Alumni Associations

The Alumni Association is an active group with a hard-working board, several committees, and many access points for alumni to get involved with Southwestern.

  1. Alumni Association Board of Directors

    2017-2018

    Hon. Deborah S. Brazil '96, President
    Judge
    Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

    Cindy Johnson '00, Past President
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Cindy Johnson

    Patrick Baghdaserians '07
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

    Reagan Boyce '06
    Attorney at Law
    Brutzkus Gubner Rozansky Seror Weber LLP

    Martin Carpenter '76
    Attorney at Law
    Carpenter Rothans & Dumont

    Roxanne L. Crocket '03
    Attorney at Law
    Graves & King

    Julianne DeMarco '87
    Attorney at Law
    Taylor Blessey

    Robert Glassman '09
    Attorney at Law
    Panish Shea & Boyle

    Stanley H. Getz '71 
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Stanley H. Getz

    Hon. J. Gary Hastings '72
    California Court of Appeal (ret.)

    Karen A. Henry '03
    Attorney at Law
    Davis Wright Tremaine

    Hon. Hurdle C. Jacke, II '82
    Judge
    Los Angeles County Superior Court

    Gerard V. Kassabian '01
    Attorney at Law 
    Law Offices of Gerard V. Kassabian

    Anthony Kidd '93
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Anthony Kidd

    Jody Klipple ‘11
    Attorney at Law
    SEIU

    Daniel K. Kramer '08
    Attorney at Law 
    Kramer Holcomb Sheik

    Barry Kurtz '73
    Attorney at Law 
    Law Offices of Barry Kurtz

    Etan Z. Lorant '83
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Etan Z. Lorant

    Hon. Gerald Rosenberg '75
    Judge
    Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

    Eric M. Schiffer '95
    Attorney at Law
    Schiffer Buus

    Glenn Trost '84
    Attorney at Law
    Snell & Wilmer

    Jeannette L. Van Horst '93 
    Attorney at Law 
    Taylor Blessey

    Hon. Timothy Weiner '00
    Commissioner
    Los Angeles Superior Court

  2. Committees

    Admissions Outreach Committee

    The Admissions Outreach Committee consists of two sub-committees that focus on establishing active recruitment of incoming students and admission pipelines.

    • Student Recruitment assists the Admissions Office by actively participating in the recruitment of students to Southwestern. 
    • Pipeline Initiatives will actively cultivate and establish relationships with undergraduate universities, high schools, community colleges and other organizations such as law enforcement and the armed forces to create pipelines and increase admission applications.

    Advancement Committee

    Advancement consists of two sub-committees that focus on fundraising and scholarships and grants.

    • Fundraising and Capital Campaign works directly with the Institutional Advancement Office (IA) to assist in the fundraising plan set forth by IA and Southwestern's Board of Trustees. The committee develops strategic plans to increase alumni donations and helps secure resources that support the mission and programs of the law school.
    • Scholarships and Grants is responsible for establishing and managing the criteria for the scholarship, screening the student applicants and presenting names of nominees to the Board for the Alumni Scholarship. 

    Alumni Engagement Committee

    The Alumni Engagement Committee consists of three sub-committees that focus on alumni events, diversity, and strengthening the connection between alumni and the law school. The Alumni Engagement Committee also oversees the planning of the Awards Recognition Event.

    • Alumni Events, Chapters & Associations will develop and encourage alumni participation in alumni regional receptions, assistance in maintaining a connection with regional Alumni Chapters, the Nickel Club and the Entertainment and Intellectual Property Alumni Association, and overseeing the Inn of St. Ives Program. 
    • Public Affairs assists with the PR and marketing of the Alumni Association and its alumni, which may include identifying key alumni to profile and recognize, creating and obtaining articles about these individuals, and maintaining an active presence on social media applications such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
    • Diversity is responsible for promoting Southwestern’s commitment to diversity and members will work directly with the Diversity Affairs Office at Southwestern to plan programs and activities to celebrate Southwestern’s diversity and help continue the tradition.

    Professional Development

    Professional Development consists of two sub-committees that focus on alumni and student career placement, training and education.

    • Recruitment and Placement focuses on direct recruitment and hiring of Southwestern alumni and students.  They assist the Career Services Office in providing programs that facilitate and enhance the transition from law school to law practice.
    • Training and Education focuses on providing substantive educational programs that will help advance the careers of Southwestern students and alumni.  They work with the Career Services Office to plan activities which may include Continuing Legal Education seminars, expanding the Mock Interview Program, and recruiting mentors for the Alumni Resource Network.

    Questions? For more information on how to join a committee, please contact the Institutional Advancement Office.

  3. Alumni Involvement

    There are a number of avenues for alumni to remain involved in the Southwestern community after graduation. Some of these opportunities are described below. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Institutional Advancement or the specific office listed.

    Alumni Resource Network

    Over 450 alumni participate in the program that provides students with an opportunity to contact and network with alumni in specific practice and/or geographic areas. Alumni offer advice on networking opportunities, career matters, and expertise in particular areas of practice.

    Donald L. Stone's Inn of St. Ives

    This monthly program is based on the Inns of Court model where senior attorneys and judges meet with small groups of law students to discuss issues of law and practice.

    Dean's Round Table

    This semi-monthly program brings together individual alumni of outstanding achievement with small groups of students for stimulating, informal luncheon discussions on campus.

    Moot Court

    A large contingent of alumni are recruited each year to serve as judges for a number of advocacy programs, most notably the annual Intramural Moot Court Competition. They are also called upon to preside over SCALE appellate arguments, mock trial and trial advocacy practice rounds and finals, and occasionally to serve as advisors to Moot Court Honors Program teams competing in interscholastic competitions. For more information, please contact the Student Affairs Office.

    Mock Interview Program

    Prior to the fall recruiting season each year, alumni volunteers help prepare students by conducting videotaped mock interviews and providing evaluations and advice. For more information on participating as a mock interviewer, please contact the Career Services Office.

    On-Campus Interviews

    During the fall recruiting season, a number of alumni are among the firm and agency representatives who come to the campus to interview students for summer clerkship and full-time associate positions. For more information on how to get participate, please contact the Career Services Office.

    Guest Speakers

    Alumni are often invited to serve as panelists or lecturers for a variety of seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions sponsored by the faculty, the Career Services Office and student organizations. If you are interested in serving as a guest speaker, please contact Institutional Advancement and/or the Career Services Office.

    Other Alumni Events

    In addition, Southwestern regularly sponsors alumni events such as MCLE classes, regional receptions for alumni around the country, and reunions.

  4. Nickel Club

    The Southwestern Alumni Association created the Nickel Club in 2008 as an alumni organization designed to serve the specific needs of Southwestern alumni who have graduated within the past five years.

    Southwestern understands that new alumni have different needs than attorneys who have been in practice for more than five years. As a result, the Nickel Club was created to help improve and ease your transition into the legal profession by providing support and resources to recent alumni. The group will also foster relationships between recent graduates and current students. There's no application process - alumni are automatically members and no dues are required. And all are welcome and encouraged to join and participate in any Nickel Club events.

    To learn more about joining the Nickel Club or about upcoming events and activities please email alumni@swlaw.edu. 

    Governing Board of Directors
    2017-2018

    President
    Benjamin S. Tragish '13
    Foley & Mansfield

    Past President
    Shannon Sexton '12
    Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County

    Scott Adrian '15
    The Adrian Law Firm

    Samantha Forbes '13
    Deputy Public Defender, Los Angeles County

    Max Gavron '13
    Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

    David Jones '14
    Tucker Ellis

    Shafiel Karim '13
    Law Office of Shafiel A. Karim

    Jessica Mahmoudian '14
    Techstyle Fashion Group

    Katherine Melik-Stepanyan '16
    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

    Negin Mostadim'14
    Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County

    Alfonso Orteg '14
    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

    Sherin Parikh '14
    O’Melveny & Myers

    Vira Samouhi '15
    Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County

    Scott Savage '16
    Minyard & Morris

    Dustin Thordarson '14
    Raffalow Bretoi & Adams

    Jacob Zodieru '13
    Fulwider Patton

    Sub-Committees

    Nickel Focused Sub-Committee
    This committee helps foster social interaction and professional development between its members. The committee will create opportunities for Nickel members to meet and network with one another, with the expectation to reconnect with former classmates and develop professional contacts with other recent Southwestern alumni. The Nickel Focused Committee will also work collaboratively with the other committees for the purpose of organizing and maintaining a Nickel Club contact network accessible to all members.

    Student Focused Sub-Committee
    This committee concentrates on the interaction between recent graduates and current students by developing programs, events, and activities to promote networking between these two groups. The committee works closely with current representatives of the various student body organizations. The committee goals are to mentor and prepare students for their first few years in the legal profession and to encourage them to remain active in Southwestern as alumni. Fostering these types of relationships with current students will create pride in their alma mater to build a stronger alumni base for the future.

    Career Related Sub-Committee
    This committee is focused on career development and related activities aimed at improving the alumni community's legal practice. Events presented will include MCLE events and informational seminars, focused both generally and in specific practice areas, and will also include networking components for panelists and attendees. Future events include a judicial panel addressing common ethical pitfalls for young attorneys and the ABCs of court appearances. Seminars regarding attorney interactions, including how to develop a productive mentor/mentee relationship with the partners and senior associates in your  Nrm, how to interact with co-counsel, and how to deal with difficult opposing counsel. Along with many great events to follow! Get MCLE credit and develop those important relationships with the Southwestern and Los Angeles legal communities.

    Public Affairs Sub-Committee
    This committee has two focuses. First, it will increase awareness among Nickel alumni about the law school's existing civic-minded efforts, including the Southwestern Children's Rights Clinic, Immigration Law Clinic and Street Law Clinic. Second, the committee will identify for Southwestern students and alumni pro bono and other civic-minded activities with varying commitment levels. These activities will include participation in programs like Habitat for Humanity, tutoring for youth in need, and exciting fundraising events.

  5. Southwestern Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association (SWEIP)

    Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association (SWEIP) was launched in 2011 to bring together all Southwestern alumni who are currently working in the fields of entertainment and/or IP transaction law or litigation; those who work for an entertainment company or entertainer; and/or those who work as a creative person in the entertainment industry. SWEIP also invites graduates from the Southwestern's Entertainment and Media Law LL.M. program to join. Honorary members may join SWEIP with a majority vote of the board. 

    Southwestern understands the need and importance of building an active community, therefore, it created the group to cultivate relationships and create valuable resources and activities for its alums. SWEIP serves as a way to facilitate interactions between Southwestern alumni and the entertainment business, legal and creative communities. In addition to supporting programs and events focused on entertainment and intellectual property issues, SWEIP serves as a liaison between Southwestern alumni and the current Southwestern student body. There are no dues required to be a member of this group.

    Southwestern alumni who are interested in joining the Southwestern's Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Alumni Association, can contact the Institutional Advancement Office.

    Board of Directors
    2017-2018

    Shahrokh Sheik '06, President
    Partner
    Kramer Holcomb Sheik

    Eric Early '93, Past President
    Partner
    Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae

    A. Arik Betesh '06
    Attorney at Law

    Caroline Barbee '05
    Attorney at Law
    Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

    Emma Brackett '05
    Vice President
    Content and Programming, AT&T Entertainment Group

    Matthew Broussard '11
    Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs
    LLP Production Services, Inc.

    John Fagerholm '00
    Founding Partner
    M.E.T.A.L Law Group

    Mitchell Federer '09
    Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs
    Kinetic Content

    Kian Ghaffari '02
    Attorney at Law
    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Inc

    Zeina Grenier '06
    Attorney at Law
    Universal Music Publishing

    Victor de Gyarfas '94
    Partner
    Foley & Lardner

    David A. Helfant '80
    Senior Partner
    Law Offices of David A. Helfant

    Robert F. Helfing '79
    Attorney at Law
    Sedgwick

    Neville L. Johnson '75
    Attorney at Law
    Johnson & Johnson

    Hillary Kane '93
    Interim Director of Public Affairs &
    Adjunct Professor of Law
    Southwestern Law School

    Sally Koenig '92
    Attorney at Law
    Koenig Law Offices

    Robert Lauson '94
    Partner
    Lauson & Tarver

    Matthew Laviano '02
    Attorney at Law
    Berman Braun

    Lawreen Loeser '03
    Rights and Clearances Coordinator
    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

    Steven Lowy '76
    Attorney at Law
    Isaacman Kaufman & Painter

    Douglas McClure '95
    Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs
    Silver Pictures

    Kevin Mills '81
    Attorney at Law
    Kaye & Mills

    Kamal Moo '05
    Attorney at Law
    Law Offices of Kamal Moo

    Deanna Newell '97
    Attorney at Law
    Business and Legal Affairs Consultant

    Lance Pritikin '06
    Attorney at Law
    Law Office of Lance Pritikin

    Tara Rose Riley '07
    Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property
    NBCUniversal

    Romy Schneider '04
    Attorney at Law
    Activision Blizzard Studios

    Stephen Strauss '83
    Of Counsel
    Buchalter Nemer

    Robert Wernick '06
    Senior Counsel
    Ticketmaster LLC

    Sub-Committees

    Alumni-Student Committee
    The committee shall develop programs, activities, and events for Southwestern students and provide them with opportunities to interact with alumni and allow them access to alumni volunteers as mentors and networking contacts.  Programs may include establishing a mentoring program for students through the Biederman Institute, attending Biederman-Scholar student dinners, or collaborating with the Alumni Association’s Inn of St. Ives program.

    Events Committee
    The committee shall establish and organize social events for the Association to promote involvement with other alumni and the law school.  Programs may include Fall/Spring Mixers, Law Firm Networking Receptions, and the biannual SWEIP/Biederman Dinner.

    Professional Development Committee
    The committee shall establish and organize continuing legal education courses, seminars, and similar type programs for the Association to provide educational and career development resources for alumni and law students.  

CLE Programs

Past CLEs and Seminars include: ABC's of Being a Law Clerk, Elimination of Bias, Entertainment Law Ethics, Social Networking's Impact on the Workplace and Employment Litigation, and Substance Abuse and the Legal Profession. To be informed of upcoming CLE programs, give your contact information to the Institutional Advancement Office.