2008-2009 ABA YLD Scholars
Each year the ABA YLD awards a number of scholarships to encourage the participation of minority, solo/small firm, government, private sector, and military service attorneys in the Young Lawyers Division. This year we are excited to have these scholars involved with the YLD.
Minorities in the Profession Committee
Francine Baily, Chicago, IL
In May 2007, Ms. Baily was elected to the Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She is also a member of the Diversity Outreach Committee.
Last spring, Ms. Baily was appointed to be an Assistant Editor with the ABA YLD publication, The Affiliate.
Manish Borde, Seattle, WA
Raised in Northern California, Mr. Borde moved to Illinois to pursue a B.A. in Economics at Northwestern University. Upon graduation, he moved to New York City to work as a paralegal for a large law firm. Mr. Borde received his J.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Law in 2007.
He is active in the Washington State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division and has been elected to its Board of Trustees. Mr. Borde is a member of the Washington State Bar Association; the King County Bar Association; the South Asian Bar Association of Washington and the Asian American Bar Association of Washington.
He has defended human right issues for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and is on the Board of Directors for Lawyers Helping Hungry Children.
Anthony I. Butler, Baltimore, MD
Mr. Butler received his B.A. in Political Science from Truman State University and his juris doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law, where he completed the Employment Law Certificate program, was on the Mock Trial team, and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Student Advocacy Award.
Mr. Butler is an active member of the legal community. He is the Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Minorities in the Legal Profession, President-Elect of the Monumental City Bar Association, formerly served on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Minority Trial Lawyer Newsletter, and is a member of the Baltimore City Bar Association. In addition to these professional organizations, Mr. Butler serves on the board of The Concrete Garden, Inc. and Justice Maryland, both headquartered in Baltimore, Md. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, and Black Professional Men, Inc. of Baltimore, MD.
Eiko Harris, Memphis, TN
Arielle Harry-Bess, Baltimore, MD
Ms. Harry-Bess is immediate Past President of the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland (ABWA). During her term, the ABWA offered a variety of professional and self-development programs. The ABWA also achieved a 100% increase in paid membership. In addition to her work with the ABWA, Ms. Harry-Bess also serves as Chair of the Maryland State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Diversity Initiatives Committee and on the Alumni Association Board of Directors for the University of Maryland School of Law. While at Maryland, she received the A.J. Cooper Award and the William Cunningham Award. Ms. Harry-Bess is a 2006 Maryland State Bar Association Leadership Academy Fellow and a 2008 Maryland Bar Foundation Fellow.
Melissa Ho, Phoenix, AZ
Maurice Ruffin, New Orleans, LA
In 2003, Mr. Ruffin received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and was elected class speaker by his colleagues. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Orleans in 2000, where he received the award for Outstanding Service to the College of Liberal Arts.
A frequent speaker at bar seminars, Mr. Ruffin has given presentations on diversity, pro bono service and work/life balance issues. Mr. Ruffin is Chair-Elect of the Young Lawyer's Section of the New Orleans Bar Association and has also volunteered his time to the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, the HELP program and Louisiana Appleseed. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Desire NOLA. The Louisiana State Bar Association honored Mr. Ruffin with the 2007-2008 President's Award."
Jason Sengheiser, Imperial, MO
Mr. Sengheiser received B.A. degrees in Environmental Science and German Studies from Saint Louis University in 2000. He also received his J.D. from Saint Louis University in 2003. In addition, Mr. Sengheiser received his LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Columbia University in 2006.
Mr. Sengheiser is a member of the American Bar Association, and is the current Chair of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee for the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association.
Mr. Sengheiser is also active with Amnesty International and has served two terms on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA.
Antwaun Smith, Kansas City, MO
Antwaun received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study business at Oxford University. He has also done graduate work in religious studies at Harvard University while on fellowships from the Mellon and Ford Foundations.
He is a continuing fellow with transatlantic leadership societies. Prior to joining SHB, Antwaun spent two years in China, studying Chinese and working as a mergers and acquisitions consultant.
Raul Torrez, Albuquerque, NM
GP Solo Committee
Valerie L. Moore, Lenexa, KS
After graduating from law school, Valerie worked at Kansas Legal Services in their domestic violence department. After completing her contract with Kansas Legal Services, she went on a small firm and then decided to hang up her own shingle. Valerie primarily practices in the areas of family law and a good portion of her practice is devoted to representing children in child protection cases.
She has served on positions within her local and state bar and currently is the Secretary of the Kansas Bar Associations Family Law Section. She currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Family Law Section's Ethics and Professional Responsibility committee. She has served in the YLD as a vice-chair of the Family Law section on two occasions and is currently the Chair of the Family Law Committee of the YLD.
She lives in Olathe, Kansas with her husband, three children, three cats, and a dog.
Kari Petrasek, Everett, WA
Currently, Ms. Petrasek is a judge on the ABA YLD Awards and Subgrants Team. She is also a Trustee on the Washington Young Lawyers Division Board of Trustees and the immediate past president of the Snohomish County Young Lawyers Division.
She also serves on numerous other boards and committees in her community. In her free time, Ms. Petrasek enjoys skiing, golfing, and watching baseball games.
Ireneo Reus, III, Long Beach, CA
Mr. Reus earned his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law, where he was a member of the Moot Court Honors Program and served as Senior Articles Editor for the UCLA Journal of Law Technology. He also earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from Whittier College, where he competed for the Rhodes Scholarship.
Mr. Reus is a member of the Judge William J. Rea ABOTA-Inn of Court, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Southern California Leadership Network. Mr. Reus also serves on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association and the Board of Directors of the Whittier College Alumni Association.
Government, Military and Public Sector Lawyers Committee
Brandi Davis, Montgomery, AL
In 2003, she graduated from Brown University with a dual major in public policy and psychology. She later graduated from Stanford Law School with Pro Bono Distinction.
She is a member of the Alabama and Florida Bars. She will serve the ABA YLD as an assistant editor with The Young Lawyer during the 2008-2009 bar year.
Jason Gordon, Savannah, GA
Captain Gordon attended the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Spanish. He subsequently attended the University of South Carolina School of Law, graduating in May of 2006. Captain Gordon took and passed the SC Bar Exam in July of 2007 and was sworn into the SC Bar on November of 2006.
During his first year in law school he worked at Todd & Ward, PC. During his second and third years he worked as an intern in the legal department for SCANA, Corp., South Carolina’s only Fortune 500 Company. In February 2007 he began Army training, where he spent 3 months learning military law at the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, VA. In July of 2007 he reported for duty at Fort Stewart, GA. Prior to his current role as Trial Counsel, Captain Gordon served as a legal assistance attorney, Officer in Charge of the Marne Tax Center, and chief of Legal Assistance.
Maha Jweied, Potomac, MD