Shelley Mixon,     PartnerAkerman LLP

Shelley Mixon,
PartnerAkerman LLP

Shelley Mixon is a registered patent attorney and a Partner in the Intellectual Property group at Akerman LLP. Her practice focuses on patent non-infringement and invalidity opinions, licensing, freedom to operate, and pre-litigation and litigation strategy work in the life sciences area. She regularly serves as IP counsel in connection with mergers and acquisitions, collaborations, and licensing arrangements, and has extensive experience with patent and trademark litigation. She has worked with clients in such diverse fields as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, semiconductor manufacturing, telecommunications, software, and financial transactions. Shelley is current President of the Colorado Intellectual Property American Inn of Court (2014-2015). She graduated With Honors from the University of Texas School of Law (J.D.), and summa cum laude from the College of Engineering at Boston University (B.S., Biomedical Engineering).

I truly believe that an education is the most valuable thing one can possess.  When I heard about Judge Arguello’s Law School… Sí Se Puede, I felt compelled to be involved because it starts the mentoring process much earlier in the student’s life, at a more crucial and determinative point—when they enter college.  LSSSP will help students to obtain an education, rather than stepping in only after she has already done so.  Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  The more people who have an education, the easier it is to change the world.  Helping promising individuals recognize their own potential and gain the confidence needed to make it to graduation and beyond is akin to raising an army that can change the world. 

Anni Jean-Pierre     JD 2015   University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Anni Jean-Pierre
JD 2015
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Anni Jean-Pierre is a third-year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Anni is currently serving as vice president of DU's law student chapter of the ACLU and is the past president of the Brewer Inn of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society. Anni is also a law clerk at the 20th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Boulder, Colorado and previously served as a student attorney in DU’s Hybrid Immigration Program.  Anni came to the University of Denver after graduating with a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Emory University. 

I volunteered to be a mentor for the LSSSP program because its commits long-term to helping students start their legal careers and it addresses the biggest hurdle in applying: the mystery of it all. I am where I am today not only because of hard work, but also, because I have had amazing mentors who have supported me and guided me along the way. I am the first person in my family to attend law school and I know that this journey would not have been possible without this support system. I want to be part of that essential support system for the Fellows in this program. 


Philip Nickerson     JD 2016   University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Philip Nickerson
JD 2016
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Philip Nickerson is a Texas Native and is currently pursuing his JD (2016) from the University of Denver – Sturm College of Law. He obtained his Bachelors of Business Administration from Baylor University in 2012. After completing his undergraduate studies, Philip spent time in the sports marketing industry and became a licensed Texas Relator. Currently, Philip is working as a Law Clerk for HealthTrio, Inc.’s legal department where his responsibilities range from M&A and corporate transaction work, to government compliance.  During his time at Sturm College of Law, Philip has been involved in a wide variety of student organizations and mock trail events while focusing his studies to classes concerning international and corporate law. Philip is currently serving as VP for the Business Law Society as well as the Black Law Students Association and is a member of the Christian Legal Society. Philip has taken advantage of the experiential learning opportunities at DU. In the Fall of 2013, Philp participated in the STLA Mock Trial competition where he was named Best Advocate. In 2014, Philp was named a member of the 2014-2015 DU Jessup Moot Court Team and is a participant in the CU/DU Transactional Competition. He is also a Student Contributor to The Race to the Bottom Blog (

In 2012, Philip and a high school classmate founded the Project 4 Way Movement (P4W), a non-profit organization based in his hometown of Cameron, Texas. Through P4W, Philip is able to give back to underprivileged youth through scholarship awards, and seminars that put a focus on educational excellence. P4W’s scholarship fund and events are used by the organization as a means to ending the cycle of gang violence, and alcohol and drug abuse.

Philip became a mentor for LSSSP to invest in the Denver community by increasing the pipeline of professional, ethical and prepared lawyers of color. Philip credits much of his success to the guidance of mentors in the past, and views their importance in the lives of driven youth to be invaluable. Philip is excited to be able to contribute to LSSSP in a meaningful way with so many other successful members of the legal community.

Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa,     President, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association,  Vice-President Sections and Committees, Hispanic National Bar Association

Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa, President, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Vice-President Sections and Committees, Hispanic National Bar Association

Elizabeth Espinosa Krupa is a Colorado Native and has been a litigator for nearly 20 years.  She graduated from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in 1994, served a judicial clerkship and then worked for the Colorado State Public Defender Office providing criminal defense for indigent clients.  Ms. Krupa also worked for the Federal Defender for the District of Colorado.  Ms. Krupa then worked as a Trial Attorney for the Denver Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission conducting trials and administrative proceedings throughout the United States.  Ms. Krupa also served as Assistant Regulation Counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and Faculty Member for National Institute for Trial Advocacy.  She has been teaching NITA since 2009 in regional, public service and custom programs including the Program Director for the NITA/National Organization of Bar Counsel Advanced Trial Advocates Training. Ms. Krupa is currently in private practice, her firm litigates criminal defense and securities.

In addition to her work with the Hispanic National Bar and Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, she has been appointed to and served on the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyer's Manual on Professional Conduct, the Colorado State Supreme Court Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, the City of Denver Public Defender Commission, and the Western Regional Advisory Board for the United States Commission on Civil Rights.  She is a frequent lecturer at CLE programs, was an adjunct professor teaching trial advocacy and coached the American Association for Justice mock trial team for the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. 

Ms. Krupa became a mentor for LSSSP to increase the pipeline of professional, ethical and prepared Latino lawyers. Having had many mentors, Ms. Krupa believes that the work of LSSSP is essential to ensure that the Latino lawyers of tomorrow feel empowered and confident and aware that many lawyers in the community are available to help them succeed.

Dan Spivey     Associate   Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 

Dan Spivey
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 

Dan Spivey is an Associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver, Colorado, where he has practiced in the Trial Group since graduating from Boston College Law School in 2009.  Dan’s practice is focused on general commercial litigation largely involving representation of businesses in the oil and gas industry.  Dan also serves as general outside counsel to education institutions.  Dan has served on the board of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) for many years and currently serves on the executive committee of the CHBA as its Treasurer.

Mr. Spivey volunteered to serve as a mentor for an LSSSP Fellow because without the help of mentors, he would not have the education or career he has today.



LaLonnie Villa-Martinez     JD 2014   University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

LaLonnie Villa-Martinez
JD 2014
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

LaLonnie Villa-Martinez is currently working as a contract attorney at Reilly Pozner LLP.  She graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law with a J.D. and Corporate and Commercial Law Certificate in May.  LaLonnie will begin a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Christine M. Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in January 2015.   LaLonnie was the Symposium Editor of the Denver University Law Review and is the author of Diversity in the Legal Profession:  Whatever Affects One Directly, Affects All Indirectly.   She won the Student Leader Award for a program designed to introduce high school students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to law.   LaLonnie also served as a Judicial Fellow for Justice Monica M. Marquez of the Colorado Supreme Court for six months and a student attorney for the Community Economic Development Clinic.  She completed her undergraduate degree at Colorado State University where she earned a B.A. in Political Science.   LaLonnie enjoys traveling and yoga.  In her spare time she plays with her dog Bentley and reads for fun.  

LaLonnie is honored to be a mentor for an LSSSP Fellow because she understands how difficult it can be navigating the road to law school. She believes that once you make it somewhere, you have to bring someone up with you.

Damian Arguello     Partner   Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (DGS)

Damian Arguello
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (DGS)

Damian Arguello is a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (DGS), one of Colorado’s most venerable law firms.  Damian is a first-generation college graduate, whose working-class parents moved to Colorado from New Mexico as children during the Great Depression and dropped out of school in the eighth grade to support their families.  After graduation from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business in 1990, Damian worked for 11 years as an insurance claims professional.  His work for insurance companies took him around the country.  Later he worked with a major Albuquerque-based insurance brokerage, where he advocated for policyholders in claims disputes.  Longing for more challenge and desiring to help others, Damian returned to the University of Denver in 2001 and attended law school at night while continuing his insurance career.  He graduated from the DU Sturm College of Law in 2004.  Upon graduation, he joined DGS as an associate and was elected to equity partnership in 2012.  His practice focuses on risk management and insurance issues and environmental litigation.  Damian joined LSSSP for the same reason he has mentored people throughout his insurance and legal careers:  he has had great mentors from elementary school to the present and wants to pay it forward.

Antonio Gallegos     Of Counsel   Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Antonio Gallegos
Of Counsel
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Antonio joined Greenberg Traurig in 2013 where provides litigation, dispute resolution and regulatory compliance strategies, with an emphasis on the food, nutrition, medical device and sports industries. He represents businesses and individuals in lawsuits, government investigations and regulatory enforcement actions. Antonio also advises on compliance with regulations administered by the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Agriculture  and similar state-level agencies.  He has also represents elite athletes in anti-doping enforcement actions and disputes over eligibility for Olympic competition.

Antonio worked as an associate at Holland & Hart from 2003-2013, where he represented clients from a wide range of industries in commercial and products liability litigation, including several jury trials.  From 2000-2003, Antonio was an associate at the law firm Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs), working primarily on FDA and FTC regulatory matters.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in 1997 and his law degree from the University of Denver in 2000.

Antonio’s pro bono work and community service include co-founding a non-profit program aimed at assisting small businesses with their legal issues.  He also represents the interests of poor and minority children in the public school system, and provides risk management and other legal counsel to youth sports leagues.

Antonio became a LSSSP mentor to provide encouragement, motivation and support to young students from minority and low income backgrounds who aspire to become lawyers.  These groups are underrepresented in the legal profession, and nothing will change unless groups like LSSSP take action. 

Scott Martinez     City Attorney   City and County of Denver

Scott Martinez
City Attorney
City and County of Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock appointed Scott Martinez to serve as Denver City Attorney in January, 2014.   As City Attorney, Mr. Martinez is the chief legal officer for the all city elected officials, departments, and employees.  Mr. Martinez has been on the forefront of major legal issues including: the implementation of the nation’s first retail sales of marijuana, revamping City laws to allow for open data sharing, challenging the legal framework prohibiting marriage equality, and tackling the legal issues around public safety.  Prior to joining the City, he practiced at Colorado’s largest law firm in its Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group.  Mr. Martinez holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law.  “It’s a joy to serve as a mentor through LSSSP;” said Martinez, “without reservation, I can say that any modicum of success I’ve achieved is a reflection of the strong support my many mentors unselfishly afforded.  I am eager to pay it forward and help propel these already motivated students to achieve their dreams with speed and focus.”


Adelita DeHerrera is the Contracts Manager at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Grants and Contracts specializing in legal and regulatory compliance as it relates to sponsored research in higher education.  The University is one of the 25 largest public research universities in total awards ($421 million, 2009-2010). Prior to joining the University Adelita served as a judicial law clerk for Colorado 17th Judicial District Court Judge Thomas R. Ensor.  While attending the University of Colorado Law School, Adelita served as an intern at the Colorado Department of Law, Office of the Attorney General and represented clients as a student attorney for CU Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic. As a law student, Adelita served on the Executive Committee for both the Latino Law Students Association and the Women’s Law Caucus.  In recognition of her leadership she was awarded the Outstanding Latina/o Law Graduate at CU in 2006. 

Adelita remains active in the legal community as a leader in both local and national bar associations.  She is a past President of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, a past leader and council member of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, and the current President of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.  In these positions Adelita has been an advocate for our community and fought on behalf of Hispanic issues. She has been a mentor and presented legal topics to high school students and developed programs to provide opportunities for young  lawyers that are traditionally underrepresented in the bar. Adelita is also a mother of two young boys; Mateo is 3 years old and Cruz is 1 year old.

Kira Suyeishi     Associate   Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC

Kira Suyeishi
Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC

Kira Suyeishi is an associate attorney with Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC.  Prior to joining Ireland Stapleton, Kira served as a law clerk to the Honorable Chief Judge Alan M. Loeb of the Colorado Court of Appeals.  Kira was awarded a full-tuition Chancellor’s Scholarship to the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and was inducted into the Order of St. Ives upon graduation.

During law school, Kira served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Christine M. Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and to the Honorable Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice of the Colorado Supreme Court and was a senior editor for the Denver University Law Review.  Kira also represented indigent clients as a student attorney with the University of Denver Law’s Civil Litigation Clinic and served as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.  Before she attended law school, Kira graduated from Boston College magna cum laude and worked as a litigation paralegal in Washington, DC.

Kira was excited at the opportunity to become a mentor for a LSSSP fellow because she recognizes the importance of law school pipeline programs and wants to work to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the Colorado area law schools and in the greater legal profession.  Kira strongly believes that people do not succeed without the help of a support network, and she is grateful for the many mentors she has had in her life and hopes to be that person for others.

Nic Heinke     Trial Counsel   U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Nic Heinke
Trial Counsel
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Nic's work focuses on prosecuting violations of the federal securities laws. As trial counsel with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, he has successfully prosecuted cases in both federal courts around the country and before agency administrative law judges, as well as worked on appeals of those trial court decisions. Prior to joining the SEC, Nic worked as an assistant attorney general for the state of Colorado, a lawyer at a national law firm, and a law clerk to, among others, Judge Arguello.

Nic joined the LSSSP program because he has seen firsthand the value of mentoring, both for the mentee and the mentor. Nic mentored one of the current LSSSP students when that student was in high school, and watched as that student developed into a hard-working, driven, and incredibly motivated young man who is now doing exceptionally well in college. In addition, Nic recognizes that none of us have achieved success entirely on our own, and we each have mentors and others who have touched our lives and made us who we are. For those of us who are lucky enough to have achieved personal and professional satisfaction and success, we owe it to those who have helped us along the way to take the time to help others.

Damian Irizarry     JD 2015   University of Colorado School of Law

Damian Irizarry
JD 2015
University of Colorado School of Law

Damian Irizarry is a third year law student at the University of Colorado School of Law.  Before pursuing his J.D., Damian was a social studies middle school teacher for four years.  As a middle school teacher Damian developed a strong sense of civic duty, and an understanding of the importance of mentorship.  Now as a law student, he has become involved with multiple Latino organizations concerned with furthering Latino’s in the legal profession, including the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the National Hispanic Bar Association, and CU Latino Law Student Association.  Damian became a mentor for LSSSP because he deeply believes in the mission of the program and understands, through his own trials and tribulations, the important role mentors play in helping steer young people through the correct channels to achieve their goals.  

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      Andrew J. Romanow     Shareholder   Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Andrew J. Romanow
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Andy Romanow has been representing banks, financial institutions, opportunity funds and other lenders for most of his professional life. Whether as Deputy General Counsel, and later VP and Managing Counsel for CoBank, ACB, a Denver, Colorado-based Agricultural Credit bank, or as a shareholder with the firm, Andy has advised lenders and investors on issues of commercial loan structuring and documentation, syndications and participations, debt refinancing and restructuring, work-alongs and workouts, bankruptcy, foreclosure, collateral recovery and commercial collection and Uniform Commercial Code compliance.

As a proud alumnus of one of the largest organizations within the Farm Credit System, Andy works with System entities on regulatory and compliance issues, equity investments, association mergers, cooperative taxation matters, wholesale lending transactions, governance and policy review and various System agreements and issues.

Roberto Ramírez     Senior Assistant Arvada City Attorney   Reserve, Chief Senior Trial Counsel, US Air Force

Roberto Ramírez
Senior Assistant Arvada City Attorney
Reserve, Chief Senior Trial Counsel, US Air Force

Roberto obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, San Antonio, and his law degree from the South Texas College of Law in Houston.  Roberto has worked as a civilian attorney or Air Force federal prosecutor, criminal defense counsel, trial consultant, or instructor in Japan, South Korea, Africa, Guam, Singapore, Australia, Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean), Colombia, Mexico City, Greenland, Hawaii, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

Roberto is the former chair of the Education Committee for the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA), the current chair of the Pro Bono and volunteering Committee for the CHBA, the chair of the Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee for the Colorado Bar Association, past member of the Court Interpreter Oversight Committee of the Colorado Supreme Court, current member of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness’ Pledge to Diversity Committee, and a current member of Federal Judge Argüello’s Dream Team.

Roberto has taught in the areas of criminal procedure, trial advocacy, and civil rights in Tokyo, Japan; Barranquilla and Bogota, Colombia; Mexico City, Washington, DC; Vail, Colorado; and at CU Boulder.

 “I am a strong believer of the power of mentoring and have done it for years;” said Roberto, “However, the LLSSP was such a new, transformative, and group breaking program, that I wanted to be part of it from the beginning.  I wanted to do anything that I could to help the next generation of our future leaders.  I am convinced that this program has the potential to make a difference in politics, law, and society for decades to come.”