2021 Pathways to Law PANELIST BIOGRAPHIES

SESSION #1: Private Law Panel

Saturday, May 8, 2021 @ 11 am - 12 pm

Register for Session #1

  • Moderator - Mari Bandoma Callado, Senior Associate, Dolan Law Firm
  • Panelist - Rhean Fajardo, Associate General Counsel, Oakland Athletics
  • Panelist - Michelle Park Chiu, Partner, Morgan Lewis
  • Panelist - Matt Tabo, Founder, The Tabo Law Firm


Mari Bandoma Callado, Senior Associate, Dolan Law Firm

Mari Bandoma Callado is a Senior Associate Attorney and Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at the Dolan Law Firm, PC. She exclusively represents workers/plaintiffs from many industries against employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases as well as in human trafficking cases. She also represents plaintiffs in hate crimes, child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse and neglect lawsuits. Since 2017, Mari has been selected as a "Rising Star" every year in the Northern California edition of SuperLawyers magazine.

Mari is a dedicated leader of several local, state and national bar associations and is committed to serving vulnerable members of our community. Mari is currently serving as:

  • President of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California;

  • Co-Chair of the Asian American Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee;
  • Co-Chair of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association's Plaintiff's Network and as a member of its Advocacy Committee;
  • Alternate Regional Governor - Northern California Region of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association;
  • Member of the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Hate Crimes Task Force;
  • Member of the California Employment Lawyers Association’s Education and Women’s Committees;
  • Legislative Chair of the Consumer Attorneys of California’s Diversity Committee.

Mari also devotes time to volunteer at Legal Aid at Work’s Workers’ Rights Clinic and the Alameda County Bar Association’s Lawyers in the Library program.

Mari graduated from UC Hastings and was recognized for her Pro Bono work. She earned her B.A. in Ethnic Studies and minor in Education from UC Berkeley.


RHEAN FAJARDO, ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL, OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Rhean Fajardo is Associate General Counsel with the Oakland Athletics. In her role, Rhean works on some of the most exciting issues in Major League Baseball including real estate matters related to the development of the new ballpark site and redevelopment of the existing Coliseum and Arena complex site. Rhean’s day to day practice also includes support of the corporate partnerships, stadium operations, baseball operations and community and events teams. Rhean also serves as legal counsel for the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer Club.

Prior to joining the A’s front office, she served as Corporate Counsel at several Bay Area companies focusing on fin tech, bio tech and, most recently, cybersecurity and digital safety at Norton LifeLock, where she advised on a wide range of innovative business development initiatives and strategic partnerships, including commercial and technology licensing agreements for both domestic and international deals. Her experience also includes a 6-year stint in the public sector as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Daly City. Rhean earned her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law and her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


MICHELLE PARK CHIU, PARTNER, MORGAN LEWIS

Michelle Park Chiu is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. She represents corporate clients facing complex consumer protection claims, including class actions and law enforcement actions. Michelle has experience in defending clients facing California Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 (“UCL”) litigation, as well as financial institutions facing claims brought under statutes such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Truth in Lending Act. Michelle is also a seasoned antitrust litigator, representing clients facing federal and state antitrust litigation alleging cartel and monopolization claims. She currently serves as the San Francisco office’s hiring partner and the deputy leader of the firm’s litigation practice in San Francisco. Michelle earned her J.D. and LL.M. from Duke University School of Law and her B.A. from Boston University.


Matt Tabo, Founder, Tabo Law Firm

Matthew C. Tabo is the Owner and Principal Attorney of The Tabo Law Firm, a business he has owned and operated for 7 years. Born and raised in Vallejo, California, he earned his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley with High Honors in 2007 and went on to earn his law degree from UC Hastings in 2012. After law school, he worked at the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, then spent a year with a small firm doing criminal defense and family law. He took the leap to hang his own shingle after that and hasn’t looked back since. Matt currently employs a full-time associate attorney, as well as a full-time assistant, and services hundreds of clients in the fields of criminal defense and family law throughout the greater Sacramento Area and select counties in the Bay Area. He’s a big proponent of pursuing your passions in your career — and if you’re not able to do that then start a business to make the most amount of money while doing the least amount of work.

SESSION #2: Public Law/Public interest panel

Saturday, May 15, 2021 @ 11 am - 12 pm

Register for Session #2

  • Moderator - Justice Tracy Brown, California Court of Appeal, First District
  • Panelist - Justice Goodwin H. Liu, Associate Justice, California Supreme Court
  • Panelist - Vilaska Nguyen, Managing Attorney, San Francisco Public Defender's Office
  • Panelist - Kevin Lo, Staff Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus


JUSTICE TRACY BROWN, CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL, FIRST DISTRICT

Justice Tracie L. Brown was appointed to the California Court of Appeal in 2018.  She had previously served for five years on the San Francisco Superior Court. 

Justice Brown graduated from Harvard University and received a J.D. from the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. She clerked for Judge M. Margaret McKeown on the Ninth Circuit and was an associate at Morrison & Foerster and Cooley LLP.  She then joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where she tried civil and criminal cases and argued before the Ninth Circuit. 

Justice Brown received the Asian American Bar Association’s Joe Morozumi Award and the California State Bar’s Jack Berman Award for her work on a pro bono case representing San Francisco’s Japanese American community.  She was honored with a U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for prosecuting three defendants who distributed millions of doses of controlled substances through an online “pill mill.”    

Justice Brown has taught at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law since 2013.


JUSTICE GOODWIN H. LIU, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT

Justice Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Nominated by Governor Jerry Brown, Justice Liu was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and sworn into office on September 1, 2011.  He was retained by the electorate in 2014. Before joining the state’s highest court, Justice Liu was Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and diversity in the legal profession.

Justice Liu continues to teach constitutional law as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Law Institute. He serves on the Council of the American Law Institute, on the Board of Directors of the James Irvine Foundation, and on the Yale University Council. He has previously served on the California Commission on Access to Justice, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, and the governing boards of the American Constitution Society, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Justice Liu grew up in Sacramento, where he attended public schools. He went to Stanford University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1991. He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a masters degree in philosophy and physiology. Upon returning to the United States, he went to Washington D.C. to help launch the AmeriCorps national service program and worked for two years as a senior program officer at the Corporation for National Service.

Justice Liu graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, becoming the first in his family to earn a law degree. He clerked for Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then worked as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. He went on to clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the October 2000 Term. From 2001 to 2003, he worked in the litigation practice of O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C.


VILASKA NGUYEN, MANAGING ATTORNEY, SF PUBLIC DEFENDER'S OFFICE

Vilaska Nguyen is the Managing Attorney for the Specialty and Collaborative Courts of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, where he has worked for 17 years. Vilaska graduated from University of San Francisco School of Law in 2004 and began working as a trial attorney, successfully litigating over 40 misdemeanor and felony cases to verdict. He started the mock trial workshop at 826 Valencia and is passionate about mentoring the future generation of justice advocates.


KEVIN LO, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY, ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE - ASIAN LAW CAUCUS

Kevin Lo is an immigration attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, where he represents low-income people facing deportation. Prior to ALC, he worked on counter-terrorism human rights issues with Reprieve in London, assisted LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers with ORAM, and led labor campaigns in Southeast Asia and the American South with the United Auto Workers. Kevin grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and after graduating from UC Berkeley, he received a law degree from Stanford Law School.

SESSION #3: LAW School admissions

Saturday, May 22, 2021 @ 11 am - 12 pm

Register for Session #3

  • Moderator - Kerry Sherman, Law Student, UC Davis
  • Panelist - Mario Lopez, Associate Director of Admissions, UC Hastings College of the Law 
  • Panelist -  Thomas Lee, Associate Director of Public Interest/Public Service Careers, UC Hastings College of the Law
  • Panelist - Samantha Mita, Student at UC Hastings College of the Law 


KERRY SHERMAN, STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS SCHOOL OF LAW

Kerry Sherman is a 3rd year law student (3L) at UC Davis School of Law. She has worked as a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant in Legal Research & Writing, and served on the Family Protection Clinic at the law school. Kerry was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in both Seoul and Los Angeles. She now lives in the Bay Area, where she will be working after graduation. Kerry is interested in pursuing a career in privacy law.


MARIO LOPEZ, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS, UC HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW

Born in San Francisco, and raised in Marin County, Mario Lopez is the proud son of immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador, and is the Associate Director of Admissions, Diversity Initiatives, & Community Partnerships at UC Hastings Law, and member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group. As part of his portfolio, Mario oversees diversity initiatives in the Office of Enrollment Management, which include: the California Scholars Program, diversity outreach, LEOP recruitment, affinity campus groups, and working with students, faculty, and administrators in helping build a diverse incoming class at UC Hastings.

Prior to his professional role at UC Hastings, Mario worked for 10 years in the financial services sector from 16-26 earning his investment licenses, and served on various school, community, and government boards prior to law school. During his time as a student at UC Hastings, Mario was on the UC Hastings Trial Team, Fundraising Chair for La Raza Law Students Association, and interned for President Obama at the White House in the National Economic Council during his third year of law school, where he also served in a leadership role as the Co-Chair of the Legal Professional Interest Group. 

Mario earned his BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, earned his JD from UC Hastings Law, and is a licensed member of the California Bar. Outside of work, Mario is a 9-time marathon finisher, sports aficionado, fluent in Spanish, and enjoys international travel and cooking.


THOMAS LEE, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INTEREST/PUBLIC SERVICE CAREERS, UC HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW

Thomas Lee is the Associate Director of Public Interest and Public Service at UC Hastings. He focuses on supporting students interested in public interest, public service, and other nonprofit careers. An LA native, Thomas received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his JD from Harvard Law School. He has worked his entire legal career in the nonprofit legal services field, including with the Eviction Defense Collaborative, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, and Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. He has held various roles, from fellow, to staff attorney, to managing attorney. Thomas is excited to be at UC Hastings, helping the next generation of legal professionals make a difference in the world!


SAMANTHA MITA, STUDENT AT UC HASTINGS COLLEGE OF THE LAW 

Samantha Mita is a rising 2L at UC Hastings College of Law. Prior to attending law school she was the Vice President of Technology at a public charter school district based in Los Angeles. Samantha attended the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with a BAS in Communication Systems Engineering and a BA in Communications. She also received a Master of Communication Management from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Samantha enjoys traveling the world in search of good food or spending time relaxing back home in Hawaii.

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