2017 Honorees

Top 40 Young Lawyers

Troy J.H. Andrade

University of Hawai'i at Mãnoa William S. Richardson School of Law
Honolulu, HI

Troy J.H. Andrade is a Visiting Assistant Professor and the Interim Director of the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law, where he teaches and mentors law students who have overcome adversity and demonstrated tremendous potential to succeed in law school and beyond. He is also Of Counsel with McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP. Prior to returning to the law school, Andrade clerked for Hawai'i Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, and then practiced primarily in the areas of complex commercial litigation, administrative law, and appellate litigation. Andrade has represented clients in matters relating to the most contentious issues in Hawai'i, including the regulation of GMOs and pesticides, homelessness, and Native Hawaiian self-determination. Like his practice, Andrade's scholarship focuses on the pursuit of justice for Hawai'i's indigenous people. Andrade is a proud graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and Pacific Lutheran University.

Jordan Arnot Leahey

Partridge Partners PC
Chicago, IL

Jordan Arnot Leahey is a partner at Partridge Partners in Chicago, IL where she focuses her practice on intellectual property and tech transactions across a broad spectrum of industries, many of which are highly regulated (such as alcoholic beverages, financial services, and healthcare) requiring specialized expertise. She works with clients ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to "starving artists", skillfully navigating the needs of the most sophisticated in-house counsel and business executives to first-time content creators seeking to protect their rights. Jordan's practice is global, working closely with a network of local counsel in over 100 countries to protect and enforce her client's rights. With a growing national and global reputation, Jordan has been extensively published in industry and trade publications as well as multiple law review journals. Outside of her law practice, Jordan volunteers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and serves on an advisory board for the Smile Train charitable organization.

Joshua Bennett

Rogers Townsend & Thomas PC
Columbia, SC

Josh Bennett focuses his practice on complex litigation and insurance defense matters, with an emphasis on construction litigation, products liability, toxic tort/personal injury, commercial explosives, professional negligence, and other related areas. Josh is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he received his J.D. and graduated at the top of his class. In addition to his legal practice, Josh devotes a substantial amount of time to serving his community. He serves on the Board of Directors for The Family Shelter and Town Theatre, is a South Carolina Bar Foundation Ambassador, and is a past graduate of Leadership Columbia and Leadership South Carolina. Josh and his family attend First Baptist Church of Columbia where he serves as a Deacon.

Erin Bradrick

NEO Law Group
San Francisco, CA

Erin Bradrick is Senior Counsel at NEO Law Group and a regular contributor to the Nonprofit Law Blog, The Nonprofit Quarterly, and the Daily Journal. Erin's practice focuses on corporate, governance, charitable trust, and tax matters solely for nonprofit and exempt organizations. She is also a frequent speaker on legal topics of interest to nonprofits and regularly conducts trainings for nonprofit boards of directors on a range of governance issues. Prior to joining NEO Law Group, Erin was a litigation associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and clerked in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She currently serves on the board of directors and as the secretary of the YWCA of San Francisco & Marin. Erin is a graduate of UCLA and Yale Law School.

Hilary Bricken

Harris Bricken
Los Angeles, CA

Hilary Bricken is a partner at Harris Bricken in its Los Angeles office. Licensed to practice law in Washington, California, and Florida, she is one of the premier cannabis business and regulatory attorneys in the U.S. As chair of Harris Bricken’s Regulated Substances practice group, she helps cannabis companies with their related legal issues. In 2013, based on her work in the cannabis industry, the Puget Sound Business Journal named Ms. Bricken one of seven Deal Makers of the Year. From 2014-2017, she was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine. In 2015, the Puget Sound Business Journal named Hilary to its Top 40 Under 40 list. Hilary frequently testifies before state and federal government bodies regarding cannabis regulations. She also authors a weekly column for Above the Law on marijuana policy and regulation, and Hilary is a contributor to and editor of her firm’s Canna Law Blog.

Kate Conyers

Salt Lake Legal Defenders
Salt Lake City, UT

Kate Conyers is a public defender at Salt Lake Legal Defender Association where she currently practices as a felony attorney. She previously practiced commercial litigation at Snell & Wilmer. Kate graduated from the University of Utah with her JD/MPA in 2008. She currently serves as a Commissioner for the Utah State Bar and as the President Elect of the Women Lawyers of Utah. She also serves on the Leadership Advisory Board for the ABA YLD and on the boards of Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, YWCA of Utah, and Salt Lake County Bar Association. In 2016, Kate was awarded the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Professional Service by the American Inns of Court and the Young Lawyer of the Year Award by the Utah State Bar. In 2014, she received the Pro Bono Publico Young Lawyer of the Year Award and the Scott M. Matheson Award for the American Voter Project on behalf of Utah YLD.

Heather Crabbe

Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law
Highland Heights, KY

Heather Crabbe graduated, cum laude, from Western Kentucky University, with a double major in Economics and Human Resource Management. She then attended Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. Serving as a public defender for six years, she represented indigent clients charged with anything from misdemeanor theft to capital murder. During her time as a public defender, Heather oversaw the externships of several law students. Feeling a strong calling to help prepare the next generation of lawyers on a full-time basis, she returned to Chase College of Law. Heather is the Assistant Dean of Students at Chase. She advises students, oversees the implementation of accommodations, manages student organizations, prepares character and fitness certifications, serves on bar committees, and works to advance the institution's diversity initiatives. Additionally, she and a colleague recently launched Virtu-Us, LLC, to advance the effort to understand and deal with implicit bias by using 360° virtual simulations.

Elisa D'Amico

K&L Gates LLP/Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project
Miami, FL

Elisa D'Amico is a litigation partner in the Miami office of K&L Gates with a unique legal practice: helping businesses and individuals fight invasion of privacy, defamation, internet-based abuse, and other First Amendment violations. In 2014, Elisa co-founded the global pro bono Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project to represent victims whose sexually explicit images are distributed and displayed online without consent. Elisa regularly writes and lectures about internet privacy, cyber civil rights, and computer forensics. And she frequently is consulted by various media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, and Broadly./VICE on those topics. Among her many accolades, in 2014 Elisa was named one of the Miami Herald's "20 Under 40" emerging leaders; in 2015 she was named "Attorney of the Year" by the ALM/Daily Business Review; and in 2016 she was awarded The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award.

Rosario Doriott Domínguez

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Denver, CO

Rosario Doriott Domínguez focuses her practice on natural resources and energy litigation, with additional experience in intellectual property litigation, class actions and other complex commercial disputes. She also routinely assists local clients with contract drafting and lease negotiations. Before becoming an attorney, Rosario was one of the founders of the lifehacking blog HackCollege, a popular resource showcasing creative ways to use technology to accomplish everyday tasks more efficiently. She has programming experience in Basic, Visual Basic, C++, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Rosario has been recognized by Chambers and Partners as a "Future Leader – Gender Diversity" (2016) and was recently named to the Denver Business Journal's list of "40 Under 40" honorees (2017).

Marcella Ducca

Greenberg Traurig LLP
Atlanta, GA

Marcella C. Ducca, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig LLP's Atlanta office, focuses her practice on products liability litigation, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care litigation, particularly in areas surrounding women's health issues. She has experience litigating a variety of complex matters in both state and federal courts, including multidistrict litigation. In addition, Ducca has been involved in the defense of hospitals and physicians in claims alleging medical malpractice. Ducca has been listed by Super Lawyers magazine as a Georgia Super Lawyers "Rising Star" from 2013-2017 and was also listed in American Lawyer Media's Daily Report "On the Rise" section in 2015. Ducca is involved in the American Bar Association and has held multiple roles in the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the ABA. She also volunteers for the Georgia Radio Reading Service where she reads to the blind and visually impaired.

Bill DuFour

DuFour Conapinski LLP
Los Angeles, CA

Bill D. DuFour III is a founding Partner at DuFour Conapinski LLP. His areas of practice cover a range of business and financial matters, including renewable energy, project finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters. In particular, Bill has extensive experience in wind and solar project acquisition, development and finance. Bill is a frequent author, speaker and panelist on topics related to renewable energy, as well as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School. Before beginning his legal career, Bill joined Teach For America and taught math and science for three years at Henry Clay Middle School in Los Angeles. He has continued to spend time acting as a board member and advisor to a number of schools and education-related organizations. Bill holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, an M.A. from Loyola Marymount University and a B.A. from the University of Southern California.

Wendy Huff Ellard

Baker Donelson
Jackson, MS

Wendy Huff Ellard is a shareholder with Baker Donelson where she maintains a national regulatory practice focused on disaster recovery, government contracting, and public policy. She has extensive experience with the intricacies of the Stafford Act and regularly represents public and not-for-profit entities, contractors, and industry associations to support grant eligibility and federal procurement compliance. Ms. Ellard is a member of the National Emergency Management Association, ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness, the Forum on the Construction Industry, the Mississippi Women Lawyers' Association where she currently serves as President, and is active in the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She has served on the ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services Team since 2014 and received the Star of the Quarter Award in 2016. She holds an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale and has been listed as a "Rising Star" in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2015.

John Fetters

Mills Meyers Swartling, P.S.
Seattle, WA

John Fetters is an equity shareholder with the Seattle law firm Mills Meyers Swartling, P.S. John represents individuals and businesses in a broad range of civil litigation matters, including business and complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, municipal liability, personal injury, product liability, and aviation law. John has tried cases to verdict in state and federal court and has handled many arbitration proceedings. Super Lawyers Magazine has selected John to its "Rising Stars" list every year since 2013. In 2016, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association selected John for its "Best Under 40" award. John is a member of the 2016-2017 ABA TIPS Leadership Academy. John is active in several local and national Asian and Filipino bar associations, including serving as 2017 President of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington.

Amber Floyd

Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP
Memphis, TN

Amber Floyd is a Senior Associate at Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP in Memphis, Tennessee. She concentrates her practice in the areas of commercial litigation and construction. Amber has served in leadership roles in several bar associations and currently serves as the Diversity Committee Chair for the Young Lawyers Division of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA-YLD) as well the Access to Justice Chair for the Memphis Bar Association (MBA). Amber has a passion for serving the community, particularly with respect to the underprivileged members of our society. Her most recent service efforts include coordinating expungement clinics across the state of Tennessee. Amber received the MBA's Access to Justice Award in 2014 and the 2016 President's Distinguished Service Award from the TBA-YLD. Last year, Amber was honored by the Memphis Business Journal, receiving the inaugural ACE Associate Award in recognition of her service to the legal profession and the community.

Emily Galvin

Bronx Defenders/Partners for Justice
New York, NY

Emily Galvin has been working on behalf of the disenfranchised and most vulnerable throughout her legal career - as a public defender in California, at the Stanford Three Strikes Project, and now as a Bronx Defender. She proudly served as law clerk to the Honorable Thelton Henderson, her hero. In between taking her felony cases to trial, Emily has founded Partners for Justice, a groundbreaking nonprofit program to train, place, and deploy bright college graduates as non-attorney advocates, fighting for community members facing essential life problems – preventing eviction or keeping a job, getting food stamps or retrieving a car after a police encounter, even fighting to keep families united as they undergo government investigations or interventions. Hand in hand with our communities, Partners for Justice aims to give young people an experience of public service that will inspire and prepare them for a lifetime of working for the greater good.

Charles Hamilton

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
New York, NY

Charles J. Hamilton ("Chas") is an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP whose areas of practice include corporate and commercial litigation, and white collar and regulatory defense. Chas has represented a number of clients on a pro bono basis in a variety of contexts, including applications for asylum, class action lawsuits, civil rights lawsuits, unemployment insurance appeals, and negotiations with New York City agencies. Chas is a member of several bar and law-related organizations, including the ABA, MBBA, and 1844. Chas received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013, where he was a Student Attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, representing tenants and former homeowners in Boston Housing Court. Prior to attending law school, Chas taught in the Atlanta Public School system through Teach For America. Chas received a B.A. in Government from Harvard College in 2007. He lives with his wife, Amber, and their daughter, Billie, in Cold Spring, NY.

Joseph Hanna

Goldberg Segalla
Buffalo, NY

Joseph M. Hanna is a commercial litigator and legal adviser nationally recognized for his work in media and entertainment law and for being a leading voice for diversity in the legal and business communities. Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Sports and Entertainment and Retail and Hospitality Practice Groups, editor of Sports and Entertainment Law Insider, and Chair of the firm's Diversity Task Force, Joe represents sports franchises, athletes, movie studios, and others in the sports and entertainment world in high-value matters involving licensing, contracts, and day-to-day business management. A frequent writer and guest lecturer at universities, he also authored the first comprehensive examination of the National Football League concussion litigation controversy. Active among many legal, professional, and charitable organizations, he is the founder and President of Bunkers in Baghdad, a nonprofit that collects and sends golf equipment to U.S. soldiers and veterans worldwide to aid in recreation and rehabilitation from injuries.

Dean Harvey

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
San Francisco, CA

A partner in Lieff Cabraser's San Francisco office, Dean Harvey represents individuals and companies in antitrust, business tort, employment, and intellectual property litigation. His cases seek to remedy and prevent wrongful conduct by dominant firms. Dean was a leader in the High-Tech Antitrust case against Google, Apple, and other tech giants for allegedly conspiring to suppress mobility and compensation of their technical employees. In selecting Dean as one of the top 40 attorneys in California under 40, the Daily Journal described the case as the "most significant antitrust employment case in recent history," adding that it "has been widely recognized as a legal and public policy breakthrough." Dean also received a 2016 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year award for the Cipro antitrust litigation, a case that obtained a landmark decision by the California Supreme Court and full recovery for the class.

Lacey Hofmeyer

Greenberg Traurig LLP
Miami, FL

Lacey D. Hofmeyer is a Shareholder in the Miami office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig. She focuses her practice on litigation, with an emphasis on financial services, real estate, property insurance, and products liability litigation. Lacey appears regularly in state and federal courts and represents clients from the pleadings stage through trial. Active in her community, Lacey serves on the United Way Women's Leadership Council for Miami-Dade County, as a career coach for the Posse Foundation, and as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster children in Miami-Dade County. She is Vice Chair of the Grievance Committee for The Florida Bar, serves on various committees for the Dade County Bar Association, and is a former Treasurer of the Young Lawyer's Section. Lacey recently represented two individuals, pro bono, in asylum proceedings in federal immigration court based on her clients' past persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation.

Jamie Hopkins

The American College of Financial Services
New York Life Center for Retirement Income
Bryn Mawr, PA

Jamie Hopkins, Esq., MBA, LLM, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP® is an associate professor of taxation at The American College of Financial Services where he holds the Larry R. Pike Chair in Insurance and Investments. He is also the co-director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income. As a professor, Jamie primarily teaches retirement and estate planning to financial planners. He is also a contributor to Forbes and InvestmentNews with over 100 popular press article publications. Before joining The American College, Professor Hopkins worked in private equity and clerked for the Honorable Marie E. Lihotz in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. Professor Hopkins also sits on the Board of Directors of ReverseVision, a technology company that services the housing industry. He has helped author three textbooks on financial planning, and has published two e-books with Forbes on retirement planning. Twitter Handle - @RetirementRisks.

J.P. Howard

D.C. Commission on Human Rights
Washington, DC

J.P. Howard is an Administrative Law Judge on the D.C. Commission on Human Rights. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Judge Howard graduated from Georgetown Law and Howard University, where he served as a Trustee. Judge Howard joined the bench in 2014, at age thirty. Prior to judicial service he clerked for Chief Judge David C. Simmons of the Commission on Human Rights and Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., (D. Md.); worked in the D.C. office of an international corporate law firm; and practiced in Houston, Texas, alongside Judge Daniel J. Lemkuil. He is married to Brandi G. Howard, Esq., a current clerk to Judge Damon J. Keith (6th Cir.). Judge Howard is a member of the Washington Bar Association's Judicial Council, serving as the Co-Chair of its Judicial Intern Program; the D.C. Association of the Administrative Law Judiciary, serving as President-Elect; and Georgetown Law's Recent Alumni Advisory Council.

Scott Lachman

Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial
Las Vegas, NV

Scott Lachman is a litigation and appellate attorney in the Las Vegas office of Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial. His practice focuses on catastrophic injury, commercial litigation and premises liability. He previously served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Michael A. Cherry at the Nevada Supreme Court. Scott currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Nevada, where he spearheaded the state's Disaster Legal Services program and was recently appointed to the ABA's Disaster Legal Services Team. Scott was awarded Lawyer of the Year by the State Bar of Nevada in 2013 and is listed in Super Lawyers Magazine and Nevada Business Magazine Legal Elite. He received both his J.D. and B.A. from Michigan State University.

Carla Laroche

Southern Poverty Law Center
Tallahassee, FL

Carla Laroche's career revolves around access to justice and opportunities for the most vulnerable. Currently, her work includes policy advocacy, impact litigation, and community outreach to address the mass incarceration of children and adults. Before working at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Carla was a federal law clerk with the Honorable Donald M. Middlebrooks in the Southern District of Florida and a Hunton & Williams Pro Bono Fellow. She earned a JD from Columbia Law School, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and an AB from Princeton University. In law school, she received the Jane Marks Murphy Prize for exceptional clinical advocacy. At the ABA, Carla serves on the Commission on Youth at Risk and holds committee leadership positions with the Criminal Justice Section and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Carla is a member of the National Bar Association and Tallahassee Barristers Association.

Shayda Le

Barran Liebman LLP
Portland, OR

Shayda Le advises businesses and higher education institutions on a wide range of complex employment issues and litigation, representing them in administrative proceedings, state and federal courts, and the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. She is the President-Elect of the Multnomah Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section, and is the Board's Delegate to the ABA Young Lawyers Division. Shayda is active with the ABA YLD, serving as the District Representative for Oregon and Washington, a Vice-Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee, a 2016-2017 Scholar, a member of the Member Service Project Team, and has implemented ABA projects such as Wills for Heroes and What Do Lawyers Do. She is a Co-Chair of the Campaign for Equal Justice Associates Committee, and President of the Board of Directors of Andisheh Center for Iranian Cultural heritage. Shayda has been listed as a "Rising Star" by Oregon Super Lawyers Magazine since 2014.

Michelle McLeod

US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Washington, DC

Michelle McLeod joined the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division through the Attorney General's Honors Program in 2010 where she has litigated complex civil rights cases in the Division's Voting Section and in the Division's Housing and Civil Enforcement Section. Michelle is also an active volunteer in her community. She is a commission member for the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, a member of the ABA's Civil Rights and Social Justice and Young Lawyers Divisions, a member of the DC Citizen Review Panel for Child Abuse and Neglect, a commissioner on the DC Commission on Human Rights, a youth mentor through DC's Capital Partners for Education, and she is an active member of the Junior League of Washington. Michelle earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Maryland School of Law and her B.S., in Journalism/Media Studies, magna cum laude, from East Carolina University.

H. Marissa Montes

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles Immigrant Justice Clinic
Los Angeles, CA

Upon graduating from Loyola in 2012, Marissa co-founded the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where students provide direct legal services, education and empowerment to the Los Angeles immigrant community. As co-director, she gave her first law lecture at the age of 25 at the Clinic. Under Marissa's supervision, the Clinic has successfully provided consultations to more than 6,000 individuals and received numerous accolades, including the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers' Emil Gumpert Award. This year, she spearheaded Loyola's first Alternative Spring Break to El Paso, Texas, where students represented immigrants in removal proceedings, changing lives in the process. Marissa has taught courses in Cross Cultural Competency and Trauma Informed Lawyering. She has testified before the California State Assembly and been highlighted on numerous media outlets including, the The Los Angeles Times and CNN en Español. Marissa is a member of various immigrant rights coalitions and is an HNBA Latina Commissioner.

Joseph Neguse

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
Denver, CO

Joe serves in the Cabinet of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. He was appointed by the Governor in June 2015 at the age of 31, making him one of the youngest state-Cabinet members in the U.S. As Executive Director, he has expanded the department's mission of consumer protection and achieved key victories for Colorado consumers, leading an agency with nearly 600 employees, a $90 million budget, and nine divisions, including Civil Rights, Consumer Counsel, and Securities. Joe previously practiced law at Colorado's largest law firm, and was elected to represent Colorado's 2nd Congressional District on the CU Board of Regents (serving a six-year term as only the second African-American to be elected Regent in Colorado history). Prior to his election, he also co-founded New Era Colorado, the largest youth voter registration and mobilization non-profit organization in the state.

Irish "Ryan" Neville

Stevens & Lee
Charleston, SC

Ryan is an attorney and certified mediator who concentrates his practice on complex civil litigation. He represents clients in a wide variety of litigation matters relating to commercial law, employment, insurance coverage, contract disputes, real estate, business disputes, property law, tort issues, construction, estate litigation, equity, and alternative dispute resolution. Ryan served as an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law, where he was named "Adjunct Professor of Year." He has been recognized as "South Carolina Young Lawyer of the Year," was named as among the Forty Under 40 by the Charleston Regional Business Journal, and has been repeatedly recognized as a South Carolina Super Lawyer "Rising Star." Ryan serves as President of the South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. He received a J.D. from the Charleston School of Law and a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia.

John O'Brien

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Philadelphia, PA

John J. "Jack" O'Brien counsels financial services companies in connection with organizational, offering, transactional, and compliance matters. In 2017, Jack helped form a new mutual fund complex that launched with $7 billion. Jack also counsels two other mutual fund complexes that together have more than 100 funds and approximately $110 billion in assets. Jack also counsels some of the world's largest investment advisers and broker-dealers on various matters, particularly with respect to marketing regulations, pay-to-play issues, and cross-border regulations. He is one of the leading experts on the regulation of broker-dealers that buy and sell ETFs as "authorized participants." Jack has been dedicated to doing pro bono work since becoming an attorney in 2008. He has represented six children who were under the care of the state and continues to mentor one of his former clients through college. In 2016-2017, Jack was part of a team of Morgan Lewis attorneys that successfully navigated a challenging political backdrop to obtain asylum for a Syrian family seeking medical care for their toddler who tragically lost her sight battling a rare form of cancer.

Margaret Peloso

Vinson & Elkins LLP
Washington, DC

Margaret's principal areas of practice are environmental law and climate change. She works on complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters, with a focus on expert witnesses and the use of scientific evidence. She handles a variety of climate change matters, including advising on climate change risk management, especially as it concerns sea level rise. Her work in the area led her to being recognized by Chambers as a Star Associate in Nationwide Climate Change. Prior to joining V&E, she completed her PhD in environmental science at Duke University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on legal and policy issues associated with sea level rise adaptation. She authors articles on climate change and environmental law and presents papers on climate change topics at academic and industry conferences as well as before federal officials exploring climate change adaptation. Margaret is Co-Chair of V&E's Climate Change practice group.

James Phillips

Baker & Hostetler LLP
Houston, TX

James Phillips is a trial lawyer with a focus on complex commercial litigation, products, construction and energy matters. He is part of the team representing Irving Picard, Securities Investor Protection Act Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. James has a seasoned background of trial experience, which he utilizes in pursuit of results for his clients. James was named a Texas Super Lawyer "Rising Star" in 2016 and 2017, Texas Bar Foundation Fellow in 2016, Who's Who in Black Houston in 2015, and to the Lawyer of Color Hot List in 2014. James has served in the following organizations and leadership roles: Houston Bar Association – Consumer Law Committee, Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee, and Speakers' Bureau Texas Minority Counsel Program – Save the Date Committee (Houston) Sweatt Equity Group – Planning Committee UT School of Law – Class of 2007 Reunion Committee Youth basketball, football, and baseball coach.

Ina Popova

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
New York, NY

Ina C. Popova is a partner in Debevoise's International Disputes practice who focuses on international arbitration and litigation and public international law. Ms. Popova is admitted to practice in Paris and New York and holds advanced degrees in English law. She leads matters in French and Spanish and often handles disputes arising out of Latin America and Africa. She represents individuals, corporations and States and has broad experience as counsel under the rules of the major institutions and in federal and state court proceedings, and maintains an active pro bono practice. She serves in a number of leadership positions in international organizations, and speaks and writes regularly on arbitration and public international law-related issues. She holds an LLM from Harvard Law School, an MA and BA (Hons) with First Class Honours from the University of Cambridge, and a Maîtrise en droit comparé with high honors from the Université de Paris II Panthéon-Assas.

Raymond Ramirez

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Washington, DC

Ray Ramirez represents clients in matters related to derivatives and structured products. He regularly advises government-sponsored enterprises, insurance companies, publicly-traded commodity funds, energy companies and electric cooperatives that are derivatives end-users with respect to derivatives trading and compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulations. In particular, Mr. Ramirez counsels clients on how they may be impacted by the new regulatory regime imposed on the over-the-counter derivatives market by the Dodd-Frank Act and assists them in negotiating documentation and developing internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new requirements. Mr. Ramirez is a member of Eversheds Sutherland (US)'s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the firm's Hiring Committee. He also serves as President of Region V of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Prior to entering the legal field, Mr. Ramirez was a New York City public school teacher.

John R. Richards

Greenberg Traurig LLP
Atlanta, GA

John R. Richards defends employers in class and collective actions arising under the FLSA and related state wage and hour laws; single-plaintiff and/or class claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and/or constructive discharge brought in state and federal courts and administrative agencies; and individual actions arising under the FMLA. To mitigate litigation risk, Mr. Richards counsels employers of all sizes in the design and implementation of employment policies, practices and training, as well as on personnel-related disciplinary decisions, including reduction-in-force, and on ADA/FMLA compliance issues. Mr. Richards drafts severance and release agreements and conducts internal investigations, including high-level sexual harassment complaints and FLSA compliance audits.

Vartges Saroyan

Department of Homeland Security
New York, NY

Vartges Saroyan is a government lawyer and former business professional. At Homeland Security, he advises criminal agents on high-profile cybercrime, counter-terrorism and fraud investigations, among others. He partners with colleagues across borders and agencies to advance justice, including through the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and ICE's financial-crimes focused El Dorado Task Force. On assignment to agency headquarters, he reviewed deliverables from the office of the DHS Secretary and information requests from the U.S. Congress. As a lecturer, he has led more than twenty trainings and CLEs on legal topics such as asset forfeiture, privacy, immigration, and technology. Also a litigator, Vartges represents the agency in administrative hearings, many involving national security threats and human rights violators. Recently, Vartges received the Innovation Award from the agency's Principal Legal Advisor. He also gained federal expertise at the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and in a junior clerkship at the Southern District of New York. Vartges is dedicated to community leadership: he serves as pro bono counsel, volunteers with not-for-profits, and is a Managing Editor in the ABA's TYL (The Young Lawyer). Before switching careers, Vartges advised executives and leaders in America, Europe and the Middle East at Monitor Deloitte (previously Monitor Group). Vartges received his J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law and graduated magna cum laude from the New York University – Stern School of Business.

Julia Simon-Mishel

Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Philadelphia, PA

Julia Simon-Mishel is a staff attorney and former Skadden Fellow at Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA), where she represents low-wage workers in unemployment compensation (UC) and wage theft cases. Julia has represented over 400 clients and has an active appellate practice pursuing impact UC cases in Pennsylvania courts. She chairs the Pennsylvania State Working Group on Unemployment Compensation and has testified by invitation before the PA legislature on issues affecting her clients. Julia serves as the Supervising Attorney for the Employment Advocacy Project, a pro bono project of 30 students from area law schools who represent clients in UC administrative hearings. As a life-long participant in mock trial, Julia coaches a local high school in the Pennsylvania Bar Association/Young Lawyers' Division Mock Trial Competition. Prior to joining PLA, Julia clerked for the Honorable Norma L. Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Brandeis University.

Imran Syed

University of Michigan Law School—Michigan Innocence Clinic
Ann Arbor, MI

Imran Syed is a clinical assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. He is the assistant director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, and teaches in the areas of criminal law/procedure and forensic science. Imran's practice involves investigating and litigating a variety of appellate criminal cases involving innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted. He specializes in cases featuring questionable forensic science, and has focused his publications on that topic as well. Imran is a frequent speaker at trainings for attorneys regarding forensic science evidence and also speaks at public events on a variety of topics related to wrongful convictions. Imran also recently wrote and produced a documentary film The Price of Providence, about one of the Michigan Innocence Clinic's wrongful conviction cases. Imran holds a degree in political science from the University of Michigan and is also a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Theresa Wardon

Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP
Denver, CO

Theresa Wardon represents leading companies in nationwide commercial, class action, and product liability matters. She recently helped win defense verdicts for Michelin in Florida and Arizona jury trials with over $100 million at stake, total. She simultaneously won "exceptional remedy" for Ford from the Colorado Supreme Court. Also for Ford, Theresa argued to the Colorado Supreme Court regarding jury instructions in product defect cases (opinion pending). In 2014, Theresa helped Whirlpool win a defense verdict in a $66 million certified class action jury trial in Ohio. Theresa also represents asylum seekers, pro bono, fleeing extreme violence in their home countries. She serves on the board of The Gathering Place, a shelter for women, children, and transgender individuals experiencing poverty. Theresa clerked for The Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch, then of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 2008.

Bryant Yang

U.S. Attorney's Office
Los Angeles, CA

Bryant Yang is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. Previously, he was a senior associate at Irell & Manella, LLP. He served as a law clerk for Ninth Circuit Judge Barry G. Silverman and U.S. District Judge S. James Otero. Bryant received his B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law. He is a recipient of the California State Bar's Jack Berman Award of Achievement, USC Public Interest Law Foundation's Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty's "Rock Star" Award. In 2016, the Daily Journal recognized him as an "Attorney of the Year." Bryant is a Past President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County and a current member of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants.

Christina Zabat-Fran

Irvine, CA

Christina is Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for ST. JOHN, the American fashion house with over 1800 employees, distribution in over 25 countries, and global headquarters in southern California. Named General Counsel Rising Star of the Year by the Orange County Business Journal, Christina is responsible for all legal and business affairs for the brand. Christina earned her JD from University of California, Irvine School of Law, where she was in the inaugural class and co-Editor-In-Chief of the law review. Christina is extremely committed to public service and giving back. Most prominently, she serves on the board of directors for the Orange County Bar Association, and as a leader for the ABA Business Law Section. Beyond her leadership in the legal and business communities, Christina is an accomplished artist, classically-trained pianist, and martial artist with a second degree black belt and a bronze medal from the Tae Kwon Do World Championships.