Board of DirectorsHội Đồng Quản Trị



D. Sho Ly

David Sho Ly (“Sho”) is the current President of VABAW and an in-house staff attorney at A Place For Mom, Inc., a senior assisted 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 referral agreements, as well as handle privacy issues, TCPA compliance, contract disputes, responding to discovery requests, and the advising of internal employees with respect to legal matters and 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 five (5) years), gym rat, and self-identified globetrotter (38 countries traveled to as of August 14, 2018). Sho is also fluent in Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Professional & Community Affiliations

• A Place For Mom, Inc.




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 Whelan Koehler Moore


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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. 

Before joining the King County Department of Public Defense, Ami practiced as a public defender and an 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

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.

Professional & Community 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: 



Cameron Carlson is a third-year student at University of Washington School of Law. Cameron worked in Vietnam as VABAW's Hồng Đức Clerk after his first year , and has since worked for the Chief Counsel of International Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce and as a judicial extern at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. He is interested in international business transactions, anti-corruption, IP, and trade law. Cameron is also a Senior Articles Editor for the Washington International Law Journal. Prior to law school, Cameron studied comparative literature at Occidental College, worked in radio, and managed a small bookstore.

In his free time, Cameron enjoys practicing creative writing, watching films, and trying new restaurants in Seattle's International District.

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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.



Vy Nguyen is a second-year law student at the Seattle University School of Law. Vy worked as a summer associate for Pacifica Law Group after her first year and is currently externing with Justice Mary Yu at the Washington Supreme Court. She will be splitting her 2L summer between externing at the Civil Division of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office and working as a Rule 9 for the Public Defender’s Association in Jefferson County. Vy is also involved in the community through her volunteering efforts with Citizenship Workshops, either as an interpreter or as a paralegal. She is interested in complex litigation and appellate work.

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


Hai Tran, Seattle University School of Law,