1 2014 WLI Fellows Chelsea Baldwin Victoria Byerly Jillian Cutler Sean-Michael Davis Aimee Decker David Ko Kristine Olmstead Nyjat Rose-Akins Julie Schaffer Stephanie Thorpe Rafael Urquia Theresa Wang Tracy Williams Washington Leadership Institute Fellows Profiles William H. Gates Hall Box Seattle, WA Tel: (206) Fax: (206) WLI Link to UW website
2 Chelsea Baldwin W ALSTEAD M ERTSCHING, PS 1700 Hudson Street, Suite 300, Third Floor Longview, WA Chelsea Baldwin grew up in Longview, Washington, in the shadow of Mount St. Helens. She attended the University of Washington and Gonzaga University School of Law before returning home to Southwest Washington to serve the people of Cowlitz County. Her legal career began as an intern for the Cowlitz County Superior Court where she worked closely with the judges on various projects involving funding and administrative functions; highlighting the relationship between the legislature and local courts. She later became an associate at the local firm Walstead Mertsching, PS, and after only three years, became the first female partner in the firm s eightyfive year history. Ms. Baldwin has come full circle, serving the local court as needed as a pro-tem commissioner. Volunteer and pro bono service has been a hallmark of Ms. Baldwin s career. She has served on the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Legal Aid board since 2006, serving multiple years in an executive position. In addition to the formal board membership, she regularly volunteers her time for advice clinics and presentations to ensure access to justice in the local community. Her service to her community has already been recognized at the local and state levels. In her community, Ms. Baldwin has trained with the local civilian emergency response team (CERT) and responded in that capacity during local emergencies and natural disasters. She is also involved with her local church youth programs, counseling teenagers at camps and retreats, as well as leading a small girls group weekly.
3 Victoria Byerly P ARR BYERLY, PLLC P.O. Box Olympia, WA Victoria is a member at Parr Byerly, PLLC in Olympia, Washington. She is the firm s tax attorney and her focus is on municipal finance and tax. She helps taxpayers as special tax counsel, audit defense, with structuring public finance transactions, post issuance compliance and with form 990. Victoria s breadth of knowledge and experience with tax enables her to help taxpayers with their businesses, estate plans and non-profit organization questions. She is a member of the Tax Committee of the National Association of Bond Lawyers where she is involved in responding to releases from the Internal Revenue Service that relate to the public finance industry and enjoys participating in the diversity functions. Victoria has also published articles such as What is Public Finance? She has also served as a volunteer tax attorney (and or supervising tax attorney) for the Federal Tax Clinic at the University of Washington School of Law for over three years. Within the past six months, Victoria has become a member of the Administrative Committee of Twin Star Credit Union. Before graduating from the LL.M. in Taxation Program at the University of Washington School of Law, Victoria attended the University of Oregon School of Law where she was a research and writing assistant to B.A. Kliks Professor Nancy Shurtz. In her youth, she played the violin. She enjoys reading, kayaking and spending time with people she cares about.
4 Jillian Cutler F RANK FREED SUBIT & THOMAS LLP 705 Second Avenue, Suite 1200 Seattle, WA Jillian M. Cutler is an attorney at the Seattle law firm of Frank Freed Subit & Thomas LLP, where she represents plaintiffs in employment cases and unions in labor matters. Prior to entering private practice in 2007, Ms. Cutler practiced employment discrimination and civil rights law as a staff attorney and teaching fellow at the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. She is a graduate of Yale University, summa cum laude, and Yale Law School, where she served on the law journal. Prior to law school, Ms. Cutler earned a degree from King s College, Cambridge, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar. She is a former law clerk to Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Washington Super Lawyers selected Ms. Cutler as a Rising Star in employment and labor law from 2010 through 2013.
5 Sean Davis O FFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL 7141 Cleanwater Dr. SW PO Box Olympia, WA Sean is an Assistant Attorney General in the Attorney General s Office s Torts Division. Sean s primary role is to defend state agencies, officers and employees against civil suits for damages. The majority of the cases Sean handles relate to issues surrounding child care, child custody and employment. Sean also serves on the AGO s Basic Litigation Skills committee which assists attorneys new to litigation. Before joining the Torts Division Sean was a member of the Attorney General s Office s Labor and Industries Division, where he handled appeals under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act and Industrial Insurance Act. Sean currently also serves on the Attorney General s Office s Basic Litigation Skills committee, which aids assistant attorneys generals with developing trial skills. Sean was born and raised in Tacoma. Sean obtained his Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Washington, where he tutored junior high and high school students. He subsequently received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to his day job, Sean currently serves as a Captain in the United States Air Force Reserve, supporting the 62 Air Wing at Joint Base Lewis McChord. Sean has also provided pro bono criminal defense in Federal Way Municipal Court. Sean enjoys spending time with his wife Ashley and their two beautiful children, Sloane and Michael.
6 Aimee Decker G RAHAM & DUNN, PC Pier Alaskan Way Ste. 300 Seattle, WA Aimee is an associate attorney with Graham & Dunn, P.C. and a member of the firm s food & beverage, intellectual property, and natural resources teams. Aimee began her legal career with Graham & Dunn as the firm s inaugural 1L Diversity Fellow. Aimee has also represented and advised business clients in a variety of land use, employment, and environmental matters. Aimee currently serves on both the Diversity Committee and the Future of the Law Institute committee with the King County Bar Association Through her work with the Future of the Law Institute (FLI), a program that encourages minority and underprivileged high school students to pursue careers in law, Aimee developed a successful job shadow program, now in its third year. Along with FLI s workshops, field trips, internships, and scholarships, interested students can be matched with volunteers in order to experience of a day in the life of a legal professional. Aimee is also in her third year as a pro bono attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the UW Law s Immigrant Family Advocacy Program (IFAP). Outside of the law, Aimee is a recent graduate and former board member of the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation s (ACLF) Community Leaders Program. She has also volunteered for over six years with The CAIR Project, a hotline service that provides grants to women in the northwest seeking funding for abortions. Aimee received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law, where she served as a law clerk extern for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and as a student legal advocate through the University of Washington s Immigration Clinic. Prior to law school, Aimee worked most recently in arts and theatre production in New York and taught dance and creative movement in the public schools.
7 David Ko K ELLER ROHRBACK LLP 1201 Third Ave., Suite 3200 Seattle, WA David practices in Keller Rohrback s nationally recognized Complex Litigation Group, where he represents individuals, retirement plans, and institutional investors in various federal and state courts across the country. David has experience litigating cases at both the trial and appellate levels against corporate defendants for breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA, misrepresentations arising out of the issuance of mortgage-backed securities, improper valuations in connection with employee stock ownership plans, and consumer protection violations. Prior to joining Keller Rohrback, David clerked for the Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez, United States District Judge for the Western District of Washington. David is immediate past president of the Korean American Bar Association of Washington, and currently coordinates KABA s Pro Bono Clinic. David was born in Seoul, but has lived most of his life in the Seattle area, receiving his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, an LL.M. in Taxation and B.A from the University of Washington. David is an avid sports enthusiast. He is a proud season ticket holder of the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Huskies football team, regularly attends Mariner and Sounder games, and eagerly awaits the return of the NBA.
8 Kristine Olmstead N ORTHWEST JUSTICE P ROJECT 500 W. 8th Street, Suite 275 Vancouver, WA Kristine Kris Olmstead is a staff attorney at Northwest Justice Project in Vancouver, Washington. She attended Oregon State University where she received a Bachelor s of Science degree in Psychology. After obtaining a Master of Arts degree from George Fox University, she worked in the mental health field for many years. Kris later went to law school and earned her JD from Gonzaga School of Law in She was an Immigration Fellow with the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho in She has been with Northwest Justice Project since Her primary practice area is family law where she represents victims of domestic violence in family law cases. She is also the President of the Board of Directors for the Human Services Council; a local social services provider in Vancouver. She is an active member of Northwest Justice Project s Diversity Committee.
9 Nyjat Rose-Akins S EATTLE CITY A TTORNEY S OFFICE 700 Fifth Avenue Ste Seattle, WA Nyjat Rose-Akins is an Assistant City Attorney in the Seattle City Attorney s Office. Nyjat is currently assigned to the Specialty Courts team, focusing primarily in Mental Health Court. Prior to working in Mental Health Court, Nyjat was a domestic violence prosecutor for two and a half years. Nyjat has tried over forty jury trials involving defendants charged with crimes such as assault, violation of protection orders, obstruction, and driving under the influence. Before joining the City of Seattle, Nyjat worked in both the King County and Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney s Office. Nyjat has been an active member in the Loren Miller Bar Association and has served as a Member at Large from Nyjat was also the Dinner Chair for the Philip L. Burton Memorial Scholarship Dinner for the last two years. These scholarships are awarded to black and minority law students to assist with the growing cost of bar expenses. Under her leadership the scholarship foundation has raised over $85K and awarded over $50K in scholarship money. Prior to becoming a lawyer Nyjat worked as an Investment Analyst with GE Capital in Richmond, VA After living in Seattle for six months on business, Nyjat moved back to attend law school. Nyjat attended Seattle University School of Law and graduated in Nyjat was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to the United States at the age of seven. Nyjat grew up in Miami, FL and received her undergraduate degree in International Business with a concentration in finance from Howard University in Washington, DC. Nyjat enjoys traveling and eating delicious meals with her husband.
10 Julie Schaffer CENTER FOR JUSTICE 35 W. Main Ave Ste. 300 Spokane, WA Julie is a staff attorney at the Center for Justice, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization in Spokane, where she advocates for the community s most disempowered individuals. She directs the Center s Drivers Relicensing Program, which helps individuals climb out of the cycle of poverty and incarceration by removing the barriers to obtaining a valid license. In addition to direct client advocacy, Julie collaborates with a diverse coalition of community partners to implement independent civilian oversight of Spokane s police department and to create a local criminal justice system that ends its reliance on incarceration and instead allocates resources towards programs that actually reduce recidivism by addressing the root causes of each individual s criminal behavior. Julie graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor s degree in Political Science and Journalism. She went on to attend UW law school and landed her first legal position with the Snohomish County Prosecutor s Office, in its environmental and land use division. After taking a six month hiatus from law to pursue outdoor adventures in Alaska, she returned to her hometown of Spokane where she now lives with her husband Kyle and their trusty trail dog Eddy. When Julie s not at work, she s likely gardening, backpacking, backcountry skiing, or biking the trails near her home.
11 Stephanie Thorpe C HRISTOFFERSEN L AW, PS 1001 Fourth Ave., Suite 4400 Seattle, WA Stephanie Thorpe is an associate at Christoffersen Law, PS, in Seattle where she practices immigration law. Her practice focuses on business and family immigration, including visas for intercompany executive and manager transfers, specialty occupations, naturalization/citizenship, fiancé petitions, and family and business-based adjustment of status. Prior to joining Christoffersen Law, PS, she practiced as an associate at Rios & Cruz, PS, where she focused on immigration litigation, family-based immigration, and the U visa for crime victims. She has been a presenter and panelist on the topic of U visas for regional conferences and trainings, and she continues to represent crime victims petitioning for the U visa and adjustment of status. Stephanie is an active member of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW). She has served two terms on the LBAW Board, and continues to volunteer on LBAW s Judicial Evaluations Committee. She is also a member of the American Immigration Lawyer s Association, Washington Chapter (AILA WA) and currently serves as the Vice-Chair for the U visa Working Group. Stephanie enjoys working with students, and has been a frequent judge for the Thomas Tang Northwest Regional Moot Court competition. She has also volunteered to participate in programs for minority middle school and high school students to raise awareness that going to college and pursuing a career in law are real possibilities for individuals from all backgrounds. Born and raised in Southern California, she made the Pacific Northwest her home when she attended the University of Washington for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science in She earned her J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law in She is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Court for the Western District of Washington.
12 Rafael Urquia URQUIA LAW, PLLC 211 Taylor St., Ste. 32A Port Townsend, WA Rafael recently opened up his own law firm, Urquia Law, PLLC, to continue his mission to help as many people as possible. His primary practice is plaintiff s personal injury law, where he focuses on protecting the injured, their families, and their futures. Rafael moved to the Olympic Peninsula as an infant and grew up in Sequim, WA. After graduating from the University of Washington with a molecular biology degree, he attended Wake Forest Law School, where he focused on trial advocacy. During law school, Rafael interned at Legal Aid North Carolina and the Mecklenburg Prosecutor s Office. After law school, Rafael moved back to the most beautiful place on earth, the Olympic Peninsula. He quickly learned that as a lawyer he could help more than just his clients he could help the community in general. He has coached the Port Townsend Mock Trial team for several years, helping countless kids during this time. He has also served as the Jefferson County Bar Association Vice President for the past five years. As vice president, he has helped organize several CLEs, fundraisers, and law-related community events. Before opening up his own law firm, Rafael worked at the Jefferson County Prosecutor s Office for three years and a private personal injury law firm for another three years. He has conducted close to a hundred jury trials during this time. Finally, he proudly serves as a Pro Tem Judge for the Jefferson County District Court. Besides loving his community, he also loves running, the slow-food movement, and the Seahawks.
13 Theresa Hsin-Yi Wang S TOKES LAWRENCE, P. S Fifth Avenue, Suite 3000 Seattle, WA I was born a Canadian in Vancouver, British Columbia, but only stayed on the North end of that border until toddler-hood. Afterwards my parents immigrated to the United States where I grew up in a suburb outside of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from high school I decided to get some and Southern California flavor and went to University of California, San Diego and obtained degrees in the Study of Religion and Chinese Studies, with a Law and Society minor. A few years of blue skies turned out to be sufficient; I found myself missing the neutral sky palette of the Pacific Northwest. I returned to my home region and attended the University of Washington, School of Law, and graduated in During law school, I served as an intern for the Judiciary Committee of the Washington State Senate Committee Services and worked for the Honorable Judge David Armstrong of the Washington State Court of Appeals. For one year after graduation I served as a clerk to the Honorable Judge J. Robin Hunt also at the Washington State Court of Appeals. Since this time I have been a litigation associate at the law firm of Stokes Lawrence, P.S. I handle matters involving copyright, domestic and foreign trademarks, licensing and software protection. In addition to handling intellectual property litigation in the federal and state courts, I frequently appear on behalf of clients in matters before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board and handle complex commercial litigation, contract disputes and class action lawsuits on behalf of businesses and their owners.
14 Tracy Y. Williams L YBECK MURPHY 7900 SE 28th Street Fifth Floor Mercer Island, WA Tracy Y. Williams is a senior associate at Lybeck Murphy. She represents individual clients and businesses in complex environmental cleanup and contamination cases, natural resource damages actions, cost recovery and contribution actions, and government agency supervised clean ups in State and Federal courts throughout Washington. Ms. Williams also represents clients on appellate matters. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Williams served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable J. Robin Hunt and the Honorable C.C. Bridgewater (retired) of Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals. Ms. Williams is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the King County Bar Association. She presently serves as the Past Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Section of the King County Bar Association. Ms. Williams is also a mentor for the UW Law School Professional Mentor Program. She also has participated as a mentor for the King County Bar Association s Future of the Law Institute. Ms. Williams attended the University of Colorado School of Law where she was active in the Student Bar Association, including serving as President during her third year of school. She also was an Associate Editor for the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy. In her free time, Ms. Williams enjoys hiking, snow shoeing, volunteering in the community, and traveling.