Board of DirectorsHội Đồng Quản Trị


D. Sho Ly

“David Sho Ly (“Sho”) is an associate attorney at Lee & Lee, PS. Sho practices general litigation with a focuses on criminal defense, personal injury, and estate planning.  He worked at Lee & Lee, PS as a law clerk while in law school.  He continued working to the fim as a Rule 9 legal intern after he sat for the Washington State Bar Exam.

Sho graduated cum laude from the JD/MBA program at Seattle University: he received his JD from Seattle University School of Law and his MBA from the Albers School of Business and Economics. During law school, Sho externed in the civil litigation unit of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He externed for the Honorable John Chun in his last semester at SU Law. 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. He is in the process of getting his paper published.

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. Sho is an avid foodie, gym rat, and world traveler. Sho is also fluent in Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.”

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Lee & Lee, PS




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.


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Joanne Kalas

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



Yayi Ding

Yayi is an Associate Attorney at the law firm of Peng & Weber, PLLC. He graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where he was President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) and Executive Managing Editor of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts. Yayi grew up in Richland, WA and Vancouver, BC before moving to Seattle for law school. In Yayi’s spare time, he enjoys sports, hiking outdoors, reading autobiographies, traveling, and photography.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• Peng & Weber, PLLC


Linda D. Tran

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

Ami Hong Nguyen

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. 

Ami moved to Seattle from Southern California, where she practiced as a public defender and an homelessness prevention attorney. She was drawn to Seattle’s beautiful lake 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 Vietnamese American 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

Nancy Pham is an associate attorney at Carey & Lillevik, PLLC. Nancy’s practice focuses on dependency and child welfare, family law, adoption, and criminal defense. She 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. Nancy is an avid traveler and has visited more than 20 countries across four continents. She loves cooking, calligraphy, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Law Firm & Affiliations

• Carey & Lillevik, PLLC.

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Ly Tran

Ly Tran is a solo practitioner who focuses on criminal defense, personal injury and traffic offenses. Immediately after high school, Ly joined the Air Force where he served for four years before attending the University of Washington. He obtained his law degree at Seattle University School of Law. 


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Aric Wong

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



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 familyl and friends.

Professional & Community Affiliations



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: 


Student Representative, 
University of Washington School of Law


Kristin is a second year law student at the University of Washington School of Law. She is a native of Seattle and competed as an amatuer 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 distinuished as a 30time NGCA Academic All-American. After graduating from college, Kristin worked for Kin On Community Health Care's Development and Community Engagement group.

In her free time, Kristin enjoys plaing and coaching golf, boking, yoga and trying out new recipes.

Cameron Carlson, University of Washington School of Law,

Hai Tran, Seattle University School of Law,