Board of Directors and Officers

Maleaha Brown

Chair

Maleaha Brown

Maleaha Brown is a family law attorney for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, where she represents low-income survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Maleaha was selected as a Fellow with the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law in 2018, and she currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Section’s Domestic Violence Committee. Maleaha is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and Baylor University. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and she is a Registered Legal Services Attorney in California.

While at Howard Law, Maleaha became involved with Ms. JD as a 2015 Ms. JD Fellow.  After graduation, she served as the organization’s Fellowship Director before joining the Ms. JD Board of Directors in 2017. Maleaha is passionate about advocating for women’s issues. Notably, her articles “When Pros Become Cons: Ending the NFL’s History of Domestic Violence Leniency” and “The Unfair Choice: A Call for Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers” have been published in the ABA’s Family Law Quarterly and the Howard Human and Civil Rights Law Review, respectively.

Diana Stern

Vice-Chair

Diana Stern

Diana is an entrepreneurial lawyer advising clients on cutting-edge issues to help them excel in complex business, legal, and technical landscapes. Diana is Product Counsel at Stripe, Inc., a global tech company that helps online businesses start and scale, in San Francisco, CA. 

Previously, she led firmwide blockchain and smart contract R&D efforts at BakerHostetler LLP's New York City office, practiced in the Technology Companies Group at Orrick in Menlo Park, CA, and founded a boutique innovation firm. She’s also contributed legal research to the Federal Trade Commission, the Bitcoin Foundation, Pandora Media, Inc., and the HBO series Silicon Valley.

Diana is passionate about supporting the success of women in the legal industry. She joined the Ms. JD Board in 2015. 

Diana received her JD from UCLA School of Law and her BA from Johns Hopkins University. Her go-to shelter-in-place hobbies are yoga, cooking, and playing with her cats Mulberry and Gojiberry.

 

Amber C. Thomson

Board Member

Amber C. Thomson

Amber Thomson is an Associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton’s Washington, D.C. office, where she counsels companies on cybersecurity and data breach matters, as well as U.S. and international data privacy, data transfer and “Big Data” issues. She graduated Cum Laude from Howard University School of Law where she served as Vice President of Epsilon Sigma Iota Sorority, Inc. the nation’s first legal sorority. She also served as President of OUTlaw, Howard’s LGBT organization, and President of the school’s International Moot Court Team. Amber received her B.S.B.A. with a focus on International Business and Spanish from Old Dominion University. Prior to attending law school, Amber worked for A.P. Moller-Maersk, first as an International Shipping Education trainee and later in various management roles in the United States and Latin America.

Amber is dedicated to mentoring young women in law school and serves as a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) mentor.  She is also the founder of Lesbian Lawyers of Color. Amber first became involved with Ms. JD in law school when she was selected as a Ms. JD Fellow. She was so inspired by her experience as a Fellow that she became determined to contribute more to the organization. You can find Amber on Instagram at @lady_bijou.

Diana LaMorie

Board Member

Diana LaMorie

Diana LaMorie is a Compliance Manager for a large investment adviser based in NY, where she manages a regulatory compliance framework to comply with SEC, CFTC, and NFA regulations (as well as FCA regulations for the firm’s UK office). Diana holds a J.D. (2010) from Brooklyn Law School, as well as a B.S. in Finance (2006) and M.B.A. in Finance (2007), both from Fordham University.  She is also a RYT-200 Registered Yoga Teacher (though she practices a lot more than she teaches). Diana first became involved with Ms. JD as a 2018 Writer in Residence and continues to contribute to the Ms. JD blog as a Board Member. 

Tanvi Patel

Board Member

Tanvi Patel

Tanvi Patel is an intellectual property attorney at Neal Gerber & Eisenberg in Chicago, IL, where she assists clients in protecting their innovations through all aspects of development and commercialization. Tanvi’s practice includes understanding clients’ and competitive intellectual property, procuring and developing clients’ intellectual property portfolios, and enforcing and/or defending against allegations of infringement.

Tanvi obtained her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign (2005), and her J.D. from DePaul University (2011).  Tanvi first became involved with Ms. JD as an attendee of the LaddHer Up conference and later as a Board Member. 

Simone Otenaike

Board Member

Simone Otenaike

Simone is a corporate attorney at BakerHostetler, where she primarily represents clients in the healthcare and life sciences industries. She also frequently contributes to workshop presentations on blockchain technology for enterprise solutions and advises founders, venture capital firms, and non-profit organizations on blockchain technology related issues. Her passion for blockchain expands to her community engagement, which includes serving as a member of the Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group.

Simone holds a J.D. (2015) from The University of Texas School of Law as well as a B.S. in Cognitive Science (2008) from Rice University. Simone first became involved with Ms. JD through the Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas School of Law. Prior to attending law school, she worked for Abercrombie & Fitch in the Office of Diversity. She has served as a Board of Director for several organizations including YMCA Austin East Communities, Our Family Dinner Foundation, and now Ms. JD. In her spare time, Simone loves to explore new recipes and flavors and collect Pan-African art.

Ashley Lhérisson

Board Member

Ashley Lhérisson

Ashley Lhérisson is a Litigation Associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where she focuses on white-collar and regulatory investigations.  Ashley graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia University and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School.  Prior to joining her law firm, Ashley clerked for the Honorable Jane A. Restani at the Court of International Trade.  During her clerkship, Ashley founded her own graduate school admissions consulting business, Ivy Grad Services.  Through Ivy Grad Services, Ashley is able to continue her commitment to mentorship by helping diverse students reach their graduate school goals.  Prior to her clerkship, Ashley served as a legal assistant at two other top law firms in New York City.  Ashley is licensed to practice law in New York, California, and the District of Columbia. 

In her free time, Ashley volunteers as a member of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee for the New York City Bar Association and serves as a Law Career Coach to current law students. She is also a member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) and the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA).  In addition to serving as the Governance Chair of the Ms. JD Board of Directors, Ashley serves as the Co-Chair of the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Junior Leadership Board and as a member of the Pipeline to Practice Foundation Board.

Carlos Eduardo Julca

Board Member

Carlos Eduardo Julca

Carlos Eduardo Julca is Counsel at Keysight Technologies, an S&P 500 company formerly owned by Hewlett-Packard. His area of practice is focused on Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as International Tax Planning and Controversy.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds Accredited Investor status. He actively seeks investment opportunities in publicly held companies, mutual funds, tech startups, and venture capital firms. 

Prior to his current role, he worked for the Honorable Chief Justice Myron T. Steele at the Delaware Supreme Court, and the Honorable Robert N. Scola Jr. at the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. During law school he was elected President of the Latino Law Student Association.

He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from Florida State University.

He is a first generation immigrant born in Peru, and raised in Miami, FL.

Hailey Hillsman

Board Member

Hailey Hillsman

Hailey Hillsman is a student at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Troy University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Georgia College. At CM Law, Hailey is the research assistant to Associate Dean Carolyn Broering-Jacobs researching women in law, leadership, and grit. Hailey is also a member of the Dean’s Leadership Fellowship Program, a selected group of students dedicated to learning leadership skills in the legal field. In addition, she is a staff writer for the law school’s newspaper, The Gavel.

Prior to attending law school, Hailey was a secondary science teacher for six years in Georgia. Although she was passionate about her students, Hailey could not let go of her dream of pursuing a law degree. One of her main goals while attending law school is to find resources and mentors related to women in law. That goal led her to Ms. JD, and Hailey is excited to join this journey of promoting women in law with the organization.

Krista Selnau

Board Member

Krista Selnau

Krista Selnau is a fellowships portfolio manager at Equal Justice Works, where she oversees Fellows and stewards Fellowship sponsors on the East Coast. Krista received her B.A. summa cum laude from Curry College and earned her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, where was an active member of the Health Law Moot Court team.

Prior to joining Equal Justice Works, Krista founded and managed the Veterans Medical-Legal Partnership at Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Augusta, Maine with VA Maine Healthcare System. She practiced veterans law and coordinated Pine Tree’s veterans pro bono projects. She also served as Co-Chair of the Veterans Law Section in the Maine State Bar Association. From 2013–2015, Krista was an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Walmart and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and hosted by Legal Aid of Arkansas. Her Fellowship project expanded the Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Medical-Legal Partnership to include a legal clinic focused on the unmet needs of children with cancer or sickle cell disease and their families. Before that, Krista co-founded and coordinated a pro bono medical-legal partnership for children in rural Northwest Arkansas.

Krista has guest lectured on medical-legal partnerships at Berkeley School of Law and Georgetown University. She has written about and presented extensively on medical-legal partnerships nationwide.

In her free time, she volunteers as a member of the Pro Bono and Public Interest Committee for the Washington Council of Lawyers and as a pro bono volunteer at various legal clinics in Washington, DC. She also volunteers at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp in Connecticut, for seriously ill children and their families. She enjoys rock climbing and running. As a survivor of childhood cancer and an amputee, Krista is passionate about empowering and supporting young people in achieving their goals.

Krista first became involved with Ms. JD as a presenter at Ms. JD’s 12th Annual Conference on Women in Law: When Women Lead and later as a Board Member.

Ashley Beard

Board Member

Ashley Beard

Ashley Beard is an associate at Hogan Lovells US LLP, where she thoughtfully advises clients in commercial and complex civil litigation matters.   In her practice, Ashley has provided representation in a range of areas including contractual disputes, software licensing, and trademark infringement.  She previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas C. Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and worked as Director of Academic Success at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.  Ashley earned a J.D., cum laude, from Howard University School of Law and a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.  Ashley is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and New York.

Ashley maintains an active pro bono practice, primarily counseling clients in domestic violence and small business matters.  While in law school, she worked as a student attorney in the now-named Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Clinic, where she focused on discriminatory practices in education.  She was also a student attorney in the Investor Justice and Education Clinic, where she secured a favorable settlement for her client in a securities matter.

Ashley is committed to uplifting and supporting women.  In addition to proudly serving on the Ms. JD Board of Directors, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Epsilon Sigma Iota Legal Sorority. 

Kanysha Phillips

Board Member

Kanysha Phillips

Kanysha Elaine Phillips is a litigation associate at Davis Polk and Wardwell, LLP. Kanysha was selected to receive a pro-bono award based on her experience representing incarcerated people who were falsely accused. Kanysha is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and La Salle University. She served as the Treasurer of her law school class. Kanysha formerly served as an intern at the New York State Attorney General's Office as well as the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. Kanysha has volunteered on numerous political campaigns. Kanysha was a 2018 Ms. JD Fellow. She is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and previously received a scholarship from the Barristers Association of Philadelphia. Kanysha is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Lilybelle Davis

Board Member

Lilybelle Davis

Lilybelle Davis is a Mergers & Acquisitions Associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York.  Lilybelle graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Economics from University of Maryland in 2015 and received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2018.

In undergrad, Lilybelle interned at Google in Mountain View, CA, and studied at the London School of Economics for her entire junior year. During law school, Lilybelle was an Articles Editor on the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review and a Corporate Law and Policy research assistant. Lilybelle spent her final semester of law school studying at the University of Oxford in the Masters in Law and Finance program, and Columbia awarded her the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law.  Before joining Skadden, Lilybelle clerked for the Honorable Joseph R. Slights at the Delaware Chancery Court.  While clerking, Lilybelle worked with her judge on several high-profile corporate disputes and an appraisal case that was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court.

Lilybelle currently volunteers as a mentor for Rising Leaders, Inc. in Harlem, working with underserved middle school students.

 

Tara Murray

Board Member

Tara Murray

Tara Murray is a justice defender and civil and human rights lawyer with her own practice based in Washington, DC. Her firm’s mission is to bring accountability in the justice system through litigation and public advocacy on behalf of communities most vulnerable to unfair treatment. Tara is the former Deputy Director of London-based human rights non-profit, Reprieve, where she represented over 30 Guantanamo detainees in federal district court proceedings and led the organization’s first investigations into civilian casualties in drone strikes in Pakistan -- an investigation that has expanded to include Yemen and the horn of Africa. 

Tara’s work on behalf of Muslims targeted as a result of the ‘War on Terror’, and her conversations with her clients and their traumatized family members, bears striking similarities to her own experiences growing up in Los Angeles, California where law enforcement’s heavy-handed and abusive tactics served to terrify her surveilled community and sent a message much like the one sent by drones: that the state intends to police the community with force, and the lives of those impacted do not matter. Tara is committed to dismantling structural racism and xenophobia that has both domestic and global implications. 

Tara received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University, a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, and a Masters of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an E. Barrett Prettyman fellow, taught a weekly seminar in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and represented indigent clients in Washington, D.C. who were charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Tara was a law clerk to retired Judge Richard W. Roberts, who served as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.       

Tara’s work as a lawyer and advocate has been featured in several publications and news outlets worldwide.  

Jazmin Youngblood

Board Member

Jazmin Youngblood

Jazmin Youngblood serves as in house counsel at Dealerware, an automotive software company in Austin, TX. She acts as the point of contact for legal business initiatives as well as requests for advice from a wide range of business clients across all functions. 

She earned her degree in Political Science at Stanford University. She then pursued her Juris Doctorate at the University of Texas School of Law. Jazmin discovered her passion for the intersection between business and law after completing internships at Visa, Adobe, and Ottobock. The J.L. Turner Legal Association awarded her the Barbara Jordan Scholarship for being the most outstanding female minority law student.

Jazmin currently mentors potential law school candidates as a Consultant at Ivy Grad Services. She remains committed to encouraging present and future female attorneys to stand together and rise together.

 

Board Emeritae

Elizabeth Pederson

Founder and Inaugural President

Elizabeth Pederson

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.

Karen E. Deschaine

Founding Chief Financial Officer

Karen E. Deschaine

Karen E. Deschaine is a Partner 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

Jessie Kornberg

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. Jessie has been recognized by The Recorder and Super Lawyers as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” and “Rising Star,” respectively. In 2014, Jessie became the first female CEO and President of Bet Tzedek.

Janet Wallace

Janet Wallace

Janet Wallace co-founded the law firm O'Leary Wallace LLP in San Luis Obispo County, California. Janet is a faculty member at Cuesta Community College, where she teaches courses on Estate Planning and Administration, Business Organizations, Introduction to Law, and Legal Technology. 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. Janet 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, intern coordinator, office manager, field representative, and art gallery docent. Janet served on the Board of Directors of Ms. JD, the Women Lawyers Association of San Luis Obispo and is Past President of the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council. She graduated from Leadership San Luis Obispo Class XXII and is a trained $tart $mart facilitator. In 2015, Janet was named one of the Top 20 Under 40 by the San Luis Obispo Tribune and received the inaugural Rising Star Award from the Women Lawyer's Association of SLO. Janet and her husband of 13 years have one son, Julian, are licensed foster parents, and craft the perfect basil vodka gimlet (but not one because of the other). You can find Janet online at her personal blog, www.thisconfettilife.com. In her spare time, Janet sleeps.

Katie Larkin-Wong

Katie Larkin-Wong

Katie Larkin-Wong is an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in San Francisco, CA  where her practice focuses on antitrust and white collar litigation.  She is 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.

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