Members Who Inspire

39 ABA Journal Members Who Inspire articles.

Elizabeth Greene aims to prevent heart disease and stroke in central Massachusetts

Elizabeth Greene had been practicing with Mirick, O’Connell, DeMallie & Lougee in Worcester, Massachusetts, for two years in 1997 when she heard about a new opportunity. She received an email from a partner who volunteered with the American Heart Association but was moving on to other projects. He told her the organization wanted to rekindle its presence in central Massachusetts and needed someone’s help.

Mona Kaveh gives a voice to foster children in Las Vegas

Mona Kaveh has represented nearly 30 foster children since she began volunteering with the Children’s Attorneys Project in 2010. “It made me so happy that these kids had someone fighting for them. I always say, as much as I try to advocate for these kids, I feel like they have changed my life so much and inspired me so much in return. What they have been through and what they are still able to achieve is so inspiring.”

Meet 14 ABA members who inspired us in 2020

Throughout the year, the ABA Journal profiles exceptional ABA members in its Members Who Inspire series. In 2020, we featured attorneys from across the country whose important and influential work includes using visual storytelling for legal advocacy, bringing attention to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women, and combating racial injustice and inequity.

Laura Farber gives her all to both local and national causes like the Tournament of Roses

After more than 25 years of service, Laura Farber became the first Latina and third woman to serve as president of the Tournament of Roses. She selected the theme, “The Power of Hope,” for the 2020 celebration, which she says was based on her own life story but still resonates amid the COVID-19 pandemic and divisiveness in the country.

Years of service: Mark Daniel Maloney reflects on journey with Rotary International

“It is an opportunity to connect while you are doing good in the world,” says Mark Daniel Maloney, a member of Blackburn, Maloney and Schuppert and now the immediate past president of Rotary International. “It is wonderful to be a volunteer, but you go in and you perform the service, and you leave.”

NAPABA president Bonnie Lee Wolf’s efforts against anti-Asian discrimination draw support of ABA, other groups

“Now is a time to stand with the African American community against what has been going on for decades, centuries, to show unity and solidarity from the Asian American community,” Wolf says. “What’s encouraging is that it seems like people are listening, and we can be part of that driving force to see real action and real change.”

First Black Oregon Supreme Court justice blazes a trail for lawyers—and students

On a hot day in June 2019, Oregon Supreme Court Justice Adrienne Nelson stood up and made a promise to her community. “This is going to be a place where students know they are enough, and they can build from that and grow from that,” she said.

Two young Native American lawyers call for action on missing and murdered indigenous women

Lauren van Schilfgaarde and Heather Torres introduced the ABA to the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis in February by first sharing the stories of those who suffered. Those stories resonated with the ABA House of Delegates.

Men of Color Project co-chairs lead conversations on racial injustice

“It came down to ‘How do we support this cause?’” says Jerome Crawford, co-chair of the ABA’s Men of Color Project. “We recognized that we represent a unique constituency that needed to be spoken up for. The issues that we’re talking about disproportionately affect men in communities of color, particularly Black and brown men.”

Lawyer certified as emergency medical technician calls on his experience during COVID-19 crisis

“I am able to use my skills to help with the board, to help with meal organization, and to help with providing supplemental staffing at a time when more than ever an EMT is needed,” says lawyer Christopher Jennison, an ABA member, employment and labor counsel with the Federal Aviation Administration, and assembly clerk of the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division.

A love of dolphins sparked lawyer’s 30-year crusade to improve well-being of animals

James F. Gesualdi was only a year into his practice of law in 1989 when a trip to a dolphin sanctuary changed the course of his career—and his entire life. “The practice of animal law, like life itself, is all about raising consciousness,” Gesualdi says.

Attorney uses photography and storytelling for legal empowerment

“That is one of my main missions, to elevate and amplify the voices of poor and marginalized people and communities,” says ABA member Deborah Espinosa, who now works as a consultant for Landesa. “Not speak for them—they are not voiceless; it’s just their voices do not often have platforms.”

Robert Saunooke champions Native American issues in his career and in the ABA

The universe unfolds as it is intended. That’s the mantra Robert Saunooke has called on for motivation through much of his life. It guided the citizen and enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through challenges he encountered during his childhood and opportunities he embraced as he built a practice focused on representing Native American tribes and their members.

Lawyer launches café that employs individuals with disabilities

In December 2018, Vinson & Elkins counsel Noelle Alix teamed up with longtime friend Kim Morrison to open BeanZ & Co. and provide jobs to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Avon, Connecticut.

Assistant public defender: ‘I just personally like to give back’

LaToya Bell, an assistant public defender in Houston County in Georgia, a member of the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division and Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, and a member of the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division, handles as many as 200 to 250 cases at any time involving misdemeanors and traffic offenses in state court. She has earned her own reputation for being hopeful for her clients—hopeful not only that justice is served, but that she can in some way improve their lives.

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