Kat Bloomfield
Bank of America

Kathryn-Ann  Bloomfield is a Director and Assistant General Counsel providing support for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s M&A financial advisory business and corporate M&A transactions.  Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Kat was an M&A and private equity associate in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and served as a Co-Chair of the firm’s Attorney of Color affinity group. 

Kat is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association. She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a B.S.B.A. from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and is admitted to practice law in New York.

Kat enjoys travelling, politics and watching and participating in sports (especially, football, basketball, track & field, tennis and soccer).  Kat was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica and raised in the Bahamas and South Florida. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband Robert and three year old daughter Alexandra.

Kylie Byron

City of Chicago









Leena Chopra
DLA Piper LLP

Leena Chopra has a broad-based transactional practice in which she represents institutional, private equity, lender, developer and investor clients in all aspects of the acquisition, disposition, financing, development and leasing of all types of property, including office, retail, multifamily residential, hospitality, industrial and  healthcare facilities located across the United States.

Patrick Etchingham

Bilal Ezzeddine

Braskem America


As Legal Counsel and Director of External Affairs for Braskem America, Bilal focuses on commercial law, labor and employment law, and directs Braskem’s relationships with external stakeholders, including government entities, trade associations, and organizational partners.  Bilal is also a member of Braskem America’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, an internal advisory body that provides strategic guidance to the company’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion.  Bilal joined Braskem in 2013.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and the University Of Virginia School Of Law.  He lives with his wife and daughter in Philadelphia, PA, where he also serves as a mentor to Philadelphia high school youth.

Robin Gant
Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC

Robin Gant, a Senior Attorney of the Firm, practices in the Litigation Practice Area. Robin began her practice in New York City representing clients in the areas of employment, family, real estate, personal injury, Title VII, landlord/tenant disputes, and premises liability. Robin also negotiated recording contracts for several high profile clients in the entertainment industry and represented several celebrity clients in criminal, real estate and a variety of civil litigation matters. She practiced in New York for more than 4 years. 

In 2009, several years after moving to Texas, Robin became licensed to practice. Since that time, Robin has worked tirelessly in representing some of the most well-known national retailers in the U.S. against premises liability and nonsubscriber claims, Workers Compensation claims, real estate and vendor disputes, and navigating her clients through the tobacco, beer, and wine licensing process. Robin has extensive knowledge of the retail industry and has handled hundreds of cases to successful resolution. Robin successfully handled several Arbitrations for a national retailer, resulting in complete victories. She has also won several summary judgments and voluntary dismissals for her clients in both Texas and Oklahoma. Robin is an aggressive and tenacious litigator who strives to defend her clients, even when faced with difficult facts and liability exposure. Robin believes there is always something that can be done to minimize her clients’ exposure and she handles all of her cases with that goal in mind. 

Robin is a member of several professional organizations including, J.L. Turner Legal Association, is an annual participant in the State Bar of Texas – Minority Counsel Program. She also donates her time and talent to the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Dallas. She is also chairperson of the Firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

When Robin is not busy defending her clients, she enjoys Do-It-Yourself projects, crafting, party planning, sewing, interior decorating, cooking, and music.

Rippi Gill
Berkshire Hathaway

Rippi Gill is a skilled commercial litigator with first and second chair trial and appellate experience in federal and state courts. She has extensive experience handling a wide range of complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, and employment matters. Ms. Gill handles all aspects of litigation, mediation, and pre-litigation counseling for clients, including insurance companies, financial institutions and a variety of domestic and international corporations, closely-held businesses, and individuals. She is a regular author and lecturer on various litigation and coverage-related issues, as well as diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Ms. Gill previously served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she acquired substantial litigation and trial experience involving employment discrimination and equal opportunity issues, including successfully first-chairing a trial in federal court.

Ms. Gill began her career serving as a judicial law clerk for the Staff Attorney’s Office for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ms. Gill is the Immediate Past President of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) and currently serves on SABANY's Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, New York Chapter, and as Co-Chair of the South Asian Women's Attorney Network (SAWAN) for the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA). Ms. Gill also recently joined the SABA Executive Committee as Vice-President of the Annual Conference. She is also actively involved in the Diversity and Marketing Committees of the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the Insurance Law and Women in Law Committees of DRI (The Voice of the Defense Bar).

Nicole Grabianowski
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Nicole Grabianowski is an associate at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Nicole Grabianowski represents leading financial institutions, private equity sponsors and borrowers in connection with commercial finance transactions. Her practice includes an emphasis in assisting administrative agents, lead arrangers and lenders in syndicated senior secured cash flow transactions, as well as representing mezzanine investors and borrowers in a variety of transactions.

Nicole graduated cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law while also receiving her M.B.A. from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business.  While at Loyola, Nicole served as a Lead Articles Editor on the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, as a staff editor for the Loyola Consumer Law Review, and on the board of the Women's Law Society.  She was also a Student Fellow for the Loyola Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies from 2013-2015.  In 2014, Nicole was honored to become a Ms. JD Fellow.  She continues to work with Ms. JD as Chief Financial Officer and member of the board. 

Nicole attended Arizona State University graduating cum laude with a B.S. in Finance with an International Business Certificate, in addition to earning her B.F.A. in Dance.  In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, body pump fitness class, movies, shopping, and football.

Rachel Hodge

Whitehead Institute

Rachel is the Whitehead Institute’s s internal immigration lawyer, working to support and advise Whitehead’s population of 150 foreign nationals. She has been in this position since 2014, and has filled various roles in the Whitehead Human Resources department since 2008. Rachel graduated from Wellesley College in 2005 and Boston University Law School in 2008. 

Monique Howery

Reed Smith LLP


Monique is an attorney in Reed Smith’s Financial Industry Group practicing in the areas of Commercial Restructuring & Insolvency and Commercial Litigation.  She has represented secured creditors in commercial bankruptcy proceedings including preference actions, cash collateral disputes, asset sales, and automatic stay issues. She has extensive experience in complex matters involving breach of contract, replevin, fraudulent transfers, ad valorem tax disputes, and post-judgment enforcement.

Monique also has broad litigation experience representing diverse clients in a range of matters including, but not limited to, trademark and brand enforcement, white collar criminal defense, publicity rights, and claims related to wrongful conviction.

An emerging leader for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, Monique co-leads the Professional Development Pillar of the firm’s Black/African-American Affinity Group, and is active in the firm’s Women’s Initiative. She regularly mentors diverse law students and recently was selected as the firm’s representative to the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession’s Social Impact Incubator. Monique also dedicates significant time to professional, civic, and pro bono matters.

Derek Ishikawa
Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP

Derek K. Ishikawa is an associate in the Santa Monica office of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP.   He represents and counsels employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, as well as trade secret, breach of contract and employment-related tort claims. Derek represents employers from a wide variety of industries, including hospitality, food and beverage, banking and finance, retail, higher education and information technology. Derek also represents employers before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. He also regularly counsels colleges and universities on employment matters, as well as student affairs, risk-management, and compliance issues, including Title IX.

Previously, he was a litigation association at Loeb & Loeb LLP, where he defended consumer class actions.  Derek graduated from UCLA with a joint J.D./M.P.P. degree and served as Co-Chief Managing Editor for the Asian Pacific American Law Journal. In addition, Derek externed for U.S. District Court Judge Dean D. Pregerson. Prior to law school, Derek worked as a Management Aide for the City of Torrance, as a California Senate Fellow in Sacramento, and as an assistant English teacher in Ibaraki, Japan. Derek graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis-Politics. He currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County.

Deanna Kwong
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Deanna Kwong is IP Litigation Counsel within the Office of the General Counsel at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company.  She and the IP Litigation team are responsible for managing all IP lawsuits that are filed against or by HPE in the U.S., and supporting all IP disputes worldwide. Prior to joining HPE, Deanna was a patent litigator for over a decade at Covington & Burling LLP. Deanna was a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also received her law degree. In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Directors for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and on the Advisory Board for the Tahirih Justice Center, and enjoys running marathons. 

Corey LaPlante

Mixhalo

Corey Laplante is the General Counsel and Vice President of Operations at Mixhalo. Before joining Mixhalo, Corey practiced law at Wilkinson, Walsh & Eskovitz; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and served as a law clerk to the Honorable John J. Tuchi of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.

Corey is also the Founder and Chair of The Associates’ Committee, a member-funded grant foundation that supports legal aid and impact litigation nonprofits throughout the United States.

Prior to attending law school at the University of California at Berkeley, Corey was a Fulbright Scholar in Lima, Peru, and worked in the office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C.

Katherine Larkin-Wong
Latham & Watkins LLP

Katherine Larkin-Wong is an associate in the Litigation & Trial Department in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins where she is active in the firm’s Global Competition and White Collar Practice Groups.  Her experience includes: antitrust regulatory clearance of M&A transactions; civil and criminal cartel litigation; federal and state antitrust investigations; and other competition-related matters.  She has represented U.S. and global companies in cross-border transactions as well as foreign companies facing litigation in the United States.  In addition, Ms. Larkin-Wong has extensive experience representing both companies and individuals in internal investigations.

Ms. Larkin-Wong has also been active in Latham’s pro bono efforts, having successfully represented clients in asylum, immigration, and human trafficking cases.  Ms. Larkin-Wong has also represented institutional pro bono clients, helping the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center produce a toolkit on California’s AB 2404, California’s state equivalent to Title IX for Parks and Recreation Departments, and micro-financing company, FINCA, revise its anti-money laundering policies.

Ms. Larkin-Wong has dedicated a substantial amount of her time towards worthy organizations including the American Bar Association President’s Gender Equity Task Force and the Commission on Women in the Profession where she will serve as a Commissioner for the 2018 bar year.  She co-chairs the Commission on Women in the Profession’s Grit Project which has taught the psychological tools of grit and growth mindset to thousands of lawyers.  Ms. Larkin-Wong sits on the board of the First District Appellate Project which manages the panel of attorneys serving indigent criminal defendants in California’s First District and the the Associates Committee which provides member-funded grants to legal aid organizations across the U.S.  Between 2011 and 2016, Ms. Larkin-Wong served as President of Ms. JD, a national nonprofit that supports aspiring and early-career women lawyers. The organization, which began as a law school blog, now boasts a nationwide network of campus chapters, the largest readership of any blog of its kind, and an array of other programs including an international scholarship fund.  In 2014, Ms. JD’s blog was inducted into the ABA Journal’s Blawg Hall of Fame as a leading source of information for aspiring and early career women lawyers.

Ms. Larkin-Wong is a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to millennials, women law students, and young lawyers and has been featured in Forbes Woman, The Glass Hammer, The American Bar Association's Woman Advocate, The National Journal, AmLaw Daily, and Today’s Chicago Woman. She has been invited to speak at national conferences including the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, The University of Texas Center for Women in the Law’s Women in Power Summit, Ark Group’s Women Legal and the National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Meeting.  Ms. Larkin-Wong was also an advisor to the winning team at the first Women in Law Hackathon, sponsored by Diversity Lab.

Ms. Larkin-Wong graduated cum laude from Northwestern Law School.  While in law school, Ms. Larkin-Wong served as the Managing Editor of the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property and as a judicial intern to The Honorable Judge Robert Patterson Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

Bendita Malakia
Hogan Lovells

Bendita Cynthia Malakia’s vision is to transform the legal profession into an inclusive industry where women, minorities, LGBT+, differently-abled and other professionals are able to thrive. Currently serving as Senior Inclusion Manager at Hogan Lovells, Bendita focuses her work on integrating diversity and inclusion into the architecture, processes and programs at the firm, investing in diverse lawyers and leveraging diversity as a business and cultural asset.

Bendita is driven by her values of abundance, ambition, fearlessness, growth and significance, and draws on her experiences as a large law firm lawyer financing African projects, in-house counsel at International Finance Corporation and Goldman Sachs, a diversity consultant for legal departments, law firms and non-profits and a certified professional coach to catalyze change in individuals and institutions in a conservative industry. Bendita was honored as a 2015 Rising Star by Super Lawyers, to Who’s Who Legal – Project Finance in Washington, DC for 2015, and to Who’s Who in Black Dallas in 2016 and 2017. Bendita is a proud graduate of Barnard College and Harvard Law School. Bendita is barred in New York State and the District of Columbia.

Aneesh Mehta
Microsoft

Aneesh Mehta is an attorney in Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group supporting the Global Supply Chain for Microsoft’s first party hardware products. Prior to joining Microsoft Aneesh practiced at a boutique IP firm in Philadelphia. Aneesh is a registered patent attorney with a BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Florida, a JD from Rutgers Law School, and an LLM in Trial Advocacy from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. A displaced Floridian, Aneesh now makes the pacific northwest his home with his wife and two children. Aneesh spends his time listening to true crime podcasts, binge watching tv on Netflix, and waiting for the Florida Gator basketball and football teams to return to relevance.

Fatema Merchant
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

Fatema Merchant is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

Fatema's practice focuses on compliance counseling and investigations in the areas of export controls, economic sanctions, anti-corruption, customs, and import regulations. Her practice also encompasses international trade and white collar criminal defense work, which includes the U.S. government’s regulation of international trade, cross-border transactions and foreign investment. Fatema regularly assists clients with developing, implementing, and evaluating effective compliance programs across a broad spectrum of legal risk areas. She counsels clients across industries on regulatory filings stemming from cross-border transactions, including filings with the U.S. State Department and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

At Sheppard Mullin, Fatema is the Co-Chair of the D.C. Diversity Working Group. She also serves on the pro bono committee and is actively involved in various pro bono matters, including representation of asylum seekers.

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Fatema worked in the D.C. office of another international law firm, where she was also seconded as a Special Assistant Attorney General with the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General. At the OAG, Fatema negotiated settlements, prepared dispositive motions, handled pleadings and discovery, and argued motions. She served as co-counsel in a jury trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, securing a favorable verdict for the District.

Fatema recently served as President of the Capital Area Muslim Bar Association (CAMBA). She was recognized on the Lawyers of Color's Hot List in 2014 and by Super Lawyers as a Washington D.C. Rising Star in 2015-2018. Fatema was also featured in The American Lawyer and on a podcast titled “Multiple Identities: Intersectional Challenges in the Legal Profession,” discussing challenges faced by lawyers of color and her work on diversity & inclusion issues in the legal profession.

Brandon Mita
Littler Mendelson P.C.

Brandon R. Mita is a labor and employment attorney in the Washington, DC office of Littler Mendelson, P.C. He received his J.D. from Howard University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).   

At Littler, Brandon represents a diverse range of clients before federal and state courts as well as government agencies on various claims, including Title VII, the American with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and numerous other state and local fair employment practice laws. He takes tremendous pride in the partnerships he creates with his clients to solve their most pressing employment concerns by working with them to design legally-compliant employment strategies. He regularly presents to various organizations and their constituents on hot button employment issues as well as how employers can maintain compliant policies and practices, and ultimately, avoid litigation. Brandon has been a contributing author to Littler’s Annual Report on EEOC Developments since the publication’s inception in 2011.  

 As part of his practice, Brandon also provides pro bono advice and counseling to a number of non-profit organizations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and nationally. Most recently, Brandon served as the National Legal Counsel for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. He is a current Junior Board member for the D.C. Volunteers Lawyers Project and a Community Advisory Board member with UIC’s Global Asian Studies Program.

Jay Mitchell

Latham & Watkins


Jayvan Mitchell is an associate in the Silicon Valley office of Latham & Watkins and is a member of the firm's Litigation & Trial Department.

Mr. Mitchell has worked on a variety of litigation matters, in both federal and state courts with a particular focus on securities litigation, white-collar defense, and complex commercial litigation. He also maintains an active pro bono practice and has briefed and argued appeals in federal court on behalf of indigent prisoners seeking post-conviction relief.

Mr. Mitchell is an author and past speaker at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession's (IILP) Symposia. He is also a member of the IILP's Social Impact Incubator — a group of young lawyers from law firms, nonprofit organizations, in-house legal departments, and government selected to brainstorm and implement innovative ideas for improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Mr. Mitchell is founder and chair of The Mitchell Education Foundation, a charitable organization that provides scholarships to low-income students in Jamaica.

Laura Murineddu
Aon

Luke Murumba

Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria


Luke is currently an in-house Legal Counsel at the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Switzerland, an international organization that partners with governments, civil society and the private sector to mobilize and invest nearly US$4 billion a year to support programs intended to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. In his capacity as Legal Counsel at the Global Fund, Luke provides legal advice and counsel on matters relating to the management of Global Fund grant portfolios. Such matters include, but are not limited to, negotiation of grant agreements, legal risk management, issues of public international law, dispute resolution, internal policy development, internal governance matters, international sanctions compliance and international privileges and immunities.

Prior to joining the Global Fund, Luke practiced corporate real estate law for 6 years in New York at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP and Haynes and Boone LLP. Prior to practicing law, Luke was an associate for three and a half years in the Institutional Global Markets division of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Peter O’Neill

Shook, Hardy, & Bacon


Peter focuses on complex commercial litigation. His ability to simplify complex issues and provide cogent advice results in favorable outcomes for clients. Peter’s work experience spans diverse subject matter, including antitrust, class actions, post-closing disputes and intellectual property litigation. He has litigated multiple matters to conclusion, both by dispositive motions and through trial or arbitration.

Peter leads the recruiting efforts and summer associate program in Shook’s Chicago office and serves as a member of Shook’s Search Committee.

Before joining Shook, Peter clerked for the Hon. Gerald J. Pappert of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he managed roughly one-third of the docket. During his clerkship, Peter researched a variety of procedural and substantive issues and drafted numerous opinions.

Sonya Passi
FreeFrom

Sonya is the founder and CEO of FreeFrom, a national organization helping survivors of domestic violence to achieve economic justice and financial stability so that they can build safe futures for themselves and their children. For her work with FreeFrom, Sonya was selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 and as a finalist for the 2016 Echoing Green Fellowship. During her second year at UC Berkeley Law, Sonya co-founded the Family Violence Appellate Project ("FVAP") which, in less than four years, has fundamentally changed the legal landscape in California by providing, for the first time, free appellate legal services to survivors of domestic violence. In recognition of this work, Sonya received the UC Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Public Service and the Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Award for Outstanding Advocacy on Behalf of Social Justice for Women. Sonya is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Nexus Sea

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe


Nexus Sea is a litigator and trial lawyer who has played key roles in high-profile matters on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and pharmaceutical companies in complex commercial litigation, financial services, and product liability matters in state and federal courts.

A member of Orrick’s Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice, Nexus has extensive financial services litigation and white collar experience, including the representation of individual and corporate clients. This includes conducting internal investigations on behalf of financial institutions, participating in the successful prosecution of a FINRA action on behalf of an international bank, and the representation of numerous individual foreign claimants in the largest civil forfeiture action brought under the United States Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. In addition, Nexus played a prominent role as part of the courtappointed counsel team to the Securities Investor Protection Act Trustee for the global liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, one of the largest financial frauds in history.

Nexus has also played key roles in the successful representation of a multinational Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company against failure-to-warn and product defect claims, a Fortune 500 bank and premises owner in more than 340 toxic tort personal injury suits arising from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and successfully advocated for cable and elevator manufacturers in response to asbestos-related product liability matters. Recognizing the importance of community, Nexus is a founding member of “1844” – an association of nearly 60 African American male attorneys – created as a vehicle to promote collaboration, business development, and mentorship among BigLaw attorneys of color. Nexus is also a member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and mentors college and law students who are interested in private practice. Nexus served as President of the Nigerian Lawyers Association from 2014-2016, where he promoted building strong, diverse communities at home and abroad.

Nexus is also an active member of AIPAC’s progressive outreach efforts (“AIPAC Connects”), which focus on recruiting and building professional communities where Jewish and non-Jewish stakeholders can work hand-in-hand in support of the U.S.- Israel relationship and AIPAC’s mission of bipartisanship.

Eunkyung Kim Shin

Baker McKenzie

Eunkyung Kim Shin regularly advises multi-national companies on complex international trade, regulatory compliance, and customs and import law related matters. She also counsels on cross-border compliance and commercial issues.

Eunkyung advises clients on various regulatory compliance and trade issues, concentrating on the US export controls such as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), economic and trade sanctions, US customs and import laws, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and foreign anti-bribery laws.

Additionally, Eunkyung advises clients in internal and external audits of compliance with US and non-US export controls, economic and trade sanctions, and customs and import laws, structuring compliance programs, and obtaining authorization from the US Government for activities subject to the EAR, the ITAR, and US economic and trade sanctions programs. Eunkyung also advises clients on M&A export control, economic and trade sanctions, customs and import law, anti-corruption, and anti-boycott due diligence reviews of target companies in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, in collaboration with the Firm's M&A attorneys in multiple jurisdictions. Her assistance extends to voluntary disclosure filings to, and enforcement actions brought by, the US government in relation to the EAR, the ITAR, economic and trade sanctions, antiboycott rules and regulations, and US customs and import laws. She frequently writes and speaks on these areas. She also regularly counsels Korea-based companies on various issues related to doing business globally. 

Sufyan Sohel
CAIR-Chicago

Sufyan Sohel currently serves as the Deputy Director and Counsel at CAIR-Chicago. Sufyan provides legal and strategic direction to CAIR-Chicago and is responsible for the day to day management of the organization.  He also represents CAIR-Chicago in collaborative efforts throughout the city and advocates on behalf of his communities to government actors at every level.  He is a trained mediator and speaks frequently on social justice, diversity, and civil rights issues. Before CAIR-Chicago, he worked with DePaul University‘s International Human Rights Law Institute where he researched and collaborated extensively on women’s rights issues and rule of law projects in the Middle East and Asia. He also spent a summer with the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights in Cairo, Egypt where his focus was to educate and empower women while working with policymakers on gender reform and inclusion.

Sufyan earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and holds a Master of Science in Finance (M.S.) and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from DePaul University. Sufyan is the immediate past President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago, currently serves on the Board of Directors and Advocacy Committee for the South Asian Bar Association of North America, and proudly sits on the DePaul Law Alumni Engagement Board and the Civic Leadership Council of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Sufyan is the Chair of Special Projects and a diversity trainer with the New Leaders Council of Chicago, a founding member of the Chicago Trust Collective, and serves as an elected community representative of the Local School Council at South Loop Elementary School.  He is a 2017 Recipient of the Chicago Bar Association’s Vanguard Award and the DePaul College of Law Young Alumnus Award and will be a 2018 Fellow with Leadership Greater Chicago.

Dashika Wellington
Chase Bank

Dashika (Dash) Wellington is a Vice president, Assistant General Counsel in the Legal department at JPMorgan Chase.

In her current role as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel for the Community and Consumer Bank  Operations Legal Team, Dash provides legal support for the Executive Offices across various lines of business including mortgage, auto, student loan, credit card and retail banking. Dash joined JPMorgan Chase in December 2011 as a member of the Mortgage Banking Litigation team and transitioned to the Executive Office Legal Team in October 2016. 

Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Dash was a Senior Associate at Wilentz Goldman and Spitzer focusing on consumer financial services and bankruptcy litigation and appellate work in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At Wilentz, Dash represented mortgage servicers, lenders and foreclosure firms in predatory lending, securitization and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases filed by consumers.

Prior to Wilentz, Dash was a commercial litigation associate at Pelino & Lentz, PC. Dash began her legal career as a litigation associate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young specializing complex commercial litigation and immigration.

Dash serves as a member of the Legal Diversity Committee, co-chairing a subcommittee that seeks to highlight diversity at the firm. She also serves as a liaison to various diverse bar associations across the country.

Charys Williams
Walmart

Charys Williams is Associate Counsel for Legal Operations at Walmart Stores Inc. She focuses on advancing the legal department's internal and external diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives. Prior to joining Walmart, she was the Associate Dean for Administration, Compliance and Special Initiatives at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she managed law school operations and compliance, including internal and external reporting, law school personnel relations, student affairs and the pre-law program (SPPARK).  Charys moved to Arkansas in 2014 from Washington, DC where she was the Director for Part-time Faculty Personnel Administration at George Washington University, managing employment and labor relations for over 1100 unionized part-time faculty.  Charys started her legal practice in the areas of labor law and discrimination litigation/counseling at a large law firm in Washington D.C.  She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Los Angeles.

Molly L. Wiltshire
Schiff Hardin LLP

Molly L. Wiltshire is a litigator who represents companies and individuals in diverse legal areas, including government regulatory and grand jury investigations, complex civil and commercial disputes, and environmental and animal litigation.

When clients seek Molly’s advice, they’re asking for more than legal guidance. That’s why she first takes a wide-angle approach, fostering mutual trust and clear communication so that she understands the pressures her clients face from internal and external stakeholders. She then provides strategic, practical counsel that never loses sight of her client’s business objectives. And when it comes to high stakes litigation, she works closely with experts and consultants to navigate voluminous data sets, distilling complex technical issues to capture her client’s perspective concisely and persuasively.

In addition to litigating, she has presented to corporate counsel and bar association groups on the attorney-client privilege and ethical rules regarding confidentiality, especially as they relate to the in-house counsel role, and diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Collette Woghiren

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP


Collette A. Brown is a member of Neal Gerber Eisenberg’s General & Commercial Litigation practice group. Collette represents clients in complex civil litigation matters including breach of contract, commercial lease disputes, tort defense, business torts and products liability. She has drafted and argued dispositive motions, and taken multiple depositions.

Collette has co-first chaired a four-day jury trial before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and also co-first chaired a two-day state court dependency hearing. Collette maintains an active pro bono practice with experience ranging from employment law to representing petitioners seeking orders of protection.

Before attending law school, Collette was a legal intern for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She was also a summer associate for Neal Gerber Eisenberg in 2012, and currently serves on the firm’s Women’s Network Leadership Team.

Before beginning her legal career, she worked as an English teacher for nearly three years.

Jen Won
Larson O'Brien

Jen Won is a litigation associate at Larson O'Brien LLP and is a fully-bilingual trial lawyer.  Her practice focuses on complex commercial disputes and white collar criminal investigations and defense.  She has litigated an array of matters, including consumer class actions, products liability, technology, healthcare, and employment disputes.  Ms. Won has also investigated and defended charges related to SEC regulations, federal and state antitrust laws, and money laundering.  

Before joining Larson O'Brien, Ms. Won was an associate at an international law firm and a prominent litigation boutique.  After graduating Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Ms. Won was a law clerk to the Honorable Larry A. Burns of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Ms. Won grew up in Seoul, Korea and is fluent in Korean.  She is currently the Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and a Regional Governor and the Chair of Young Lawyers' Division for the International Association of Korean Lawyers (IAKL).  She also serves as the Secretary for the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California (KABA).  In 2017, Ms. Won co-founded the IILP Social Impact Incubator, a non-profit initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. 

Keny Zurita
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Keny Zurita is a corporate associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He was formerly an M&A associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Harvard College. At Stanford Law School, he was the Publishing & Business Development Chair of the Stanford Journal of International Law and graduated with pro bono distinction.

 


   
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