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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: 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 and Eastern Washington VP.

President-Elect: Andrés Muñoz

Andrés currently works as a public defense attorney in Yakima County where he represents individuals caught in the criminal justice system. He graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2015 and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. Andrés previously served on the LBAW board as Judicial Evaluations co-chair. When not working, Andrés enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching history documentaries, and playing electric guitar.

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.

Director of Legal Clinics: Stephanie Chavez

Stephanie Chavez was raised in Mexico until the age of ten and grew up in a small town in Washington state. Throughout her career she has always been driven by her passion in law and helping underrepresented communities. She has worked for non-profits, multiple law firms, and now works at Microsoft supporting the Intellectual Property Open Innovation team. Within Microsoft, she has become a lead member of the Pro Bono Steering Committee and helped with the development of Microsoft’s Pro Bono Program. She will also be pursuing her law degree at Seattle University School of Law this fall.

Treasurer: Diego Rondón Ichikawa 

Diego is an attorney at Vreeland Law practicing in the areas of employment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, wage and hour, and appeals. He has a long history of advocacy for the rights of workers and those injured by the imbalance of power.

Before joining Vreeland Law, Diego worked as an attorney at the Washington Wage Claim Project in Seattle where he represented primarily low-wage, immigrant workers in individual and class action wage and hour claims.  Diego also served as a judicial clerk to Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens of the Washington State Supreme Court

Diego graduated from Seattle University School of Law where he received several awards and graduated cum laude. During law school, Diego served as an Extern for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office Labor & Industries Division and the Washington State Senate. After law school, Diego was awarded the prestigious Leadership for Justice fellowship by Seattle University School of Law to work for the National Employment Law Project. There, Diego advocated for workers through legislation, impact litigation, and community organizing.

 

He is a native Spanish speaker with fluency in Japanese and Portuguese. In his free time, Diego enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, eating all things vegan, and playing music.

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Secretary: Luisa Hernández 

Luisa Hernández practices in a broad range of civil matters at Preg O’Donnell and Gillet.

Prior to joining Preg O’Donnell & Gillett as an associate, Luisa was a law clerk for the firm and also worked at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office providing trial support.  She spent her last semester of law school working for Justice Gonzalez at the Washington Supreme Court.

During law school, Luisa was the liaison to the Immigration Families Advocacy Program, part of the board of the Latinx law student association, and a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board. 

Luisa was born and raised in Mexico until the age of 18. She firmly believes that the success of a team relies on the differences of the individuals, not in their similarities, understanding that those differences help bring a variety of different perspectives and experiences to the table.

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: Tyler Quillin

Tyler Quillin is a staff attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, where his practice focuses on technology transactions and intellectual property law. Tyler earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Chaminade University of Honolulu, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona. After law school, Tyler clerked at the Snohomish County Superior Court and, subsequently, had a general practice at Buchalter PC. Prior to attending law school, Tyler taught special education on the Big Island of Hawai’i as a Teach For America Corps Member and 12th grade English in San Jose, California. In his free time, Tyler loves movies, music, reading, and exploring this beautiful state with his wife and four children. 

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.

Vice President of Development: Angélica González

Angélica María González recently graduated with her J.D. at Seattle University School of Law. Angelica has externed for Washington State Supreme Court Justice  González . She currently is employed at Lane Powell where she works closely with the Intellectual Property Transactions Team, with a focus on trademark and copyrights. She also assists the Startups & Emerging Companies, and the Corporate, Securities and M&A Teams on general business matters. 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): Sergio Garcidueñas-Sease

Sergio is an attorney at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender practicing in the areas of personal injury law. He is very passionate about helping victims receive justice and holding individuals, perpetrators, corporations and governments accountable. He successfully advocates for his clients in foster home abuse cases, sexual and physical assualt, automobile collisions, school negligence, insurance bad faith, and wrongful death. 
 
Sergio graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. While in law school, Sergio was a Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Rights Fellow for Columbia Legal Services. As a fellow, he traveled throughout Washington State advocating and educating farm workers about their rights. He clerked for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica. In his last year of law school, he clerked for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU).
 
Before joining Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Sergio worked as an attorney at a law firm in Yakima, Washington where he represented clients who were victims of a myriad of injustices. A majority of his clients were monolingual Spanish speakers. 
 
Sergio is a native Spanish speaker. In his free time, Sergio enjoys playing his guitars and traveling.

Past Presidents

2019 | Debbie Akhbari 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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