2023 PABA


Mercedes A. Cook
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.

Alexander Palaylay Manglinong
Alexander Manglinong is an associate at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP. Alexander’s practice focuses on business litigation. He has represented a diverse array of businesses and high net worth individuals in commercial and real estate disputes in federal and state court. Alexander earned his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and his J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Alexander previously worked as a law clerk for Mental Health Advocacy Services, where he assisted clients on issues relating to government benefits, Section 8 Housing, and specialized education programs. While attending the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, he served as Senior Copy Editor of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal.
Stacey A. Villagomez
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.
Josephine Ann Brosas
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.


Maridex E. Abraham
Loke Walsh Immigration Law
Maridex E. Abraham is an associate attorney at Loke Walsh Immigration Law, PC, where she focuses primarily on employment-based and family-based immigration matters. H-1B visa petitions for specialty occupation workers, E-3 Australian visa petitions, H-1B1 visa petitions for Chilean and Singaporean specialty occupation workers, TN visa applications for Canadian and Mexican professionals, O-1 nonimmigrant visa petitions for individuals of extraordinary ability, P-1 visa petitions for entertainers, J-1 trainee visa applications, adjustment of status applications, and naturalizations.

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 2L Class Representative and Secretary UST School of Law Student Government, as well as Secretary and Social Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

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.
Cherisse H. Cleofe
Kiesel Law LLP
Cherisse H. Cleofe is a senior associate at Kiesel Law LLP. She proudly represents plaintiffs in mass tort litigation, consumer class actions, catastrophic personal injury, and other complex litigation in federal and state courts. Her practice focuses on product liability mass tort litigation against pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Ms. Cleofe received a B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego and earned her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Ms. Cleofe was a member of a trial team that won a record $417 million jury verdict for a woman who contracted ovarian cancer due to talcum powder use. She was also a member of a trial team that won a unanimous $11 million federal jury verdict in the first bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation involving Wright “metal-on-metal” hip replacement devices.

Ms. Cleofe is a proud PABA Lifetime Member and continues to sit on the PABA Board of Governors. She was PABA President in 2020. In addition, Ms. Cleofe serves as Secretary for the Executive Committee of the LACBA Litigation Section and is a member of the APABA Public Appointments & Judicial Endorsements Committee. She also previously served as a member of the USF School of Law Board of Governors.

Jonathan Cruz
Office of the Public Defender, Santa Cruz County
Jonathan Cruz is the Chief Deputy Public Defender of the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender where he oversees all legal operations and also handles cases in court. He is the first to hold this position and the first Filipino-American executive in Santa Cruz County government. Prior to joining this new government agency, Jonathan was the Deputy-in-Charge of the Post-Conviction Unit at the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office. Jonathan was a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles as a trial attorney for over 15 years and handled an array of criminal cases ranging from driving without a license to murder. He received his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School and studied Sociology and Music, among other things, at UC Santa Barbara. Jonathan enjoys live jazz and snowboarding in his free time.
Edward P. Dailo
Liberty Mutual Group Field Legal Offices
Edward P. Dailo is a trial attorney with the Liberty Mutual Group Field Legal Offices in Orange, California. He practices in all aspects of complex litigation, including the areas of trucking and automobile liability, premises liability, general liability, products liability and subrogation.

Attorney Dailo graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 2006. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of La Verne College of Law in 2011.

Before joining Liberty Mutual in 2021, Attorney Dailo practiced as an associate attorney for an insurance defense firm, where he was a member of the Medical Malpractice and Long-Term Care & Elder Law Practice group. He also previously worked for an auto insurance company practicing in auto accident premises liability. He is currently on the board of governors for the Philippine American Bar Association.

Jason Don A. de Jesus
King & Spalding
Jason Don A. de Jesus is an associate at the Los Angeles office of King & Spalding and a member of the firm’s Healthcare practice group. He represents hospitals and other healthcare providers in complex litigation matters involving managed care disputes. Jason has counseled and represented clients in commercial, employment, and healthcare litigation matters and internal investigations.

Jason earned his B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA. He earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he served as a Developments Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and judicial extern at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to the Honorable S. James Otero. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jason worked at UCLA Neuropathology, where he performed diagnostic studies on neuromuscular tissues and co-authored peer-reviewed journal publications examining the fields of neuro-oncology and Alzheimer’s disease.

John Ryan De La Merced
Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
John R. De La Merced is Senior Counsel at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, handling a broad range of complex business litigation matters on behalf of high-profile clients in commercial, intellectual property, and real estate disputes. John’s active practice services clients through all stages of the pre-litigation and litigation process, in matters in federal and state court, as well as 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 former President of the UCLA Law Alumni Association Board of Directors and continues to serve on the Board. John is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine American Bar Association after having served as its President in 2019. Previously, John has served on the boards of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County. John also mentors current and future law students, as well as junior attorneys in Southern California.

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.

Jessica Gillette
L.A. Care Health Plan
Jessica Obrador Gillette serves as Associate Counsel, Senior Director for L.A. Care Health Plan. She provides advice on a wide range of subject matters including employment, public agency, tax and licensing, and other legal matters. Jessica manages and oversees investigations, pre-litigation matters, administrative proceedings, and lawsuits. Prior to becoming in-house counsel for L.A. Care, Jessica served as a litigation attorney for a defense firm representing public entities and corporations.

Jessica is a PABA Lifetime Member and a member of the PABA Board of Directors. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Chapter, serving as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. She is a member of the Filipino American National Historical Society and spearheaded the relocation of the Landing of the First Filipinos monument in the City of Morro Bay. Jessica is also active in the City of Long Beach, where she serves as Equity and Human Relations Commissioner. She was instrumental in organizing the Inaugural City of Long Beach Filipino American History Month Celebration in 2022. She was also selected to be a member of the 2023 City of Long Beach Inauguration Honorary Host Committee.

Jessica was born and raised in the Philippines. She is fluent in Tagalog. 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.

Benjamin J. Hofileña, Jr.
Ben Hofileña is Assistant Chief Counsel at Hulu where he leads the legal team for Hulu Originals. Prior to joining Hulu, Ben was a Business and Legal Affairs executive in Netflix's live action film group. Prior to Netflix, he was a production attorney in feature films at Twentieth Century Fox. 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 a former President of the PABA Foundation. In 2018, Ben was recognized with the PABA Distinguished Leadership Award. 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.
Ria King
StepStone Group
Ria is a member of the legal and compliance team, where she focuses on venture capital and growth equity investments.

Prior to joining StepStone, Ria was a senior associate at Goodwin Procter LLP in their San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, where she advised founders, emerging growth companies, and venture capital funds on corporate and transactional matters.

Ria received her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, and her B.A. from University of California, San Diego. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Philippine American Bar Association. Ria is licensed to practice law in California.

Cristina Legaspi
Office of the County Counsel, Los Angeles County
Cristina Gutierrez Legaspi is a Principal Deputy County Counsel in the Office of the County Counsel, Los Angeles County. With 24 years of experience in government, Ms. Legaspi represents the Board of Supervisors and its county departments.

Ms. Legaspi’s specialty is in child welfare, prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases on behalf of the County. She has tried the most complex cases involving child injuries, fatalities and sex abuse cases. Ms. Legaspi has spent almost all of her career as a trial attorney on matters involving child witnesses, experts in medicine, forensics, psychology and social work. Ms. Legaspi has also worked with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and is considered an expert in this law. She participates in conferences involving all issues related to Native American children and families. She has spent years as a trial attorney in the ICWA dedicated court and as an imbedded Legal Advisor to the American Indian Unit of DCFS. She has worked with tribal courts on collaborative case management, and reviewed legislation involving Indian Child Welfare. Ms. Legaspi was the trial attorney in a published opinion, In re Santos Y., an ICWA case relating to the removal of the Indian Child Welfare Doctrine as a consideration in dependency matters.

Ms. Legaspi has also served as Legal Advisor to the Civil Grand Jury of Los Angeles County assisting the Grand Jury on matters relating to investigations into the County’s affairs, usage of resources and jails. Ms. Legaspi has also served as Legal Advisor to the Assessment Appeals Board on taxation disputes and litigation.

Ms. Legaspi is active in the County of Los Angeles, IDEA initiative, serving on committees dedicated to recruiting and retaining employees of color on the basis of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Antiracism. Ms. Legaspi serves as a mentor to college and law school students in all aspects from LSAT prep, to study and exam preparation, to Bar preparation, serving as a sounding board and providing feedback and support to students. She has judged mock trial and moot court competitions for UCLA School of Law, and other organizations. Several of her mentees have gone on to be successful attorneys.

In addition to PABA, Ms. Legaspi is a member of APAWLA, WLALA, and LACBA.

Ms. Legaspi is the first member of her family to go to law school.

Karen Maala
FOX Entertainment
Karen Maala is an Associate Director with the Business and Legal Affairs team at FOX Entertainment. She assists with negotiations with above the line talent, below-the-line production agreements, and provide production legal advice for various unscripted television programming. Karen graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In May 2021, Karen received her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School, and was admitted to the State Bar of California in December 2021.

During law school, Karen served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and as an Advisory Board Member of the school’s Peer Mentor Program. Karen started as one of PABA’s student reps in her second year of law school and has been a PABA member ever since. In her spare time, Karen loves hanging out with friends, family, and her plants and going to the gym.

Nicholas Marfori
Ogletree Deakins
Nicholas “Nick” Marfori is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins. His practice is focused on defending clients against individual and class action lawsuits brought under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nick regularly advises and defends retail stores, restaurants, hotels, theme parks, and other places of public accommodation in matters involving architectural access barriers and digital accessibility (e.g., website accessibility, mobile apps, streaming media). Nick also represents clients in employment litigation matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims. He has also represented residential developers, homeowners’ associations, and property management companies in fair housing matters and construction-related issues. Nick received his B.A. at the University of California, Irvine, and his J.D. at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. During law school, he externed for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and served as Developments Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review.
Philip L. Nulud
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.

Ernie A. Ocampo
Reed Smith LLP
Ernie is a Partner in the Entertainment & Media Industry Group of Reed Smith LLP. He advises clients in connection with business launches, joint ventures, M&A, and venture finance, and provides general corporate counsel with respect to client operations. Ernie is the Partner Chair for Reed Smith's AAPI affinity group.
Kimberly R. Paggabao
Dummit, Buchholz, & Trapp
Kimberly Paggabao is an associate at Dummit, Buchholz, & Trapp’s Los Angeles office. Her primary areas of practice involve defending hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare members in professional negligence, elder abuse, and general liability matters.

Kimberly graduated from Southwestern Law School, where she was the Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Law School Association and the Public Relations Chair for the Public Interest Law Committee. While in law school, Kimberly was also the student representative for the Philippine American Bar Association and interned at the Office of the Attorney General of California.

Pamela A. Palpallatoc
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
As a member of the Labor Employment Immigration and Benefits section, Pamela advises and manages challenges of modern-day commerce for businesses globally, and delivers a full suite of employment litigation defense services for clients throughout California, including the greater Los Angeles area, Orange County, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience includes commercial transactions for employers, contracts and handbooks, risk prevention advice and counseling, workplace training, analyzing privacy, investigations, and COVID-19 guidance. Before state and federal courts and employment-related agencies, she defends employers in all aspects of employment law, including single-plaintiff lawsuits and class actions involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour, and government charges and investigations. She began defending businesses and advising on contemporary employment and labor law topics such as community - police relations, automation, and independent contractor status, over 10 years ago.

Pamela provides a holistic defense, tapping into insight gained from the perspective of a client. She served multiple general counsels and in house. From pre-litigation through trial and post-litigation compliance, at all stages of client engagement, she strategically advises to prevent risk and preserve client resources and energy.

Pamela enjoys piano, tennis, weightlifting, and recently trained with a champion MMA fighter. She is grateful for three generations of her family who served in the U.S. Army.

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.

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.
Abigail Tapang Zelenski
Zelenski Law, PC
Abigail Tapang Zelenski is the founding attorney at Zelenski Law, PC (www.zelenskilaw.com), a boutique employment law firm. For nearly twenty 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 ten years in a row, from 2013 to 2022, 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 is tasked with investigating complaints of discrimination in Los Angeles, and works in close partnership with the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department to hold businesses and individuals accountable for discriminatory practices that deny equal treatment to individuals. Abigail also serves on the Board of the non-profit community service group, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, in Historic Filipinotown. Abigail served on the Board of the Filipino American Library for seven years, including two as Vice President. 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.



Sandra Aguilar
Chapman University, Fowler School of Law
Sandra is a 1L at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Irvine where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. At Chapman, she is a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Chapman Women Lawyers Association, and International Law Society. She considers herself a Civil Procedure and Contracts geek who has an unencumbered passion for legal theories. Prior to law school, Sandra worked for a consumer protection firm where she managed and settled debt litigation matters. She also interned for the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. and participated in three research projects as an undergraduate at UC Irvine.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Sandra aims to provide a unique perspective in the legal field.

Andrea Lazo Cadaing
Loyola Law School
Andrea Lazo Cadaing is a third year student at LMU Loyola Law School. Andrea is a Research Editor for Loyola’s International and Comparative Law Review and she serves as the Vice President of the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-Up Club. Andrea is interested in intellectual property law and is currently working with Professor Motomura on her research regarding inventorship in patent law.

Before law school, Andrea attended the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in Legal Studies. At Berkeley, Andrea was President of the Berkeley Legal Studies Association and an editor of the California Legal Studies Journal. She served as a JusticeCorps member at the self-help centers of several Alameda County Superior Courts. There, Andrea assisted self-representing litigants with cases ranging from family law to small claims cases. In addition, Andrea translated for Filipino clients who did not read, write, or speak English.

Gervi Cadimas
University of San Diego, School of Law
Gervi is a 2L at the University of San Diego School of Law. She serves as the Secretary of the Client Advocacy Team and also competed for the negotiation competition. Last summer, Ms. Cadimas worked for Paul, Plevin, Sullivan and Connaughton, a labor and employment law firm in downtown San Diego. She also worked as a legal intern at the University of San Diego’s Legal Clinic under their Civil Litigation department where she was able to successfully dismiss a cross-complaint filed against one of her clients. Ms. Cadimas received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the California State University, Sacramento where she graduated with magna cum laude honors. This summer, she will be working at an insurance litigation firm in Temecula, California. In the fall, she will be externing for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California. She is fluent in Tagalog and Bisaya.
Jolena Collás
Loyola Law School
Jolena is a 2L at Loyola Law School. She graduated cum laude from the University of California San Diego, where she double majored in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. Having started her own small business post-grad, Jolena is interested in making intellectual property rights more accessible to Filipino entrepreneurs, creatives, and artists. She is particularly invested in the debate around IP law's shortcomings in effectively preventing the misuse and appropriation of cultural expression. She finished her first year of law school in the top 10% of her class with a 3.8 GPA. Currently, she is the Activities Co-Chair of the Women in Entertainment Law Society and a staffer on the Entertainment Law Review. In her free time, she organizes informal networking events for women of color at Loyola and loves supporting local business owners. She also enjoys cooking, watching hockey (GO KINGS GO!), hiking, and singing at open mics such as Palms Up Academy.
Mark Deroca
Western State College of Law
Mark is a 1L at Western State College of Law. Mark graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Film and Electronic Arts with an emphasis in Production Management at California State University, Long Beach. Following a year of working he decided to go to Cerritos College where he completed the paralegal certificate and eventually furthered his legal career when he started attending Western State. Mark currently serves as the secretary for his school’s Asian Pacific Law Student Association. Mark was born in the Philippines but grew up around the Middle East and believes that this upbringing can bring a different ideology into the legal field. He is fluent in Tagalog and speaks conversational French and Arabic.
Sydney Judilla
University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
Sydney is a 1L at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. She earned her B.A. in English and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with honors. Prior to law school, Sydney worked as a paralegal at a big law firm and as a legal assistant at Capcom USA. As a 1L, Sydney was a representative for the Venture Capital and Technology Law Association and the Fashion and Beauty Law Society. This summer, Sydney will be a 1L Diversity Fellow at Ropes & Gray. In her free time, she enjoys going to farmers markets, thrift shopping, and eating pastries.
Marc Lim
University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
Marc is a 1L at the USC Gould School of Law. He earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he graduated with highest honors. Before law school, Marc worked at Verizon Media (now Yahoo!) as a financial analyst. At Verizon Media, he supported Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Yahoo Finance. This summer, Marc will be a 1L Diversity Scholar at Latham & Watkins. In his free time, he enjoys working out and watching basketball.
Eanna Mejia
University of San Francisco, School of Law
Eanna Mejia is a 2L at University San Francisco. Eanna graduated from University of California, Riverside with a B.A. in Psychology. She was born and raised in Corona, California. Eanna currently serves on the board of USF School of Law’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association as Vice President. During law school, Eanna gained legal experience as an extern at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. This summer, she has accepted a position as a Law Clerk at Hoover Krepelka. In her free time, Eanna loves to travel and bake.
Andrew Meily
Southwestern Law School
Andrew is a 3L at Southwestern Law School. He earned his B.A. in Political Science (concentrating in American politics) and a minor in Film, Television, and Media Studies from UCLA in 2017. Andrew is an aspiring entertainment attorney hoping to provide production legal services to creators making diverse and meaningful projects. Currently, Andrew is a lead articles editor for the Southwestern Journal of International Law, co-president of Southwestern’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and business and legal affairs intern for the animation production company, Titmouse, Inc. Previously, he was a summer law clerk at Donaldson, Callif, & Perez and prior to law school Andrew worked as a legal department coordinator at Guess?, Inc.
Danielle Ocampo
Loyola Law School
Danielle Ocampo is a 3L student at Loyola Law School. During law school, Danielle developed her interest in privacy and cybersecurity law in tech and medtech through legal internships at worldwide job search platform Indeed.com and Intuitive Surgical, Inc., a global medical device company. Danielle also committed herself to serving as Program Director for the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations’ (NaFFAA) Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration (EPYC). EPYC is NaFFAA’s national youth leadership development and strongest initiative. Prior to law school, Danielle was a Business and Administrative Professional at Bayer’s agricultural tech arm The Climate Corporation. Before venturing into the Technology sector, Danielle was a Business Development Coordinator at the multinational law firm Paul Hastings LLP in the Bay Area where she advanced the business initiatives of the Employment Law practice. Danielle was also a full-time graduate student at the University of Southern California School of Public Policy where she earned her Master of Public Administration degree in 2018. Danielle graduated from the University of California Davis in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations and a minor in Managerial Economics.

Danielle is passionate about building the pipeline of Fil-Am talent, especially within the legal profession. Through her continued service to the Fil-Am community, Danielle works to increase visibility of Fil-Ams in professional and community spaces.

Bernadette Tuano
Pepperdine Law School
Bernadette is currently a 2L at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Malibu. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Business Management from the University of California, Irvine. Last summer, Bernadette worked as a Judicial Extern for Judge Jeannie Joseph at the Orange County Superior Court and is currently working for the Los Angeles District Attorney. She is interested in criminal law and aspires to be a Prosecutor. As a 1L Bernadette served as a Student Representative for Pepperdine’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association for which she now serves as the Vice President and Social Director. She is also a Junior Staffer for Pepperdine’s Dispute Resolution Law Journal and serves as a Competition Chair for the school's Moot Court Board.
Chelsea Viola
Loyola Law School
Chelsea is 1L at Loyola Law School. She was chosen as one of the Public Interest Scholars for the 2021 entering class for her volunteer work with Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a Bay Area non-profit that empowers youth in the juvenile justice system. Before law school, Chelsea was a UCLA alumna and was the Founder & President of the Pilipinx Pre-Law Pipeline (3P), currently the only pre-law organization for Asian American Students at UCLA. She has a strong interest in representing clients of underserved communities and hopes to work for a government agency in the future.