Board of Directors and Officers of Ms. JD
Katie Larkin-Wong is an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in San Francisco, CA and the second President of Ms. JD. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern Law School. Katie is a long time Ms. JD reader, served as a 2010-2011 Writer-in-Residence, and was a 2010 Ms. JD Fellow. While at Northwestern, she served as the Managing Editor of the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property and on the board of the Women’s Leadership Coalition. She was also active in Northwestern’s Program on Negotiations and Mediation where she became a certified mediator, mediating and settling cases in the Chicago courts. Katie holds a dual major in psychology and government with an emphasis in women’s studies from Claremont McKenna College and, prior to law school, worked for Verizon’s Corporate Counsel on antitrust and intellectual property matters.
Janet Wallace is an associate at Duggan Smith & Heath LLP in San Luis Obispo, California. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Davis, where she served as President of Law Students for the Arts and Research Assistant to Professor Lisa R. Pruitt. During law school, Janet interned with the Office of General Counsel for the University of California and California's Legislative Counsel. She graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the History of Art and Architecture. Prior to attending law school, Janet was a high school photography teacher, robotics adviser, White House gift wrapper, and art gallery docent. In addition to serving as Vice President and co-chair of content for Ms. JD, Janet serves on the Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council.
Chief Financial Officer
Sheila Forjuoh is an Associate at Vinson & Elkins LLP in Houston, Texas. She is a recent graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and the McCombs School of Business as a member of the JD/MBA Class of 2013. While in school, she was a member of the Texas Law Review, Managing Editor of the Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law, a member of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, and a Board Fellow with United Way Capital Area. She was also a founding member of Beyond Any Bar, a student group aimed at connecting UTLaw students with members of the UT Law’s non-practicing alumni community in hopes of educating students about non-practicing career paths. Sheila remains an active alumni of both the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, the UT Law chapter of the National Black Law Students Association, and the Black Graduate Business Association. She is a graduate of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, with a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and a second major in Entrepreneurship, where she was involved in many student groups and received numerous scholarships and awards.
Noorain Khan is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Balancing Civil Liberties and National Security After September 11 Clinic, chaired Yale Law Women, and served as the co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal of Law & Technology. Noorain completed her MPhil in migration studies at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar and her BA from Rice University. She is an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts and serves on the board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. Noorain is a corporate associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Courtney Gabbara received her JD from Michigan State University College of Law in May of 2012. In 2009, she graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and then went immediately into law school where she continued to make the continuing success of women one of her top priorities. While in law school, she was the Community Service Chair and President for the Women’s Law Caucus, Treasurer and Vice Justice for Phi Alpha Delta, National Trial Advocacy Competition Director, and Trial Advocacy Moot Court Board Member. Courtney has had the good fortune of working as a law clerk at the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of Michigan; the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in the Health, Education, and Family Services Division; and for the Corporation Counsel Division of Oakland County. Courtney is looking forward to starting her new position as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Michigan State University College of Law.
Tanya Falleiro is a third-year student in the honors program at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. She is an Associate Editor on the Environmental Law Journal, member of the Moot Court Board, and recipient of the Joseph R. & June B. Rensch Endowed Law Scholarship. She received her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Legal Studies from the University of California- Berkeley in 2008. Tanya is interested in business law and has spent time during law school working in-house at various companies, as well as externing in the federal court system. She holds leadership positions in both the Business Group and Women's Law Association at her school. Tanya is also an active Writer-in-Residence for Ms.JD.
Jamie Bence is a third year student at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Last year, she wrote a column for Ms. JD focusing on the experiences of women lawyers in the federal government. She has clerked for the Department of Justice, the United States Senate and the Department of Health and Human Services. She served on CUA's law review, as a student attorney in Columbus Community Legal Services and an active pro-bono volunteer.
Kim Watson graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Illinois College of Law and magna cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in History. She is recently completed a Public Interest Law Fellowship at The Law Project in Chicago, and will be starting as a full-time associate at Kirkland and Ellis in October 2012. During law school, Kimberly was a Notes Editor for the Elder Law Journal, the Vice-President of Women’s Law Society and the President of the Corporation and Business Law Association. Kimberly was also a recipient of the Ms. JD Fellowship in 2011 and was a student representative to the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois in 2010 and 2011.
Liz Vaysman is a second-year student at American University Washington College of Law and 2012-2013 President of the Business Law Society. Liz was Ms. JD's Conference Coordinate for our Fifth Annual Conference on Women in the Law and joined the Board of Directors in October 2012. This past summer she interned with the Federal Circuit Bar Association in Washington, DC. In 2010, Liz graduated from Temple University Fox School of Business honors program with a degree in Finance and Political Economic Specialization. Before starting law school, Liz worked as a Legal Assistant and Caseworker at A Baby Step Adoption in Reading, PA.
Elizabeth Hague is a second-year student at Harvard Law School, with an expected graduation date of December 2013. At Harvard, she is a Co-Chair of the Women's Law Association Conference Committee, a Senior Editor on the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and a board member of Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She has also participated in the International Human Rights and Gender Violence Clinics. Elizabeth is a 2008 magna cum laude graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Studies. From 2008-2009, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco.
Nicole Chiu-Wang is a trademark attorney learning to code and design user experiences for tech startups in San Francisco. Nicole graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies. In 2009, she received her JD from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles where she served as a production editor for the International and Comparative Law Review, competed on the nationally recognized Byrne Trial Advocacy Team and the Scott Moot Court Honors Board. During law school, Nicole served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, was crowned Miss Los Angeles County 2007 and was fourth runner-up to Miss California USA 2008. In 2010, Nicole competed on Season 10 of NBC’s The Apprentice from which she launched a speaking tour at college campuses focused on finding your dream job and a weekly segment on a national syndicated talk radio show, The Block Radio. Nicole currently writes the monthly fashion column, “Chiu on This”, on the Ms. JD Blog, teaches The Bar Method, and continues her search for her own dream job. Most importantly, she lives by the motto Passion Forward!
Ms. JD operations are also supported by the following:
Michele L. Henrey graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in history in 2007. She obtained her Masters degree in modern European history from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. Michele joined Duggan Smith & Heath LLP in 2010, and completed her paralegal course work though the University of California, Santa Cruz extension program in 2011. She is a member of the Central Coast Paralegal Association and an Ambassador with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.
Joanna McDonald is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a current 3L at The University of Texas School of Law. After college, McDonald was a paralegal for Deutsche Bank, the sole paralegal for their Global Banking Division. McDonald frequently worked on large-scale, international transactions and advised counsel in Deutsche Bank offices abroad on contracts governed by New York law. McDonald was representative of the 2L class in the Student Bar Association and is currently Head Choreographer of the Assault and Flattery musical theatre troupe and a member of the Texas International Law Journal submissions board and the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society. She is interested in practicing within the corporate or restructuring fields.
Social Media Intern
Jane Rosales graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Political Science and obtained her Master’s degree in International Affairs from Northeastern University. Currently she is a paralegal in the Disability Advocacy Project at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in New York City. Previously, Jane was the coordinator of NYLAG's Mobile Legal Help Center and an intern in the Consumer Protection Project. Jane also served two AmeriCorps terms in Boston as a literacy tutor with Leaps in Literacy and a volunteer coordinator fellow with the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship.
Programs Administrative Assistant
Laura Bladow graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs and Political Science. She is interested in international law and politics.
Board Administrative Assistant
Emma Shaw graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and a secondary major in Economics. While at UMass, she was an active volunteer on campus, participating in and planning many events. Since graduating, she has been on the planning committees for many events including Zoe's Race and the Mystic River Watershed Association's 40th Anniversary celebration. She is currently on the planning committees for Relay for Life, Making Strides for Breast Cancer, and Evening Song Gala. She is pursuing a career in non-profit management.
Founder and Inaugural President
Elizabeth Pederson graduated Order of the Coif with Pro Bono Distinction from Stanford Law School, where she was a Public Interest Fellow and the Symposium Editor on the Executive Board of the Stanford Law Review. Since graduation, Elizabeth clerked on the Northern District of California and served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan DA's Office. Prior to law school, Elizabeth served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. She holds a M.P.A. from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan as a Frey Foundation Fellow and a B.A. summa cum laude with highest honors from Brandeis University.
Founding Chief Financial Officer
Karen E. Deschaine is an Associate in the Cooley LLP Business department. She joined Cooley in 2007 and is resident in the San Diego office. Karen received a J.D. with a specialization in Business Law from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the Editor in Chief of the UCLA Women’s Law Journal. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Auburn University and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the United States Military Academy, in West Point, New York. While at West Point, Karen was on the Sport Parachute Team and, as such, jumped the game ball into numerous Army football games and was named the Overall Novice Champion at the 1994 National Collegiate Skydiving Championships. Prior to law school, Karen served as a captain in the United States Army and commanded two companies. Karen was one of the founding members of Ms. JD's Board of Directors (2006-2012) and is a member of the State Bar of California.
Jessie Kornberg graduated in 2007 from UCLA School of Law, where she was Editor in Chief of the Women's Law Journal and Articles Editor for the Journal of Sexual Orientation Law. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University. During law school Jessie was the Helena Rubenstein Foundation Fellow at Legal Momentum, the legal defense and education fund for NOW. After law school Jessie served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Jon Phipps McCalla, Chief Judge of the Western District of Tennessee. Prior to law school, Jessie worked in homeless family services in New York City and co-authored Homeless in America, Part Two: A Statistical Reader with the Institute for Children and Poverty. In 2009, Jessie became Ms. JD's first Executive Director. Jessie currently also serves on the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession and on the Governing Board of California Women Lawyers. In 2011, Jessie joined the Los Angeles litigation boutique Bird Marella.