Mentors 2014-2015

REUBEN AGUIRRE
JD 2017
Northwestern University School of Law

Reuben Aguirre graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in International Studies and Spanish.  He is a Denver native and an alumnus of Denver Public Schools. Currently he is a first year law student at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.  Reuben has experience working with middle and high school students as a coach and workshop leader in the Denver Urban Debate League, campaigning for public education initiatives, and interning as a CLLARO Capitol Fellow under House Representative Dominic Moreno.  Most recently he worked with Colorado Legal Services in Alamosa, CO, conducting outreach and client intake with migrant farm workers.  His recent experience navigating the law school application process as a first generation college student inspired him to volunteer as a mentor for LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede in order to help make the process a little more manageable for the next generation. 

 

ADRIEN ANDERSON 
JD 2015
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Adrien Anderson is a second year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law with an interest in corporate governance and securities law.  At DU, she is a member of the Black Law Students Association, the Business Law Society, the Tribal Wills Project, and is a student attorney in the Community Economic Development Clinic.  Outside of school, Adrien works in the community with Teach for America Colorado as an advisory board member and a Collective diversity initiative member.  Adrien also serves as a member of Magistrate Judge Mix’s Dream Team.

Her commitment to being a mentor for a LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede Fellow derives from her background in education and her belief in educational equity.  Adrien views  LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede as an opportunity to help the Denver community grow and embrace diversity by providing support to Denver's brightest young diverse students.

 
 

DAMIAN ARGUELLO
Partner
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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.

 
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RON ARGUELLO
Assistant City Attorney
Arvada, Colorado

Ron Arguello graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2007 with a degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship.  In 2012, he obtained a Juris Doctorate with a certificate in Entrepreneurial Law from the same institution.  Ron is an Assistant City Attorney with the City of Arvada where he is a prosecutor with well over 100 trials under his belt.  Ron also provides general counsel and advice on the various legal issues that arise in the City’s day to day operations.

Ron became involved with LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede because he believes that he can help students make the most of their college and law school experience.  For example, during his time at CU Law School, Ron was elected as school-wide communications officer for the Student Bar Association, participated as a member of both CU Law’s National Mock Trial Team and Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Team.  During his third year of law school, Ron interned with the City of Arvada, where pursuant to the Colorado Student Practice Act, he was able to prosecute and complete 28 trials before he graduated law school. 

Ron is actively involved with the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association where he currently serves as the Vice President of Committees and previously chaired the Young Lawyers Division.  He also helps coach the Arrupe Jesuit High School Mock Trial team.  

 

CHRISTINE BLACK
JD 2015
University of Colorado School of Law

Christine Black is a student at University of Colorado School of Law.  She received her  undergraduate degree in Criminology from University of Maryland. Prior to law school, she spent 9 years in the United States Army in the operations and intelligence fields, where she developed a love of mentoring.  She currently works for the 18th Judicial District, Office of the District Attorney and, in the past, she has interned with the Colorado Coalition against Sexual Assault and the U.S. Coast Guard. 

She participated in the Hispanic National Bar Association LEAP program last summer and learned that volunteering within her own community could be even more rewarding. Volunteering as a mentor with LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede seemed like a natural extension of her desire to provide role models within her community and to help others reach their full potential.

 

MATTHEW CRON 
Attorney
Rathod
Mohamedb­hai LLC

Matthew Cron is an attor­ney at Rathod Mohamedb­hai LLC. His prac­tice includes civil rights lit­i­ga­tion, employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion, and crim­i­nal defense. Prior to join­ing Rathod Mohamedb­hai LLC, he served a two-year term as a law clerk to the Hon­or­able Chris­tine M. Arguello on the United States Dis­trict Court for the Dis­trict of Colorado.

Before com­ing to Col­orado, Matt grad­u­ated from Colum­bia Uni­ver­sity Law School where he twice received the Har­lan Fiske Stone Scholar award. At Colum­bia, Matt served as a Staff Edi­tor for the Human Rights Law Review and as an Arti­cle Edi­tor for the Jail­house Lawyer’s Man­ual, a trea­tise intended to pro­tect the con­sti­tu­tional rights of pris­on­ers. Matt also served as the Mem­ber­ship Chair for Rights link, an orga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to fund­ing human rights research. Dur­ing law school, Matt interned at the ACLU of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, the Neigh­bor­hood Defender Ser­vice of Harlem, and for fed­eral mag­is­trate judge Theodore H. Katz. Matt was also a sum­mer asso­ciate at Gib­son Dunn & Crutcher in New York in their lit­i­ga­tion department.

 

ADELITA DEHERRERA
Contracts Manager
University of Colorado Denver

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

 

JEROME DEHERRERA
Deputy General Counsel for Denver Public Schools

Jerome DeHerrera serves as Deputy General Counsel for Denver Public Schools.  He handles transactional and litigation matters for the District.  One of his focuses at the District is ensuring that the District fulfills the civil rights of English language learners.  He is also helping the District build a minority and women business enterprise program. Prior to joining DPS, he practiced law at Davis Graham & Stubbs and Arnold & Porter.  During his time in private practice, Jerome specialized in complex litigation, products liability defense, property and real estate law, political law, and education law.

Throughout his career, Jerome has maintained a significant pro-bono practice.  For more than eight years, he has represented the plaintiffs’ class in Lobato v. Taylor (1981cv5, Costilla County). Through this case, Jerome represents the heirs of the families who settled the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant.  The families filed the lawsuit in 1981 to restore their rights to use the nearby mountains. These land-grant rights were created in the mid-1800’s while the San Luis Valley was still part of Mexico.

Jerome serves on the Boards of Directors for Colorado Legal Services and the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.  He is also on the Colorado College Alumni Association Board.  Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.

Jerome received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Colorado College, his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and his Law Degree from Stanford University.

 

AMY DIAZ
Of Counsel
Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck

Amy Diaz counsels clients on commercial real estate transactions, including commercial lending, leasing, development and land use development.  She represents commercial banks, private equity firms and insurance companies in connection with senior, mezzanine, construction and permanent loans secured by real and personal property, and represents various commercial property owners in commercial leasing and development.

Most recently, Amy served as Deputy General Counsel/VP, and then as Managing Counsel/VP for CoBank, ACB, a national agricultural credit bank headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado.  Amy also served as general counsel to Western New Mexico University and provided general civil advice on real estate transactions and employment law. 

Prior to joining the firm, Amy was an associate at Lewis and Roca in Albuquerque and a legal staff associate for the office of the University Counsel, University of Colorado, where she defended Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Colorado State Personnel Board complaints, and advised on federal laws and regulations governing state employee relations, environmental matters and landlord-tenant issues. Amy also served as a state judicial law clerk for the Honorable Carol Glowinsky in the 20th Judicial District in Boulder, Colorado.

Amy decided to become a mentor to a LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede Fellow so that she could share  her law school and law firm experiences.   She did not have a mentor during college or law school, and she believes that her experiences can be valuable to others going through similar experiences.

 

ADAM J. ESPINOSA 
County Court Judge
City and County of Denver

Adam J. Espinosa will take his seat as a County Court Judge for the City and County of Denver in January of 2015.  Currently he is an Assistant Regulation Counsel in the Trial Division of the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.  In that capacity, he investigates and prosecutes lawyers in disciplinary and disability proceedings.  Mr. Espinosa earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his law degree from Washburn University.  Mr. Espinosa spent his final year in law school as a visiting student at the University of Denver College Of Law and upon graduation began practicing in Colorado as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Michael A. Martinez in Denver District Court.  Prior to joining the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, Mr. Espinosa served as a prosecutor in Colorado for seven years.   Mr. Espinosa is a frequent lecturer and author for the CBA, local bar associations, and other groups on various ethical and professional responsibility topics.

 

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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede to increase the pipeline of professional, ethical and prepared Latino lawyers. Having had many mentors, Ms. Krupa believes that the work of LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.

 

FRANZ HARDY
Partner
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhni LLP

Franz Hardy is a trial attorney with a focus on business and insurance litigation, including commercial disputes, directors and officers liability, insurance coverage, real estate, employment, and ERISA. Franz is also recognized as an accomplished professional liability practitioner with a successful record representing dozens of attorneys and law firms. Franz has tried several cases to verdict and handled many appeals in both state and federal courts.

Franz has leadership positions within Gordon & Rees, as well as local and national bar associations. As the Chair of the firm's national Diversity Committee, he is responsible for guiding the firm's award-winning commitment to diversity and overseeing diversity initiatives in its more than twenty-five offices.  

Franz is also a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado and former member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity in the legal profession. In addition, Franz serves on the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board, where he serves as chair-elect.

Franz has frequently written and lectured on various topics affecting attorneys and the practice of law, including ethics, privileges, confidentiality, and diversity.

 
 

ANTONIO GALLEGOS
Of Counsel
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Antonio Gallegos joined Greenberg Traurig in 2013 where he 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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede take action.

 
 

NIC HEINKE
Trial Counsel U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Nic Heinke is  trial counsel with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, where he focuses on prosecuting violations of the federal securities laws.  Nic has successfully handled trials and appeals  in both federal courts around the country and before agency administrative law judges.  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 Christine Arguello.

Nic joined LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede because he has seen firsthand the value of mentoring, both for the mentee and the mentor. Nic mentored one of the current LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede Fellows 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.  He believes that those who are lucky enough to have achieved personal and professional satisfaction and success need to take the time to help others.

 

ARNULFO D. HERNÁNDEZ 
Managing Partner
Hernandez & Associates, P.C.

Arnulfo Hernández is founder and managing partner of the law firm of Hernandez & Associates, P.C. The law firm specializes in criminal defense and immigration removal defense. Arnulfo graduated cum laude from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, in 2001 with a double major in Political Science and Psychology. He attained his law degree from the University of Denver in 2005 and his LL.M. in taxation in 2007. Arnulfo clerked for the Colorado Attorney General's Office in their Foreign Prosecutions Division and the Procuraduria de Justicia in Guanajuato, Mexico. He is fluent in Spanish.

Arnulfo is a Life Member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and of the Faculty of Federal Advocates. He is an elected Board Member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and an active member of the Rhone Brackett Chapter of the American Inns of Court.

Arnulfo represents individuals in criminal and immigration proceedings before local Colorado state courts, U.S. Federal District Court, U.S. Federal Tax Court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

TYREN C. HOLMES
JD 2016
University of Colorado Law School

Tyren Holmes is a second-year student at the University of Colorado Law School where he serves at Vice Chair of the Colorado Law Honor Council, Treasurer of the Black Law Students Association, Religious Chair of the Jewish Law Students Association, and Member of the Dean’s Committee on Inclusiveness and Diversity. Prior to join the CU Law community, Tyren spent nearly three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in southern Ukraine. He continues his community involvement through, among other things, the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project teaching constitutional law to high school students at York International in Thornton, Colorado.

Tyren’s interest in becoming a mentor for LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede stems from reflecting on the numerous individuals who helped him succeed throughout his academic career.  He hopes to encourage aspiring law school students through one-on-one guidance.

 
 

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 Hispanic National Bar Association, and CU Latino Law Student Association.  Damian became a mentor for LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.

 

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. 

Anni volunteered to be a mentor for the  LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.   She is where she is  today not only because of hard work, but also, because she has had amazing mentors who have supported and guided her along the way.  Anni is the first person in her family to attend law school and she knows that this journey would not have been possible without this support system. She wants to be part of that essential support system for the Fellows in LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede.

 

 

ALEXIS KIRKMAN 
Associate
Bryan Cave LLP

Alexis Kirkman is an Associate in the Commercial Litigation Group at Bryan Cave LLP.  Prior to joining Bryan Cave in September of 2014, Alexis was a Law Clerk for Judge Lewis T. Babcock in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.

Alexis received her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder and her law degree at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law (DU).

During law school she worked at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office in the Office of Consumer Protection conducting consumer complaint interviews and aiding in preparation and completion of numerous cases and court proceedings.  She also interned with the Honorable Christine M. Arguello, of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and the Honorable Terry Fox, of the Colorado Court of Appeals.  Alexis worked as a Summer Associate for the law firms Bryan Cave, and Davis Graham and Stubbs, was a Research Assistant for several Professors at the University of Denver, focusing on evidentiary and property research, and a Teacher’s Assistant for a first year Property Law class.  As a Robert B. Yegge Memorial Scholarship recipient she also served on the Board’s for the Latino Law Student Association, the Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, DU’s International Law Society, and the International Law Student Association.

Alexis helps and volunteers within the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA), the Center for Legal Inclusiveness’ Pledge to Diversity, and Federal Judge Arguello’s Dream Catchers.  She enjoys playing soccer, practicing her Spanish and German language skills, skiing, practicing yoga, cooking, and international travel.

 
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GLEN MATTHEWS
JD 2015
University of Colorado School of Law

Glen “G” Matthews is a second year law student at the University of Colorado.  Before attending law school, he spent eleven years as a teacher of economics in high school and college.  Teaching was his attempt to give back to an institution that did so much for him.  When he completes law school, he wants to be a trial attorney.  He is currently the President of the Black Law Student Association at the University of Colorado and has been active in the law school community.

G earned a graduate degree from the University of Delaware’s Business School and completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Dakota.  He played college and professional football.  He was named to three All-American teams and is in his high school athletic hall of fame, and will soon be inducted into his junior college’s athletic hall of fame.  The accomplishment of which he is most proud of is competing in sports at a high level while maintaining grades that allowed him to graduate with honors.

G became a mentor for Law School . . . Sí Se Puede because he wanted to give guidance, support, and networking skills to students of color, who need it, but do not have access to it.  He wants to be a part of facilitating the growth in the amount of diversity that is present in the Denver legal community.

 
 

SCOTT MARTINEZ
City Attorney
City & County of Denver

Scott Martinez was appointed by Mayor Michael B. Hancock 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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede;” 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.”

 
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SHELLEY MIXON
Partner
Akerman, 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).

Shelley truly believes that an education is the most valuable thing one can possess.  When she heard about Judge Arguello’s LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede program, she felt compelled to be involved because it starts the mentoring process much earlier in the students’ life, at a more crucial and determinative point—when they enter college.  LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede will help students to obtain an education, rather than stepping in only after they have 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. 

 
 

PHILIP NICKERSON
JD 2016
University of Denver-Sturm College of Law

Philip Nickerson is a Texas Native and is currently pursuing his law degree 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 on international and corporate law.  Philip is currently serving as VP for the Business Law Society and 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, Philip participated in the STLA Mock Trial competition where he was named Best Advocate.  In 2014, Philip 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 (www.theracetothebottom.org)

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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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 mentors, as invaluable,. Philip is excited to be able to contribute to LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede in a meaningful way with so many other successful members of the legal community.

 

AZUCENA RASCÓN
JD 2015
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Azucena Rascón is a third year law student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.  Her parents, who instilled in their children the importance of education and hard work, migrated to the United States from Mexico in the early 1980s in pursuit of a better life for their children.  After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a Criminal Justice degree, she became a probation officer.  She is the first in her family to attend law school  and she chose to pursue a law degree because she wants to be able to help others as an advocate in the courtroom.

Azucena volunteered as a mentor with LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede because she understands the value of having support from others.  When she graduated from UNM, she did not think that law school was an attainable goal.  It was not until she met Latino attorneys who advised and mentored her that she gained the confidence to know that she could succeed in school.  She believes that law school can be a difficult and lonely journey if there is not someone to provide support and guidance, and she wishes to play a part in helping other students with their journey in law school by showing them that Sí Se Puede!  

 

ANDREW J. ROMANOW
Shareholder
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.

 

MEGAN ROSE
Judicial Law Clerk
Colorado Supreme Court 

Megan Rose is clerking for Justice Nathan B. Coats at the Colorado Supreme Court and is a 2014 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School.  She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and worked at CU for three years in the Planning, Design, and Construction Department.  During her time at law school, she competed in mock trial and moot court competitions and was a member of the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law. She also participated as a student attorney in the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic. Outside of law school, Megan is actively involved in the CWBA, is a member of the IP Inn of Court, and served as the student liaison to the Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division.     

While in Law School, Megan externed for the Honorable Judge Neil M. Gorsuch at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit as well as the Honorable Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty at the United States District Court of Colorado. Prior to her externships, Megan spent her summers working at Robinson Tweedy, PC and Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP.

 
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CORELLE M. SPETTIGUE
Assistant Attorney General
Colorado Attorney General's Office

Corelle Spettigue works as an Assistant Attorney General within the Health Care Unit of the Office of the Colorado Attorney General.  Her practice focuses on representing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the State Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.  Corelle also practiced in the Appellate Division representing the State of Colorado in criminal appellate cases within the Colorado Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court, and Federal District Court for the District of Colorado. 

Prior to coming to the Attorney General’s Office, Corelle served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Jerry N. Jones of the Colorado Court of Appeals.  She attended the University of Arizona Law School from 2004-2007, during which time she had the pleasure of completing legal internships with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Office of then-Governor Janet Napolitano, in Phoenix, Arizona.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002. 

Corelle remains very active in community organizations, volunteering countless hours as the Chair of the Denver Women’s Commission, a member of the Character and Fitness Committee for the Board of Law Examiners of the Colorado Supreme Court, a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, a member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, and as a legal clinic volunteer with Project Safeguard.  Furthermore, despite her relatively short time in the legal field, Corelle is always eager to help other young, motivated individuals succeed in the Denver legal community.  She has dedicated herself to serving as a mentor to several college students, law school students and new attorneys by sharing her own experiences, coaching moot court teams, and assisting in any way she can.

 

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 a LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede Fellow because, without the help of mentors, he would not have the education or career he has today.

DAN SPIVEY
Associate
Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 

 

KATHRYN STARNELLA
Assistant Attorney General
Colorado Attorney General’s Office

Kathryn Starnella is an assistant attorney general at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, where she primarily handles lawsuits concerning constitutional challenges to the state’s laws or elections law-related challenges.  Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Kathryn served as a law clerk for Judge Christine Arguello.  Before that, she practiced law in New York City.  Kathryn is a graduate of Northwestern University and Northwestern University School of Law.

Having benefitted greatly from the mentorship and guidance of others, Kathryn chose to become a LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede organizer and mentor so that she can share the knowledge, guidance, and inspiration that she has received from those who have mentored her along the way.  Additionally, Kathryn is drawn to LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede’s mission of encouraging and inspiring youth from historically underrepresented backgrounds to realize their dreams of becoming lawyers.  

 
 

KIRA SUYEISHI
Associate
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.  She 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 LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.  She hopes to be that person for others.

 

CRISTAL TORRES DEHERRERA
Deputy City Attorney
City & County of Denver

Cristal Torres DeHerrera is Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of Denver. She was appointed in 2014 by Mayor Michael B. Hancock, and her responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of more than 200 attorneys and staff in one of the largest public law offices in the Western United States. She also advises the city on a wide range of legal and policy issues.  Ms. DeHerrera serves as a mentor for LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede because she is committed to building the next generation of leaders in the legal profession. 

Prior to joining the City and County of Denver, Ms. DeHerrera was a shareholder at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where her practice focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, public and private securities offerings, capital formation and securities advice.

Prior to joining Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Ms. DeHerrera served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge John L. Kane of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and interned at the Denver City Attorney’s Office. In addition, she worked on the 2000 U.S. Presidential campaign and on several key political campaigns throughout the country.

 

SHAQUILLE TURNER JD 2016
University of Denver – Sturm College of Law

Shaquille Turner attended Howard University in Washington D.C., where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.  During undergrad, Shaquille was an Army ROTC cadet and member of the Bison Battalion.  He graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude and Distinguished Military Graduate) and was subsequently commissioned into the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant.

Shaquille is a 2L at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a recipient of the Sam Cary Bar Association Endowment Scholarship.  Following graduation, he plans on entering the U.S. Army JAG Corps.  Shaquille is currently interested in exploring Environmental Law, Energy Law, Civil Rights Law, and how those areas overlap.  He would like to pursue a career in those areas of practice following his military service.  This semester, Shaquille has an externship at the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights where he is growing in his understanding of how civil rights law functions and how it may apply to his future career.

As the Current President of DU Black Law Students’ Association, Shaquille is focused on helping to support the incoming underrepresented 1Ls through their first year of law school, and further, increasing cultural awareness on DU’s campus.  Shaquille is committed to being a LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede mentor because he is devoted to community development and he believes that mentorship is one of the best ways to do so.

 
Juan Villaseñor.jpg

JUAN VILLASEÑOR
Assistant United States Attorney
District of Colorado

Juan Villaseñor was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and came to the United States, along with his family, when he was 15 years old. He is a graduate of St. John's College and of Vanderbilt University Law School. After graduating from law school, he clerked for a federal judge in Nashville, Tennessee, and then worked at the American Civil Liberties Union as the Justice William J. Brennan First Amendment Fellow. He then turned to public service, working as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tennessee Attorney General's Office and, since 2009, as an Assistant United States Attorney.  Mr. Villaseñor is a trial and appellate litigator, who has represented state and federal agencies and employees, and private individuals at all levels of the judiciary. He lives in Fort Collins with his partner, Jennifer, and his young son, Francisco.

Mr. Villaseñor became a mentor with Law School . . . Sí Se Puede to  help increase the  number of talented Latino lawyer, who are woefully underrepresented in the legal community in Colorado and in the United States.   He also decided to mentor a young adult because of his own positive experience with a mentor who was a key influence in his life and the reason he became a lawyer.

 
 

LALONNIE
VILLA-MARTINES

Judicial Law Clerk
U.S. District Court-Colorado

LaLonnie Villa-Martinez is currently working as a contract attorney at Reilly Pozner LLP.  In May of 2014, she graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law with a J.D., and a Corporate and Commercial Law Certificate.  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 ofDiversity 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 a LAW SCHOOL… Sí Se Puede 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.

 
   

ANDREW VOLIN
Member
Sherman & Howard

Andrew Volin is a lawyer in Sherman & Howard’s Labor and Employment Department, helping employers provide fair treatment to their workforce. Having been with Sherman & Howard for over 25 years, he advises and defends private sector employers and their management in disputes involving employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and wage and hour law. Andy previously served as the Management side co-chair of the Labor and Employment section of the Colorado Bar Association, and has been a contributing author to the Colorado Bar Association’s The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law since 2001. 

For many years, he has had an interest in increasing diversity in the legal profession, and that is why he chose to become a mentor with LAW SCHOOL. . . Sí Se Puede.

 

MARK W. YONKMAN
Former Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
National Bank Holdings Corporation and NBH Bank, N.A

Mark Yonkman was most recently Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of National Bank Holdings Corporation and NBH Bank, N.A., where he helped transition the bank to a public company and built out the legal, physical security, bank secrecy and fraud departments.  He moved to Denver from New York to serve for two years as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of CoBank, a Denver based co-operative bank.  Prior to moving to Colorado, Mark was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary M&T Bank, one of the 20 largest US banks and a Fortune 500 company, with over $90 billion in total assets headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. Mark began his career in banking at Comerica Bank, also a top 20 US bank, where he was Senior Vice President, General Counsel-Corporate Finance and Secretary.  He is currently taking a sabbatical to transition his two daughters from high school to college.

Mark graduated from Wayne State University Law School, cum laude and Order of the Coif, where he was a member of Law Review.  He obtained in Bachelor of Arts from Kalamazoo College, where he spent his junior year studying in Strasbourg, France.  In high school, Mark spent his junior year abroad in Uberlandia, Brazil.

Mark lives in Denver and lives with his two children, Andrea (18) and Michaela (16).  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Denver based Center for Legal Inclusiveness.  Mark is a private pilot and avid skier, and lives part-time in British Columbia, Canada.