Member Spotlights2021-08-16T13:15:57+00:00

Member Spotlight: Lina Xie

WBA celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by celebrating the AAPI members of our community. Lina Xie is a Data Forensics Manager at BDO USA in Washington, DC. She specializes in data investigations related to fraud and corruption, export control sanctions and fraud risk assessments. She works with an incredible team of professionals dedicated to promoting integrity and compliance in business practices. Lina leads forensic analysis on major compliance projects and develops robust compliance strategies. She has extensive [...]

May 15th, 2024|

Member Spotlight: Nina Ren

WBA celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by celebrating the AAPI members of our community. Nina Ren is a Trial Attorney in the Office of Constitutional Torts at the U.S. Department of Justice. She handles vaccine cases before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Nina is currently preparing for her third career appellate court oral argument (her first was before the Fourth Circuit and her second was before the Federal Circuit). Nina says, “I work with an incredible team [...]

May 1st, 2024|

Member Spotlight: Zuka Chuka-Obah

Zuka Chuka-Obah is an Attorney Advisor for the Landlord Tenant Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She is a member of the D.C. Bar and also licensed in Maryland. Zuka graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with a BA in Political Science and is a 2014 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. She has a strong passion for helping her community and loves being actively involved in the community. Outside of work, Zuka loves being [...]

March 20th, 2024|

Member Spotlight: Sonia Murphy

WBA celebrates Black History Month by celebrating the Black members of our community. Sonia Williams Murphy is a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. She was WBA president in the 2016-2017 bar year, and presided over the Association’s Centennial Celebration. Sonia joined Justice after over a decade in large, international law firms. Sonia tells us, “As a litigator, joining the DOJ was by far the best professional decision I have made to date. I have argued several cases [...]

February 14th, 2024|

Member Spotlight: Marcia McCree

WBA celebrates Black History Month by celebrating the Black members of our community. Marcia McCree is a Brooklyn native who graduated from George Washington University College of Law. She began her legal career representing plaintiff's side anti-trust and consumer protection class action suits. She then pivoted to real property and real property taxation and zoning issues, serving as a Special Assistant Attorney General with the Commercial Finance Bureau of the District of Columbia and subsequently small firm private practice until [...]

February 1st, 2024|

Member Spotlight: Ethel Badawi

Ethel Badawi is Co-Founder & Principal of Pollack Badawi Group LLC. She is a current member of the WBA Board of Directors. She is an active member and past president of APABA-DC, the largest and oldest association of Asian Pacific American legal professionals in the DC area. She also serves on the Board of Directors for NALSC (the National Association of Legal Search Consultants) and on the Board for Spur Local, a DC area nonprofit focused on creating a stronger [...]

December 13th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Mary Blatch

Mary Blatch is Senior Counsel, Privacy at StockX, an online marketplace that sells limited edition and high demand sneakers, streetwear, collectibles, handbags, and watches. Mary tells us, “I’ve bounced around in my legal career, always following my curiosity.” She clerked in the Eastern District of Virginia, then spent some time litigating at big firms. She transitioned to an in-house compliance role at Deloitte, then worked for the Association of Corporate Counsel in a policy role. She is now back to [...]

November 8th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Tamara Kraljic

Tamara Kraljic is Counsel at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP where she works principally with the Arbitration and the Anti-Corruption & Internal Investigations practice groups. Tamara considers this question: “How can we re-think the corporate law firm model to create a space that works for women, mothers, caretakers and generally people – of any gender, background and generation - who want a healthy life while practicing a profession they love?” Her response to us: “As a senior counsel at a [...]

November 1st, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Serafina Concannon

Serafina Concannon is Of Counsel at Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered and an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center (her alma mater. She has been in private practice since she graduated from law school. She specializes in mass tort bankruptcy litigation. At Georgetown, she teaches Civil Discovery in Federal Courts, Privilege in the Context of Civil Litigation, and Representing Foreign Clients in U.S. Courts (not all at once, thankfully!). In addition to being active with the WBA, she is [...]

October 18th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Paulette Pagán

WBA celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the Latinx members of our community. "Dedicating this time each year to highlight the immense value we bring to the world is not only important but also serves as a powerful reminder that we are embraced and welcomed, no matter where we choose to sit at the table." Paulette M. Pagán is a White Collar/Criminal Defense Attorney at Price Benowitz LLP. As a former public defender, she believes every person is entitled to [...]

October 4th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Aura Guerrero

WBA celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the Latinx members of our community. "Witnessing the unequal treatment that migrants and women faced in many contexts, particularly in Mexico and the United States. I also saw becoming a lawyer as an opportunity to find my own voice, and to advocate for myself and for my community." Aura Guerrero is an Associate at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown Law Center. She is an at-large board member of [...]

September 27th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Michelle Webster

Michelle Webster is Counsel at Mayer Brown LLP. She was born and raised in a town of 2,800 people in eastern Washington state. Her father was a small town lawyer and her mother was a social worker. She followed in her father’s footsteps and her brother followed in her mom’s. Michelle loves to travel and says she adored the WBA trip to Guatemala in February. Other recent trips include Iceland, Curacao, and Mexico. Michelle is a self-proclaimed “sports nut” and [...]

July 26th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Judge Deb Israel

WBA celebrates Pride Month by celebrating the LGBTQ+ members of our community. The Honorable Deborah Israel is an Associate Judge on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Judge Israel was WBA president in the 2001-2002 bar year, and WBA Foundation president from 1996-1998. Judge Israel served in private practice for nearly 30 years before joining the bench. During the majority of that time, she worked in large law firms where she also served in many firm management roles, [...]

June 26th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Ava Benach

WBA celebrates Pride Month by celebrating the LGBTQ+ members of our community. Ava Benach is a founding partner of Benach Collopy LLP. Ava has practiced law for close to 25 years. She told us: “I know I look much too young- and have done nothing but immigration. I love people and getting to know about their lives and experience and I get some outstanding stories in my job. I have worked in small firms and AmLaw 100 firms, but having [...]

June 21st, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Kandis Gibson

Kandis Gibson, WBA President (2023-2024), is an Associate at Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP. After spending over a decade at a small (~7 attorney) law firm, she recently moved to the large firm sector. Kandis focuses her practice on Section 337 proceedings at the US International Trade Commission. She has participated in over 45 Section 337 investigations involving unfair trade practices, including patent, trademark, and copyright infringement, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Kandis also has experience in complex civil litigation matters [...]

May 31st, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Samantha Sloane

Samantha Sloane is a 2023 Presidential Management Fellow Finalist. She is currently in the job market and open to any opportunity involving public service and public interest. Samantha is particularly interested in civil rights, constitutional, and international law. Samantha received her BA in Political Science with a minor in Middle East Studies from Colgate University in 2016 and her JD from American University Washington College of Law in 2022 (cum laude, Pro Bono Honors). She is currently finishing up my [...]

April 12th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Jacquelyn Sherman

Jacquelyn Sherman is a 2L at The George Washington University Law School. As a student, she is involved in the International Law Review, Moot Court Board, and Anti-Corruption and Compliance Association. She has also served as a research assistant, tutor, and student ambassador. Jacquelyn obtained a B.S. in Accounting with minors in Business Law and White-Collar Crime from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in pursuing a career in White Collar Litigation. In her spare time, Jacquelyn enjoys [...]

February 22nd, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Cathy Pagano

Cathy Pagano is a Senior Government Relations Representative at the U.S. Postal Service. As a government attorney, her career has focused on congressional liaison and legislative and policy analysis. Cathy notes that, “the WBA is very active in this practice area. The Women in Public Service/Politics Committee strongly supports women striving for opportunities in the public arena, and has hosted programs on the presidential appointment process, running for political office, how to get federal jobs and detail opportunities, and how [...]

February 8th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Jinling Wang

Dr. Jinling Wang is a Litigation Associate at the Devlin Law Firm, where she works on IP litigation in life science and other high-tech industries. She grew up in China and moved to Madison, WI for graduate school when she was 20 years old. Jinling’s hometown, Hefei, is a city with a more than 2,000-year history. It is now also a burgeoning research and technology hub. After graduating from college, USTC, a fine scientific institution, she entered UW-Madison for PhD [...]

January 25th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Charise Naifeh

Charise Naifeh is the Principal of Happy Law Mom, where she helps lawyer moms create the legal practice of their dreams. It seems like motherhood and successful legal careers are incompatible. In fact, the reason women are leaving the law in droves is because of issues happening at home and in the workplace that are very solvable. When these problems are solved, moms no longer to have to leave the law to get enough sleep. It also leads to career [...]

January 11th, 2023|

Member Spotlight: Kate Mueting

Kate Mueting is Firm Administrative Partner and Co-Chair of the Discrimination and Harassment Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp. Her practice focuses on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters, representing individuals and classes. Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Kate has been recognized by U.S. News as among the “Best Lawyers” in America for representing individuals in employment law. She has also been among a handful of employment lawyers nationwide honored as a “Rising Star” by Law360 in 2019, and the National [...]

December 21st, 2022|

Member Spotlight: Katie Lipp

Katie Lipp is Founder + CEO of The Lipp Law Firm, PC, and Law Practice Queen Business Coaching, LLC. In 2019, Katie opened her own firm, The Lipp Law Firm, focusing on separation of employment, HR law, business law, and workplace investigations. The firm focuses in particular on the tech and education industries, but has employer and executive clients across many different sectors. Also in 2019, Katie started her coaching brand, Law Practice Queen, where she mentors and coached female [...]

November 30th, 2022|

Member Spotlight: Lauren Talbert

Lauren E. Talbert is a 3L at George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School. When asked to tell us about herself, Lauren said: “I grew up in in Stafford, Virginia and my family was a very close-knit family, and still is, so I love spending time with them. I am a first-generation college student and the first person in my family to attend law school. I decided I wanted to go to law school after I took a criminal justice [...]

November 9th, 2022|

Member Spotlight: Olivia Carvajal

Olivia Carvajal will be Clinical Legal Program Specialist at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law starting November 1, 2022. She was recently admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Earlier this year she was an Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration working on providing Economic Injury Disaster Loans. She was sworn into the DC Court of Appeals as an attorney in 2021. From 2019 to 2020 Olivia was the Executive Assistant to [...]

October 26th, 2022|

Member Spotlight: Samantha Lewis

Samantha Lewis is an Assistant Attorney General in the Maryland Office of the Attorney General. She graduated from Boston University (BA in Economics, BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration and Management), and is a 2016 graduate of The George Washington University Law School. Samantha began her career in corporate law and transitioned to litigation in 2019. Prior to her current position as Assistant Attorney General with the State of Maryland, she practiced at a civil defense [...]

October 12th, 2022|


Maintaining the honor and integrity of the profession; promoting the administration of justice; advancing and protecting the interests of women lawyers; promoting their mutual improvement; and encouraging a spirit of friendship.

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