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Every year, the St. Mary’s University School of Law Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Council honors ten outstanding alumni who have graduated within the past ten years at its annual 10 Under 10 luncheon. This year, the GOLD Council will honor those who graduated between 2009 to 2018, who have shown extraordinary commitment to the St. Mary’s School of Law, their community, and the profession. The luncheon will be held during Law Weekend and Reunion which takes place in the spring of 2019.
Partner, Espinoza Law Firm
Lara Brock (J.D. ’14) is a partner at the Espinoza Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas where she has been since before and during law school. Brock is a Director for the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, Founder and Chair of the Women’s Caucus for SATLA, a Chair of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association’s Women’s Caucus, member of the TTLA Board of Advocates, and a member of the CLE Committee for the TTLA. Brock is also proud to say that she is an inaugural member of the LEAD Academy for the Bexar County Women’s Bar Foundation.
Brock graduated sixth in her class from St, Mary’s School of Law. While at St. Mary’s, Brock was a staff writer and then Managing Executive Editor for The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice. She published an article on workplace injuries in The Scholar while she was a 3L. Brock received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Spanish from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee, graduating summa cum laude with honors.
Christopher A. Chaffee
Attorney, United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
Christopher A. Chaffee (J.D. ’14) has been an attorney for the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor in El Paso, Texas since 2016. His current practice areas include criminal and immigration law. Chaffee represents the Department in removal proceedings before the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He has appeared on detained and non-detained matters in El Paso and Otero, New Mexico. Chaffee provides legal advice to officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on immigration matters and is a member of the worksite enforcement litigation team. Chaffee also provides litigation support to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico on federal habeas matters.
During law school, Chaffee served as a research assistant for Professor of Law Ramona Lampley. He was a staff writer and then senior associate editor for the St. Mary’s Law Journal. Chaffee was also the president of the Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association.
Prior to joining the government, Chaffee worked for Bunker Hill Associates, a financial advisory firm dealing in a host of financial advisory and litigation support services, and the White Oak Real Estate Investment group.
Senior Staff Attorney, Texas Civil Rights Project
Ryan V. Cox (J.D. ’10) is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Texas Civil Rights Project where his practice focuses on high-impact voting rights litigation in state and federal courts. Consistent with TCRP’s mission, Ryan works to address systemic issues preventing access to the polls and to make sure that every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot that counts. In addition to his ongoing cases being litigated in courts across the State, Cox also works with TCRP and a broad coalition of civil rights organizations to provide “Election Protection” assistance to voters during early voting and on Election Day, often resulting in emergency or Election-Day litigation.
Cox is also very active in the bar and the community. He has served on the board of directors for the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association since 2012, including as President from 2017-2018, a year in which SAYLA swept the national awards for Service to the Bar, Service to the Public and Comprehensive Programming from the ABA Young Lawyer’s Division, as well as receiving the W. Frank Newton Award from the State Bar of Texas for “outstanding efforts to increase legal services to the poor.” Cox is also currently an elected Director for the Texas Young Lawyers Association and serves on the boards for Awesome SA, the San Antonio Texas Exes, and the stakeholder committee for the city funded transportation planning non-profit, “Connect SA.” He regularly takes pro bono cases through the San Antonio Community Justice Program and has represented numerous asylum seekers through the Karnes City Pro Bono Project. Cox is also a member of the William S. Sessions American Inn of Court, co-chairing its inaugural Community Outreach Committee in 2018, and is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the San Antonio Bar Foundation.
During law school, Cox was active in moot court competitions and served as an intern for Chief Justice Nathan Hecht at the Texas Supreme Court. He served as a staff writer and then Associate Editor of the St. Mary’s Law Journal, and is a member of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honors Fraternity. After graduation, Cox served as a Briefing Attorney to Justice Gina M. Benavides at the Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals and as a law clerk to Chief Judge Orlando L. Garcia at the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Katherine T. Hopkins
Partner, Kelly Hart, Attorneys at Law
Katherine T. Hopkins (J.D. ’09) is a partner at Kelly Hart in Fort Worth, Texas. She focuses her practice on bankruptcy and business reorganization, including the representation of both individual and business clients in various debtor/creditor matters.
Hopkins is a Tarrant County Bar Foundation Fellow, a past-President of the Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, the Secretary/Treasurer of the John C. Ford American Inn of Court, and President-Elect of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers. she is also a member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and the American Bankruptcy Institute. In 2016, she received the esteemed Romina L. Mulloy-Bossio Achievement Award to honor her service as an outstanding young bankruptcy attorney. Hopkins was also voted by her peers as among the city’s best bankruptcy attorneys in polls conducted by Fort Worth, Texas magazine and 360 West.
During law school, Hopkins served on the Board of Advocates and as a Student Bar Association Class Senator. She was a member of the External Advocacy Mock Trial Team and received the Judge Jack P. Miller Advocacy Award. She is a member of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honors Fraternity. After law school, Hopkins served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald B. King, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division.
Yvette Changuin Humble
Supervising Attorney, Children’s Program, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
Yvette Changuin Humble (J.D. ’12) is a supervising attorney for the Children’s Program at RAICES. Her passion for immigration law has been rooted in her through her border town upbringing and professional experience. Humble has come to realize how invaluable social justice truly is and how it remains part and parcel of every current political issue. She believes American democracy proclaims that justice and freedom are rights inherent to all human beings, and yet these are considered a luxury for many who have not experienced it for themselves. It is her deepest desire and humble request to be able to protect those who are in search of a better life and effect social justice for all people, both native and foreign. Humble was feature in InStyle for her work in protecting immigrant rights.
During law school, Humble was a member of the Women’s Law Association, the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, the Hispanic Law Student Association, and the Asian Pacific American Law Association. After law school, she worked at a local law firm assisting with DACA and family based petitions. Humble clerked for the Office of Legal Affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso focusing on special needs compliance.
Humble is a dedicated mother and wife.
Founder and CEO, Easy Expunctions
Yousef Kassim (J.D. ’13) is the Founder and CEO of Easy Expunctions, the only software-driven services company that specializes in automating legal documents for personal reputation management. Easy Expunctions was founded in Austin in 2014 shortly after Kassim filed a patent for a new method of document automation that is currently being utilized by the company.
Kassim is a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary’s University School of Law, and is also licensed to practice law in Texas. He recently moved his startup from Austin to its new headquarters in downtown San Antonio in response to incentives from local government and technology industry leaders interested in advancing job creation in San Antonio’s growing Tech District. Today, Easy Expunctions is a 28-person, San Antonio-based data and technology company that aims to increase accessibility to verifiable criminal history information and record clearing services.
Associate, Langley & Banack, Inc.
Sasha Kiger (J.D. ’14) is an Associate at Langley & Banack, Inc., in San Antonio, Texas. Her primary areas of practice are estate planning, probate and trust administration, and fiduciary litigation. In 2018, Kiger was recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in San Antonio in Estate Planning by S.A. Scene.
Kiger serves on the board of the St. Mary’s University Law Alumni Association and the Hispanic Law Alumni Association. She is also an active board member of Golf San Antonio benefiting The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, a non-profit youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people. Kiger a is a member of several law-related organizations, including the State Bar of Texas Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section, the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, and William Sessions American Inn of Court. She is also a San Antonio Bar Foundation Fellow.
During law school, Kiger worked as a Student Attorney and Teaching Assistant serving as the border outreach coordinator at the St. Mary’s School of Law Center for Legal and Social Justice Civil Clinic. She was also President of the Hispanic Law Student Association and interned with Justice Rebeca Martinez of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals.
Prior to law school, Kiger played collegiate golf and continues to be an avid golfer. She is a bilingual attorney that looks forward to continued involvement in the local and legal community.
Jenna (Reblin) Malsbary
Attorney, Office of General Counsel, Texas Juvenile Justice Department
Jenna (Reblin) Malsbary (J.D.’ 12) is an attorney in the Office of General Counsel at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. In her work for the state of Texas, Reblin answers questions on juvenile laws and policies, reviews and pursues disciplinary action against certified juvenile justice professionals, serves as an Administrative Law Judge for parole revocation hearings, and analyzes legislative bills during session. She was elected to serve on the council for the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar. Before working for the state, Reblin worked at an insurance defense firm as an attorney and the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor in the juvenile division and as an animal cruelty specialist.
Reblin served on the San Antonio Young Lawyers executive board as vice president, secretary, and a director. She was selected to participate in the 2018 Austin Bar Association/Austin Young Lawyers Association Leadership Academy and was featured in the October 2018 issue of the Austin Lawyer under the Austin Young Lawyer Member Spotlight. She serves on the AYLA community service committee organizing volunteer events at the Central Texas Food Bank, Community First! Village, and Women’s Resource fair. Reblin is one of the founding members and directors of a nonprofit, Psalm 82:3 that travels to Haiti each year supporting children’s educational needs and overall well-being. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Kids in A New Groove, a Central Texas nonprofit that provides children in foster care with a music mentor that provides weekly private music instruction.
During law school, Reblin was the recipient of the St. Mary’s University Presidential Award and the Flint Scholarship to attend the Innsbruck Study Abroad Program. She served as the Student Bar Association President, participated in the St. Mary’s School of Law Center for Legal and Social Justice, volunteered with the Alternative Spring Break program, and interned at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She was also a fellow with the Center for Terrorism Law and received a certificate for her Pro Bono work during law school.
Michelle Garza Pareja
Chief Legal Programs Officer, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
Michelle Garza Pareja (J.D. ’10) has worked at RAICES since 2010. As a staff attorney at RAICES, her practice was divided between the Children’s Program and direct representation of unaccompanied minors, as well as some affirmative practice before the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services. Pareja became Director of the Children’s Program in December of 2012, Associate Executive Director in 2015, and the Chief Legal Programs Officer in 2018.
During law school, Pareja participated in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic where she represented low-income immigrant clients in deportation proceedings. She received the 2010 Alma L. Lopez Woman in Law Student Leadership Award and the 2010 Adele Advocate for the Poor Award. Pareja obtained her B.A from the University of Texas at Austin in Mexican American Studies with a focus on Public Policy.
Associate, Jackson Walker LLP
Zach Zurek (J.D. ’14) represents businesses, individuals, fiduciaries, and healthcare professionals through litigation in both State and Federal Courts. Zurek has also represented clients in FINRA, AAA, and private arbitrations. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers and San Antonio Scene magazine.
Zurek is a board member for the Alzheimer’s Association, San Antonio & South Texas Chapter. He is also the Treasurer for the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, a Director for the Federal Bar Association, and a Barrister with the William S. Sessions American Inn of Court. Zurek frequently volunteers at pro bono clinics hosted by the San Antonio Bar Association’s Community Justice Program.
Zurek graduated magna cum laude from St. Mary’s School of Law. While in law school, he served as a Student Attorney for the Civil Justice Clinic, a staff writer and then Solicitations/Articles Editor for the St. Mary’s Law Journal, and participated in multiple oral advocacy competitions, internally and externally with St. Mary’s national mock trial team. Zurek was recognized twice as the Best Advocate of tournaments hosted at St. Mary’s and judged by Federal and State court judges from the San Antonio judiciary. During his second and third years, Zurek assisted first year students as an academic scholar and a teaching assistant for a legal research & writing course. At graduation, Zurek was recognized by the Christian Legal Society and was inducted into the Order of the Barristers for his achievements in oral advocacy.