President – Megan Lawson
Megan is a Managing Associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP where she defends companies in all aspects of employment law and litigation, including class action, multi-plaintiff and single plaintiff lawsuits under California and federal law. At Orrick, she is a member of the diversity committee, the summer associate committee and the committee for Orrick’s Diversity & Inclusion Day in Silicon Valley. Megan is also an active member of the National Employment Law Council (NELC), where she served as an Academy Fellow for 2016 and 2017, and a Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder for 2017. Megan attended Northwestern University School of Law, where she was the Executive Editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, President of the Black Law Students Association, Co-chair of the Class of 2013 Graduation Committee and a student associate for the MacArthur Justice Center and the Investor Protection Complex Civil Litigation Centers at Bluhm Legal Clinic.
Vice President – Chambord Benton-Hayes
Chambord is a senior associate in the San Francisco office of Ogletree Deakins. Her employment litigation practice focuses on the representation of employers and management in state and federal courts. Chambord handles class actions as well as employment law claims for discrimination, retaliation, harassment, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. She also represents employers before various administrative agencies including the DFEH, DLSE, DOL, EEOC and WCAB. Chambord regularly provides trainings to her clients and their employees on sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Chambord is also a motivational speaker for non-profits, high schools, and community organizations. A native of San Francisco, Chambord received her B.A. in both Politics and Philosophy from University of San Francisco in 2007. She then received her J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2010. While at UC Hastings, she served as the co-president of the Black Law Students Association, which received the Organization of the Year Award.
Treasurer – Suzette Barnes
Suzette is a managing associate in Orrick’s San Francisco office and a member of the White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance Group. Her practice focuses on the representation of major financial institutions, corporations, and individuals in securities and complex commercial actions and internal investigations. Additionally, Suzette devotes a portion of her practice to providing pro bono services to veterans seeking VA benefits, homeless individuals seeking the resolution of open criminal warrants, and low income individuals seeking criminal record remedies (including expungements) and occupational licenses. Prior to joining Orrick, Suzette was a litigation fellow in the Office of General Counsel for The Regents of the University of California, where she practiced general, commercial and probate litigation, and handled mandamus actions.
Secretary – Alessandra Givens
Allesandra is a litigator in the financial service litigation group at McGuireWoods LLP in San Francisco. A native of North Carolina, Alessandra attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a B.A. in Women’s Studies and a B.A. in Afro-American Studies. After graduation, Alessandra spent two years as a paralegal before attend attending The George Washington University Law School, where she was Senior Articles Editor of the Forum on Law, Economics, and Finance Journal and President of Corporate Business Law Society.
Membership Coordinator – Jessica Dabiri
Jessica is an Associate in the Corporate and Securities group at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She received her law degree from UC Hastings, where she was a board member of the Black Law Students Association and Moot Court Team, and a Senior Production Editor for the Hastings Law Journal.
Communications Chair – Jasmine Anderson
Jasmine is an attorney at Constangy, Brooks, Smith, & Prophete LLP. Jasmine primarily defends employers in all aspects of employment law matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. Jasmine handles a variety of claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate, wage and hour, denial of leave, and other employment law issues. Jasmine also provides advice and counsel to employers on how to prevent these claims and develop lawful and effective policies and practices. Jasmine is also a certified, trauma-informed investigator and has substantial experience conducting Title IX and workplace investigations for a multitude of clients.
Community Service Chair – Akasha Perez
Akasha is a Senior Employee Relations Partner at Tesla Motors, where she advises business partners on employee relations strategy and conducts high-risk investigations. Prior to joining Tesla, Akasha was an Employment Law Associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. She received her law degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC where she served as the Executive Submission Editor for the Howard Law Journal and President of the Howard Public Interest Law Society.
Social Media Chair – Andrea Isaacs
Andrea is an Associate in the Labor and Employment group in the San Francisco office of Sheppard Mullin, LLP. Andrea received her law degree from UC Hastings where she served on the board of the Black Law Students Association and Alternative Dispute Resolution Team.
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator – Reanne Swafford-Harris
Reanne is an associate in the San Francisco office of Sheppard Mullin, LLP. Reanne represents employers in all aspects of employment-related matters in state and federal courts. Her practice includes defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour class and collective action disputes. Reanne additionally counsels employers on a wide range of employment issues, including employee handbooks, retail workers’ rights, and wage and hour compliance. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Reanne practiced as an associate at Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. Reanne obtained her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2015, she is an avid runner and enjoys Saturday morning workouts with her husband and Labrador.
Law School Liaison – Courtney Potts
Courtney is an associate in Reed Smith’s San Francisco office and a member of the Life Sciences Health Industry Group, practicing in the area of health care regulatory law. Her practice focuses on handling health care regulatory, business transactions and compliance issues for health care providers and life science companies. Courtney has assisted clients with a range of regulatory matters, including health care facility and provider licensing and general health care compliance issues.
Immediate Past President – Michelle O. Stewart
Michelle is an Associate in the Corporate Group at Covington & Burling LLP. Her practice includes a broad range of corporate transactions, including mergers & acquisitions, private and public securities offerings, venture capital finance, corporate formation and governance, and other general corporate representation. Michelle received her law degree from the University of Chicago in 2010, where she was on the Executive Board of the Black Law Students Association. Michelle received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with minors in Economics and Chinese from Duke University in 2007. Michelle speaks Mandarin at a comfortable conversational level and often brings her language skills and broad international perspective to her legal solutions. When not at work, Michelle serves as the Campus Pastor of the Palo Alto campus of VIVE church, loves cooking up a storm with her husband, singing and dancing with her daughters or laughing at her labradoodle’s antics.