After teaching for two years, she began law school at the University of New Mexico School of Law where she was selected to be a part of the Natural Resource Journal and was twice chosen to represent the school for the National Health Moot Court competition. She graduated from UNMSOL in 2004. Deciding to focus her career on Estate Planning and Elder Law, Mrs. Pickel went back to law school to earn her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the Western New England University School of Law.

Mrs. Pickel practices in the areas of estate planning (wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare documents), elder law (Medicaid planning, VA Aid and Attendance, and Special Needs Trusts), Special Needs Planning, probate, trust administration, guardianship and conservatorship, and business succession planning and formation. Mrs. Pickel is a VA accredited attorney. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). Mrs. Pickel is the past Chair for the Elder Law Section of the New Mexico Bar, and past division Chair for the Trust & Estate Division of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section of the New Mexico Bar. Mrs. Pickel is also a past board member of the Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity.

Cynthia Sikelianos  //  Associate Attorney

Cynthia (Cindy) is a native New Mexican, graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque. Cindy received her under graduate and law degree from UNM and has been a practicing member of the New Mexico State Bar since 1997.

Since that time, her legal practice has been primarily in the areas of estate and business planning, probate, and estate and trust administration. She has recently expanded her practice to include guardianships, Medicaid planning, and other elder law matters.

Cindy is a Member of the State Bar of New Mexico Real Property, Probate, and Trust Section

Vicki Plevin  //  Associate Attorney

Vicki Plevin graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico School of Law (UNMSOL) in 1998.  She received several awards, including the Margaret Keiper Dailey Award in Law for “excellence in scholarship, character, and those qualities of heart and mind that distinguished Mrs. Dailey’s personal and professional life: awareness of social problems, concern for people in trouble, and dedication to the professional responsibility to provide justice for all.”; the Elizabeth Ann Randel Prize for Initiative and Innovation Toward Gender and Racial Justice; and the 1998 Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing.

 In 1990, she moved to Albuquerque where she developed and coordinated the Fair Lending Center at the UNMSOL-Institute of Public Law.  She assisted in drafting legislation aimed at decreasing the number of foreclosures in New Mexico and protecting consumers from predatory lending.  In 2003, she worked to secure passage of the New Mexico Home Loan Protection Act, which became law in 2004. More recently, Ms. Plevin served as public policy consultant for the New Mexico Foreclosure Task Force established by the New Mexico Legislature in 2014.

Ms. Plevin is a VA accredited attorney, and she currently focuses her practice on assisting clients with both Medicaid and VA planning.  Further, she assists individual veterans with their VA disability claims and appeals.

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