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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.
Aaron E. Brown
Aaron E. Brown was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from Arlington Country Day High School in 2004 with honors. He then ventured to attend college at the University of Central Florida. While there, Aaron earned his Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies with a minor in Political Science in 2008. It was during his undergrad that Aaron decided that it was his duty to not sit on his talents, but offer them to the people. Immediately following college he attended law school at Florida A&M University College earning a Juris Doctor degree in May of 2011.
While in law school, he was selected by the entire student body to serve as the Student Bar Association President. Additionally, Aaron had the distinct privilege of being the first student from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law to receive an externship at the Florida Supreme Court, clerking for the Honorable Justice James E.C. Perry. Following law school, and after passing the Florida bar, Aaron moved back to Jacksonville and was recognized in the Jacksonville Business Journal’s People on the Move. Currently, Aaron serves as an Assistant Public Defender in the 4th Judicial Circuit, representing the indigent community in Jacksonville, Florida.
Aaron attributes his desire for excellence to his mother, who encouraged and promoted him throughout his youth. His passion to help others stems from the upbringing he had and mentors he has had in his lifetime. “I know I can make a huge impact. My plan is to meet with community leaders to see where I can be most effective.” Aaron is on a steady path to make a great difference in the community he calls home.
Aaron faithfully attends Regency Church of God and enjoys playing basketball, working out at his cross fit gym and spending time with his family. One of his number one priorities is being a great role model for his niece. Throughout Aaron’s academic and professional career, he has found time to stay active in the community through various outreach programs and offering free legal aid seminars to those in the surrounding Jacksonville area. “I am prepared to be the voice of the people, listen to their concerns and fight on their behalf.” Aaron is passionate about his community and is dedicated to serving the people, realizing it takes strong leadership and a caring heart to touch the community as a whole. “A community is only as strong as the people elected to provide oversight, implement policy and represent the people”, said Aaron. With this in mind, Aaron will continue excelling and being a great example in his community.
Raul Chacon’s practice focuses on commercial litigation at Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He represents businesses, developers, and individuals in all phases of litigation. He received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in 2002. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Mr. Chacon was a high school English teacher for two years in Arvada, Colorado. He received his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in 2011, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. During law school, Mr. Chacon served as the Managing Editor for the Emory International Law Review. During law school, Mr. Chacon served as an intern for Hon. Frank Hull of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Chacon is admitted to practice in Colorado. Mr. Chacon is a member of the American Bar Association, Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and Denver Bar Association.
Andrea L. Ciobanu
Andrea is the managing partner of Ciobanu Law, PC and focuses on civil rights and litigation, education law, ADA Compliance, family law, and appellate practice. Andrea also serves as a consultant to the Indiana Supreme Court on its civil law and family law pilot project. Andrea is the social chair for the Marion County Bar Association. Among other capacities, she serves on Indianapolis Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee, Steering Committee, Go Green Committee, Networking Committee, and serves as a permanent lecturer for the IndyBar Bar Review. She serves on the American Bar Association’s Disability Committee, as well as the Young Lawyers’ Division, where she is the Public Education Chair. She serves on the board and as a volunteer attorney on the Disability Legal Services of Indiana, as well as the Mentoring Women’s Network. Andrea also serves on Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Counsel, Service Committee, Solo & Small Firm Conference Planning Committee, Wellness Committee, Diversity Committee, and on the ADR Section as Vice Chair. She was appointed to the ADR 2013 Task Force initiated by the Indiana State Supreme Court, as well as the Indiana Bar Foundation. Andrea is a 2012 graduate of Indiana State Bar Association’s Leadership Development Academy. Andrea has a wide array of public, community, and pro bono service, including, but not limited to: the Indiana Pro Bono Protective Order Project, Indiana State Bar Pro Bono Appellate Project, NCLC Asylum Assistance as well as its Ex-Offender Assistance Program, Heartland Pro Bono Family Project, Shepard Park Project, and serves on various community boards in her volunteer capacity. Andrea is a passionate supporter of her alma mater, IU McKinney School of Law, as she is a permanent Host Committee Member on the LRAP Committee, and often serves as a guest speaker for various topics, including how to become acclimated to law school life, how to pass the bar, how to become involved in community and public service, how to mediate, and how to run a law practice. Andrea strives to serve as the legal voice for the deaf community, and deaf rights, as she is fluent in American Sign Language and works through the various bar associations to accomplish this goal. Andrea was the 2013 recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award presented by her alma mater.
Colin Andries is a double Duck, graduating from the Clark Honors College on the University of Oregon undergraduate campus in 2002, and then receiving his juris doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law in 2005. Andries prosecuted cases as a clerk with the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office in 2004, and then worked as an associate for the Portland firm Foster Pepper specializing in corporate and real estate transactions from 2005-2008. In 2009, Andries started his own firm in Portland, Oregon where he continues to practice. His varied practice includes misdemeanor criminal defense, as well as a growing civil litigation practice that specializes in post-foreclosure evictions in addition to other more general landlord-tenant clients.
While looking for full-time employment as an attorney, Deepa Goraya is currently working part-time as a Public Policy Research Specialist for the LEAD Center at the National Disability Institute , whose mission is to promote economic advancement, leadership, and competetive employment for people with disabilities. She is also interning part-time at Disability Rights International, where she is working on human rights issues for persons with disabilities. Deepa is a 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and is licensed in California. She will be waiving into DC. Her work and interests focus primarily on the areas of civil rights and disability law and policy. Her other legal interests are in education, particularly special education, and international disability rights. She has experience at the federal and state level with extensive internships for former Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT); the former Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy at the White House; the U.S. Department of Justice Disability Rights Section; the Burton Blatt Institute in Washington, DC working for Eve Hill; the ACLU of Southern California; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission working for Commissioner Chai Feldblum. In her final year of law school, while attending UCLA Law as a visiting student, Deepa also participated in a Public Policy Advocacy clinic, where she worked on education reform research and recommendations for juvenile hall in Los Angeles, and a project on general relief for the homeless. During law school, Deepa served as Membership Coordinator and then Co-Vice President of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities from 2010-2012 and has been actively involved in the National Federation of the Blind (a civil rights advocacy group) as a leader and member for the past few years.
Dionna Maria Lewis
Dionna Maria Lewis is a native of Washington, D.C. and a graduate of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. Dionna obtained a double Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and History from the University of Virginia (UVA). While at UVA, Dionna studied abroad with the Semester At Sea program where she sailed around the world on a ship for a semester studying in nine countries spanning Africa, Asia, and Europe (i.e. Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, and Spain).
Dionna received her Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School and graduated with a Public Service Certificate for completing over 60 hours of community service during her law school career. As a 3L at Drake Law, Dionna received a Student-Practice License from the Iowa Supreme Court and had her first successful jury trial as a Student Prosecutor at the Polk County Attorney’s Office. She also worked as a Student Attorney for the Neil & Bea Smith Legal Clinic, and represented low-income clients in family law and other civil matters.
Dionna received her LL.M. (Master of Laws) Degree in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from the George Washington University Law School.
Currently, Dionna works as a fair lending attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity. Her practice is focused on bank supervision, fair lending compliance, and consumer protection work.
Outside of work, Dionna is active in her local community. She volunteers as a Pro Bono Attorney for the Homeless Persons Representation Project and for the D.C. Bar’s Advice & Referral Clinic. Dionna is also a Region XII Officer of National Bar Association; the Professional Development Chair of the Washington Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division; the Fundraising and Social Chair of the Greater Washington Area Chapter of the Women Lawyer's Division; the Outgoing Chair of the Young Alumni Council; an active member of the Women's Bar Association and the American Bar Association; and is a mentor to a sophomore high school student through the Thurgood Marshall Academy Mentor Program.
Dionna is barred in Maryland.
Lin Lin is an Attorney Advisor in the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. In her daily work, she reviews Administrative Law Judge decisions to ensure they are in accordance with the Social Security Act and defensible in federal court. Lin obtained her juris doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where she graduated with cum laude distinction and was a recipient of the Dulin Haynes Public Service Scholar award. During law school, Lin worked as a law clerk at the General Counsel’s Office in the American Psychological Association, a judicial intern at the Chamber of the Honorable Brook Hedge in the D.C. Superior Court, and a law clerk at the firm of Coggins, Harman & Hewitt. In addition, she published a student note on Massachusetts’ healthcare reform efforts in the spring 2009 edition of the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy.
Lin graduated from Duke University with majors in political science and economics. She was a member of the inaugural class of the Michigan Leadership Development Program, and spent the summer of 2003 working in the Office of the Governor. In subsequent summers, she traveled to Albuquerque to assist with outreach events sponsored by the Catholic Charities of Central New Mexico; and to Xi’an, China, to assess community development initiatives developed by non-governmental organizations.
Lin grew up in a suburb near Detroit, and gained admission to the Michigan State Bar in December 2009.
Aastha Madaan is an Associate with a small business litigation firm in Irvine, CA. She received her Bachelors of Arts in English from the University of California, Irvine, and her Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, CA. She was admitted to the California bar in December 2012. While at Whittier Law School, Aastha was recognized as an outstanding leader, and was named “Student Organization Leader of the Year” in 2011-2012 by the Student Bar Association. She also received a “Dean’s Citation Award,” for outstanding service and dedication to the Whittier Law School community. During her first summer in law school, Aastha was a recipient of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ Diversity Scholarship Program. This gave her gain invaluable litigation experience in the dynamic legal community in Sacramento, CA. Her involvement with the ABA continues through leadership positions with the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, the Law Student Division, and now with the Young Lawyers Division. In her free time, Aastha enjoys painting, playing with her dog, cooking, and hiking.
Mary Modrich-Alvarado is a tribal attorney in the Tax & Finance Unit at the Navajo Nation Department of Justice in Window Rock, Arizona. She advises and works with the Navajo Nation’s departments, programs, and committees on legal issues focusing on tax, finance, and litigation.
She currently serves as a Window Rock District Commissioner on the Board of Bar Commissioners for the Navajo Nation Bar Association, Inc., and also serves on the Board of Directors for the State Bar of New Mexico Young Lawyers Division (SBNM YLD). As an active SBNM YLD member Ms. Modrich-Alvarado annually participates in May’s Law Day Call-In at the Farmington, NM, location, supports the Serving Our Seniors program, mentors law students through the University of N.M. College of Law/YLD Mentorship Program, and volunteers her time to help organize local clinics of Project Salute: Young Lawyers Serving Veterans. Mary is also an active ABA YLD member who served as an Assistant Editor to the The Affiliate.
Ms. Modrich-Alvarado received her B.S. in Business, with a major in General Business and a minor in Entrepreneurship, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and her J.D. and Indian Law Certificate from the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Tempe, Arizona. Ms. Modrich-Alvarado is barred in the state of New Mexico and in the Navajo Nation. In her spare time she enjoys roller skating, running, and traveling.
Anne-Tyler Morgan practices in the area of health law for the Lexington, Kentucky office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. An active member of her community, Anne-Tyler serves on committees with both the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the Lexington Downtown Development Authority and is actively involved in area organizations such as the Junior League of Lexington, Rotaract, the Lexington Young Professionals Association, Dress for Success Lexington, Young Friends of the Bluegrass Conservancy, and Young Friends of LexArts. She also serves as Central Kentucky’s Congressional District Leader of the ONE Campaign, a global advocacy organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to eliminate extreme poverty and preventable disease. In her spare time, Anne-Tyler enjoys horseback riding, biographies, and travel.
Jerina Phillips is a law clerk for a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. After her clerkship, Jerina will serve a one-year term as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Jerina is a 2012 graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law. While in law school, Jerina won the Frederick Douglass Regional Moot Court Competition and advanced to the national competition. Because of her performance in an intramural moot court competition, Jerina was selected to represent her school in the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition. Jerina also worked as an appellate group member in Saint Louis University’s legal clinic where she successfully briefed an argued an unemployment insurance case before the Missouri Court of Appeals. Jerina worked as a summer law clerk for a judge on the Missouri Supreme Court. Jerina also interned at the Missouri State Public Defender System and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Jerina is actively involved in the St. Louis legal community. She is active in the Mound City Bar Association as Member-at-Large, the Women’s Lawyer’s Association, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Jerina serves as a mentor and tutor in a number of civic organizations, including Join Hands ESL, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Mound City Bar Association’s Grade School to Gavel (Keys to Success) Program.
Chisa J. Putman
Chisa J. Putman, is a native of Cowpens, SC, and currently resides in Rock Hill, SC, where she is the owner and operator of Chisa J. Putman Attorney at Law, LLC. Chisa is a General Solo Practitioner with her primary practice being Family Law/Domestic Relations. She has performed contract work with Guardian Ad Litem program and SC Legal Services. Chisa is an active member of her legal community as well as her community as whole, whether it is through a volunteer project or serving as a member of a Committee. Her most recent community involvement has included: South Carolina YLD,16th Circuit Representative; South Carolina YLD, Color of Justice Committee, Chair; City of Rock Hill Committee on Human Relations, Chairperson; ABA YLD Member Service, Team Member; ABA Gender Equity Taskforce, Team Member; Iota Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Vice-president; York County Bar Association, Treasurer; National Association of Women Judges, Amicus Judicii Member; York County Habitat for Humanity, Board of Directors Member; and York County Habitat for Humanity, Family Nurture Committee Member. One of Chisa’s most fulfilling activities thus far, has been working with the Color of Justice program to encourage diversity in the legal profession among middle and high school minority students. Chisa is married with one child.
Patrick Soon is an Associate Attorney at Goodman Mooney, LLP, a boutique intellectual property and corporate law firm based in Irvine, CA dedicated to business and branding. There, he serves a range of artists, athletes, and corporations regarding their copyright, trademark, and patent portfolios in transactional and civil litigation matters.
He graduated from Whittier Law School with a Dean’s Citation Medal and an Intellectual Property Fellowship. During law school, Patrick was President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association which received two awards at the local and national level: "Most Active and Spirited Organization" and "Affiliate Chapter of the Year". Patrick also personally received the distinctions of "Student of the Year", "Organization Leader of the Year” and a mention in an issue of the ABA Student Lawyer. Patrick has also been involved with several regional and national minority bar associations such as the Orange County Asian American Bar Association, the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
Outside of his work at Goodman Mooney, Patrick volunteers for the American Bar Association and for ALIST Magazine. At the ABA, he works as an editor and multimedia chair for the Technology for the Litigator committee within the ABA Section of Litigation. At ALIST, a newly-created Asian American non-profit publication, he contributes as their technology columnist.
He holds a degree in life sciences from the University of British Columbia from his native Vancouver, Canada and loves taking photos of delicious food.