We’re excited to welcome the following confirmed speakers to Catapult 2014 (subject to last-minute emergency changes, of course). Stay tuned since the list will be updated frequently as new speakers are confirmed!
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
JD Job Coach
Titilayo is founder and editor of JD Job Coach and author of The Go-Getter’s Manifesto: How Law Students Can Start Taking Career Matters Into Their Own Hands.
Prior to law school, Titilayo worked as a communications specialist and media consultant for personal and institutional brands, placing news stories on CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, and NPR. She developed strategies to help nonprofits expand their reach and helped artists and celebrities, including Outkast’s André 3000 and NBA hall-of-famer David Robinson, achieve their philanthropic goals.
While in law school, Titilayo worked as a legal intern for Russell Simmons and his entertainment, media, fashion, and community empowerment brands. Her legal writing won her a scholarship and a trip to the GRAMMYs as a finalist in the 15th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Writing Competition. Her winning paper, Fan Finance: Securities Law Restrictions on Social Media-Based Fundraising, was published in the ABA’s Entertainment and Sports Lawyer.
Today, Titilayo is an associate at an international law firm in San Francisco. She channels her communications skills as a frequent writer and speaker on career strategies, goal setting, and personal branding. She earned an honors B.A. from Spelman College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law.
Linda began her legal career in the large firm environment — including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Palo Alto) and Vinson & Elkins (Houston) where she represented multi-national corporations in matters concerning trademark rights, copyrights, advertising practices and issues related to the conduct of online business. During this time, Linda was on the legal team that successfully defended bringing the first mp3 player to market.
As senior counsel for litigation and trademarks at Align Technology, Inc., Linda managed major litigations on behalf of the corporation, as well as shepherding the company’s valuable consumer trademark portfolio. With the successful conclusion of the litigations in 2005, she chose to re-focus her career toward transactional work and launched her solo practice.
Linda’s work as an attorney and as a business consultant transforms the way contract negotiation, drafting, and enforcement impact business relationships. Linda facilitates a wide range of transactions and relationships, and her clients include best selling authors, filmmakers, and businesses from sole-proprietorships to corporations with internationally recognized consumer brands. In 2012, Linda was recognized by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel” for her work in bringing change to the legal system.
Linda developed the Discovering Agreement model as a way to re-frame the negotiation process, the drafting of contract language, and the performance of contractual relationships. Using Discovering Agreement, parties can take the reins and build their own ideal systems within the context of the larger legal-justice system, actively transforming how the conventional system impacts their present and future interactions and dealings.
Alvaro A. Arauz
3a. Law Practice Management
3a. law practice management works solely with law firms and understands the challenges of running a successful practice. They offer a complete set of solutions, including Internet presence, organizational workflow, and virtual offices.
Alvaro A. Arauz, founder and bilingual in Spanish, has spent 16 years helping the country’s top law firms achieve the holy grail of greater profits for less work. He often shares his knowledge in CLE seminars or at John Marshall Law School solo practitioner/small firm boot camps. Alvaro is also on the operating boards of four non-profit organizations here in Atlanta and in his hometown of San Francisco.
Our clients range from brave attorneys putting out their own shingle to midsize firms dealing with intricate partnership issues. We are proud to help many of Georgia’s Super Lawyers, including 7 of the Top 100 Super Lawyers.
When Alvaro’s not saving law firms from inefficiencies, he captures his world travels through photography, which he sells and been featured in Atlanta’s Art Space International Gallery.
Leave Law Behind
Casey Berman (University of California, Hastings ’99), a born-and-raised San Franciscan, is the founder of Leave Law Behind, a blog and community that focuses on helping unhappy attorneys leave the law. Casey and Leave Law Behind have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law and Huffington Post Live.
In addition to Leave Law Behind, Casey serves as chief strategy officer of FileRight, a provider of online immigration software and services, where he leads corporate planning, spearheads the company’s business and corporate development approach and helps steer overall brand strategy. Casey also works with his father at their boutique Investment Banking firm, Berman Capital.
In the past, Casey worked with Schireson Associates, a strategic management consulting firm and also served as VP Operations for Zoomedia, a communications agency. Prior to Zoomedia, Casey served as VP Operations and In-House Counsel at Workshare, a document comparison and security software company. Casey holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley as well as the Series 7 and 63 security licenses.
Lee is the co-founder of Trebuchet, the Law School Toolbox and the Bar Exam Toolbox. In 2009 she founded Amicus Tutoring, which offers one-on-one test preparation to help students study for the California Bar Exam and the first-year law students’ exam. After graduating cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Lee spent time in BigLaw as a commercial litigator. Before law school, Lee worked as a high-tech consultant with an international consulting firm. Lee’s true professional passion is helping people find success in law school, the bar exam and then find a place in the legal profession where they can be happy and successful.
Lee’s advice has been featured in a variety of publications including: Solo Practice University, Ms. JD, ABA Student Lawyer,LexisNexis, Greenhorn Legal, Business Insider, Accepted, Happy Go Legal, Student Appeal, and I Passed My Bar Exam. She also teaches a course for Solo Practice University on passing the bar exam, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Francisco School of Law and Golden Gate University School of Law. She also speaks frequently to law students about careers and conquering the bar exam. Outside of the legal world, Lee is on the Board of Directors of GirlVentrues, a bay area nonprofit that offers leadership programming to middle-school and high-school girls.
JC Law Group PC
Jeena Cho is a partner at JC Law Group PC, a bankruptcy law firm in San Francisco, CA. She practices with her husband, Jeff Curl, working with individuals and small businesses to find the best solutions for their financial troubles. She is also an author and is working on her second book, The Anxious Lawyer, American Bar Association (ABA). Jeena started her legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Tampa, FL where she prosecuted criminal cases.
In addition to her legal practice, Jeena is a long time mindfulness and meditation practitioner. She started her meditation practice at the Himalayan Institute in Buffalo, NY. She has completed several classes in Mindfulness and Compassion Cultivation Training at a number of institutions including Stanford, and has attended numerous retreats on mindfulness at organizations including the Happiness Retreat and the San Francisco Zen Center.
Jeena enjoys writing and has written articles on mindfulness on Lawyerist as well as her blog, Scripting Happiness. Jeena is the author of the LexisNexis guide, How to Manage Your Law Office, where she wrote about starting, growing and managing a solo practice including topics ranging from marketing to virtual law practice to social media. She holds a J.D. and B.A. from University at Buffalo.
Inder Comar is a lawyer with a passion for social impact. He acts as outside corporate counsel for startups, medium size and large companies in both corporate and litigation matters. His areas of practice include corporate finance, governance, intellectual property, employment, real estate and trial and appellate work.
Inder has taught classes for law and entrepreneurship with ImpactHub and Startup-Chile, briefed legal issues before the United States Supreme Court and maintains a human rights pro bono practice. Inder holds degrees from Stanford University (Psychology, BA, International Relations, BA, Sociology, MA) and the New York University School of Law (JD).
Tyler Coulson left Big Law in 2011 and walked across America with his dog, Mabel. He walked from Delaware to San Diego over 8 months and became (to the best of anyone’s knowledge) the only attorney to complete a North American transcontinental hike. During that 8 months, he stared down a black bear, was attacked by wild dogs, faced a life-threatening heat wave, hunger, and thirst, and was nearly killed innumerable times. His lectures draw heavily on stories from his adventure and raise questions about how lawyers might raise their overall happiness and improve their practice.
He is the author of By Men or By the Earth, a literary memoir about his walk, and Attorneys After the Crash, a parable about the consuming power of greed in the legal industry set on a mountainside after a plane crash in 2008. He lives in Chicago with his dog, Mabel, and is an all-around decent fellow. Coulson graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law and practiced corporate reorganization with the Chicago office of a leading international firm.
Elena Ducharme, Performance Coach
Over the past 20-plus years, as an attorney and performance coach, Elena has worked with hundreds of lawyers and aspiring lawyers who struggle with anxiety, self-doubt, overwhelm and procrastination in the face of competitive, high-stakes performance situations. She’s witnessed first-hand how these pressures can block their ability to succeed, regardless of how capable they are. And she’s dedicated to helping them move past these hurdles so they can experience fulfillment and success.
Elena began her legal career as a litigation associate at Pettit & Martin in San Francisco, and later left the big-firm environment to establish a small law firm in San Diego before she began her transition into the field of coaching.
Elena’s experience includes five years as the Graduate Career Advisor at Hastings College of the Law, where she coached and mentored hundreds of third years and graduates, and four years in business development coaching and consulting for large and medium-sized firms. She now focuses exclusively in mindset and performance coaching for bar exam takers and lawyers.
Elena received her coaching certification in 2000, and is a certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a certified hypnotherapist specializing in conversational hypnosis as well as an Individualized Energy Psychotherapy Practitioner. She is also an MBTI qualified practitioner and a graduate of the Co-Active Space leadership program.
Elena graduated cum laude from Hastings College of the Law in 1992, and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of University of Washington, where she majored in Political Science. Prior to studying political science, Elena spent four years as a music major, with an emphasis on music history and classical guitar performance.
Gagnier Margossian LLP
Christina Gagnier leads the Intellectual Property, Internet & Technology practice at Gagnier Margossian LLP, with a specialization in social media, copyright and information privacy.
Gagnier consults technology firms on policy issues ranging from patent law reform to communications issues, such as Network Neutrality. Gagnier’s primary research concerns issues of cyber rights and the intersection of on and offline action. Gagnier has customized Gagnier Margossian LLP’s technology practice to broadly serve the needs of “startups.” Working with artists, Web TV writers and producers, Internet companies and mobile application developers, Gagnier provides digital strategy advising to clients who are often times navigating uncharted legal territory.
Gagnier researched at Stanford Law School for Professor Lawrence Lessig, working on Code 2.0 and Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. Gagnier also served as the Chief Information Officer at Mobilize.org, a national civic engagement organization dedicated to Millennial Generation advocacy and public policy.
Christina blogs in the Technology section of The Huffington Post, serves as the host for TechWire on the California Channel, is a columnist on legal ethics on the web and Internet law topics for California Lawyer, has been a contributor to CBS News’ What’s Trending and was previously a host on This Week in Cause and TechZulu Law. She is frequently invited to sit on panels discussing issues like Information Privacy and Data, law in the digital age, Government 2.0 and citizen engagement. She has been a guest commentator on TV shows like Today’s CrossTalk and The Aloyna Show, CCTV’s Biz Asia America and NBC’s Press: Here, on radio stations such as KCBS in San Francisco and WCCO in Minnesota and has been quoted by MSNBC, The Atlantic, Politico, Ars Technica, Inc.com and The New York Times. Gagnier is also one of Broadband for America’s Faces of Innovation.
Kate McGuinness joined O’Melveny & Myers on graduating from law school and after seven years in the trenches became a partner. She left to become the Vice President and General Counsel of The Times Mirror Corporation, then a Fortune 250 company.
After her stint in the C Suite, she studied creative writing. Her legal thriller Terminal Ambition, A Maggie Mahoney Novel is set in a BigLaw firm and explores power plays sparked by one partner’s attempt to stop widespread sexual harassment. Kate’s essays about women’s issues are carried by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Women’s Media Center, Role/Reboot and other publications. Her advice column “Kate’s Counsel” appears in The Girl’s Guide to Law School.
Kate’s latest career is coaching, and she expects to receive her credential from The Hudson Institute in the spring of 2014.
Marina Modlin emigrated from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She received her B.A. from UC Davis and her J.D. from USF School of Law. Immediately after passing the bar, Ms. Modlin founded Modlin Legal services, a freelance practice, and grew it through referrals.
By January 2010 she felt she had learned enough through her freelance law practice, and converted Modlin Legal to a full services wills and trusts firm. She authored a book titled, The Independence Track: How To Succeed as a Freelance Attorney and has lectured frequently on the topic.
Alison had a lot of trouble deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. One day at lunch, after trying out architecture and programming, she decided to go to law school. Luckily, she was pretty good at it so she managed to graduate from Columbia Law School in 2006 having been a Kent Scholar, a Stone Scholar, and a member of the Columbia Law Review.
After law school, Alison clerked for a federal District Court judge and worked as a patent litigator in a large law firm in San Francisco. Eventually her entrepreneurial spirit took over and she left BigLaw to start The Girl’s Guide to Law School. In 2012 and 2013, the site was named an ABA Journal Top 100 Law Blawg and it’s a leading resource for women (and some brave men) embarking on a legal career. Also in 2012, she and Lee co-founded the Law School Toolbox and the Bar Exam Toolbox to help students get through law school and the bar exam with less stress and turmoil.
Alison is featured regularly in a variety of publications including: Above the Law, Bloomberg Law, LexisNexis, Ms. JD, The Grindstone, Comedians at Law, Student Appeal, Happy Go Legal, and others. Alison also speaks frequently at law schools, bar associations, and legal conferences on topics including careers, academics, and the power of social media.
Jack Newton is the founder of Clio, one of the pioneers of cloud-based practice management. Jack has spearheaded efforts to educate the legal community on the security, ethics and privacy-related issues surrounded cloud computing, and has become a nationally-recognized writer and speaker on these topics.
Jack has recently joined the board of the International Legal Technology Standards Organization (ILTSO), where he will help the organization craft standards for law office technology. He also co-founded and is acting president of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), a consortium of leading cloud computing providers with a mandate to help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the legal industry.
Managing Human Differences
A former Texas Trial Lawyer, “superlawyer” and “legal innovator,” Mark Perlmutter, MA, JD, now helps individuals and couples to have more satisfying business and intimate relationships. He also works with couples and families of people with substance abuse issues, mediates, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at UC Hastings and the University of Texas School of Law.
He practices as a relationship coach with Managing Human Differences and as a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern, #71640 with Bay Area Community Therapy under the supervision of Dr. Keith Sutton, Licensed Psychologist, #22439.
David Raynor is founder and principal at Accelerate Legal, Inc., a San Francisco law firm that provides legal services to startups, entrepreneurs and emerging companies. David advises companies in formation, venture capital and other investment transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and on their ongoing business legal needs as outside counsel.
Prior to founding Accelerate Legal, David was an associate in the Corporate & Securities practice at Baker & McKenzie LLP’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. His law degree is from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he is an adjunct professor teaching a course on Startup Companies & Venture Capital Transactions.
David’s clients include a number of cloud infrastructure companies as well as providers of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based services. He advises his clients on the privacy and liability issues involved in such services. In addition, all of the computing and storage resources for Accelerate Legal are run using cloud services.
Rachel Rodgers Law Office
Rachel Rodgers is the intellectual property and business lawyer for digital entrepreneurs. Her one-of-a-kind practice, Rachel Rodgers Law Office, is run entirely online making her services accessible and convenient for tech startups, online-based businesses and thought leaders. Her secure online law office was one of the first of its kind and has filled a void among entrepreneurs in need of savvy legal counsel without breaking the bank or compromising excellent customer service. Rachel and her practice have been featured in Fast Company, MSNBC, The Washington Post, Forbes and various other media outlets and publications.
Rachel co-wrote the most entertaining business law guide for entrepreneurs called Small Business Bodyguard: Cover Your Bases, Cover Your Assets, Cover Your Ass. It has been called “fun and engaging” by New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan.
Prior to forming her law practice, Rachel served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable James A. Farber in New Jersey Superior Court. Before law school, Rachel worked for non-profits in New York, at a premier lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. and on Capitol Hill in the Senate office of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At home, Rachel can be found baking in the kitchen, running after her two-year-old daughter, feeding her infant son (because who knew such a small person could eat so much?!), hanging out with her hubby, or planning her next trip to France, her absolute favorite place on the face of the planet.
Career Infusion Coaching
Katie Slater is a recovering attorney turned professional coach who helps lawyers and other analytical types with their professional development. Combining her passion for solving business issues and helping people be more effective, Katie started her own company, Career Infusion, in 2011. She has coached numerous clients through significant business and professional shifts, helping them achieve greater growth and become more effective (and less overwhelmed!).
Katie worked as a lawyer in New York for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, in Houston for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP and in-house at AEI, an international power company. She attended Smith College for her undergraduate degree and the University of Texas School of Law for her J.D.
The Dubin Group
Liz Stone is a former practicing attorney who found that litigation wasn’t as engaging as she imagined it would be. She began performing stand-up comedy at night after work, entertaining audiences with her unique perspective as a lawyer. She eventually made the switch to legal recruiting and as Managing Director of the Dubin Group she uses her legal background to place experienced attorneys at Bay Area law firms and companies.
Liz received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from U.C. Hastings, College of the Law. She practiced litigation with Pillsbury Winthrop, Goodwin Procter, and Buchalter Nemer, where she was actively involved in summer associate and lateral hiring.
When she’s not working, she still performs stand-up comedy at clubs, including The Punchline, Cobbs, and Rooster T Feathers. Liz also serves as a board member to Killing My Lobster, a non-profit sketch comedy group in the Bay Area.
Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
Adrian Tirtanadi went to law school with the express purpose of starting a legal service non-profit in Bayview/Hunters Point, and spent several years preparing for its launch. Formerly a project administrator at a non-profit in Maryland, Adrian graduated Magna Cum Laude from USF law and Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland.
Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal opened its doors on January 7th, 2013 and has served over 120 clients and started over 200 cases since then. Adrian is an expert in non-profit start-ups — and brings lots of practical knowledge on the legal, operational, fundraising, and recruitment work needed to start your very own legal service non-profit.