Class Notes

UCLA School of Law alumni are doing great things in widely varied fields, demonstrating each day the wealth of opportunities afforded by a prestigious law degree. They are starting up entrepreneurial ventures, prosecuting and defending clientele in an astonishing variety of fields, working as judges and public servants, and serving our country. Catch up with your classmates here to find out their latest news, or submit your class notes! Please let us know if you would like to include news or a photo in current edition of the online and print versions of UCLA Law Class Notes at alum@law.ucla.edu.


Click on your graduating decade below to see class notes by year.

Class Notes - 2000s
  • David Grossman ’00 was honored as one of the Top Intellectual Property Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. Grossman is a partner at Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles.
  • Jill Kastner ’00 will be the next bar president of the Wisconsin State Bar. Kastner, a public interest lawyer of Legal Action of Wisconsin, will be the first female bar president in ten years.
  • Thuy Thi Nguyen ’00 was honored by the Carnegie Corp. as part of its annual Great Immigrants tribute. Nguyen is the President of Foothill College. At age 3, Nguyen and her family joined the wave of “boat people” who fled Vietnam after the end of Vietnam War. They drifted in the Pacific Ocean on a boat for more than 20 days before a commercial ship rescued them and took them to a refugee camp in Japan.
  • Alexandra Roje ’00 joined the Los Angeles office of Lathrop Gage as a Partner in the Insurance Recovery & Counseling practice. Previously Roje was at Latham & Watkins.
  • Chris Kwok ’00 joined JAMS in New York. Kwok joined the JAMS Resolution Center as an arbitrator, mediator and special master in a variety of disputes including business/commercial and employment matters. Kwok joined JAMS after 15 years at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in New York, where he mediated hundreds of employment disputes.
  • Jennifer McGrath ’00 , Senior Attorney at Johnson & Johnson LLP, was featured in the Daily Journal.
  • Courtney Powers ’00 served as the President of the UCLA Law Alumni Association Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 year.
  • Betsy Smegal Andersen ’01 , chair of the Recreation Commission and active civic volunteer, was named to the Piedmont City Council in October 2017.
  • Blye Faust ’01 , award-winning film and television producer, addressed the Morning Forum of Los Altos, championing the power of storytelling in her presentation “Truth in Storytelling: Bringing Real Events to Life Onscreen.”
  • Cara Horowitz ’01 served as co-chair of the 2017 UCLA Law Women LEAD Inaugural Summit.
  • Ross Kutash ’01 runs the Plaintiffs department at BASTA - an eviction defense law firm with three locations in Los Angeles County.
  • Alex Fisch ’02 was sworn in as a member of the Culver City Council, a position he won in the April 10 election with the highest # of votes among the four candidates in a race to fill two open seats.
  • Johanna Schiavoni ’02 has been appointed to the Board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. A certified appellate specialist with her own law firm, Law Office of Johanna S. Schiavoni, she also has been named for the fourth year running to San Diego’s Super Lawyers List for Appellate Litigation, and in 2018, she was named one of Super Lawyers' Top 50 Attorneys in San Diego. Schiavoni will receive the Community Service Award at the Lawyers Club of San Diego annual dinner.
  • Laura Godfrey Zagar ’02 , partner in Perkins Coie’s San Diego office, has been selected by the Burton Awards as a recipient of the 2017 Law360 Distinguished Writing Award for her participation in writing the article "Environmental Streamlining Measures in Title 41 of the FAST Act: What Will They Mean for Infrastructure Project Developers?"
  • Hailyn Chen ’03 was featured in the Daily Journal as one of 2018's "Best Woman Lawyers." Chen is a top attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and was recently appointed to the State Bar of California's Board of Trustees.
  • Phuong Phillips ’03 was appointed Chief Legal Officer at Zynga Inc. - a leading social game developer. Previously, Phillips served as Associate General Counsel for Tesla, Inc., where she managed the post-acquisition integrations of SolarCity Corp. and Grohmann Engineering.
  • Todd Piro ’03 currently serves as a general assignment reporter, as part of the FOX & Friends team. In this role, Piro serves as a breaking news reporter and occasional guest host across both FOX & Friends and FOX & Friends Weekend. Before embarking on a career in television, he practiced law for five years in Los Angeles at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.
  • Anne Swoboda Cruz ’03 received the 2017 Outstanding Leader award from the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) Women in the Law (WITL) Committee. Cruz is a partner at the Los Angeles office of Tucker Ellis LLP.
  • Jeffrey Goldman ’04 was named a BTI Client Service All-Star 2018 by BTI Consulting Group. Goldman is a partner at Pepper Hamilton.
  • Matthew Nesburn ’04 was named a partner at Akin Gump in Los Angeles. Nesburn is a member of the firm’s global project finance practice.
  • Ireneo Reus ’04 is serving as the President of the UCLA Law Alumni Association Board of Directors for the 2018-2019 year.
  • Dylan Ruga ’04 was mentioned in the Los Angeles Daily Journal for starting Stalwart Law Group.
  • Angela Mooney D'Arcy ’04 was featured in Indian Country Today as a featured activist for Native Americans. D'Arcy founded Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, a Native rights group, and continues to serve as its Executive Director. D’Arcy was also a recipient of the New Voices Fellowship, a national Ford Foundation-funded program dedicated to cultivating the next generation of social justice leaders; the Earthjustice Sutherland Fellowship, awarded each year to a young lawyer to continue their work in environmental public-interest law; and is a member of the 2012 Circle of Leadership Academy sponsored by Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Center for Leadership Innovation.
  • Eric Fisher ’05 has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Prior to being named a board member, Fisher served as president of the Georgia Appleseed Young Professional Council (YPC.) Fisher is a partner at Taylor English Duma LLP in Atlanta.
  • Audrey Lustgarten ’05 spoke at the North Central Michigan College's Luncheon Lecture about global employment-based immigration in a restrictionist era, both in the U.S. and abroad, and what it means for companies and their employees. Lustgarten currently serves as the co-chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law’s Immigration and Naturalization Committee.
  • Rory Miller ’05 has been selected by Benchmark Litigation for its 2017 “Under 40 Hot List.” Miller is a partner in Glaser Weil’s Litigation Department.
  • Joshua Schneiderman ’05 has been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Southern California Rising Stars list. Schneiderman is a Partner at Snell & Wilmer in the firm’s corporate and securities group.
  • Isabel Safie ’05 was named a "Woman Worth Watching" by the Profiles in Diversity Journal. Safie was also selected to the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the fourth consecutive time, and was selected by the Daily Journal as a top Labor & Employment attorney for 2018. Safie is a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP's Riverside office.
  • Eric Vandevelde ’05 was featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal as a top Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyer. Vandevelde is known for his work on some of the country's most high profile cases including Apple Inc. in the "Apple v. FBI" case involving the government's demand for assistance in connection with the San Bernardino terrorist attack.
  • Neil Peretz ’06 co-founded Contract Wrangler. Peretz is the CEO of the company and they were recently selected for the FFL Accelerator and the LexisNexis LegalTech Accelerator. Previously, Peretz was co-founder and CEO of PocketMail Group, and then COO and CFO of Libraria/Sertanty.
  • Mohammed Cato ’06 was appointed as UCLA's Title IX Coordinator. In this role, Cato will lead and oversee a talented and growing Title IX team responsible for UCLA’s compliance with Title IX, including policies and procedures to prevent and respond to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
  • George Azadian ’07 is co-founder of the Azadian Law Group PC. with locations in Los Angeles and Pasadena. George is the firm’s President and specializes in employment law, exclusively representing employees.
  • Taisuke Kimoto ’07 was promoted to partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Licensed in both Japan and California, Kimoto advises Japanese and US clients on cross-border deals, helping reconcile legal and cultural differences in corporate law, employment matters, and dispute resolution, among other issues. He also advises on real estate matters. He is a member of the Japan practice, collaborating to develop relationships with blue-chip Japanese clients.
  • Jessie Kornberg ’07 has been selected by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division for the 2016 American Bar Association On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award. Kornberg, a founding board member of UCLA Law Women LEAD, became the first female CEO of legal services nonprofit Bet Tzedek in 2014.
  • Alina Ball ’08 was selected as this year’s recipient of the Clinical Section’s Shanara Gilbert Award. Ball is the founding director of the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic at UC Hastings College of the Law.
  • Vanessa Lavely ’08 was promoted to partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in the Litigation Department. She became the first UCLA School of Law graduate to rise to that position at the New York firm.
  • Meehan Rasch ’08 was named to the 2018 National LGBT Bar Association list of “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.” Rasch currently serves as an appellate court attorney to Justice Brian M. Hoffstadt '95 of the California Court of Appeal, and was also recently elected Co-President of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles.
  • Rachel Bloomekatz ’08 was a court appointed amica curiae for a case in Ohio - a rare and honorable appointment. The case was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
  • Tristan Brown ’08 was featured in an article on PRWeb, examining the importance of hiring a bankruptcy attorney. His office, the T.L. Brown Law Firm, P.C., also hosted a holiday toy donation drive for Toys for Tots.
  • Emily Cuatto ’08 of Horvitz & Levy was selected by her peers for inclusion in Southern California Rising Stars 2017 in the field of Appellate Law. Rising Stars is a list of outstanding attorneys who are 40 years old or younger, or have been practicing for less than 10 years.
  • Anthony Nguyen ’08 was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of 2018's most influential minority attorneys in Los Angeles. Nguyen is a Shareholder with Shegerian and Associates and has previously represented Fortune 500 companies in labor and employment disputes.
  • Kelsey Szamet ’08 was promoted to partner at the California firm of Kingsley & Kingsley. Szamet has been representing plaintiffs in employment cases since 2008 and has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine each year since 2014.
  • Nathaniel Braun ’09 was admitted to partnership at Selman Breitman in Los Angeles. Braun is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Commercial Transactions, and Insurance practice groups.
  • Timothy Hutter ’09 was elected to partnership at Allen Matkins. Hutter's practice focuses primarily on business and real estate disputes, including contract, construction, joint venture, entitlement, land use and commercial landlord/tenant litigation.
  • Kirsten M. Kinegak-Friday ’09 joined Landye Bennett Blumstein’s Alaska Native and corporate law and civil litigation practice in the firm’s Anchorage office.
  • Gina Marek ’09 was named one of the 2017 Women Leaders in Tech Law by The Recorder. Marek is a partner at Gunderson Dettmer in their Silicon Valley office.
  • Tanya Greene ’09 was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of 2018's most influential minority attorneys in Los Angeles. Greene is a litigation partner in Kirkland's Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She has represented some of the world's most well-known companies and high-profile clients such as BP, Boeing, and RBS Securities, among others.
  • Heather Karatz ’09 joined the Los Angeles Football Club - the newest franchise in Major League Soccer - as the organization's first general counsel. Upon completion of the 22,000-seat stadium in Exposition Park, Karatz will move from real estate deals and player contract negotiations to facility operations management and player retention strategies.
  • Gina Nicholls ’09 was recently promoted to Partnership at Nossaman LLP and is a member of the Water Practice Group in the Los Angeles office. Ms. Nicholls has litigation, regulatory, and transnational experience. Her practice focuses on water rights, litigation, and California public agencies. She was named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2016, 2017 and 2018.