Civil Rights Lawyer Makiba Gaines Discusses Abuses of Power and Standing Firm Against Injustice

Children are taught from a young age to respect authority. Teens are then conditioned even further to believe that people in powerful positions know what’s best for them. We learn early on that questioning authority leads to negative consequences.

Makiba Gaines is a lawyer with her own firm in Virginia Beach, and she couldn’t disagree more. “This is wrong on so many levels,” Gaines explains. “People are certainly meant to question authority and to hold those in power accountable. 

Our current justice system is in place for this very reason. There are institutions in place that promote transparency and honesty. Our judicial system is meant to help those in need and to give them an opportunity to be heard and listened to with respect.”

Lawyers should be courageous when selecting cases.

“We have to break down barriers and give people access to justice by representing deserving persons who may not otherwise have legal representation due to the complexity of their legal issues or financial challenges. We have to drive policy by litigating unique and challenging issues in appellate courts and in federal courts,” Gaines states. 

She further says, “As lawyers, we are afforded both the privilege and the power to challenge status quos. Many lawyers are overly concerned with the potential of losing cases that they lose focus on the real objective, which is setting wind to the wave that could roll for generations. Imagine if no one had the courage to represent Oliver Brown and the other students in their claims against The Board of Education. We have to be courageous in the face of adversity.”

Makiba Gaines says her firm is an abolitionist law firm. 

Rather than putting money and business first, we have a client-centered focus that helps us get results for our clients. From civil rights and other civil litigation to writs of actual innocence, appeals, and habeas corpus petitions—we are ultimately just trying to do the right thing for people.”

Polaris Law Firm is a law firm owned by a black woman. Makiba Gaines founded the firm in 2021 when she was just three years out of law school. 

Polaris – pragmatically known as the North Star – is an ode to Gaines’s Christian faith and her Black American heritage. It was the North Star that led the three wise men to Jesus Christ and Harriet Tubman to freedom. We are a freedom-loving law firm dedicated to upholding all ideals of freedom. 

For more information, visit: or call 757-322-7826 

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