Learn About LBAW

view this video to learn more about us

MISSION STATEMENT

The purpose of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington is to represent the concerns and goals of Latino attorneys and Latino people of the State of Washington. To do so, we encourage and promote the active participation of all Latino attorneys and seek the involvement of Latino community, political, governmental, educational, and business leaders.

Efforts are made to encourage and assist Latino students and to recognize the needs and voice the concerns of Latino people and their communities. LBAW recognizes the importance of promoting Latino judicial appointments, encouraging respect for the integrity of the judicial system, and advocating for fairness and equality.

Further, it is our goal to become a unified and active participant within the legal community of the State of Washington and assist in providing solutions to the problems that confront our legal system and communities.

LBAW BOARD MEMBERS

President: Debbie Akhbari

Debbie Ahkbari is a commercial litigator with the Seattle law firm Helsell Fetterman LLP. Debbie represents both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial disputes, property disputes, insurance coverage and personal injury actions. In addition to serving on the Board of LBAW, she is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Washington Women Lawyers, and the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington. Debbie also serves as the co-chair for the Puget Sound Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society. An alumna of Seattle University School of Law, Debbie mentors law students and is a member of the law school’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) steering committee.

Immediate Past-President: Verónica Quiñónez

Verónica Quiñónez is the owner of Veronica Quinonez Law, PLLC. Her practice focuses on providing legal representation and mediation services in the area of family law. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Seattle University School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at El Paso. Verónica is also a 2017 graduate of the UW Law Washington Leadership Institute. She has previously served as LBAW’s President-Elect and Director of Clinics, and currently serves as the Deputy President of Programs for Region XVI of the Hispanic National Bar Association. During her free time, Verónica enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, cooking, traveling, and volunteering.

President-Elect: Vanessa Arno Martinez

Vanessa was born and raised in Alaska. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2013 and was admitted to practice law the same year. Vanessa has been practicing immigration law ever since. She has focused on representing survivors of violence in rural eastern Washington. Vanessa represents minors and adult immigrant survivors of violence affirmatively, before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and defensively, before the immigration court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Vanessa previously served on the LBAW board in the role of secretary.

Director of Legal Clinics: Yessenia Medrano

Yessenia is a staff attorney with the Family Services Unit at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) in Seattle. She directly represents individuals in family-based visa petitions and defends people in removal proceedings. Before joining NWIRP in June of 2018, she was a staff attorney with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Florence, Arizona, where she provided pro se assistance and direct representation to detained adults facing deportation.

Treasurer: Tyler Santiago

Tyler is a partner at Anderson Santiago PLLC where his practice focuses on protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices, especially that of debt collectors. Prior to establishing his current firm, Tyler spent several years in different roles at prosecutor’s offices in Washington and Alaska. In his spare time, he likes to spend time with his wife and four children, exploring all that Washington has to offer.

Secretary: Mina Shahin

Mina Shahin is an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the WA Attorney General. Mina graduated with honors from Seattle University School of Law, and was the inaugural recipient of the Justice Mary E. Fairhurst Public Interest Law Foundation Grant for her work at the Northwest Justice Project, providing assistance to indigent tenants facing eviction.

VP of Programs and Membership: Susana Ruiz

Susana Ruiz is an associate attorney at S.L. Pitts, PC. Her practice is focused on family law, including dissolutions and custody disputes. Susana graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where she was a law clerk with the Moderate Means Program for three years and a law clerk with the Children and Youth Advocacy Clinic. Her primary focus as a law clerk was advocating for youth and families. Prior to joining S.L. Pitts, PC, Susana was a legal extern with the King County Department of Public Defense, where she advocated for her clients both in and outside of the courtroom. Susana is passionate about encouraging students to get involved and to join LBAW in its efforts to reach more of the community.

Vice President of Communications: Andrew Quecan

Andrew F. Quecan is an associate and registered patent attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where his intellectual property practice focuses on patent preparation and prosecution and counseling of clients in the fields ranging from semiconductor devices and materials, to photonics and optoelectronic, and to machine learning & artificial intelligence. His practice includes strategic counseling regarding licensing and intellectual property litigation matters. While serving as the VP of Communications on the Board, Andrew is also an active volunteer attorney at the Seattle-based LBAW legal clinics, providing limited, legal advice on family and landlord/tenant law issues. Prior to becoming an attorney, Andrew studied at the University of South Florida, Tampa; Stanford University; and the University of Texas School of Law. In his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking and camping across the vast outdoors that makes Washington State such a wonderful place to live.

Vice President of Social and Banquet Planning: Linda Lowry

Linda is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at DSA Solutions. In her role as CMO at DSA, Linda provides strategic marketing, sales relationship consultation, and tactical business development, with a focus on the technology sector, creative arts, and life sciences community. Linda’s active participation on numerous advisory boards and committees that demonstrate her love of the arts and community involvement. Linda remains active in the greater Seattle community as evident by her volunteer efforts with the following organizations: Columbia Tower Club (Board of Governors, Chair of Art Committee), Arts Unlimited (Vice President), Center for Ethical Leadership (Board Member), Encanto (Committee Member), Goodwill Glitter Gala (Committee Member), St. Jude Singers & Songwriters (Committee Member), and TedX-Seattle (Committee Member). Lina also serves on the advisory board for PartnerTap and Leadership Board of Women-in-Cloud (WIC).

Co-Vice President of Eastern Washington: Lisa Herrera

Lisa Herrera was born in El Salvador and bounced around the U.S. but grew up primarily around the Seattle area. Throughout law school, she focused on immigration and human rights law. She is currently a Staff Attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). Lisa represents both children and adults before USCIS, immigration court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. She also represents children in state court for custody proceedings. 

Co-Vice President of Eastern Washington: Gloria Ochoa-Bruck

Gloria currently serves as Director of Local Government and Multi-Cultural Affairs for the City of Spokane. Gloria commenced her legal career as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Benton County and then transitioned into private practice. Gloria held a judicial services contract with the Spokane Tribe of Indians and served as Chief Judge for Spokane Tribal Court. Gloria serves on the board for the Washington State Bar Association Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection Board and will begin her first term as an At-Large Board member for the WSBA Civil Rights Section September, 2018. Gloria was elected as a Trustee for the Spokane County Bar Association. Gloria is a founding member of the Latino Hope Foundation and serves as the Immediate Past President. Gloria serves on the Board of Directors for Numerica Credit Union, Washington State YMCA Youth and Government, Empire Health Foundation, Family Impact Network, and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force. She was recognized by the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington with the 2015 Modelo de Excelencia/Model of Excellence Award. Gloria was recognized by Leadership Spokane and awarded the 2016 Alum Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vice President of Development: Angélica González

Angélica María González is currently pursuing her J.D. at Seattle University School of Law. Angelica has externed for Washington State Supreme Court Justice Gonzalez and worked as a Summer Associate for Lane Powell, where she will return as an Associate after graduating in May 2019. A strong advocate for childcare access and women’s rights, Angelica is launching a scholarship fund to help single mothers achieve their dreams of attending law school. She regularly meets with and testifies before state and local leaders to build awareness around these issues.

Vice President of Judicial Evaluations (Co-Chair): Katherine Brennan

At Smith & Lowney, PLLC, Katherine represents community organizations to use the law to effect positive change. Currently her work is primarily representing non-profits to protect Washington’s waters and complex civil litigation. Previously, Katherine has had the privilege of working with youth of color challenging a new youth jail, Hanford workers advocating for safer working conditions, and youth and families seeking immigration services. Katherine studied at the University of Washington School of Law and at Gonzaga University. As a law student she served as President of the University of Washington Latino/a Law Student Association; Extern to Judge John C. Coughenour at the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington; Managing Editor with the Washington Journal of Environmental Law and Policy; and Community Development Liaison for the Environmental Law Society. When not at work, Katherine can be found spending time with family, growing food, and exploring.

Vice President of Judicial Evaluations (Co-Chair): Jenna Labourr

Jenna M. Labourr is a native Seattleite. During college at PLU, Jenna developed a passion for sexual assault and domestic violence victim advocacy and decided to pursue a legal education. Upon returning to Seattle after attending law school in Boston at New England Law | Boston, Jenna opened her own law practice, focusing on Workers’ Compensation and Motor Vehicle Collisions. In 2013, Jenna met Young-Ji and, together, they formed Washington Injury Lawyers, PLLC, a Personal Injury and Employment Discrimination law firm. Jenna is an Eagle member of the Washington State Association for Justice and an active member of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington.

Past Presidents

2018 | Veronica Quinonez
2017 | Aimee Sutton
2016 | David Perez
2015 | Chach Duarte White
2014 | David Mendoza
2013 | Emily Gonzalez
2012 | Jennifer Sheffield
2011 | Fe Lopez
2010 | Patricia Lally
2009 | Nicole McGrath
2008 | Ciarelle Valdez
2007 | M. Lorena Gonzalez
2006 | Brenda Williams
2005 | Cristobal J. Alex
2004 | Cristobal J. Alex
2003 | Fred Rivera
2002 |
2001 | Lisa Castanon

JOIN US