2021 PABA

OFFICERS

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Abigail Zelenski
President
Abigail Zelenski is the founding attorney at Zelenski Law, PC (www.zelenskilaw.com), a boutique employment-law firm. For the past eighteen years, Abigail has focused extensively on labor and employment matters, successfully representing businesses and individuals in wage-and-hour, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful-termination matters. She also provides management-side advice and counsel on workplace policies and procedures. Throughout her career, she has worked to settle over forty class actions and mass actions, recovering millions on behalf of employees and consumers in a wide range of industries. For nine years in a row, from 2013 to 2021, Abigail has been honored as a Super Lawyer Rising Star and Super Lawyer. Abigail currently sits as a Commissioner on the inaugural Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights Commission. The Commission manages and advises on anti-discrimination efforts, provides remedies for such discrimination, promulgates policies and regulations, and makes recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.

Abigail earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California, magna cum laude. Abigail served on the Board of the Filipino American Library and Filipino American Heritage Institute for seven years, including two as Vice President. Abigail also served on the Board of the non-profit community service group Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
in Historic Filipinotown.

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Adrian Gidaya Roxas
President-Elect
Adrian Gidaya Roxas is a Partner at Roxas Law, APC, a boutique law firm in Torrance, California. Adrian is the firm’s lead Trial Attorney, handling all aspects of family-law related matters. Adrian has zealously litigated high-conflict family law disputes, mediated cases, and obtained or defended restraining orders. Prior to Roxas Law, APC, Adrian was a Prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 2007-2020, where he conducted jury trials to verdict and was member of the Sex Crimes Division and the Victim Impact Program. Adrian has successfully tried cases involving sexual assault, child molestation, child abuse, domestic violence, murders, and special circumstance murders. He has lectured on trial techniques and criminal investigations for the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the California District Attorneys Association, and the California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center.

Adrian was born and raised in Carson, California. He earned his B.A. in English, Summa Cum Laude, from Cal Poly Pomona and his J.D., with Honors, from Southwestern Law School.

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Alexander Palaylay Manglinong
Secretary
Alexander Manglinong is an associate at Sanders Roberts LLP, where he practices business and employment litigation. Alex earned his J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law and his B.A., summa cum laude, from UCLA. In law school, he was a senior copy editor for the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal.
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Josephine Ann Brosas
Treasurer
Josephine Ann Brosas is a Partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. She is a registered patent attorney and focuses her practice in the areas of intellectual property and technology matters, and in establishing, protecting, and defending intellectual property rights. She represents clients in a range of industries including food, nutritional supplements, apparel, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. She earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA, magna cum laude, and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School, magna cum laude. She is fluent in Tagalog.
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Cherisse H. Cleofe
Chair of the Board
Cherisse H. Cleofe is an associate at Kiesel Law LLP. Her practice focuses on mass tort litigation against pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cleofe was involved in practice development at JAMS. She was also a volunteer attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Ms. Cleofe received her B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is currently on the LACBA Barristers Executive Committee and serves as the Chair of the Recruiting Taskforce for the USF School of Law Board of Governors.
PABA BOARD OF

DIRECTORS

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Maridex E. Abraham
Reeves Immigration Law Group
Maridex E. Abraham is an associate attorney at Reeves Immigration Law Group in the firm's Pasadena office.

In 2015, Maridex moved from the Midwest to California to live out her passion to serve immigrant communities. Maridex has made numerous appearances before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service based on matters such as asylum, adjustment of status, removal of conditions, and naturalization. She also represents clients in bond and removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Maridex has secured waivers of inadmissibility for unlawful presence, misrepresentation and criminal grounds, as well as relief for victims of crimes and abused spouses. Maridex also handles employment-based immigration matters involving intracompany transferees, immigrant investors and individuals of extraordinary ability.

Maridex attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts and certificate in Asian American Studies. She earned her JD from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During law school, Maridex served as the 2L Class Representative and Secretary of UST School of Law Student Government and was an active member of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

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Marlon B. Baldomero
Law Offices of Marlon B. Baldomero
Marlon B. Baldomero obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law and his undergraduate Bachelor's degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. Upon migrating to the United States, he took up and earned a Master of Laws degree from Whittier Law School with a focus on the U.S. legal system for foreign-trained lawyers. Because of his background, Mr. Baldomero is very sensitive to the needs of southern California's immigrant communities, particularly in the area of Immigration law. He has helped countless of immigrants obtain legal permanent resident status and US citizenship. He has appeared before Immigration judges in behalf of clients in removal proceedings and has successfully argued to terminate their deportation cases. He currently practices as a solo attorney with offices in Glendale and Torrance, California.
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Tristan S. Bufete
Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise LLP
Tristan Bufete is an associate with Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise LLP. Tristan focuses his practice exclusively on probate litigation, with an emphasis on trusts and estates. Prior to joining Sacks Glazier, Tristan was an associate at the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he handled a variety of commercial litigation matters. Tristan received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law. He earned his B.A. in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from California State University, Fresno. While in law school, Tristan participated in the UCLA Supreme Court Clinic and served as associate editor of the UCLA Law Review. Prior to law school, Tristan worked as a paralegal at Public Counsel Law Center, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.
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Mercedes Cook
Los Angeles County Public Defender
Mercedes Cook graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Forensics and Criminality. She attended UCLA Law School and graduated in 2012. Upon graduation, she worked as an associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton, LLP in their Business Trial Practice Group, representing large businesses in commercial litigation.

After 5 1/2 years of civil litigation, she switched practice areas. She is currently a Deputy Public Defender at the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office. She is on the Board of the Black Public Defenders Association and is a Board Member and Lifetime Member of the Philippine American Bar Association.

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Jonathan Cruz
Los Angeles County Public Defender
Jonathan is a trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office where he represents indigent defendants in matters that range from public intoxication to homicide. He received his B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Music from the University of California, Santa Barbara and J.D. from Loyola Law School.
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Edward P. Dailo
Law Offices of Stephen A. Shapiro
Edward P. Dailo is an associate attorney at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, and is a member of the firm’s Medical Malpractice and Elder Law Practice Group. Previously, he worked as an in-house staff counsel for a major insurance company. Mr. Dailo earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and his J.D. from the University of La Verne-College of Law. Previously, Mr. Dailo served as president of the USC Alumni Club of the Inland Empire and a member of the University of La Verne College of Law Alumni Advisory Board. Mr. Dailo has also co-authored an article entitled “Filipinos on the Bench—Challenges and Solutions for Today and Tomorrow’s Generations” published by The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession in 2017. He enjoys basketball, soccer, dancing, hiking, traveling, and Broadway musicals.
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Jason Don A. de Jesus
Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, APC
Jason A. de Jesus is a litigation associate at Parker, Milliken, Clark, O'Hara & Samuelian, APC. Previously, he worked as an in-house staff counsel for a major insurance company.

Jason earned his B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. During law school, he served as a judicial extern at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to the Honorable S. James Otero. Jason also served as a Developments Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and worked for the Disability Rights Legal Center and Central Health Plan of California. Prior to law school, he worked as a histotechnologist and research associate at UCLA Neuropathology, where he co-authored several peer-reviewed journal publications examining the fields of neuro-oncology and Alzheimer’s disease.

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John Ryan De La Merced
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
John R. De La Merced is an attorney at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, and is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation group. John has represented clients in a variety of contentious matters, including breach of contract claims, fraud claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, intellectual property disputes, partnership disputes, real estate disputes, judicial dissolution, and other complex commercial disputes in federal and state court, and in arbitration proceedings before JAMS and the American Arbitration Association.

John earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A., cum laude, from UC Riverside. An active member of the community, John is a member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine American Bar Association after having served as its President in 2019. John also serves as Vice President of the UCLA Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, and is a member of the Board of Governors for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association. Previously, John served as a member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County Board of Governors. John also mentors current and future law students, as well as junior attorneys in the Southern California area.

Outside of the law, John enjoys spending time with his wife, Nancy, and their dog, Rupert, cooking, exploring restaurants, and cheering on their UCLA Bruins and Los Angeles Rams.

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Jessica Gillette
L.A. Care Health Plan
Jessica Gillette is in-house counsel for L.A. Care, which is the nation's largest publicly operated health plan. She provides advice on a wide range of subject matters including employment, public law, tax and licensing, and other legal matters for the organization and internal clients. Jessica manages and oversees investigations, pre-litigation matters, administrative proceedings and lawsuits.

Jessica was born and raised in the Philippines. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Davis, where she double majored in Sociology (Law & Society) and Rhetoric & Communication. She earned her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and was a Public Interest Law Scholar. She has been recognized as California's 2010, 2011 and 2012 ``Rising Star`` by Super Lawyers magazine.

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Benjamin J. Hofileña, Jr.
Neflix
Ben Hofileña is a Business and Legal Affairs executive at Netflix where he works in its Original Independent Film division. Prior to joining Netflix, Ben was at Twentieth Century Fox where he worked as a production attorney in feature films. For twelve years prior to joining Fox, Ben worked at the global law firms of McDermott, Will & Emery LLP and Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe LLP where his practice focused on intellectual property matters. Ben served as President of the Philippine American Bar Association in 2007-2008 and is the Immediate Past President of the PABA Foundation. Throughout his career, Ben has been committed to his pro bono work on behalf of children and domestic violence victims primarily working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), The Alliance for Children's Rights, and Public Counsel. Ben earned his B.S. in Physiological Science at UCLA and his J.D. from Loyola Law School. While in law school, Ben won the national championship for the Giles Sutherland Rich IP Moot Court Competition sponsored by the AIPLA and was a judicial extern to the Honorable Stephen R. Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ben loves all things UCLA, underwater photography and is a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor.
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Justin Hoyt
JAMS
Justin is an arbitrator, discovery referee, and mediator of complex commercial, employment, real estate, and entertainment disputes. He also serves as a research attorney at JAMS where he assists neutrals in the disposition of similar matters. Justin also is an adjunct professor at USC Gould School of Law, where he teaches various courses in arbitration.

Justin earned his LL.M. in ADR from USC Gould, his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and his B.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University.

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Diana Martinez
Polsinelli LLP
Diana is a third year associate at Polsinelli LLP where she litigates and counsels clients on employment matters. She earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from McMaster University in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior with a specialization in Music Cognition. Diana received her J.D. from Loyola Law School. During law school, she served as an editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, and her note on data privacy and augmented reality was published. She has been a PABA member since her second year of law school.
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Philip L. Nulud
Buchalter
Philip is an attorney in Buchalter's Los Angeles office and a member of the Intellectual Property and Corporate Practice Groups. His practice focuses on counseling clients in the apparel and textile, and technology industries in developing, protecting and licensing their valuable ideas. He has extensive experience in international enforcement and prosecution and has assisted many companies in obtaining their trademarks overseas.

He earned his J.D. at Loyola Law School and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Political Science (concentrating in Law and Public Policy) from the University of Southern California. Mr. Nulud also previously clerked for the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office: Consumer Protection Division.

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Ernie A. Ocampo
Reed Smith LLP
Ernie is a Partner in the Entertainment & Media Industry Group of Reed Smith LLP. Ernie advises entertainment clients in connection with investments, joint ventures and business launches, and advises real estate clients on acquisitions and development of renewable energy facilities and commercial properties.
Ernie serves on the Board of Directors of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association and Filipinos in Institutional Real Estate. He also serves as pro bono counsel for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans. Each fall, Ernie co-hosts a welcome reception for first-year USC students from the Philippines.

Ernie earned his J.D. from Cal and his B.S. in Public Policy, with a minor in Business, from USC.

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Elywill M. Zamora Paja
WEBTOON Entertainment Inc.
Elywill is Associate General Counsel at WEBTOON, the world’s largest digital comics platform. She leads the Business and Legal Affairs and Legal Operations teams of WEBTOON US and Latin America. Her areas of responsibility include dealmaking, IP licensing and commercial transactions, compliance and risk (trust & safety, internet law, consumer protection, privacy and product, marketing and ad law), and legal tech and operations. She supports the General Counsel and NAVER on various matters, including corporate and global affairs, litigation, and M&A deals and due diligence.

Elywill earned her LL.M. from USC Gould with certifications in Entertainment Law, Business Law, and Transnational Law. She graduated with the Silver Medal of Excellence and Salutatorian of her JD, MBA class at the FEU-DLSU Consortium. She received her BA in Asian American Studies at UC Davis, where she developed holistic retention programs for underrepresented communities. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the USC Gould Alumni Association (Los Angeles Committee).

She is admitted to practice law in California and the Philippines.

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Pam Palpallatoc
Jackson Lewis
Pam Palpallatoc serves as an Associate Attorney at Jackson Lewis, where she represents employers in workplace law matters, including defending businesses through all phases of multi-party and single-plaintiff actions, preventative advice and counseling, and anti-bias, anti-racism training for workplaces. She has worked in-house and for general counsels, including the Office of the General Counsel for the University of California Office of the President. In addition to employment and civil litigation, she has advised on privacy, cybersecurity, automation, professional liability, commercial transactions, charitable trusts, corporate social responsibility, and community - police relations.

She served as the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California’s in-house counsel committee co-chair, and completed the inaugural mid-career fellowship for the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Cal-APABA) Leadership Education for Attorney Development (LEAD) program. She has obtained mindfulness, spaceholder, and instructor certifications including Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) 200, Office Yoga(TM), and Mental Health First Aid (Catholic Charities).

She completed a judicial clerkship for the California Superior Court for the County of Alameda and a judicial externship for the U.S. District Court Northern District of California. Her leadership earned the University of San Francisco School of Law the Henry J. Ramsey Jr. Diversity Award. At the University of California Davis, she served a preeminent appointment with now Chancellor Emeritus Larry N. Vanderhoef, one of her earliest professional experiences contributing to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI) initiatives. She credits her foundation for nearly two decades of professional contributions to DEI, to mentorship by the UC Davis Departments of African American & African Studies and Asian American Studies, the UC Davis Cross Cultural and LGBTQIA Resource Centers, and The Greenlining Institute.

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Ria Pascual
Goodwin Procter LLP
Ria Pascual is a corporate associate in Goodwin Procter LLP’s Technology and Life Sciences group. Her representation of companies and investors spans the entire corporate life-cycle, including pre-incorporation planning, general corporate representation and counseling, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, corporate governance and public company representation.

Ria received her B.A. in 2012 from the University of California, San Diego, where she double majored in Political Science and Communication. She received her J.D. in 2016 from UCLA School of Law. During law school, Ria served as a judicial extern at the California Supreme Court to Associate Justice Goodwin Liu.

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Zathrina Zasell G. Perez
Gibson Dunn
Zathrina Perez is a senior associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She currently practices in the firm’s Litigation Department.

Ms. Perez has extensive trial experience. She has served as lead trial associate on multiple trial teams, including in lengthy jury and bench trials. She also has served as a critical member of many other trial teams. She has argued complex motions, conducted cross and direct examinations of many witnesses, prepared and presented testimony from experts, and taken and defended depositions. She has substantial experience litigating in federal, state and territorial courts throughout the United States.

Ms. Perez also has extensive arbitration experience. She has represented clients, including plaintiffs and defendants, in connection with seven arbitrations and arbitration-related litigation. She has litigated all stages of arbitration proceedings, from demands for arbitration through arbitral hearings to arbitral awards and judicial review of arbitral awards. She has appeared as counsel before JAMS and AAA. In addition, she has conducted investigations as outside counsel for corporations.

Ms. Perez has represented one of the world’s most valuable apparel brands, a major travel retailer of luxury products, a technology start-up engaged in data services, a global financial institution, American sports icons and athletes, and major corporate sponsors of sporting events. She has developed significant skills as a litigation generalist with specific experience in investigations, government and governing body disputes, consumer and enterprise sales and marketing, data licensing and privacy, sports entertainment, and employment disputes.

Ms. Perez received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude in 2009 from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. While at Georgetown, she interned for the Honorable Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Perez graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major in International Economics and a minor in Political Science.

Ms. Perez is admitted to practice law in the State of California.

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Alex Sario
Law Offices of Alternate Public Defender
Alex is a felony trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender's Office. His current practice includes serious felonies and homicides at the Pomona Courthouse. He also practiced public criminal defense in Riverside County and business litigation in downtown Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and his J.D. from Loyola Law School.
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Stacey A. Villagomez
Allen Matkins
Stacey A. Villagomez is a litigation associate in Allen Matkins' Los Angeles office. She practices in all aspects of general business and real estate litigation in both state and federal courts. Stacey received her bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Asian American Studies from UCLA. She received her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law where she served as Topic Editor for the Hale Moot Court Honors Program and Secretary for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. While in law school, Stacey also obtained a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Prior to entering law school, Stacey worked as a paralegal for five years at an Orange County law firm. She also clerked for boutique litigation and appellate firms in Los Angeles while completing her law degree. Stacey is currently Co-Chair of the General Real Property Subsection of LACBA and is an active member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
PABA STUDENT

REPRESENTATIVES

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Marguerrite Bangunan
USC Gould School of Law
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Joe Castro
Pepperdine Law School
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Jolena Collas
Loyola Law School
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Gerardo Gorospe
UCLA School of Law
Joseph Castro is a 2L Yellow Ribbon and Merit Scholar at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. Born and raised in Pampanga, Philippines, he graduated cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University and immigrated to the United States in 2010. He was a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman for eight years, stationed in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Southern California where he last served as a Tactical Combat Casualty Care Instructor.

Joseph is a junior editor for the Pepperdine Law Review and is writing an article about Filipino-Americans and affirmative action jurisprudence in law school admissions. He served as an extern to the Hon. Margaret M. Mann, Chief Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California. He is currently pursuing another judicial internship in the Southern District of California.

Joseph resides in San Diego with his fiancée, Hayley. He is fluent in Kapampangan, Filipino, and proficient in Spanish. He is a die-hard fan of José Rizal, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, and Teddy Bruschi's New England Patriots.

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Karen Maala
Southwestern School of Law
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Anastasia Olano
Loyola Law School
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Brendan Pratt
UCLA School of Law
Brendan Pratt is a first year J.D. candidate at the UCLA School of Law. He graduated magna cum laude from New York University in 2011 with a major in English & American Literature and a minor in History. He is the current Co-Chair for the Asian/Pacific Islander Law Students Association at UCLA. He is also a Staff Editor for the UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review. This upcoming summer he will extern for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to attending law school he worked for Oxford University Press and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. In his free time he likes to cook, golf, and write poetry.