Our Leadership Team

The HLSA of New York City is an alumni volunteer managed organization. We thank our Officers and Board Members for their dedication and support of HLS alumni activities.

For more information about our leadership team or to get involved, please email us at info@nyc.hlsa.org

  •                                    Salvo Arena LL.M. '00 - President

                                               HAA Appointed Director

  • Salvo Arena, Managing Partner of the New York office, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and private equity, joined Chiomenti in 2006, after 3 years of experience in the Shearman & Sterling mergers and acquisitions group in the New York office, and became a partner in 2008. Salvo represents domestic and multinational clients in acquisitions and sales of public and private companies, asset acquisition and disposition transactions and in leveraged buyouts. Salvo has a strong expertize in assisting U.S. and international clients doing business in or through Italy. Salvo serves as President of the Harvard Law School Association of New York City, President of the Harvard Law School Association of Europe, Past President and Chair of the International Section of the Harvard Law School Association, Appointed Director of the Harvard Alumni Association, member of the Board of the Council for the United States and Italy, Chair of the Harvard Law School Association Hedge Fund & Private Equity Network, Co-Chair of the European Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, member of the New York Angels, member of the European-American Chamber of Commerce. Salvo is fluent in Italian and English and is dual qualified as Italian and New York lawyer. Salvo earned an LL.M. at Harvard Law School in corporate and finance law and a Ph.D. and Law Degree in mergers and acquisitions at University of Catania.

  •                            David K. Kessler J.D. '09 - Vice President

  • David K. Kessler (AB ’04 JD ’09) is an Assistant United States Attorney in the National Security and Cybercrime Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York.  He previously worked at McKinsey & Company and at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  David’s law review articles have been published in journals such as the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and have been cited by the Supreme Courts of three states and by the D.C. Circuit.  David currently serves as Secretary of the HLSA and as Vice President of the HLSA of New York City

  •                                    Patricia Paul J.D. ‘92 - Vice President

  • Patricia Paul is a Co-Chair of the Harvard Law School Women's Alliance, NY Chapter.  Patricia handles legal executive search,  and also speaks and writes about voting, democracy, and constitutional law issues, as well as tech policy issues. Previously, Patricia practiced public interest law, and was a litigator at a mid-size AmLaw firm. Patricia graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was involved with the WilmerHale Legal Services Center (then the Jamaica Plain Legal Services Center) and the WLA, and worked during summers at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and the Service Employees International Union.  Patricia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Barnard College.                           

  •                                  Maja Zerjal Fink LL.M. '11 - Vice President  

  • Maja Zerjal Fink is a Partner at Clifford Chance. Recognized by the American Bankruptcy Institute in its 40 under 40 Class of 2021, and Law360 (2020), Super Lawyers (2020) and The Legal 500 (2019) as a "Rising Star," Ms. Zerjal Fink has been involved in some of the largest reorganization cases in the United States, including the restructuring of Puerto Rico's outstanding debt load of more than $74 billion. She has represented clients in a number of high-profile restructurings, including Hertz, Cineworld, Caesars entertainment Operating Corporation, MF Global Holdings, Seadrill Partners, Penn Virginia Corporation, Rotech Healthcare, SIGA Technologies, Breitburn Energy Partners, Trident Microsystems, and Phoenix Brands. Ms. Zerjal also represented B. Endeavour Shipping Co. in its Chapter 15 case and has advised clients in several cross-border matters. Her experience includes representations of private equity sponsors, debtors, foreign debtors and representatives, statutory and ad hoc committees, lenders, bondholders, trade creditors, landlords, and equity holders in bankruptcy proceedings and in-court and out-of-court restructurings.

  •                        Alfredo Porretti LL.M. '06 - Treasurer

  • Alfredo Porretti is a managing director and leads J.P. Morgan's North America team for Shareholder Engagement and M&A Capital Markets. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Alfredo was a managing director and Head of Greenhill's Shareholder Advisory Group and a senior member of Morgan Stanley's Shareholder Activism and Corporate Defense Team.  Alfredo started his career in banking in Lazard's Financial Institutions M&A and Activism Defense Groups in New York, and was a lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, focusing both on private equity and strategic transactions. Alfredo regularly speaks at conferences and leading industry events on the topic of shareholder engagement, activism, ESG and corporate defense. Alfredo graduated from Harvard Law School (LLM), the College of Europe in Bruges - Belgium (LLM) and from the University of Milan - Italy (JD)

  •                              Christopher S. Edwards J.D. '98 - Secretary

  • Chris Edwards a Partner at Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLP, focusing on representation of emerging-growth and mid-market companies and venture capital funds.  He previously worked at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Bank of America Corporation.  He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1998.                                            

  • 0                                                Jacques Anderson J.D. '14

  • Jacques Anderson is the Founder & CEO of Lean Into Your Design, a Human Design-centered coaching and consulting business dedicated to unlocking the full potential of individuals and teams. 

    By merging the wisdom of Human Design with modern-day practicality and traditional executive coaching modalities, Jacques offers a unique roadmap for self-discovery and alignment, tailor-made for today's professionals.

    Prior to being a coach and consultant, Jacques cultivated a diverse array of skills through her extensive corporate experience.

    After graduating from Harvard Law School at 24, Jacques’ career began at Skadden in New York City, as a Mergers & Acquisitions associate advising on deals totaling $50B+ . 

    Jacques then pivoted to startups - initially working as in-house counsel, then as co-founder of DUOS, a digital health startup that has raised $29M to assist older adults and their caregivers. 

    In 2023, Jacques transitioned from DUOS to pursue executive coaching full-time. Her transition was driven by a passion for guiding others towards balance and purpose. 

    Trained by the executive coach for Steve Jobs and one of the global leaders in Human Design, Jacques provides insightful coaching sessions for individuals, business partners, founders, and teams seeking leadership, team-building, and innovative professional development services and experiences.

  •                                            Antonio Baena LL.M. '00

  • Antonio Baena is the managing partner of the New York office of the Spanish and Portuguese law firm Cuatrecasas, head of its international practice and a member of his board of directors. From 2012 to 2016 he was the managing partner of the London office. Antonio focuses on securities markets, corporate matters and mergers and acquisitions and regularly advises international companies and funds in cross-border transactions, particularly in Spain and Latin America. He is a director of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association and member of the Harvard Law School Association of Europe and of the Harvard Club of Spain. For several years he served as vice-president of the Harvard Law Association of the United Kingdom. He is fluent on Spanish, French and English and earned LL.M.s at Harvard Law School (corporate), The London School of Economics and Political Science (banking and finance) and The College of Europe (European law). Antonio has a law degree from the University of Navarra (Spain), where he graduated as top student in his class. He regularly lectures at different universities. He started his professional career in New York and London, at Salomon Brothers.

  •                                                Amber Banks J.D. '09

  • Amber Banks is an M&A and Private Equity Partner in Latham’s New York office. She advises private equity firms, strategic buyers and sellers, and companies on a range of investments, acquisitions, divestitures, and other complex corporate matters.
    Drawing on extensive dealmaking experience, Ms. Banks represents private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies across a broad range of industries in:
    Mergers and acquisitions
    Joint ventures
    Leveraged buyouts
    Divestitures and spinoffs
    General corporate matters
    A recognized industry leader, Ms. Banks has been named a David Rockefeller Fellow and has presented at Harvard Business School’s Women in Investing Event and Venture Capital and Private Equity Conference.

  •                                       Martin S. Bell J.D. ‘06


    Martin Bell is a litigation partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Government and Internal Investigations Group.  He represents companies, boards, and executives in government investigations and high-profile disputes.  For over a decade prior to joining Simpson Thacher, Martin was an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  There, he was a member of the Securities and Commodities Task Force, the Public Corruption Unit, and the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit.  As a federal prosecutor, Martin served as counsel to the United States in thirteen criminal jury trials and the largest asset forfeiture trial in the history of the Department of Justice, and argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on nine occasions.  Prior to joining the SDNY, Martin practiced at another international law firm and served as law clerk to the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.  Martin graduated from Harvard University (A.B., cum laude, 2003) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 2006), and delivered the Graduate Oration at Harvard’s 355th Commencement Exercises.  He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Board of Directors of the Office of the Appellate Defender, and the REACH Program Committee of the Regis High School Board of Trustees.  He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two daughters.

  •                                           Carol Crossdale J.D. '92

  • Carol F. Crossdale is a Co-Founder of CrossdalePaul LLC, a top-caliber legal recruiting firm based in New York.  Carol leads in-house searches for legal and compliance professionals across industries, including the consumer products, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, technology, real estate, media and entertainment fields, as well as financial institutions.  She also partners with law firms to source and retain top talent. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Carol joined Davis Polk in New York as a Corporate Associate.  She then moved in-house to PepsiCo, Inc., where she provided legal support for various corporate transactions, and later became Senior Counsel, supporting the company’s beverage businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Carol has been building her expertise as a legal recruiter since 2004.  Prior to co-founding CrossdalePaul, Carol was a Managing Director at a large New York legal recruiting firm. In addition to her J.D. from Harvard Law School, Carol holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Hunter College.   Carol currently serves as a Co-Chair of the New York Chapter of the Harvard Law Women's Alliance and Chair of the Hunter College Pre-Law Advisory Board.  She is also a member of the Council of Urban Professionals. Carol is a native of the island of Jamaica.  She is an avid traveler, and her favorite destinations so far include Cappadocia, Machu Picchu, Petra, The Serengeti and Victoria Falls.

  •                                             Alla Digilova J.D. '14

  • Alla Digilova is a partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP in its Capital Markets and Securities Practice Group. Alla advises issuers, underwriters, and institutional investors in public and private securities transactions, including initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, ATMs, PIPEs, up-listing offerings, reverse mergers, de-SPAC transactions, and other public company strategic transactions across a wide range of sizes and levels of complexity. She also regularly counsels issuers on general corporate, corporate governance and securities law matters. Alla serves on the FSU Board of UJA Federation of New York and is a member of NAWL Women Lawyers Journal Editorial Board. She holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Biology and Economics from Yeshiva University. Alla is fluent in Russian.

  •                                              Bea Drechsler J.D. '87

  • Bea Drechsler, Esq. is the Co-Founding Partner of Drechsler & Drechsler LLP, a boutique law firm with offices in Midtown Manhattan specializing in sophisticated real estate transactions.  Before founding her law firm, Bea practiced in the Real Estate Group of Kaye Scholer LLP, first as an associate from 1989 through 1997 and then as partner until the end of 2006.  Bea is HLS Class of 1987 and attended Barnard College, graduating in 1984.  Bea is a Board Member of the Harvard Law School Association of New York, an  Executive Committee Member of the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, Co- Chair of the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance of New York, Founding Member of the Leadership Council of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Member of WX Women Executives in Real Estate and Founding Member of To the Top with Laptops, a charitable organization that provides new laptops for underprivileged college-bound high school seniors.

  •                                          Brian Fischer J.D. '02

  • Brian Fischer ‘02 is a litigation partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group.  He represents clients in a wide range of commercial and regulatory disputes in federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout the country, and in arbitral settings.  His clients include Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, and high-net-worth individuals.  The 2015 edition of The Legal 500 U.S. called out Brian as one of the “many renowned partners” in Jenner’s New York office, where “commercial litigation is one of its greatest strengths,” and the 2016 edition of the same publication noted that Brian is one of the New York office’s “key figures.”  Brian is a co-chair of the firm’s Alumni Committee, and he previously served for a number of years as a co-chair of the firm's Pro Bono Executive Committee.  Brian resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Rebecca, and their two young sons.

  •                                       Maura Grinalds J.D. '91 

  • Maura Barry Grinalds, J.D. '91 (magna cum laude), B.A. '85 (magna cum laude) is a retired Litigation Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP with extensive experience representing corporations and individuals in securities, corporate, commercial, litigation and class actions in courts throughout the country and in arbitration proceedings before domestic and international tribunals.  As counsel in Skadden’s Pro Bono Emeritus program, Maura represents innocent victims of wrongful convictions in concert with the Innocence Project, the Exoneration project and other innocence organizations. Maura is a two-time recipient of the Legal Aid Society award for outstanding pro bono public service. She served a six-year term on the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.  For many years, Maura served as co-chair of the New York Chapter of the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance, co-chair of Skadden's Women’s Initiative Committee and a member of its Partner Selection Committee and Diversity Committee.  She repeatedly has been included in The Best Lawyers in America.  Maura is a long-time Council Member of the American Arbitration Association- International Center for Dispute Resolution.

  •                                     Tracy Richelle-High J.D. '99

  • Tracy Richelle High is Deputy Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group, and a member of both the Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group and Criminal Defense and Investigations practice. Ms. High’s practice focuses on representing financial institutions and other corporations in complex civil litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings, corporate internal investigations, and labor and employment matters.  She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999 and from Yale University.

  •                                              Shiukay Hung LL.M. '08

  • Shiukay Hung is a partner in DLA Piper's Investment Management and Real Estate Capital Markets practice. He advises on the structuring of transactions particularly the US tax aspects of real estate, REITs, M&A, private equity, corporate finance and capital markets transactions. He is experienced in the acquisition, disposition and operation of real estate assets through fund, REIT and joint venture vehicles. He regularly speaks on tax topics before various audiences at trade conferences and bar associations. He is admitted to the New York Bar and the British Columbia (Canada) Bar.

  •                                              Melvin Ike J.D., MBA '16

  • C. C. Melvin Ike (“Mel”) is a senior member of the Tactical Opportunities Group at Blackstone, which is Blackstone’s global opportunistic investment platform. He focuses primarily on collaborative engagements and partnerships with public companies, private equity, and growth equity in a variety of industries. Before joining Blackstone in 2019, Mr. Ike was a Principal at Third Point LLC from 2015 to 2019, where he focused on special situations and activist investments across several industries. Prior to Third Point, he was an investment professional in the private equity group at TPG Capital and an investment banker in the Restructuring Group at Lazard.

    Mr. Ike received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a Cellular and Bio-molecular concentration from the University of Texas, where he was a student-athlete. He also earned a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School where he earned numerous Dean’s Scholar Prizes, and an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a George F. Baker Scholar, was the winner of the John L. Loeb Prize, graduated with the highest academic standing in his class, and was the highest ranked student in the Finance Department. Mel currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aqua Finance, Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT, The Marshall Project, the Harvard Law School Association of New York, and Youth INC.

  •                                           Peter C. Krause J.D. '74

  • Peter Krause is a former managing director and chief operating officer of Greenhill & Co., a New York-based investment bank.  The firm provides advice on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings, and capital raisings to leading corporations, partnerships, institutions, and governments across a number of industries.  While with Greenhill, Krause served on the Investment Committee of Greenhill Capital Partners (the firm’s private equity fund), and was chairman and co-founder of Barrow Street Real Estate Funds (the firm’s principal vehicle for investing in real estate).  Prior to joining Greenhill, Krause was a managing director in the Real Estate Department of the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley.  He also practiced law for seven years at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and at Schulte, Roth & Zabel. Krause is the past co-chairman of the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and is a former member of the Advisory Board of the Real Estate Center of the University of California, Berkeley.  He was guest lecturer at Cornell University for over ten years, teaching real estate accounting, finance, and valuation; he continues to speak regularly at real estate programs and conferences. Krause earned his BA, highest honors, from Manhattan College in 1970, and his JD from Harvard Law School in 1974.  He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board (2001 – present), is president of the HLSA Executive Committee, and is vice chair of the HLS Fund Advisory Council (2015 – present). He served as chair of the HLS Fund Advisory Committee from 2014 to 2015 and was HLS Fund chair from 2005 to 2007. This will be Krause’s first time attending the Celebration of Black Alumni at HLS.

  •                                 Edward J. Lee J.D. '06

Edward J. Lee is a corporate partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Ed’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and shareholder activism defense. Ed also regularly counsels corporations and boards of directors on securities law, corporate governance and crisis management.
Ed has extensive experience advising major public companies and private equity firms on their most significant domestic and cross- border M&A transactions, as well as on spin-offs and carve-outs, joint ventures, and initial public and other complex securities offerings. During his career, he has advised on announced transactions with an aggregate value of over $700 billion, including over $350 billion since 2019. Ed has represented clients in some of the most significant and complex M&A transactions in recent years, including United Technologies’ $140 billion merger of equals with Raytheon Company and simultaneous spin-offs of Carrier Global and Otis Worldwide, and its $30.3 billion acquisition of Rockwell Collins; Celgene Corporation’s $98 billion acquisition by Bristol Myers Squibb; Walgreens’ $27 billion two-staged acquisition of Alliance Boots GmbH and related reorganization to create Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.; NortonLifeLock’s ~$25 billion combination with Avast; and Salesforce’s $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau.
Ed has also advised numerous boards of directors and senior management teams in connection with unsolicited takeover proposals, as well as in response to shareholder activism campaigns and other contested situations involving, among others, Elliott Management, Jana Partners, Sachem Head, Third Point, Pershing Square, Relational Investors, and Starboard Value.
Ed is recognized as one of the 500 leading lawyers in America (across all practice areas, as well as among dealmakers) by Lawdragon, as a “Notable Diverse Leader in Law” by Crain's, and as an “M&AClientServiceAll-Star” by BTI Consulting Group. In 2022, he was one of six M&A attorneys nationwide chosen as a Law360 MVP. Ed has been named a leading lawyer and as “highly regarded” within the M&A practice by IFLR1000, and as a“Rising Star” in Corporate/M&A by Expert Guides and by Law360. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 for his work on mergers & acquisitions (large deals – $1bn+) and shareholder activism. Ed is a frequent speaker on M&A and shareholder activism, including co-chairing PLI’s Shareholder Activism conference in 2018–2020.

  •                              Christopher L. Mann J.D. '89

  • Christopher L. Mann coordinates Sullivan & Cromwell’s global infrastructure practice. He has more than 25 years of experience in a wide variety of corporate and financing matters, including infrastructure, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project development and finance, private equity, capital markets, strategic finance and restructuring matters. He has acted frequently for sponsor and lending clients, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds and hedge funds in equity and debt investments in infrastructure, oil and gas, power, mining, telecommunications and other sectors in the United States, Latin America, southern Africa and elsewhere. He is a core member of the Firm’s Latin America team and also co-heads the Firm’s Africa practice. Chris is a Vice President at Large of the Harvard Law School Association, a director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and of the Dutchess Land Conservancy, and a member of the Vestry of Trinity Church Wall Street. He is also a member of S&C’s Diversity Committee. Chris is the former chairman of the board of trustees of New York Downtown Hospital, which merged into New York-Presbyterian Hospital in 2013, and is also a former trustee of New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, Inc. and the former chair of the Committee on Project Finance of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

  •                                                   Laura Mutterperl J.D. '02

  • Laura B. Mutterperl ‘02 is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Dream Hotel Group.  Home to Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels brands, Dream Hotel Group encompasses three business lines: proprietary brands, hotel management and dining & nightlife.  Before Dream Hotel Group, Laura had nearly ten years of experience with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where she was Vice President and Associate General Counsel. At Starwood, Laura served as a point person across strategic planning and implementation in business operations and hotel development. She has extensive experience as lead counsel across the restaurant, retail and spa businesses. Based primarily in North America, she also handled matters in Asia and the Middle East and worked for a stint in Starwood’s Asia Pacific headquarters. Laura joined Starwood from Kirkland & Ellis, where she advised clients across private and public transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, financings, joint ventures, public offerings, corporate governance and other corporate matters. Laura graduated from Harvard College with honors and earned her JD from Harvard Law School.  She serves on the Harvard Law School Alumni Association Executive Committee and co-chairs the Harvard Law School In-House Counsel Network.

  •                                          Sabastian Niles J.D. '06

  • Sabastian V. Niles is a Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz where he focuses on rapid response shareholder activism and preparedness, takeover defense and corporate governance; U.S. and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, investments, divestitures, and strategic partnerships; and other corporate and securities law matters and special situations. Sabastian advises worldwide and across industries, including technology, financial institutions, media, energy and natural resources, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, construction and manufacturing, real estate/REITs and consumer goods and retail. He has counseled boards of directors and management teams on self-assessments, engagement with institutional investors and proxy advisory firms and navigating activist situations involving Barry Rosenstein/JANA Partners, Bill Ackman/Pershing Square, Carl Icahn, Daniel Loeb/Third Point, David Einhorn/Greenlight Capital, Glenn Welling/Engaged Capital, Jeff Smith/Starboard Value, Jeffrey Ubben/ValueAct, Jonathan Litt/Land & Buildings, Keith Meister/Corvex, Mick McGuire/Marcato, Nelson Peltz/Trian, Scott Ferguson/Sachem Head, Paul Singer/Elliott Management, Relational Investors and Tom Sandell/Sandell Asset Management, among many others. In addition to serving as Consulting Editor for the New York Stock Exchange’s Corporate Governance Guide, Sabastian writes frequently on corporate law matters and has been a featured speaker at corporate strategy and investor forums. His speaking engagements have addressed topics such as Shareholder Activism; The New Paradigm of Corporate Governance; Hostile Takeovers; Strategic Transactions and Governance; M&A Trends; Board-Shareholder Engagement; Confidentiality Agreements in M&A Transactions; Negotiating Strategic Alliances with U.S. Companies; Current Issues in Technology M&A; Corporate Governance: Ethics, Transparency and Accountability; and Developments in Cross-Border Deals.

    Sabastian received his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he co-founded the Harvard Association of Law and Business (and continues to serve on the Advisory Board) and won the U.S. National ABA Negotiation Championship representing the Harvard Program on Negotiation. He received B.S., B.A., and B.S. degrees in Finance, Economics and Decision & Information Sciences, respectively, from the University of Maryland, where he won two National Championships and four Regional Championships in intercollegiate mock trial.

  •                                         Colleen O'Brien J.D. '07

  • Colleen O’Brien is a vice president and Assistant General Counsel in the Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings group of Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she has been since January 2016.  Previously, Colleen served as Senior Counsel in the Capital Markets Division of the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), where she worked on policy, enforcement, and supervisory matters relating to a variety of areas, including virtual currency, cyber security, and financial market practices.  Colleen began her legal career as a litigation associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, where she represented individuals, private businesses, and corporations in complex litigations and internal investigations. Ms. O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D., 2007) and the University of Maryland – College Park (B.A., Government and Politics, magna cum laude; B.A., Spanish, magna cum laude, 2003).

  •                                       Zarifa Reynolds J.D. '01

  • Zarifa Brown Reynolds is the President and CEO of the insurance company Royal Neighbors of America, which is dedicated to insuring lives, supporting women and serving communities. Zarifa is a mission-driven, transformational executive with a record of team building, talent development, and developing and executing strategies to profitably grow businesses. 

    Prior to joining Royal Neighbors in 2023, Zarifa was an executive at Guardian Life Insurance Company (Guardian) where she led a national sales, account management, and underwriting team.

    Before joining Guardian, Zarifa was Head of Corporate Development at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) where she was responsible for corporate mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, strategic venture capital investing, and corporate strategic projects. 

    Prior to joining TIAA, Zarifa was a partner at Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm. Zarifa started her legal career at Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

    Zarifa is a board member of American Council of Life Insurers (Forum 500), KIPP Miami, and the Harvard Law School Association of New York City. She holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University.

  •                                           Stefanie Roth J.D. '93

  • Ms. Roth specializes in the laws governing exempt organizations, including non-profit governance, development and fundraising, general corporate and financing transactions and collaborations and joint ventures with for-profit and non-profit entities. She advises nonprofits in a variety of fileds, and has a particular expertise in the legal issues specific to museums and performing arts organizations, original visual and performance art commissions, licensing arrangements, as well as the issues confronting non-profit cultural institutions in financial disteress. Prior to joining Ewenstein & Roth, Ms. Roth served as General Counsel for the World Science Festival, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring the general public with science through the development of original multimedia programming. Ms. Roth served as Associate General Counsel for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum for six years. At the Guggenheim, Ms. Roth served as primary counsel to the Museum's Curatorial, Development and Finance departments, where she structured and negotiated complex art acquisitions and commissions, sponsorship and other donor arrangements, joint ventures with for-profit and non-profit entities,, investments and financings. She also served as principal legal advisor to the Board's Art & Museum Committee (the museum's art acquisions and collection policy committee). Ms. Roth started her career as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, and served as a law clerk to the Hon. John S. Martin, Jr., United States District Court, S.D.N.Y. Ms. Roth graduated from Harvard College (AB 1989, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School (JD 1993), where she served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and won the Ames Moot Court Competition. She is a member of the Non-Profit Coordinating Committee of New York's Government Relations Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue (where she leads the Governance Commmittee), a former member of the Committee on Non-Profit Organizations of the Assocaition of the Bar of the City of NewYork, a past faculty member of Legal Issues in Museum Administration, organized by ALI-CLE, and a frequent speaker on non-profit legal issues at the New York City Bar Association, including its annual Non-Profit Institute.

  •                                            Caroline Shinkle '20

  • Caroline Shinkle is an Associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in its Corporate Department, where her practice spans mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and financial institutions regulatory matters. She is a member of the New York, Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, and Ohio bars. Caroline earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.S. from MIT in Economics with minors in Management and French, and also studied at Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Prior to attending law school, Caroline worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., in the Stress Testing Section within the Division of Supervision & Regulation. 

    Caroline is an active member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and frequent speaker at ABA meetings. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Club of New York City, the Advisory Council for the University of Dayton School of Law, the Board of the British Transportation Museum, and on the Turnquist Leadership Council for America’s Packard Museum. She is a long-term member of the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and a member of the Economic Club of New York.

    Caroline has completed stints at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Bank of Israel in Jerusalem. At the BIS, Caroline worked with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Secretariat to investigate judicial review of central bank and supervisory authority decisions as well as with the BIS Innovation Hub to explore legal questions surrounding tokenization of assets and distributed ledger technology-based securities settlement. While a student at MIT, Caroline served as MIT’s first-ever Student Ambassador for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

    Caroline is an avid golfer and served as President of the Harvard Law School Golf Association while in law school. She is also a tennis player and kayaker as well as proud car enthusiast, with a particular affinity for British sports cars.

    •                                  Hon. Elizabeth S. Stong J.D. '82

    •  Judge Elizabeth S. Stong has served as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of New York since 2003.  Previously, she was a litigation partner and associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher, a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and a law clerk to Hon. David Mazzone, U.S. District Judge in the District of Massachusetts. Judge Stong is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and also serves as a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the Board of Trustees of the Practising Law Institute, the Board of Directors of the International Insolvency Institute, and the Board of Directors of P.R.I.M.E Finance.  She is also the Co-Chair of the New York City Bar’s Council on the Profession, and Co-Chair of the New York Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.  Judge Stong represents the American Bar Association Judicial Division’s National Conference of Federal Trial Judges in the ABA’s House of Delegates, and also serves on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and the Council of the ABA Business Law Section.  In October 2016, she will serve as Honorary Chair of Mediation Settlement Day, a nationwide event that she helped to establish in 2001. Judge Stong’s past positions include President of the Harvard Law School Association and ten years as chair of the NCBJ International Judicial Relations Committee.  She was Chair of the New York City Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and served for many years as an arbitrator and mediator for the NASD (now known as FINRA) and a mediator for New York’s state and federal courts.  She also served on the ABA’s Standing Committees on the American Judicial System and Continuing Legal Education, as well as the Commission on Women in the Profession, and Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Judge Stong has trained judges in Central Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the World Bank. She has also consulted with the Supreme Court of China and People’s High Courts in Beijing and Guangzhou, and has led judicial workshops in Cambodia, Brazil and Argentina.  She has received several honors and awards including the ABA Business Law Section’s Glass Cutter Award, the New York Institute of Credit’s Hon. Cecelia Goetz Award, the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Frieda Nisnowitz Award for Pro Bono Service, and the MFY Legal Services Scales of Justice Award. Judge Stong is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and St. John’s University School of Law.  She received her A.B. magna cum laude and her J.D. from Harvard University.                                                                                                                           

  •                                             Sergio A. Urias LL.M. '07

  • Sergio Urias is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he advises private equity funds and their portfolio companies, leads domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other corporate transactions and has extensive experience advising on transactions in Latin America.  He was recognized among The American Lawyer’s Dealmakers of the Year in 2020 and Latinvex’s 2022 list of Latin America’s Top 100 Lawyers as well as for his role in LatinFinance’s 2021 Private Equity Deal of the Year.  He holds a J.D. from Escuela Libre de Derecho and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School.


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                                    Venera Ziegler LL.M. '00                                                                                                         

  • Venera Ziegler is a partner in Torys Private Equity Practice and is based in New York. Venera frequently represents U.S. and non U.S. private equity fund sponsors in connection with structuring, formation, operation and restructuring of private investment funds. In addition, she represents institutional investors in connection with their investments in private funds. Venera also represents private equity fund sponsors and their personnel in connection with sharing arrangements and various employment and separation  agreements. She also provides regulatory advice to investment advisers with respect to federal securities laws, investment adviser and investment company laws and Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC rules and regulations. She speaks Bulgarian, Italian and Russian.