October 05, 2011

2007-2008 Scholars


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 Bailey, Chicago, IL
Francine Bailey received her B.A. degree from Cornell College in 2003, where she majored in International Business and French and minored in Spanish.  Francine attended law school at the University of Wisconsin.  She is currently licensed in both Wisconsin and Illinois.  In May 2007, Francine 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, Francine was appointed to be an Assistant Editor with the ABA YLD publication, The Affiliate

  Manish Borde, Seattle, WA
Francine Bailey received her B.

Darrell Rico Doss, Bethesda, MD
Darrell Doss works as Tax Counsel for The Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who Chairs The Ethics Committee and also sits on The Ways and Means Committee in the US Congress. Prior to his service with the Congresswoman he worked for The Honorable Carol Moseley-Braun in the U.S. Senate and The Honorable Judge Gibson on the US Court of Claims, and for Citigroup. Darrell earned his B.A. at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, attended the University of Oregon School of Law, and earned an LL.M in Taxation at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle.

He has a professional interest in the taxation of investment companies and international taxation, has taught high-school French, speaks Japanese and plays tennis with gusto if not great skill. Darrell hails from the Southside of Chicago, but resides in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dana Douglas, New Orleans, LA
Ms. Douglas is an associate with Liskow and Lewis. Her practice emphasizes commercial, energy and intellectual property litigation.

She has experience in energy matters involving exploration and production disputes, land ownership and expropriation litigation, landowner/mineral lessee disputes, royalty and related litigation and oil and gas marketing disputes. She also has represented clients in cases that focused on pipeline servitudes, rights-of-way, easements and expropriation.

Ms. Douglas has handled cases involving trademark, copyright, patent infringement and trade secret litigation. Her business litigation experience includes transactional disputes, business torts, severance tax matters and other state and local tax litigation.

She currently is president-elect of the Young Lawyer’s section of the New Orleans Bar Association and a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics.

T. Nicole James, Minneapolis, MN
T. Nicole James is an Associate Counsel with Ameriprise Financial, Inc., focusing on broker dealer regulatory matters. She received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2003 from William Mitchell College of Law. Nicole is also a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Hennepin County Bar Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She is actively involved in my community, volunteering with the Ramsey County Guardian ad litem program and the Hennepin County Domestic Fatality Review Team.

Dorothy Yee Leggett, Los Angeles, CA
Dorothy Yee Leggett is currently a first-year attorney with the State Compensation Insurance Fund, California's workers compensation agency. She graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 2006 and also has a Master's in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dorothy was a public policy analyst for several state and federal government agencies, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She has been actively involved with the ABA since law school and was previously the Law Student Division Liaison to the State and Local Government Law Section from 2004-2006. In addition to the ABA, Dorothy is also involved with the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Dorothy and her husband live in Los Angeles. In her spare time, Dorothy enjoys traveling and watching movies.

Karthik Nadesan, Salt Lake City, UT
Karthik Nadesan is an associate at the Salt Lake City office of Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P., where his practice is concentrated in product liability and commercial litigation. Mr. Nadesan is currently President of the Utah Minority Bar Association and a non-voting member of the Utah State Bar Commission. Mr. Nadesan is also the President-Elect of the Utah State Bar Young Lawyers Division and the ABA YLD liaison to the Forum Committee on Communications Law.

Mr. Nadesan received his B.A. cum laude from Cornell University with a double major in Biology and Philosophy. He subsequently attended graduate programs in Human Genetics and Philosophy at the University of Utah before graduating from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law in 2004. While attending the S. J. Quinney School of Law, Mr. Nadesan was a Leary Scholar, winner of best oral argument in the Southerland Moot Court competition, and a recipient of outstanding achievement awards in Torts, Advanced Legal Research, and Real Estate Drafting.


Djung Tran, Bensalem, PA
Djung Tran is currently a staff attorney with A Woman's Place Legal Assistance Program, a non-profit public interest agency, Djung's practice is in family law and immigration law. Her program's mission is to assist low-income victims of domestic violence leave abusive family situations and establish independent lives free from abuse.

Djung's legal affiliations include being a member of the Executive Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of the Delaware Valley (AABADV), a National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) affiliate, sitting on the Editorial Board of Young Lawyer, a monthly supplement to The Legal Intelligencer, and belonging to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She chairs AABADV's Community Outreach Committee, which promotes increased access to legal resources for Asian Pacific American communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. Djung obtained her J.D. from Temple Law School and her B.A. in Anthropology, with a Concentration in Feminist and Gender Studies, from Haverford College. She grew up in Canberra, Australia, and South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and enjoys traveling, photography, and textile crafts."

Latanishia Watters, Helena, AL
Latanishia Watters is a senior associate in Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker's Litigation Practice Group. Shefocuses her practice on Bankruptcy, Reorganization, and Creditors Rights (representing trustees, creditors, creditors' committees, and Chapter 11 debtors); Securities litigation and NASD Arbitration, including substantial broker-dealer matters; and general Business Tort Litigation and Insurance Defense. Ms. Watters graduated from Millsaps College (B.A., cum laude, 1998) with a degree in Political Science, and received her J.D. degree from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in 2001, along with her Masters in Business Administration during the same year from Samford's School of Business. While at Cumberland, Ms. Watters was an Associate Editor on the Cumberland Law Review; a Cordell Hull Teaching Fellow; and Director of the National Moot Court Team, among other honors. Ms. Watters holds several leadership positions within the local, state, and national bar associations, and is active in her community.

GP Solo Committee


Elizabeth A. Bleakley, Chicago, IL
Elizabeth Bleakley is the current Chair of the ABA YLD’S Business Law Committee and past Chair of the ABA YLD Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Committee. She is Secretary for the Illinois State Bar Association’s Business Advice and Financial Planning Section. Elizabeth has her own law practice where she represents clients in business, estate planning, probate, and real estate matters. She contributes articles to Illinois State Bar Association and American Bar Association publications on a regular basis and is a frequent presenter at workshops and seminars related to her practice areas. Elizabeth does pro bono work for clients through several not-for-profit organizations in the Chicago area. Elizabeth received her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she is currently a candidate for an LL.M. in Financial Services. She received her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with concentrations in finance and accounting, economics, and strategic management. She received her B.A. with a concentration in Business Administration from DePaul University.

Cassandra J. Georges, Philadelphia, PA
Cassandra J. Georges, a native of Philadelphia, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in 2001 and a J.D. in 2005. Cassandra is now completing her term as the inaugural Dispute Resolution Fellow at Impartial Dispute Resolution Services in Pittsburgh. Through the intensive, yearlong fellowship with its principal Robert A. Creo, she has gained meaningful experience in all aspects of its alternative dispute resolution practice, including mediations, arbitrations, educational opportunities, and professional development. In addition to establishing a career, Cassandra is managing several roles and responsibilities in an effort to promote diversity and social change. She currently serves as President-Elect of the National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division’s Philadelphia Chapter. An advocate for building alliances between organizations, she is spearheading the creation of an online forum to facilitate statewide communication among minority bar associations through the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Cassandra also introduces and explores initiatives alongside legal and corporate leaders as a member of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution’s National Task Force on Diversity in Alternative Dispute Resolution. As a Founding Member of Mediators Without Borders, she engages in community outreach in support of the non-profit, humanitarian organization that is devoted to building sustainable peace in communities worldwide. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys traveling abroad, performing karaoke, and dancing salsa.

Kirby D. Hopkins, The Woodlands, TX
Kirby D. Hopkins practices civil defense litigation with a focus on business, banking, and appellate law in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas. He is a sixth-year associate with the law firm Drucker, Rutledge & Smith, L.L.P. Prior to that, he clerked for Justice Linda R. Yañez on the 13th Court of Appeals, State of Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. He received his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and his B.A. in English, with Honors, from Vanderbilt University. Kirby serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Young Lawyers Association and is Co-Chair of their Disaster Relief Committee. He is also the Vice-President of Community Relations for The Woodlands Young Lawyers Association. Recently, he began a three-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation supporting his high school – The Louisiana School for Math, Science & the Arts. Kirby and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Chen Hopkins, live in mid-town Houston, a short walk from their favorite spots.

Government, Military and Public Sector Lawyers Committee

Ilissa Gould, Baltimore, MD
Ilissa Gould is completing her first year as an Attorney Advisor with the United States Department of Justice Attorney General's Honors Program. She is the clerk for seven judges at the Baltimore, Maryland and York, Pennsylvania Immigration Courts. Through her work at the courts, she is also active in local efforts to improve pro bono representation of aliens in Maryland. In addition to being a member of the Government, Military, and Public Sector Lawyer's Committee, Ilissa is the Vice Chair of the YLD International Law Committee and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the American Society of International Law.

Ilissa received her law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2006. While in law school, she was a staff editor on the Global Studies Law Review and a research assistant for the Office of the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. She also received a Dagen-Legomsky Fellowship to clerk for Judge Florence Mumba at the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the Hague. Ilissa graduated summa cum laude from American University's School of International Service, where she received the Fletcher Award for Service and Scholarship and the award for Outstanding Undergraduate Scholarship, SIS, 2003.

Jennifer R. Medley, New Orleans, LA
Jennifer M. Medley is an Assistant Attorney General with the Louisiana Department of Justice Civil Litigation Division, which is located in New Orleans, Louisiana. During her time at the Attorney General’s office, she has successfully defended various State agencies in all types of litigation in both federal and state court. The majority of her case load involves defending state prisons, Wardens, and prison employees in various §1983 actions, conditions of confinement, and employment discrimination suits. Additionally, she enjoys defending the state in road hazard, highway design/defect suits. Before joining the Department of Justice, she did class action work with some of the top class action attorneys in the nation, involving Fen/Phen, mold exposure and improper insurance adjusting practices. She actually chose the class representatives in a suit involving low income housing tenants exposed to mold over a period of years.

She is a native New Orleanian and a graduate of Mc Donogh #35 Senior High School, which is in the heart of the historic Treme area of the city. She received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. She is a 2002 graduate of Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During her time at Southern, Jennifer worked as a session aide for two state Senators during two legislative sessions. She was also a teacher’s assistant in the law center’s summer program, which tries to acclimate incoming first year students to law school life.

Locally, Jennifer is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. She was an elected Representative of the LSBA Young Lawyers Division for Orleans Parish. She is a Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Politics, a proud graduate of the ABA TIPS National Trial Academy in Reno, Nevada.

Timna Sites, Anchorage, AK
Timna A. Sites has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alaska in the Child Protection Section, since earning her J.D. from University of California, Berkley, Boalt Hall School of Law in 2006.  She works to obtain permanent placements for children in state’s custody through hearings, negotiations, and trials.  She has also recently become involved in the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, volunteering for their legal information hotline. Timna served as the policy intern for Boalt Hall’s Domestic Violence Clinic and wrote an amicus curiae brief on behalf of fifteen domestic violence organizations, arguing against an evidentiary rule that threatened to interfere with domestic violence prosecutions.  The Supreme Court of California’s holdings in the case supported the brief’s position and echoed some of its specific arguments.  Also in law school, Timna spent a summer studying international human rights in Europe and completed several projects regarding comparative child welfare law and the lack of child rights in the United States.  Timna began working in the field of child welfare in high school where she served as a crisis center volunteer for children in state’s custody. She continued this work in college and also became a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children. Timna earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and graduated summa cum laude in 2003.  Upon graduation from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, she was presented with an award for Outstanding Graduating Student award for her leadership in various campus organizations, service to the community, and academic achievements, including being an independent student since the age of sixteen.  Upon graduation from the University’s Honors College, she was presented with a Thesis of Distinction award for her academic work in the field of child rights.