Board of DirectorsHội Đồng Quản Trị


MELANIE NGUYEN

PRESIDENT

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Melanie@stritmatter.com

Melanie Nguyen is an associate attorney at Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Koehler Moore where her practice focuses on serious personal injury and civil rights. Growing up, she was influenced by the mistreatment of populations without power (minorities, impoverished communities, those affected by mental illness). This background led to her activism at the University of Washington as President of Amnesty International and eventually law school at Seattle University. During law school, Melanie spent her third year representing indigent clients as a Rule 9 extern at The Defender Association, a public defense agency in King County. After law school, Melanie served as a judicial clerk to Justice Charles W. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court.

In her spare time, Melanie loves backpacking with her beagle Cheddar, reading, basketball, and enjoying good food and spirits with family and friends.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore


TREASURER

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CAMERON CARLSON

kcameroncarlson@gmail.com

Cameron Carlson is an associate attorney at Martin Davis PLLC. His practice focuses on corporate transactions, emerging companies, financial technology, and related litigation. During law school Cameron served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable John C. Coughenour, Legal Intern for the U.S. Department of Commerce on international trade matters, and worked for Hogan Lovells in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Cameron enjoys creative writing, travel, and sailing.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Martin Davis PLLC



SECRETARY

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aMY PHAN TAYLOR

amy@greencardlawyers.com

Amy Phan Taylor is an associate attorney at Peng & Weber, PLLC, where she helps employers and businesses with their U.S. immigration needs. She graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 2017. In addition to her board member duties as VABAW’s secretary, Amy is an active volunteer with the American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division, where she currently serves as Vice Chair of the Women in the Profession Committee. Further, Amy is a volunteer attorney with the Unemployment Law Project and Wayfind. Before law school, Amy was a journalist for various newspapers across Washington state, and mainly focused her reporting to the city politics and breaking news beats. Amy is a committed and engaged community member, and hopes to make the law more accessible and easy to understand for all.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Peng & Weber, PLLC


BOARD MEMBERS AT-LARGE


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D. SHO LY

David Sho Ly (“Sho”) is the current Immediate Past President/Member At-Large of VABAW and an in-house staff attorney at A Place for Mom, Inc., a senior living referral service technology company based in Seattle, Washington. At A Place for Mom, Inc., Sho drafts, negotiates, edits, and reviews various contracts, including NDAs, third-party vendor service agreements, and affiliate agreements, as well as handle privacy issues, TCPA compliance, contract disputes, corporate governance, responding to discovery requests, supervision of litigation matters, and the advising of internal employees with respect to legal and HR inquiries.

Sho graduated cum laude from the JD/MBA program at Seattle University. During law school, Sho externed in the civil litigation unit of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, as well as externed for the Honorable John Chun in his last semester of law school. Finally, Sho conducted legal research under supervision of Professor Deirdre Bowen involving the relationship between employment discrimination of working women and the advancement of egg freezing technology.

Sho hails from Portland, Oregon and graduated from Linfield College with a BS in biology. He then went on to pursue an MS in genetics at Oregon State University. Upon graduation, Sho worked as a civil servant for the Japanese government teaching English to junior high school students in a rural area of Nagasaki, Japan. Sho is an avid foodie (Yelp Elite Gold Badge holder for six (6) years as of 2019), gym rat, and self-identified globetrotter (40 countries traveled to [and counting] as of December 30, 2018). Sho is also fluent in Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese, with conversational ability in Vietnamese and Korean.


Linda D. Tran

LindaDTran@gmail.com

Linda Tran moved to Seattle from the greater metropolitan area of Kansas City. Known for her attention to detail and compassion towards her clients, attorney Linda Tran brings depth to VABAW and her community. She is experienced in managing complex legal matters, and is a local attorney that Seattle’s diverse communities trust. Linda graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and received her law degree from the historic Washburn School of Law.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she served as a police officer in Missouri. Her devotion to justice under the law as an officer led her to law school, where she clerked for the Honorable Jeffery Burshur, Associate Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri and then the Honorable Rex Gabbert, Western District of Missouri- Court of Appeals. A daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, Linda’s work ethic and penchant for research are traits that serve her clients well. Having helped her family with real estate purchases and sales for a decade, Linda opened her law practice in 2014, primarily focusing on real estate transactions. While fulfilling, Linda felt that her skills, experience, and vision of justice were best suited for civil litigation.

Linda moved from Kansas to Seattle to join the aggressive litigation team at Campiche Arnold, PLLC . Her primary focus of law is on personal injury and civil rights. Linda is licensed to practice all State and Federal Courts in Washington, and in Kansas and Missouri.

Professional & Community Affiliations
• Campiche Arnold, PLLC


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Joanne Kalas

joannekalas@yahoo.com

Joanne Kalas is an associate at Foster Pepper, focuses on environmental law, Land Use, and Natural Resources practice group and counsels clients on environmental litigation, transactions, and regulatory compliance. She has experience handling complex environmental litigation and addressing issues related to site remediation, environmental cost recovery, contaminated property transactions, and compliance involving CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, CWA, and state and municipal environmental laws and regulations.

Before joining Foster Pepper,  Joanne practiced as an environmental attorney in New Jersey. During law school, she interned for the Pace Law Environmental Litigation Clinic and the UN Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Defense Support Section, and was a delegate for the Republic of the Marshall Islands at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP‑15) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Before starting her legal career, she worked in the field of medical education and managed international conventions for the photography industry.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Foster Pepper


Ami Hong Nguyen

ami.hong.nguyen@gmail.com

Ami is an attorney with The Defender Association Division of the King County Department of Public Defense. During law school, Ami was involved with a group of attorneys, law students and volunteers who responded to the BP Oil Spill by educating impacted Vietnamese communities about their rights in the claim process. Her desire to practice public interest law deepened while working with illiterate fisherman who were highly vulnerable to unfair processes and procedures. She realized the privilege she gained by obtaining a legal education, and understood the responsibility to use her skills to improve the lives of others. 

Before joining the King County Department of Public Defense, Ami practiced as a public defender and and homelessness prevention attorney in California. She was drawn to the Seattle because of its beautiful water views, hiking paths and cozy neighborhoods within an energetic metropolitan city. While in California, Ami was a member of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California. She is excited to continue working with attorneys who empathize with the experiences of immigrants and have the goal of improving access to justice regardless of education, language, ethnicity or wealth.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• King County Department of Public Defense


Nancy Pham

phamn@bsd405.org

Nancy Pham is the Employee Relations Investigator for the Bellevue School District. Nancy's work involves coordinating and conducting employee investigations and reviews involving allegations of misconduct. She also supports compliance issues related to bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment complaints.

Nancy is committed to serving underrepresented populations and has dedicated her volunteer efforts to several anti-trafficking organizations over the years. Born and raised in Washington state, Nancy received both her bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Washington. During law school, Nancy worked as a summer associate at Lane Powell P.C., as a law clerk at the Washington State Attorney General’s office, and served as the UW student liaison for VABAW during all three years. Prior to joining the Bellevue School District, she spent several years in private practice, working in a variety of practices including, family, administrative, criminal, and corporate law.

Nancy enjoys cooking, yoga, and exploring the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their nine month old son. She also loves learning about different cultures through travel and has visited more than twenty countries over four continents.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Bellevue School District No. 405


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Aric Wong

aricw@nwjustice.org

Aric is a Staff Attorney at Northwest Justice Project, which provides critical civil litigation assistance to low-income communities. As Treasurer, Aric manages and advises VABAW regarding fundraising efforts and the budget so that VABAW can maximize its ability to support the community and its programs. He graduated from Boston College Law School in 2011 and is originally from Cerritos, California.   

Please click the link below to learn more about how you can volunteer with the Northwest Justice Project.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Northwest Justice Project


BOARD MEMBER AT-LARGE

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MARIA  BAO-TRAN WILLIAMS

MWilliams@cedarlawgroup.com

Maria is co-founder and managing attorney of Cedar Law Group, located in the International District of Seattle, Washington. Cedar Law Group has been a long-time corporate sponsor of VABAW. Maria primarily practices immigration law, including permanent residency, asylum and deportation defense proceedings. Her fluency in the Vietnamese language has allowed her to help communities members who would have otherwise been too intimidated by the legal system. During her free time, Maria enjoys hiking, yoga, food and spending time with her family and friends.

Professional & Community Affiliations


BOARD MEMBER AT-LARGE

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VINCENT WILLIAMS

VWilliams@cedarlawgroup.com

Vincent gradated from Seattle University School of Law in 2015, where he was highly involved with the Youth Advocacy Clinic. His experiences in law school have led him to his focus of legal practice: criminal defense, general civil matters and traffic violations. Although appearingly minor, traffic violations disproportionately affect low-income drivers and may lead to more serious criminal charges solely due to a person's inability to pay. By fighting unconstitutional stops and negotiating fair results, Vincent hopes to make the legal system more equitable for all. During his free time, Vincent enjoys learning about cars. 

 


Law Student Representatives: 


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LIA BALIGOD

baligodl@seattleu.edu

SU Law school


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QUYNH LA

anhqla21@uw.edu

Quynh La is a first-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. She is a Gregoire Fellowship recipient and serves on the Immigrant Families Advocacy Project board as an Outreach Coordinator. Quynh grew up in the Bay Area and got her BA and MA at NYU in Political Science, where she researched similarities between Turkey and Thailand's military coups and their effects on democracy. Before law school, she worked at Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP's intellectual property department as a Brand Protection Specialist, with a focus on anti-counterfeiting and domain name enforcement luxury goods brands.

In her free time, Quynh enjoys eating good food, exploring Seattle, and planning her next trip.


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VY NGUYEN

nguye382@seattleu.edu

Vy Nguyen is a law student in her final year of study at the Seattle University School of Law. Vy was a summer associate for Pacifica Law Group after her first year and is currently externed with Justice Mary Yu at the Washington Supreme Court the following spring. She split her second summer between the Seattle City Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Association in Jefferson County. Vy is also involved in the community through her volunteering efforts with Citizenship Workshops. She dreads taking the bar exam, but is excited to find opportunities in complex litigation and corporate law.

In her free time, Vy enjoys helping out at her mom’s nail salon and finding the best fried chicken place in Seattle .


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KRISTIN TAN

tank19@uw.edu

Kristin is a law student at the University of Washington School of Law. A native of Seattle, she competed as an amateur golfer, earning a NCAA Division I athletic scholarship to play at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. At Xavier, she majored in English and minored in Business. She graduated Cum Laude and was distinguished as a 3-time NGCA Academic All-American. After graduating from college, Kristin worked closely with the Greater Seattle AAPI community as Kin On Community Health Care's Development and Community Engagement Coordinator.

During her free time, Kristin enjoys playing and coaching golf, biking, and trying out new recipes.


FURHAD SULTANI

furhads@uw.edu

Furhad Sultani is currently a first-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. At law school he has chosen to actively engage in the Diversity Equity Inclusion Committee on campus. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, he is a proud Nathan Hale High School Alumni. He attended Wesleyan University, receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Economics. After his undergraduate studies Furhad lived in New York City were he worked as a Corporate Affairs Associate for the full-service advertising agency Kirshenbaum Bond and Senecal (now Forsman & Bodenfors).

In his free time Furhad can be caught hiking, canoeing, or strolling through a museum.