Michael Avila, Fisher Phillips

Michael Avila Associate, Fisher Phillips

Practice Profile: Avila is an international employment and trade secrets litigator and counselor. He routinely advises on trade secrets protection strategies and restrictive covenant agreements for clients around the world. His practice also includes domestic and cross-border employment litigation and counseling, surrounding various wage and hour, contract and unfair/discriminatory dismissal claims.

Leadership Activity: Avila is a member of Fisher Phillips’ trade secrets and employee defections practice group, as well as the firm’s international employment practice group. In these capacities, he often writes and presents on behalf of the firm, on both a domestic and international level, concerning issues surrounding the ever-evolving world of trade secrets law and the complex realities of global employment law compliance. He is becoming a key opinion leader within these practice groups, especially with respect to issues surrounding employment law compliance in developing legal jurisdictions across Asia and Africa.

When he was with Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby and Rubin Fortunato & Harbison he served as a summer associate mentor. Every summer associate that he mentored received a full-time job offer.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Avila represents several charitable nongovernmental organizations (NGO) around the world on a deeply discounted basis. In both 2016 and 2017, he spent more than 250 hours per year in service of his NGO clients’ charitable missions.

Experience: Current employer; Fisher Phillips, June 2015-present; Rubin Fortunato & Harbison, 2013-1015; Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, 2011-2013.

Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2011; Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 2007.


Brett Berman, Fox Rothschild

Brett Berman Partner, Fox Rothschild

Practice Profile: Berman handles a variety of commercial and business litigation matters at the firm, from eminent domain/condemnation; securities industry; directors’ and officers’ liability and corporate governance; the financial services industry and valuation law.

He frequently represents his clients in multimillion-dollar cases related to shareholder disputes and construction and real estate litigation, including construction defects, violations of the Condominium Act and breaches of fiduciary duties by board members.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Berman has handled many quiet title cases during his time at Fox Rothschild and have been successful in all of them.

Experience: Current employer, 2006-present.

Education: Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, J.D., 2006; Rutgers University School of Business, MBA, 2006; George Washington University, BBA, 2003.


Mandi Bucceroni, Reger Rizzo & Darnall

Mandi Bucceroni Of Counsel, Reger Rizzo & Darnall

Practice Profile: Bucceroni focuses her practice on immigration law. She dedicates her practice to assisting clients, both individuals and corporations, with a wide range of Immigration and nationality law matters. Bucceroni works closely with clients to review all options of immigration relief and determine the best course of action.

“I have always been impressed by Mandi’s drive and ingenuity,” said Louis J. Rizzo Jr., Reger Rizzo & Darnall managing partner. “After graduation, she started her own firm prior to joining our firm in 2015. Her previous experience in various roles within the industry provides her with a unique perspective when working with clients, which few others possess.”

Leadership Activity: At her previous firm, the Law Office of Mandi B. Bucceroni, she was the founder and owner. She was responsible for all aspects of firm operations, including staffing, administration, business development, finance, etc.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Bucceroni always offers up her time for pro bono work. She takes at least two uncontested divorce cases a year through South Jersey Legal Services, Inc. She is working on a case for the Homeless Advocacy Project where she is helping a woman get access to her immigration records and she provides free consultations through several local organizations.

Experience: Current employer, 2015-present; Law Office of Mandi B. Bucceroni, May 2014-2015.

Education: Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, J.D., 2013; Rosemont College, MBA, 2013; The Ohio State University, B.S. 2005.


Dana Chilson, McNees Wallace & Nurick

Dana Chilson Member, McNees Wallace & Nurick

Practice Profile: Chilson practices insurance law. She serves as chair of  the firm’s insurance group. She is also a member of the corporate & tax, eminent domain, financial services, injunction, litigation and public sector groups.

Chilson has particular experience in counseling on shareholder and corporate rights, as well as litigating business divorces. Major clients include Sunoco, PNC Bank and the Pennsylvania State Employee Credit Union.

Leadership Activity: Chilson is currently chair of the firm’s insurance group, a member of the the firm’s women’s network committee, a junior associate and paralegal mentor, a member of the legal project management committee. And in the past she was a member of the firm’s hiring committee and futures committee.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: She represented a parent in a custody dispute as part of the Dauphin County Bar Association’s custody mentor program and assisted low-income housing center with a tenant dispute.

Experience: Current employer, 2008-present; Office of Consumer Advocate, Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, May 2006-December 2007.

Education: The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, J.D., 2008; Duquesne University, B.A., 2005.


Luke Debevec, Reed Smith

Luke Debevec Partner. Reed Smith

Practice Profile: Debevec’s practice focuses on insurance recovery, the representation of insurance policyholders and insureds, and their captives, in insurance recovery and reinsurance matters.

Practice includes advice, strategy, negotiation, litigation and arbitration, nationally and internationally, as well as counseling clients on insurance program structure, policy wording, and risk management in corporate transactions.

Leadership Activity: Debevec is the founding partner co-chair and current board member of LEADRS (Looking For Excellence and Advancement of Disabled Attorneys at Reed Smith), a global affinity group within Reed Smith’s diversity and inclusion initiative. LEADRS strives to support and enhance the professional, personal, and career development of attorneys with disabilities of all types, physical and mental.

He also is also a member of the firm’s global diversity and inclusion steering committee and a board member of the Philadelphia Diversity Recruiting Committee.

Debevec, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014, proposed and organized Reed Smith’s 2017 Diversity Summit (eight days prior to his second brain surgery). He conceived and began organizing a conference around issues impacting fellow attorneys with disability, to inspire a “virtuous circle” among other partners, clients, law firm competitors and the community.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Debevec represents indigent clients in Philadephia and suburban areas who are seeking to change their names legally. He oversees summer associates in pro bono work during the summer program. He also learned the disability guardianship legal process in 2017; represented his first indigent clients successfully in gaining guardianship of their (now) adult son with significant disabilities; taught a CLE to teach other attorneys how to do this work, and he has a second training program planned for this year.

Experience: Current employer, 2008-present; Anderson Kill, 2005-2007; Yost & Tretta, 2004-2005.

Education: Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2004; Georgetown College, A.B., 2001.


Sarah Eastburn, Eastburn & Gray

Sarah Eastburn Associate, Eastburn & Gray

Practice Profile: Eastburn practices in the areas of wills, trusts and estates, litigation and taxation.

She routinely advises clients in all stages of estate planning including wealth transfer, asset protection and succession strategies. She focuses her practice on estate and tax planning, estate and trust administration, and estate litigation.

“I have been working with lawyers for almost 15 years; my expectations of others in the office and in the legal profession are high,” said Nancy L. Gimbol, director of marketing for the firm. “Sarah continuously impresses me.”

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Eastburn represents several clients on pro bono matters. She also frequently counsels nonprofit organizations and individuals on matters related to corporate and business law.

She was appointed to the board of directors of the Bucks County Symphony Orchestra, an organization that has served the community for over 60 years. She is a member of the Doylestown 9/11 Heroes Run Committee, which benefits the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization assisting American veterans and their families. She was also elected to the board of directors and currently serves as the secretary to the board, of the Central Bucks Family YMCA.

Experience: Current employer, 2013-present.

Education: Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., 2013; Villanova University School of Law, LL.M, 2016; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2007.


Kristen Feden, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young

Kristen Feden Associate, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young

Practice Profile: Feden concentrates her practice on complex commercial and class-action litigation, employment and labor and white-collar defense.

Prior to joining the firm, Feden was assistant district attorney in the Trials Division of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, where she served as captain of the Elder Abuse Unit and the Domestic Violence Unit, and as a member of the Sex Crimes Unit.

Leadership Activity: She is currently a member of the firm’s diversity committee.

At Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, she served as captain of the Elder Abuse Unit (July 2015-August 2017), captain of the Domestic Violence Unit (January 2017-August 2017), and Team Lead of the Sex Crimes Unit (September 2016-August 2017).

She also served as lead community service outreach coordinator throughout the county (2013-August 2017).

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Feden is committed to pro bono work and volunteers her time as a board member and active participant in the Cheltenham Police Athletic League, and as a member of the Disproportionate Minority Contact-Safer Streets Task Force, a group focusing on engaging in activities toward enhancing a positive relationship between police and community.

Experience: Current employer, September 2017-present; Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, July 2012–September 2017.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2009; Lafayette University, B.S. neuroscience 2004.


Michele Fenkel, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller

Michele Fenkel Shareholder, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller

Practice Profile: Fenkel has a corporate and transactions practice at the firm. She is a business lawyer with more than a decade of legal practice experience representing public and private companies of all sizes, as well as individuals, in a broad range of business law matters.

She adds value for her clients and brings a unique perspective to her work by leveraging her practical business experiences at Goldman Sachs and in helping to operate a nonprofit that focused on the 9/11 recovery efforts in New York.

Leadership Activity: Fenkel enjoys many leadership roles at the firm. She is co-chair, hiring committee (2012-present) where she is responsible for recruiting and hiring attorneys in line with the firm’s exacting standards. She mentors associates, she was elected by her peers to represent and serve as the voice of the associates on the firm’s board of directors. She is also on the firm’s website and office space committees.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: She offers corporate governance advice to nonprofit organizations.

Experience: Current employer, 2009-present; WolfBlock, 2006-2009; Goldman Sachs & Co., 2000-2003.

Education: Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2006; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2000.


Scott J.G. Finger, Hofstein Weiner & Meyer

Scott J.G. Finger Shareholder, Hofstein Weiner & Meyer

Practice Profile: Finger practices family law. The work he performs for his clients includes negotiating and preparing prenuptial, postnuptial and marital dissolution agreements, litigating and arbitrating support, divorce, equitable distribution, alimony, custody, abuse and relocation matters.

“As a young lawyer, Scott quickly developed expertise in all areas of family law, including becoming the firm ‘go to’ attorney regarding support matters. He took on challenging issues and began representing his own clients in complex custody and economic matters. Recognizing his development, Scott was elevated to partnership status,” said Charles J. Meyer, shareholder with the firm.

Leadership Activity:  He’s a member of the Barrack Hebrew Academy gala committee.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Finger logged about 10 hours of pro bono work in 2017 and served as a volunteer for the Volunteers Indigent Program; he also volunteered to consult with pro se clients handling their own cases and he has served as a volunteer for the family law help center at the Philadelphia County Family Courthouse.

Experience: Current employer, 2005-present.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2006; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2002.


Klair Fitzpatrick, Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Klair Fitzpatrick Associate, Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Practice Profile: Fitzpatrick’s practice focuses on labor and employment law.

She represents employers in a wide range of employment disputes, with a focus on class and collective actions involving systemic discrimination claims; complex multi-plaintiff matters, including ERISA matters; and harassment and discrimination cases. Fitzpatrick also handles sensitive internal investigations involving alleged sexual harassment, workplace misconduct, and claims by whistleblowers based on purported violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“Klair’s practice focuses on complicated cases that require strategic thinking, attention to detail, and a creative approach,” said Joseph Costello, Morgan Lewis & Bockius partner.

Leadership Activity: Fitzpatrick has a long list of leadership roles to mention. She is currently vice chair of the firm’s returning to work diversity lawyer network. This diversity network provides support and initiatives for lawyers who take extended leaves (i.e., more than eight weeks). She serves as chair of the Philadelphia Associates Committee. In this role, she acts as a liaison between Philadelphia associates and firm leadership. She is a member of the Philadelphia Recruiting Committee. In this role, Fitzpatrick assists with interviewing and selecting new associates for the Philadelphia office. She is also a member of the firm’s steering committee and the Philadelphia office’s women’s network. In this role, she helps coordinate networking and other events to support the development of women at the firm’s office in Philadelphia.

She is also a member of the firm’s United Way Committee where she helps coordinate the firm’s annual United Way campaign by organizing events and encouraging associates to donate to the United Way and its many worthy causes.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: In 2017, she billed 47.32 pro bono hours.

Among her cases, she acted as the lead advocate on a team that successfully secured a victory for our asylum clients, a mother and her 3-year-old daughter trying to avoid being sent back to war-torn Syria; represented a prisoner in a civil rights lawsuit against Philadelphia and several individual defendants and she has been charged with coordinating staffing at the firm of all pro bono matters from the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP), and she and a team currently are representing a juvenile offender who was sentenced to life in prison and who now is seeking a new sentence under the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller.

Experience: Current employer, 2011-present; Office of the Managing Director, City of Philadelphia, August 2010–January 2011.

Education: University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2010; University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2005.


James Franklin, McNees Wallace & Nurick.

James Franklin Member, McNees Wallace & Nurick

Practice Profile: Franklin is an attorney in the litigation, transportation, distribution and logistics, and personal injury groups.

In his practice, Franklin represents commercial and business clients in a wide variety of disputes, and also represents individuals who have suffered significant personal injuries. He has substantial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants and both businesses and individuals.

Leadership Activity: Franklin is the incoming chair of the firm’s personal injury practice group, the current chair of the ALFA committee and a member of the firm’s 2026 futures committee. He also mentors firm associates.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: In 2017, he logged over 25 hours of pro bono work. He volunteers as a member of Dauphin County Bar Association’s public service committee, where he offers pro bono advice and counseling to indigent personal injury victims.

He also offers advice regarding landlord/tenant disputes, including having assisted clients with the recovery of their unlawfully detained property and personal belongings. He has offered advice  regarding insurance coverage issues, business succession planning, bylaws review and drafting, and drafting a strategic plan.

Experience: Current employer, 2009-present.

Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 2009; University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 2006.


Melissa Fundora Murphy, with Blank Rome..

Melissa Fundora Murphy Associate, Blank Rome

Practice Profile: Murphy concentrates her practice on business litigation. She advises and counsels clients at all stages of litigation, from risk management and litigation prevention to trial and appeal. She represents clients in a diverse range of complex litigation matters, including breach of contract, fraud, business torts, class actions, personal injury/wrongful death, negligence and white collar government investigations.

“Melissa is already developing a varied and accomplished practice, concentrating in the areas including class actions, telecommunications and business disputes,” said Daniel E. Rhynhart, vice chair of the firm’s litigation department.

Major clients include Chiquita Brands International, T-Mobile USA and Saxby’s Coffee.

Leadership Activity: Murphy was appointed to the associates committee by firm leadership in 2017. She is currently serving a second-year term on the committee. As a member of the committee, she serves as a liaison between associates and firm management on a broad range of initiatives.

She is also actively involved in recruitment and hiring efforts for the firm, and represents the firm at interview days for the Philadelphia Area Diversity Job Fair and the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group. Murphy is an active member of the firm’s pro bono initiatives and has received the firm’s pro bono award for her service. She also mentors first-year associates at the firm.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Murphy logged nearly 56 hours of pro bono work in 2017. She  currently represents an individual who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a crime committed as a juvenile. He is in the process of being resentenced in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that life without parole sentences are unconstitutional for juveniles.

She successfully represented a veteran who was uninsured during a car accident. She has drafted wills and estate planning documents for low-income seniors through the Senior Law Project. And she recently helped a young woman secure guardianship of her disabled sister after their parents passed away.

Experience: Current employer, 2013-present.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2013; Duke University, B.A., 2008.


Eleanor Vaida Gerhards, with Fox Rothschild.

Eleanor Vaida Gerhards Partner, Fox Rothschild

Practice Profile: Gerhards practices corporate law. She handles franchising, licensing and distribution; insurance; emerging companies and venture capital; privacy and data security; mergers and acquisitions; hospitality and public companies.

Gerhards also works with entrepreneurs and start-up companies as well as established and emerging growth companies in the particular requirements, challenges and opportunities of their businesses. She has experience drafting operating and shareholders’ agreements, noncompetition agreements, private offering documents, supply and vendor agreements, commercial agreements and asset and stock purchase agreements.

Leadership Activity: Gerhards is co-chair of the franchising and distribution practice group and a certified franchise executive—a designation received from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives, an academic branch of the International Franchise Association’s Educational Foundation. She co-leads a team of more than 40 attorneys in 21 offices coast to coast who represent franchise and distribution companies across all classes of industrial, retail, food, entertainment, service, technology or home-based businesses.

She is also a corporate administrator. In this role, she oversees and manages the interviewing and hiring of new corporate personnel, allocation of work, organization of corporate internal events and related administrative issues for her office corporate transactional department of eight partners, three associates and one paralegal, reporting to the firmwide corporate department chair.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Gerhards donates her time in a wide range of pro bono matters. She represents local nonprofits in business and corporate matters, volunteers free basic estate planning documents to first responders (including police, firefighters and paramedics) in the Wills For Heroes program and argued successfully before the New Jersey State Parole Board for the prison release of an indigent client on a parole violation.

Experience: Current employer, September 2007-present.

Education: Duquesne University, J.D., 2007; Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 2002.


Melissa Gibson, with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Melissa Gibson Counsel, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Practice Profile: Gibson practices law in the area of intellectual property with an emphasis on patent infringement litigation in the life sciences and chemical industries.

“Melissa joined our group as a patent litigator in spring 2014 from a prestigious IP boutique in New York City, Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto and quickly became an indispensable member of the group,” said Dianne B. Elderkin, partner at the firm and head Akin Gump’s life sciences intellectual property group.

“Melissa’s pre-law school background as a research biochemist, with a master’s degree in biotechnology, make her particularly well suited for representing our clients in lawsuits involving this groundbreaking technology,” Elderkin added.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Gibson logged 440 hours of pro bono service in 2017. She is currently representing a 19-year old Salvadoran boy seeking asylum or relief under the Convention Against Torture. And she is defending a client, who as a juvenile received a mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of parole, in a resentencing hearing, pursuing the argument that the sentence was unconstitutional.

Experience: Current employer, June 2014-present; Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, October 2009-May 2014.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2009; Columbia University and Muhlenberg College, B.S., 2001.


Meredith Graham, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir.

Meredith Odato Graham Associate, Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir

Practice Profile: Graham focuses her practice on environmental law, energy and natural resources. She assists clients with a variety of environmental matters and focuses her practice on federal, state, and local regulatory and permitting issues arising under the Clean Air Act.

Leadership Activity: Graham is a member of the firm’s associates committee where she coordinates monthly programming (educational and social) for more than 40 associate attorneys and serves as liaison between associates and leadership of the firm. She also serves as a summer associate coordinator, organizing and managing the summer associate program for the environmental practice group, from student intake to end-of-summer reviews, resulting in two additions to the firm. She is responsible for managing summer associate workload and programming such as substantive trainings, mentor lunches and industrial site field trips.

Additionally, she serves as a mentor to summer associates and younger associates to foster professional and personal development and she was the Shale Energy Law Blog managing editor, where she coordinated with attorney colleagues and marketing staff to draft and edit content for the firm’s energy blog in response to legal updates affecting companies operating in the Appalachian Basin.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Graham was appointed to serve by Gov. Tom Wolf on the Pennsylvania Conservation & Natural Resources Advisory Council (CNRAC). She also served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine and she currently serves on the University of Pittsburgh Law Alumni Association (UPLAA) Board of Governors.

Experience: Current employer, September 2011-present.

Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 2011; Cornell University, B.S., 2008.


Stephanie Henrick, with High Swartz.

Stephanie Henrick Associate, High Swartz

Practice Profile: Henrick concentrates her practice in estate planning, estate administration, tax law and Social Security disability. Her approach to estate planning provides her clients with personalized attention to address their unique circumstances. She reviews all elements of her clients’ financial and personal situations with attention to detail, which enables her to plan accordingly so her clients’ wishes are fulfilled. She works closely with her clients to create a seamless process of passing down their legacies and protecting their heirs.

Leadership Activity: Henrick showcases her leadership qualities in a number of ways at the firm. She analyzed and resolved dormant files in the estates department and revised estates department protocol and procedures, she created protocol for firm employees and regularly drafts estate planning documents for employees free of charge. She is also a member of the firm’s training committee where she instituted a procedure for FAQ popups in the case management system for the firm.

She has also been a resource to all members in the firm regarding implications of the Tax Act on the practice of law. And she worked with the firm’s managing partner to draft firm policy and procedures to prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: She logged 40 hours of pro bono work in 2017 and has logged 20 hours this year. She regularly drafts wills and POAs for indigent persons through the Wills for Heroes Foundation and provides legal advice to Pottstown Downtown Improvement District Authority (PDIDA) a nonprofit organization.

Experience: Current employer, 2014-present; Law Offices of Elizabeth R. Howard, 2006-2014.

Education: Widener University School of Law, J.D., 2007; Villanova University, B.A., 2003.


Charlie Lyu, Baker Hostetler.

Charlie Lyu Associate, Baker Hostetler

Practice Profile: Lyu focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and trademark and copyright prosecution. He routinely handles patent, trademark, copyright and indemnity disputes, and has represented companies both large and small in federal court and U.S. International Trade Commission litigations.

He also routinely counsels clients on domestic and international trademark procurement, clearance and registration. Major clients include Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft and Sears.

Leadership Activity: Lyu served as an associate mentor to summer associates in 2012 and 2013. He has served as an associate mentor to new associates and he currently serves on the office’s diversity committee.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: With 30 hours logged in 2017 and 102 hours in 2016, Lyu is always an active participant in pro bono work. He volunteers for the veterans consortium pro bono program where he represents veterans in appeal of denial of claim by the Veterans Administration.

He also provides ongoing trademark prosecution services to the Judith Liebenthal Robinson Ovarian Cancer Fund.

Experience: Current employer, 2008-present.

Education: University of Miami School of Law, J.D., 2008; Emory University, B.A., 2003.


Kimberly Magrini, Ballard Spahr

Kimberly Magrini Associate, Ballard Spahr

Practice Profile: Magrini concentrates her practice on public finance, energy and project finance, health care, municipal recovery, municipal securities regulation and enforcement, higher education, housing bonds, bankruptcy, reorganization and capital recovery and housing.

She acts as counsel to municipalities, underwriters, placement agents, and investors in municipal financings, including distressed financings, high-yield offerings, secondary market transactions, and municipal bankruptcies and workouts.

Leadership Activity: She is a member of the firm’s pro bono and associates committees.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Magrini is active in pro bono work. She was part of team that represented players on the Women’s National Ice Hockey Team (WNT) as they pursued gender equality with USA Hockey. On behalf of the players, she fought for equitable compensation, expanded programming, and for inclusion in strategic marketing and promotions. She served as a child advocate through the Support Center for Child Advocates.

Additionally, Magrini provided legal representation and social service advocacy to abused/neglected children or sibling groups in Philadelphia County and she represented clients through the Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP), in which she helped homeless adults obtain birth certificates so that they could gain access to public benefits, housing and photo IDs.

Experience: Current employer, September 2011-present.

Education: Drexel University School of Law, J.D., Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 2004; Drexel University, M.S., 2006.


Sara McCormick, Ballard Spahr

Sara McCormick Associate, Ballard Spahr 

Practice Profile: McCormick practices real estate law. She concentrates her practice on  a variety of commercial real estate matters, including all phases of leasing, acquisitions, dispositions, development transactions, joint ventures and fund formation and investments.

Her clients include national and international companies, including those in the industrial, pharmaceutical, and energy sectors, REITs, private equity, and pension funds.

Leadership Activity: She a member of the firm’s hiring committee, summer associate committee and Ballard Women.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: In 2017, McCormick logged over 200 hours of pro bono work. Her work on pro bono cases and matters has not only provided help to individuals and organizations, it has raised public awareness of legal issues in important areas of law.

She has participated in a clemency project, a citywide record expungement effort and guardianship cases to name a few.

Experience: Current employer, August 2015-present; Spruce Law Group, September 2013-August 2015; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, February 2008-August 2013.

Education: The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2005; Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 2002.


Luke McLoughlin, Duane Morris

Luke McLoughlin Partner, Duane Morris

Practice Profile: McLoughlin is a partner in the trial practice group at the firm. He concentrates his practice on complex litigation matters, and has significant experience representing clients in business disputes involving financial instruments, trade secrets, software and contracts.

“Luke is called on daily to provide sober legal advice that helps firm clients manage risk and successfully navigate an ever-changing business environment filled with tough competitors and complex legal landscapes, said Anthony L. Gallia, a partner with the firm. “Luke’s consistently growing client base reflects the confidence clients, new and old, have in Luke’s skills and work product.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: McLoughlin received the 2016 Duane Morris Pro Bono Award for his work representing the National Veteran Small Business Coalition and numerous other national veterans’ organizations and veteran-owned businesses as amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case affecting billions of dollars of government contracts and thousands of veteran-owned small businesses.

In 2017, he logged 20 hours of pro bono service. He represented the National Veteran Small Business Coalition, other national veterans organizations, and numerous veteran-owned small businesses as amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court and he was part of a legal team that achieved a landmark settlement in the Southern District of New York on behalf of a class of more than 22,000 New York City residents who alleged that their landlord systematically violated state and federal laws.

Experience: Current employer, 2011-present; Jenner & Block, 2007-2011.

Education: New York University School of Law, J.D., 2005; Harvard University, A.B., 2000.


Sarah Murray, Gross McGinley.

Sarah Murray Partner, Gross McGinley

Practice Profile: Murray’s practice focuses mainly on business law. She concentrates her practice in the areas of in the areas of corporate law, contracts and agreements, real estate and municipal law. Murray has extensive knowledge in commercial and residential real estate transactions and land development.

“Gross McGinley is excited to have a young, motivated transactional attorney like Sarah who is passionate about the work she does and is an active leader in the legal community,” said Madlen J. Miller, director of business development and marketing at the firm.

Leadership Activity: She currently serves as the solicitor to Lehigh County as well as assistant solicitor to Whitehall Township.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Murray serves on the board of trustees for the Cetronia Ambulance Corps., she is a coach for the Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley and has served as a volunteer and member of the board of directors for the organization in the past.

She is also a member of the Young Professionals Council of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Experience: Current employer, 2016-present; Zator Law Offices, September 2006-May 2016; Nauman, Smith, Shissler, and Hall, May 2005-April 2006.

Education: Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2006; Tulane University, B.S., 2003; Pennsylvania State University, M.B.A., 2006.


Brian Nath, Cozen O’Connor

Brian Nath Associate, Cozen O’Connor

Practice Profile: Nath focuses his practice on real estate law. He represents clients in acquisition and disposition, development, financing, leasing, joint venture, and zoning and land use issues.

“Brian is an exceptional attorney and co-worker,” said Bernard Lee, co-chair of the firm’s real estate practice group. “As Brian develops as an attorney he has become one of the go-to persons for the younger attorneys who look up to him as a professional who has made great strides in a short period of time and is willing to share his experience and knowledge.”

Leadership Activity: Nath serves as a mentor for new associates at the firm. In the past, he served as the editor in chief, Temple International & Comparative Law Journal.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: In 2017, Nath logged about 17 hours of pro bono service. He helped prepare estate planning documents for firefighters, police officers, EMTs and veterans. He acted as general counsel for a nonprofit organization that runs community programs for disadvantaged children and handled leasing and real estate matters, employment matters and contract issues for them. He also assisted a nonprofit organization with zoning and other permit matters.

Experience: Current employer, 2012-present.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2013; Pennsylvania State University, B.S., 2003; Temple University, M.B.A., 2013.


Lauren O’Donnell, Blank Rome.

Lauren O’Donnell Associate, Blank Rome

Practice Profile: O’Donnell’s practice focuses on products liability defense, white collar defense and investigations and commercial litigation.

She regularly counsels clients in white collar criminal defense matters, internal investigations, and health care fraud and abuse. She also handles products liability cases, defending companies that design and manufacture medical devices and pharmaceuticals, as well as chemical companies, in federal and state litigation.

Leadership Activity: O’Donnell serves on the firm’s recruiting and retention committee and she served as co-chair  of the summer associate program in 2015.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: O’Donnell has logged nearly 50 hours of service to pro bono activities. Among her accomplishments, she currently represents a juvenile sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in resentencing. Prior representations include a parole revocation matter, a Social Security appeal, and the successful dismissal of a property owner in a personal injury matter.

Experience: Current employer, 2003-present.

Education: Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 2009; Boston University, B.A., 2006.


Nicole O’Hara, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Nicole O’Hara Associate, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Practice Profile: O’Hara practices business, employment, intellectual property and internet law. She has facilitated global transactions among multiples parties in businesses large and small. Deals she has worked on range from IT-related contracts to service and subscription agreements, including software- and platform-as-a-service to domain name registration, monitoring and hosting.

Major clients include a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey where she handled general business, intellectual property matters and related business transactions and a national retail crafting business.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: O’Hara devoted 15 hours of her time to pro bono services in 2017. Additionally, she serves as a board member for LifePath Foundation, is a board member for the Rutgers Alumni of Greater Philadelphia and a board member for the Neighborhood Center of Allentown.

She also serves on the LGBT business council for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Experience: Current employer, April 2018-present; Gross McGinley, 2013-March 2018.

Education: Rutgers Camden School of Law, J.D., 2010; Rutgers University New Brunswick, B.S., 2005.


Christina Riggs, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Christina Riggs Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

Practice Profile: Riggs’ practice has a focus on higher education. She concentrates her practice on complex commercial and appellate matters, particularly for higher education institutions. Her work for colleges and universities includes defending and advising them on critical issues of compliance, policy and liability, particularly those associated with Title IX, the Clery Act, VAWA, and student conduct matters. She also defends educational institutions facing ADA discrimination claims.

“As a mid-level associate, Christina developed a passion for higher education matters an quickly ascended to a leadership position as a vice chair of our higher education practice group in 2015,” said Edward J. Baines, a partner with the firm. “Christina has successfully handled many high-profile, novel cases in the higher education arena.”

Leadership Activity: Riggs takes on many leadership roles at the firm. She is vice chair of the higher education practice group, editor of the firm’s higher education practice group newsletter, a Philadelphia paralegal work flow coordinator, a member of the firm’s hiring committee and, in the past, she served as a work flow coordinator for the firm’s summer program.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Riggs maintains an active pro bono workload.

She obtained a full defense verdict and dismissal of all charges following a bench trial for a domestic relations case in New Jersey, she successfully negotiated a settlement for an injured prisoner and successfully negotiated a settlement for an individual Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Experience: Current employer, 2007-present.

Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2007; Lehigh University, B.S., 2004.


William Roark, Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin.

William Roark Principal, Hamburg Rubin Mullin Maxwell & Lupin

Practice Profile: Roark has a practice that concentrates on medical marijuana law, environmental law, environmental litigation and catastrophic injury cases.

He serves as chair of the firm’s medical marijuana practice and represents individuals and businesses in the medical marijuana industry by helping them comply with Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. He assists clients to understand the permitting application process and the requirements associated with entering this industry.

Leadership Activity: He is chair of the firm’s medical marijuana practice and is co-chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s medical marijuana and hemp law committee.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Roark serves as a board member for the Legal Aid of South East Pennsylvania.

Experience: Current employer, 2005-present.

Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2006; Bucknell University, B.A., 2003.

Edward Robson, Robson & Robson.

Edward Robson Co-founder, managing shareholder, Robson & Robson

Practice Profile: Robson concentrates his practice on commercial litigation, corporate law, commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, employment and commercial real estate.

He also advises closely-held businesses of all types including those in the construction, manufacturing, professional services and technology industries. He has written and taught on a variety of topics affecting business.

Leadership Activity: As the co-founder and managing shareholder of Robson & Robson, he manages all aspects of the law firm including business development, operations, marketing, staff coordination and case planning and execution. Robson is responsible for managing approximately 150 active clients.

He has also served on the board of directors of Radnor Fire Co. for six years where he oversaw the operations of a large suburban fire company with an annual budget of several million dollars and a unionized workforce.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: He provides pro bono service to Wills for Heroes, the Face to Face birth certificate program where he assists indigent persons in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia to obtain birth certificates.

He also represents a small West Chester-based nonprofit which focuses on providing physical fitness classes to children with Autism spectrum disorders.

Experience: Current employer, 2011-present; Siana, Bellwoar & McAndrew, 2010-2011.

Education: Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 2009; Villanova University, B.A., 2006.

Jordan Schlossberg, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel.

Jordan Schlossberg Partner, Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel

Practice Profile: Schlossberg focuses his practice on civil litigation with a strong emphasis on personal injury, Orphan’s Court litigation (trusts, estates and will contests); litigation of business disputes and other commercial litigation matters.

“His analysis of every case he touches is truly why I believe he stands out from the crowd. Jordan thinks about his opening statement and closing argument very soon after an initial client meeting, a trait often preached but not always followed,” said David Woloshin, chairman of the litigation and personal injury department at the firm. “Jordan analyzes the facts, the controlling law, develops an effective strategy for each case he is assigned, and absorbs volumes of information quickly, regardless of the topic.”

Leadership Activity: He has been a partner at the firm since 2016 and a law school recruitment chair since 2014.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Schlossberg logged nearly 25 hours of pro bono service in 2017.

He is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Young Lawyers Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Experience: Current employer, October 2012-present; Lundy Law, October 2009-October 2012.

Education: Widener University Delaware Law School, J.D., 2009; University of Pittsburgh, B.A. 2006.

Allison Sizemore, Reed Smith.

Allison Sizemore Partner, Reed Smith

Practice Profile: Sizemore’s practice focuses on employee benefits and executive compensation. Among her areas of focus are the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule, voluntary compliance for qualified plans, documentation and disclosure for qualified and nonqualified plans, executive compensation (including Code Sections 409A and 457), counseling regarding day-to-day benefits administration and compliance, health and welfare plan matters, and withdrawal liability and other multi-employer plan issues.

Leadership Activity: Sizemore exhibits many leadership qualities at the firm. She is a member of firm’s Pittsburgh office recruiting committee and summer subcommittee where she focuses on recruitment of entry-level talent, including hands-on participation in mentorship, development, and placement of summer associates and junior associates. Responsibilities include regularly interviewing, reviewing, and seeking out entry-level and lateral candidates, and planning and attending recruiting events.

She also serves as chair of the “ReturnRS” program of the women’s initiative network of Reed Smith in the Pittsburgh office and is a member of the women’s leadership which is focused on programs and events to assist associates, counsel, and other professionals prior to and following parental leave.

She is also one of two members of the women’s initiative of Reed Smith (WINRS) taskforce which has a focus on retention initiatives and associated programming.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: Sizemore actively participates in volunteer work. She assisted five members of the Pittsburgh transgender community to obtain legal name changes; provided pro bono employee benefits counsel to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Symphony and Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh; assisted the National Women’s Law Center with its response to proposed regulations regarding contraceptive coverage and assisted a developing business in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood with employment and corporate matters, through Urban Innovation21 program.

Experience: Current employer, July 2012-present; Cohen & Grigsby, September 2009-July 2012;

Education: Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 2009; St. Bonaventure University, B.A., 2004.

Angel Mae Webby-Zola, Zola Law Offices.

Angel Mae Webby-Zola Partner, Zola Law Offices

Practice Profile: Webby-Zola’s areas of practice include civil litigation including personal injury, products liability, workers’ compensation, social security disability, medical malpractice, toxic tort, family law, contracts and criminal law.

Leadership Activity: She manages the staff and all cases.

Pro Bono and Civic Work: She is the president of Meals on Wheels in Hazleton, a board member of NEPATLA (Northeastern Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association) and served as a coach for Hazleton’s mock trial.

Experience: Current employer, 2009-present; Falvello Law Firm, 2009; Powell Law Group, 2004-2009.

Education: Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2004; King’s College, B.S., 2001.