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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: 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.

Immediate Past-President: Aimée Sutton

Aimée Sutton has been on the LBAW Board for four years. She has served the important work LBAW does in and for the Latino community as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluations Committee (JEC), President-Elect, and President. She is excited to continue to serve on the board as Immediate Past President. Her day job is as a criminal defense attorney at the Marshall Defense Firm. She is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Aimée was a member of the Washington Law Review and served as its Associate Editor in Chief. Her undergraduate degree is from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. A Seattle native, she is also a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle. Aimée has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish.

President-Elect: 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.

Director of Legal Clinics: Zaida Rivera

Zaida Rivera is a Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney- Microsoft Liaison in the Seattle Office of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). She recruits and mentors attorneys and volunteers to represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. Zaida previously served as the DACA Attorney for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project’s Seattle Office. Her work focuses on representing undocumented youth and unaccompanied minors with affirmative applications and in deportation proceedings. Zaida was born in Mexico and emigrated to the United States at 3 years old. Besides practicing law and coordinating legal clinics, she is passionate about inspiring youth to pursue a higher education. Zaida is an LBAW scholarship recipient and has served on the LBAW Board for four years.

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: Jonathon Nichols

Vice President of Communications: Jean Kang

Jean is a litigator at Smith Freed Eberhard, handling complex litigation suits. Prior to civil work, Jean served as a criminal deputy prosecuting attorney in King County. In September 2017, Jean was elected to the WSBA Board of Governors as an At-Large Governor. She is on the state board for Washington Women Lawyers and serves as an arbitrator in King County. Jean was a member of the 2017 class of the Washington Leadership Institute and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law. Jean graduated from Seattle University School of Law and University of Washington.

Vice President of Social and Banquet Planning: Eduardo Reyes Chavez

Eduardo Reyes Chavez is an associate attorney at Helsell Fetterman LLP. He joined Helsell in 2016 after earning his law degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. At Helsell, Eduardo focuses his practice on general civil litigation, including employment law, commercial disputes, and personal injury. In addition to serving on the LBAW Board, Eduardo is the Regional Fundraising Deputy for Region XVI of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a board member of the Northwestern Law Alumni Club of Seattle, and a planning committee member of the 2018 Annual Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference of the King County Bar Association. At Northwestern Law, he served as Chair of the National Latina/o Law Student Association and was Co-President of the Latino Law Students Association. Eduardo graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Utah with an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2012.

Vice President of Eastern Washington: Vanessa Arno

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.

Vice President of Development: Malou Chavez

Malou Chavez serves as Vice President of Development (2018-2019). She is a past recipient of LBAW’s President Award and a LBAWSF Scholarship Recipient. Malou is Deputy Director at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and she is a staff attorney in the Family Services Unit in Seattle, where she directly represents people in family-based visa petitions and defends people in removal proceedings. Her prior work at NWIRP, in Moses Lake and Wenatchee, focused primarily on representing survivors of violence in rural eastern Washington obtain immigration relief.

Vice President of Judicial Evaluations (Co-Chair): Barbara Serrano

Barbara A. Serrano became a prosecutor in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office in 2014.  She has represented the City in more than two dozen jury trials, ranging from cyberstalking to DUI to forgery.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the King County Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers and on the Executive Committee of the Council on Public Legal Education, a nonprofit organization that advocates a stronger focus on civics education. Before graduating from Seattle University Law School in 2013, Barbara enjoyed a successful career in journalism. She worked as a political and investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, deputy political editor for the Los Angeles Times and managing editor of the Yakima Herald-Republic. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in International Journalism from USC. In 2001-2002, she studied law and creative writing at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow.

Judicial Evaluations co-director: Andres Muñoz

Andrés Muñoz practices in the areas of criminal defense, dependency, estate planning, family, and education law at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. His practice focuses primarily on advocating for youth and families. Prior to this, Andrés served as the inaugural Frances Perkins Fellow at the Unemployment Law Project. There, he helped many people gain their unemployment benefits at the administrative, trial, and appellate court levels. Outside of work, Andrés enjoys spending time with family, cooking, bouldering, and playing electric guitar.

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

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