Born in New York City, Michael earned his undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Russian Language from Bates College, where in 1988 he graduated magna cum laude. Upon graduation, he came to Italy to work for an international immigration advocacy organization, where he assisted Soviet refugees seeking to immigrate to the USA and to other Western nations. Michael the worked for the United States Information Agency in the Soviet Union on a short-term Foreign Service assignment as a Russian speaking guide at the “Design USA” Exhibit.

Michael subsequently enrolled in the Law Faculty at Sapienza University of Rome, where he earned his Law Degree cum laude in 1998, with a thesis in International Private Law regarding the law applicable to contractual obligations.

Michael worked for several years on the regulatory and administrative law team of an International Law Firm and in 2006, together with Andrea Stigi, founded “Stigi & Stiefel” a multi-disciplinary and multi cultural law firm catering to the needs of Italian, foreign and international businesses and professionals.

Michael enjoys the legal profession, challenges, and appreciates teamwork which, with good coordination, produces optimal results.

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