Alumni Leadership

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.

Alumni Association Board of Directors


Daniel Kramer headshot

Daniel K. Kramer '08, President
Kramer Trial Lawyers
Personal Injury

Alicia Matricardi Headshot

Alicia Matricardi '06, Past President
Matricardi Law, APC
Real Estate Law

Lynda Sheridan headshot

Lynda Sheridan '94, President-Elect
Law Offices of Lynda Sheridan 
Family Law


Rachel Gezerseh '07, Vice President
Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP
Personal Injury

Arash Beral '06
Blank Rome
Business Litigation

Evan Clark '14
Attorney at Law

Mia Ellis '03
Assistant Chief Trial Counsel
State Bar of California

Britany Engelman '05
Engelman Law APC
Personal Injury

Art Gharibian '11
Gharibian Law, APC
Elder Law

David Helfant '80
Law Offices of David A. Helfant
Entertainment Law

Erin Joyce '90
Erin Joyce Law 
Professional Licensing Defense

April Macaraeg '15
Macaraeg Law, PC
Employment, Real Estate, Personal Injury

Alan Romero '06
Romero Law, APC
Employment Law

Mauricio Salazar '15
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Public and Government Finance

Daniel E. Selarz '12
Selarz Law Corp
Personal Injury

Stephen Strauss '83
Intellectual Property

Jeannette L. Van Horst '93 
Law + Brandmeyer 
Medical Malpractice Defense

Shannon Wainright '12 
Los Angeles County District Attorney
Deputy District Attorney

Anna Wassenberg '10 
Law Office of Anna Wassenberg 
Educational Law

Danielle Yeretzian '11
The Agency
Real Estate Agent

Emeriti Board

Patrick Baghdaserians '07
Baghdaserians Law Group, Inc.
Family Law

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

Martin Carpenter '76
Carpenter Rothans & Dumont

Julianne DeMarco '87
Taylor DeMarco
Medical Malpractice Defense

Robert Glassman '09
Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP
Personal Injury

Hon. J. Gary Hastings '72
California Court of Appeal, Second District
Retired Justice

Hon. H. Clay Jacke, II '82
Los Angeles County Superior Court

Gerard V. Kassabian '01
Law Offices of Gerard V. Kassabian, APC
Trusts and Estates

Jody Klipple ‘11
Service Employees International Union
Labor and Employment

Hon. Timothy Weiner '00
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles

The Southwestern Alumni Association established the Nickel Club in 2008 to meet the specific needs of Southwestern alumni who have graduated within the past five years. For the 2020-21 academic year, that includes class years 2016-2020. 

Recently graduated 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 the transition into the legal profession by providing support and resources to recent alumni. The group also fosters 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.

Applications for the Nickel Club Board of Directors and Committees go live every spring. The Board and Committee members plan events that focus on networking (both among Nickels and with older alumni), career development (CLE programming), and engagement with students. 

To learn more about joining the Nickel Club or about upcoming events and activities, please email 

2024 Governing Board of Directors

Matthew French '19, President
Wisner Baum, LLP

Robert Ford '17, Past President
A3 Artists Agency

Julio Soto-Kim '19, Co-Vice President
The Soto-Kim Law Firm

Andrew Figueras '21, Co-Vice President
Yoka Smith, LLP

Brandon Salumbides '20, Secretary
Kramer Trial Lawyers APC

Samantha Johnson '19, Communications Officer
Kulik Gottesman Siegel & Ware, LLP

Arya Afighom '21

Victoria Couch '22

David Ferrell '23

Taylor Kruse '23

Jacqueline Lendvai '22

Dean Matsuyama '23

Shayan Rahbar Vafaee '23

Michael Sklar '19

Lisandra Suarez '20

Yidu Sun '22



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's 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 firm, 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.

Southwestern recognizes outstanding alumni and friends in the following categories:

Outstanding Alumni of the Year 

Presented to a Southwestern alumnus or alumna who represents the best ideals of Southwestern through their professional accomplishments and demonstrated service to the community, law school, and legal profession.

  1. Previous Awardees
    Outstanding Alumni of the Year 
    Year Awardee
    2023 Shawn Holley '88
    2022 Professor Harriet M.  Rolnick ‘79
    2019 Ms. Heidi M.  Yoshioka ‘89
    2018 Mr. Walter M.  Yoka ‘80
    2017 Ms. Katrina M.  Woolverton ‘02
    2017 Mr. George  Woolverton ‘75
    2016 Mr. Joseph P.  Esposito ‘89
    2016 Mr. Bill H.  Seki ‘88
    2014 Mr. Steven P.  Byrne ‘77
    2013 Professor Catherine L.  Carpenter ‘76
    2011 Mr. Gerald E.  Agnew Jr., ‘74
    2011 Mr. Bruce M.  Brusavich ‘80
    2010 Ms. Judith Otamura Kester ‘77*
    2009 Mr. David  Ostrove ‘58
    2008 Mr. Gregory M.  Bergman ‘75
    2008 Mrs. Leah S.  Bergman ‘75
    2007 Mr. Michael J.  Downer ‘81
    2006 Ms. Lauren B.  Leichtman ‘77
    2005 Mr. Shinaan S.  Krakowsky ‘81
    2004 Ms. Noreen F.  Berra ‘85
    2003 Ms. Karen S.  Nobumoto ‘89*
    2002 Mr. George R. Hillsinger ‘50*
    2001 Professor Sandra S.  Polin ‘78
    2000 Mr. Donald G.  Sowers, Sr. ‘85
    1999 Mr. Edward M.  Wolkowitz ‘75
    1998 Mr. Daniel M.  Petrocelli ‘80
    1997 Mr. Matthew K. Fong ‘85*
    1996 Ms. Marcia R.  Clark ‘79
    1995 Hon. Arleigh M. Woods ‘53*
    1994 The Hon. Allen J.  Webster Jr. ‘71
    1993 Mr. David B.  Casselman ‘78
    1992 Mr. Frank J. Waters ‘32*
    1991 Hon. Julian C. Dixon ‘67*
    1989 The Hon. Robert H.  Philibosian ‘67
    1988 Hon. Stanley Mosk ‘35*
    1987 Mr. Harvey L. Silbert ‘35*
    1984 The Hon. Robert R.  Devich ‘64
    1983 Mr. Irwin R. Buchalter ‘33*
    1982 Mr. Ira K.  Reiner ‘64
    1981 Mr. Richard W. Hecht ‘60*
    1980 Ms. Beverly Rubens Gordon '54
    1979 Mayor Tom Bradley ‘56*
    1978 Hon. James H. Brown ‘39*
    1977 Mr. Julian S. Gould ‘50*
    1976 Mr. Dean C. Boyack ‘56*
    1975 Dr. John W. Luhring ‘35*
    1974 Hon. Richard C. Fildew ‘38*
    1973 Mr. Paul W. Wildman ‘52*

    * Deceased

Outstanding Judicial Officer

Presented to a Southwestern alumnus or alumna in recognition of their distinguished career as a member of the judiciary, service to the community, and commitment to the mission of the law school.

  1. Previous Awardees
    Outstanding Judicial Officer
    Year Awardee
    2023 Hon. Deborah Brazil '96
    2022 Hon. Lon F.  Hurwitz ’79
    2019 Hon. Antonio Barreto ’77*
    2018 Hon. H. C.  Jacke II ’82  
    2017 Hon. Socrates P.  Manoukian ’77  
    2016 Hon. Craig J.  Mitchell ’91  
    2014 Hon. Sandra L.  Margulies ’77  
    2013 Hon. Robert J.  Schuit ’79  
    2011 Hon. Gerald  Rosenberg ’75
    2010 Hon. Otis D.  Wright II ’80
    2009 Hon. Alan H. Friedenthal ’83*

    Hon. Scott M.  Gordon ’85


    Hon. David S.  Wesley ’72

    2006 Hon. Gilbert T.  Gembacz ’79
    2005 Hon. Candace J.  Beason ’80

    Hon. Bob T. Hight ’55*

    2003 Hon. Robert A.  Dukes ’76
    2002 Hon. Harold N. Crowder ’66*

    Hon. Lois A.  Smaltz ’77

    2000 Hon. Arthur M. Greenwald ’63*

    Hon. Kathleen E.  O'Leary ’75


    Hon. John H.  Reid ’72

    1997 Hon. David T.  McEachen ’74
    1996 Hon. William C.  Beverly Jr. ’69
    1995 Hon. J. G.  Hastings ’72

    Hon. Sara K.  Radin ’55

    1993 Hon. Robert R.  Devich ’64
    1992 Hon. Ronald S.  Lew ’71
    1991 Hon. Ricardo A.  Torres ’65
    1989 Hon. Vaino H. Spencer ’52*
    1988 Hon Gordon Thompson, Jr. ’56*

    Hon Arleigh M. Woods ’53*

    * Deceased

Outstanding Friend Award

Presented to a non-alumni friend of Southwestern who, through their commitment and/or volunteer effort, has strongly supported the ideals and mission of the law school.

  1. Previous Awardees
    Outstanding Friend Award
    Year Awardee
    2023 Professor Norm Garland
    2019 Mr. John D.  Barrett Jr., ’76  
    2018 Steve Kolodny* 

    Ms. Julie K.  Xanders

    2016 Hon. Terry J.  Hatter Jr.
    2014 Dean Austen L.  Parrish
    2013 Dean Bryant G.  Garth
    2011 Mr. and Mrs. James A.  Coufos
    2010 Professor Anita Glasco*
    2009 Hon. Charles W.  McCoy Jr.
    2008 Professor Robert C.  Lind Jr.

    Professor Karen Smith*

    2006 Professor Judy B.  Sloan
    2005 Dean Leigh H.  Taylor

    Professor John V. Gallagher*


    Professor Paul E. Treusch*

    2002 Mr. Warner Heineman*
    2001 Hon. E.M. Gunderson*
    2000 Ms. Jana W.  Greer

    Dr. Ira W.  Krinsky

    1998 Dr. Frank Ellsworth*  
    1997 Hon. Nate  Holden
    1996 Mr. Florence Rosenberg*
    1995 Professor Max Goodman*

    Hon John F. Parker*

    1993 Mr. and Mrs. Roger Grace
    1992 Mr. Sheldon A.  Gebb
    1991 Professor Norman Karlin*
    1989 Mrs. Marshall (Margherite) F. McComb*

    Dr. S. Joan Mier*


    Virginia B. Cobey*


Outstanding Law Firm

A law firm of any size that has demonstrated an enduring commitment to hiring, mentoring, and advancing Southwestern graduates.

  1. Previous Awardees
    Outstanding Law Firm
    Year Awardee
    2023 Buchalter

    Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP

    2019 Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

    Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi LLP

    2017 Meyer Olson Lowy & Meyers LLP

    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP


Oustanding Litigator

Presented to a Southwestern alumnus or alumna who, as a litigator, has demonstrated skill, accomplishment, or significant impact in his or her area of practice and/or the legal community; and embodies Southwestern’s highest ethical standards and traditions.
  1. Previous Awardees
    Oustanding Litigator
    Year Awardee
    2017 Mr. Robert A.  Morgenstern ’80  
    2016 Mr. Brian J.  Panish ’84  


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 which provides students with an opportunity to contact and network with alumni in specific practices and/or geographic areas. Alumni offer advice on networking opportunities, career matters, and expertise in particular areas of practice.

Inn of St. Ives

This 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.

Moot Court

A large contingent of alumni is 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.

Contact Alumni for event ideas and sponsorship opportunities.