Washington Leadership Institute (WLI)
BUCKLEY & ASSOCIATES
675 South Lane Street Ste. 300
Seattle, WA 98104
Erica Buckley is an associate attorney at Buckley & Associates in the Seattle’s
International District. Her practice is entirely personal injury litigation. Erica
enjoys representing a diverse clientele in trials and arbitrations.
Erica’s other passion is volunteer work. She is a member of the Junior League
of Seattle where she serves on the Done in a Day Committee and a member of
the newly formed Treehouse Young Professionals Board.
Erica graduated with a B.A. in political science from Tufts University in Medford,
Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of San Diego School
of Law in 2007. She is a member of the National Bar Association, the Loren
Miller Bar Association, a WSAJ Eagle member, and also admitted in California.
818 Stewart Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Hozaifa Cassubhai is an associate at Yarmuth Wilsdon PLLC, a trial litigation
boutique in Seattle. He has represented clients in a variety of business
disputes, including securities, employment, intellectual property, shareholder
and partnership disagreements, and complex contract/business torts. Hozaifa
also has maintained a robust pro bono practice, including representation of
Before Yarmuth Wilsdon, Hozaifa practiced in the commercial litigation
department of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and then clerked for the Honorable
Benjamin H. Settle, United States District Court, Western District of
Washington. Before law school, Hozaifa was an associate producer/trialtracker
at Courtroom Television (Court TV) in New York City and then a
paralegal at a Washington, DC-based civil rights firm, where he worked on
cases in the areas of fair housing, employment and public accommodation
discrimination, and post-9/11 racial profiling.
Hozaifa received a B.A. in history from Boston College and a J.D., magna
cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law. In law school, Hozaifa
was a Note and Comment Editor on the Law Review and, at graduation, was
named the Class of 2007 Faculty Scholar, selected as the Student Speaker, and
elected to the National Order of the Barristers.
Hozaifa’s community engagements include service on the Alumni Board of
his law school alma mater. He is the current Vice-President of the Board of
Directors of the non-profit Inter*m CDA, and the former President of the
Board of Directors of the International District Housing Alliance.
Born in Singapore, Hozaifa spent his early childhood in Karachi, Pakistan,
before moving to New Jersey at the age of 11. Hozaifa maintains strong
allegiance to the New York Yankees, which he recognizes may disqualify him
from ever running for public office in Washington State.
ATTORNEY’ S OFFICE
600 Fourth Ave, 4th Floor
PO Box 94769
Seattle, WA 98124
Melissa is an Assistant City Attorney with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.
She currently works as the South & Southwest Precinct Liaison Attorney, a
position that works between the City Attorney’s Office, Seattle Police Department,
and community on public safety issues. Her position in the police precincts
also affords her the opportunity to provide legal advice and trainings to
police officers. Prior to her current position, she was a trial prosecutor with the
domestic violence unit.
Prior to her work with the City of Seattle, she worked for the King County
Prosecutor’s Office—Civil Division, defending the county against class action
lawsuits. While in law school, Melissa also interned with the King County
Prosecutor’s Office in both the civil and criminal divisions.
Melissa is an active member in several volunteer organizations. She is a volunteer
attorney at the KCBA Neighborhood Legal Clinic—Chinese Information
Services Center that focuses on providing free legal advice to lowincome
clients who often do not speak English. She also sits on the Seattle
University School of Law, Law Alumni Board where she volunteers with the
Program Development & Networking Committee. Melissa also volunteers
with the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee, screening local judicial
Melissa received her B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Sociology
from Seattle University. She received her Juris Doctor from Seattle University
School of Law.
1013 Franklin Street
P.O. Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666
Erin Culver is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County in Vancouver,
WA. She comes from a military family, but considers Tacoma, WA to be
home. She attended Pacific Lutheran University for undergraduate studies,
earning a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Arts in
Erin received her J.D., cum laude, from Gonzaga University School of Law.
While at Gonzaga, she worked in the University Legal Assistance Clinic and
served as the president of the law school’s gay-straight alliance.
After graduation, Erin began her career at the Spokane County Prosecuting
Attorney’s office as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney where she worked in the
Domestic Violence Unit. Since moving to Clark County in 2007, Erin has
worked in the Domestic Violence Prosecution Center, as well as in the District
Court, Juvenile and General Felony units.
PROSECTOR’ S OFFICE
930 Tacoma Ave. S.
Tacoma, WA Zip 98402
John Cummings is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney at the Pierce County Prosecutor's
Office in Tacoma. He graduated form Gonzaga University in 2005
with an English degree and obtained his J.D. Seattle University School of Law
in 2008. He began his work at the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office as an intern
in the Appeals Unit, joining the Misdemeanor Unit in the summer of
2008. He has recently joined the Identity Theft Unit of the Prosecutor's Office.
John volunteers regularly at Oasis, the LGBTQ Youth Center of Pierce County
that provides mentorship, resources, and outreach to LGBTQ youth ages 14
to 24. He was an active community leader and volunteer with Washington
United for Marriage, the campaign to Approve Referendum 74 and extend the
right to marry to committed same-sex couples. He is honored to have been
campaign manager for two judicial candidates, one of whom will be joining
the Pierce County Superior Court bench in 2013. He serves as a board member
for the Rainbow Center, Pierce County's LGBTQ resource center. Since
2008, John has enjoyed coaching four separate mock trial teams at Seattle
University School of Law.
John is originally from Montana, and enjoys hiking, camping, and the outdoors.
He attends St. Leo's Catholic Church and participates as a member of
the church's LGBTQ faith formation group. He considers himself lucky to
have found such a wonderful community - legal and volunteer - in the South
PO Box 40970
Olympia, WA 98504-0970
RaShelle Davis is a Policy Analyst for the State of Washington Department of
Early Learning. Her work is centered on ensuring that all children and families
have access to quality early learning programs and child care. She is the Vice
Chair of the Board of Directors for Communities in Schools Seattle, a nationwide
organization dedicated to improving educational results for economically
disadvantaged students. Ms. Davis also serves on the AnBryce Foundation’s
Advisory Council where she provides recommendations for programs that assist
Washington DC youth. She is actively engaged in the local legal community
by serving as the Vice President of the Pierce County Minority Bar Association,
At-Large Trustee for the Washington Young Lawyers Committee, and
Committee Member for the WSBA Committee for Diversity. In 2000, the City
of Tacoma recognized Ms. Davis with the City of Destiny Award for her community
In addition to her commitment to education and public service, Ms. Davis is
also passionate about international issues. She speaks Chinese and has lived
and studied in Taiwan, China, and the Netherlands. She has been recognized
for her international studies by receiving the US Department of Education
Scholarship for Chinese Studies and the Gilman International Scholarship. She
also served as a delegate to China with Stanford University’s FACES Program
and as a delegate to Morocco with the Center for Women and Democracy.
Ms. Davis received her B.A. from the University of Puget Sound in Business
Administration with Honors and her J.D. from New York University School of
522 W. Riverside
Spokane, WA 99201
A native of Bulgaria, Delian immigrated to the United States when he was 16
years old and has been self-supporting since. He is fluent in Russian, Bulgarian,
and English. His work with the firm of Ewing Anderson, P.S. in Spokane,
Washington, began with a quest to become a US Citizen and he is well down
Delian graduated Summa Cum Laude from Gonzaga University School of
Law in 2005. While in law school, he was a member of the Jessup Moot Court
Team and an Associate Editor of the Gonzaga International Law Journal. He
has continued to be involved with his law school by serving as an adjunct instructor
to Gonzaga’s Jessup Moot Court Team.
Delian’s trial practice includes most civil disputes and law suits, concentrating
on commercial and business transactions, claims, disputes and trials; personal
injury claims and suits; creditor-debtor relations and bankruptcy; and insurance
disputes and claims (with an interest in fire caused losses, claims and trials).
Delian is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Idaho State
Bar, and the Spokane and Kootenai County Bar Associations. He also is admitted
to and practices in federal court, both the Eastern District of Washington
and the District of Idaho.
Delian loves to swim, play basketball and tennis, and most of all, he loves to
spend time with his beautiful wife Angela (a native of Taiwan) and daughter
Anelia. He is not afraid to take tough cases, but he is afraid of spiders. Not a
subject he will bring up in court.
1015 A Street
Tacoma, WA 98402
Nolan is Corporate Counsel for TrueBlue, Inc. in Tacoma, WA. TrueBlue is
the nation’s largest blue collar staffing company. Nolan’s areas of practice
include all facets of Labor and Employment law. He provides advice, counsel
and legal review with respect to all employment matters including employment
litigation, terminations, discipline, restructures, layoffs, selection processes,
OSHA compliance, wage and hour law, and corporate immigration
matters. Prior to his work at TrueBlue, Nolan was the Enforcement Manager
at the Seattle Office of Civil Rights where he led a team of attorneys tasked
with investigating discrimination complaints, drafted anti-discrimination legislation,
and provided training to city staff and community organization.
Nolan serves on the board of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW)
and has also volunteered to do pro-bono work for the King County Bar Association
helping workers recover unpaid wages, the Northwest Immigrant
Rights Project representing asylum seekers, and he served as mentor for middle
school kids for the non-profit Neighborhood House.
Nolan holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Rhetoric from the
University of California, Berkeley and a Jurist Doctorate from the Boston University
School of Law.
DISTRICT NO. 10
601 South 8th Street
P.O. Box 1357
Tacoma, WA 98401-1357
Felipe Mendez serves as the Assistant General Counsel for the Tacoma School
District No. 10, where his practice focuses on all aspects of the diverse field of
School Law this includes special education advice, constitutional issues, governmental
compliance, labor and employment, school contracts, and student
and teacher rights and discipline. He regularly represents the district in administrative
proceedings before the Pierce County Superior Court.
Prior to joining the Tacoma School District, Felipe was an associate at Karr
Tuttle Campbell, where he gained broad civil litigation experience related to
insurance defense, bodily injury, bankruptcy, receiverships, and commercial
Felipe currently serves as an officer for the Washington Council of School Attorneys
(COSA). COSA provides leadership in legal advocacy for public
schools by working to improve the practice of school law in Washington State.
He is member of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) and
serves on its scholarship foundation which provides scholarships to deserving
law students from each of Washington’s three law schools. He is also a member
of the LBAW Judicial Evaluations Committee (JEC). Felipe volunteers as
a mentor for law students, contributes to the Washington State Bar Association
Young Lawyers Division Pre Law Student Leadership conference, and previously
co-chaired the Ernest I.J. Aguilar Scholarship Committee, the first endowed
scholarship at the University of Washington that honors Hispanic MBA
Felipe received a Bachelor of Arts from Heritage University in Toppenish,
WA; his Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Daniel J.
Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington; and his Juris
Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.
ORBIT LAW, PLLC
1001 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Kripa Upadhyay is the founding member and principal attorney at Orbit Law,
PLLC, a Seattle, WA, based law firm specializing in all areas of Immigration
and Nationality law.
A first generation Immigrant from Nepal, Kripa is passionate about helping
Individuals and families pursue their dreams in the United States, and is equally
committed to helping businesses recruit foreign talent to foster diversity in
Committed to helping Immigrants access resources, Kripa works closely with
several Immigrant communities, and organizations serving Immigrant communities.
She frequently organizes free seminars and “Know Your Rights”
presentations for newly arrived Immigrants and recently re-settled refugees,
and was awarded the WSBA’s Community Service Award in 2011 in recognition
of her efforts to ensure access to services for low income and linguistically
Kripa currently serves on the Board of the South Asian Bar Association of
WA, and as a member of the WSBA’s Committee for Diversity.
Kripa received her undergraduate degree from California State University,
Long Beach, and her Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University School of
909 First Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
Jamal Whitehead is a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, where he enforces federal laws making it illegal to
discriminate against job applicants and employees because of their race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.
Before joining the Commission, Jamal was an associate at the private law firm
of Garvey Schubert Barer where he practiced in the firm’s Commercial Litigation
and Labor & Employment practice groups.
Jamal graduated from Seattle University School of Law with a focus in civil
advocacy. While in law school, he was a member of the moot court board and
was inducted into the Order of the Barristers for his moot court and mock trial
Jamal has served as an executive board member for the Northwest Defenders
Association and the Loren Miller Bar Association, and is currently a planning
committee member for the Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference
held annually in Seattle.
6 South 2nd Street,
Yakima WA 98901
Alma Zuniga is a staff attorney with the Yakima office of the Northwest Justice
Project, a statewide legal services organization in Washington State. She
practices in the areas of family law and consumer law. She represents lowincome
victims of domestic violence in custody and protection order cases as
well as low-income individuals in cases involving identity theft and charity
Alma received an Associate’s degree in general studies from Lane County
Community College in 2000, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology
from the University of Oregon in 2002 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the
University of Oregon School of Law in 2005.
Alma is an active member of the Washington State Bar Association and American
Bar Association. She served a 4-year term as a Trustee of the Washington
Young Lawyers Division Trustee Board. Alma served as chair of the
2010-2012 Yakima Pre Law Conference, an annual event geared toward minority
and at-risk high school students in the Yakima Valley with the goal to
introduce and motive students about the law and leadership. Alma was recently
nominated to serve a 3-year term on the Washington State Interpreter Commission.