Class Notes

UCLA School of Law alumni are doing great things in widely varied fields, demonstrating each day the wealth of opportunities afforded by a prestigious law degree. They are starting up entrepreneurial ventures, prosecuting and defending clientele in an astonishing variety of fields, working as judges and public servants, and serving our country. Catch up with your classmates here to find out their latest news, or submit your class notes! Please let us know if you would like to include news or a photo in current edition of the online and print versions of UCLA Law Class Notes at

Click on your graduating decade below to see class notes by year.

Class Notes - 2010s
  • Tina Koonse ’10 was quoted in November in a front-page Los Angeles Times article on wage theft in the garment industry. A graduate of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies program, Koonse is the legal and policy research manager at the UCLA Downtown Labor Center.
  • Priscilla Parrett ’10 joined Reed Smith as an Associate in its State Tax Group. She joins from Morrison & Foerster.
  • James Behrens ’11 practices bankruptcy and restructuring law in Los Angeles at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP. His recent article, “Don’t Fear the 363 Sale, Fear the Delay that Follows It,” was published in the March 2014 issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and was recently selected to be included in Best of ABI 2014: The Year in Business Bankruptcy.
  • R. Daniel Carter ’11 has joined the Tulsa office of Conner & Winters LLP. Carter practices in both litigation and transactional matters, with a particular focus on Native American, property and natural resource law. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
  • Corey Donaldson ’11 was named as partner at the Westlake Village intellectual property law firm Koppel IP. Donaldson joined the boutique firm in 2012 and practices in the areas of patent prosecution, litigation as well as trademark law. Prior to joining Koppel IP, he worked for the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property.
  • Samuel Kidder ’11 , an Associate at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, was appointed to the Words Beyond Bars Board of Directors. In this position, Kidder will assist in establishing strategic direction, setting broad policy and stewarding the organization’s assets. Words Beyond Bars promotes education programming in correctional facilities and coordinates book discussion to motivate readers through group interactions, building literacy skills alongside confidence.
  • Jessamyn Vedro ’11 is an associate in the litigation group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. Vedro is also an accomplished ballerina who has performed in notable show such as The Nutcracker and Cinderella.
  • Caroline Dessert ’12 is the new executive director of Immigration Equality, a nationwide organization that provides direct representation and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive asylum seekers. Dessert joins Immigration Equality from the California Attorney General’s Office, where she was a deputy attorney general in the Public Rights Division. She is also a former staffer at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.
  • Michael Guo ’12 has joined Morrison & Foerster as an Associate in its Intellectual Property Litigation group.
  • Francis Guzman ’12 , a former juvenile offender, is now an advocate and attorney with National Center for Youth Law. Guzman worked on the successful California ballot measure - Prop 57 - that prevents youth from being sentenced as adults. Guzman worked with other juvenile attorneys, advocates and community leaders to write the proposition, and Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to sponsor it. Prop 57 was approved on the November 2016 ballot.
  • Francis Guzman ’12 has been announced as the recipient of the Juvenile Law Center’s 2018 Leadership Prize. Guzman currently directs the California Youth Justice Initiative (CYJI) at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL).
  • Andrew Malatesta ’12 opened his own firm - Malatesta Law - in Century City. The firm's focus is on representing employees in employment law matters.
  • Julius Nam ’12 is an Assistant U.S. Attorney and recently received the the Anti-Defamation League’s Helene and Joseph Sherwood Family Prize for Combating Hate for his role in an international terrorism investigation and prosecution in Orange County.
  • Luis Patiño ’12 has joined CBS Television Studios as Assistant General Counsel at their Los Angeles headquarters. He provides legal counsel in connection with both scripted and unscripted television. Prior to CBS Television, Patiño was an associate at Barnes & Thornburg LLP.
  • Natalie Samarjian ’12 was named Executive Director of Coro Southern California. Coro SoCal prepares individuals from diverse backgrounds to be impact leaders who can collaborate across sectors and traditional boundaries to tackle complex social, economic, and political challenges. Samarjian comes to Coro from the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC). Prior to CWLC, Natalie was a Staff Attorney and Dickran Tevrizian Fellow at the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), a Labor and Employment litigation Associate at Rutan & Tucker LLC., and a Human Capital consultant for Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Public Sector Practice.
  • Tim Shimizu ’12 is now a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Palo Alto. He was previously a Deputy County Counsel and the inaugural Michael P. Murphy fellow at the San Mateo County Counsel's Office.
  • Lauren Bernadett ’13 has joined Sacramento’s Somach Simmons & Dunn. Prior to joining the Somach law firm, she was a 2014 California Sea Grant Fellow at the California State Lands Commission. She is also completing her LL.M. degree in Agriculture and Food Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
  • Marshall Hunt ’13 was confirmed as a new member of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Hunt is an attorney at Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC in Tempe, Arizona.
  • Madeline Soboleff Levy ’13 was promoted to General Counsel at Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. She formerly served as the Tribe’s Child Support Attorney where she provided legal services and representation in all paternity and child support cases.
  • Katherine Perez ’13 received the 2017 American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, one of two recipients recognized for their leadership, advocacy and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. She is the founding member of the National Coalition of Latinxs with Disabilities and a PhD Candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Matt Rising ’13 is Co-Founder of Swell Energy, based in Venice, California which empowers homeowners to switch to smart home batteries.
  • Christina Snider ’13 was appointed Governor's Tribal Advisor and executive secretary to the Native American Heritage Commission.
  • Eric Tran ’13 joined Lipson Neilson’s Las Vegas office. Tran’s practice includes commercial litigation, personal injury, general liability defense, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith litigation, and professional liability. Prior to joining the firm, Eric served as corporate counsel for a startup technology company in Las Vegas. He also previously served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nevada defending state agencies and state employees in civil rights actions in both state and federal court.
  • Andrew Lugerner ’13 is the Director of Hockey Legal Affairs for the Vegas Golden Nights. Formerly an associate at Latham and Watkins in New York, Lugerner will now specialize in the NHL salary cap.
  • Adam Ackerman ’14 joined the American Red Cross Santa Monica Bay Chapter. Ackerman is an associate in Mergers & Acquisitions at O’Melveny & Myers.
  • Story Cunningham ’14 joined Blank Rome's Los Angeles office. Cunningham joins the firm from Paul Hastings LLP. She concentrates her practice on labor and employment matters. Previously, she completed a judicial externship for the Honorable Philip S. Gutierrez of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
  • Jordan Cunnings ’14 won a victory for a client through her work at Public Counsel. This is a major victory for the immigrant rights movement in Los Angeles.
  • Jamie Friedland ’14 was named one of the Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine. Friedland was recognized for his volunteer work with other lawyers to give free assistance to travelers affected by the travel bans set forth by President Donald Trump. Friedland is an associate at Latham & Watkins. Prior to joining Latham, he served as a law clerk to Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Andrew Bedigian ’15 has joined the new Los Angeles litigation boutique firm Larson O’Brien. He specializes in complex litigation, including breach of contract and intellectual property. Prior to joining Larson O’Brien LLP, Bedigian worked as an Associate at Reed Smith LLP.
  • Courtney Corbello ’15 accepted a new position as State of Texas Assistant Attorney General - Law Enforcement Defense in Austin, Texas. Previously she served as a a briefing attorney for Judge David Newell, and a law clerk for the State of Texas Criminal Court of Appeals.
  • Ben Leonard ’15 joined the firm of Ryley Carlock & Applewhite in Denver, CO. Leonard is an associate in the estate planning and taxation practice group.
  • Kelly Orians ’15 founded two nonprofit organizations, First 72 and Rising Foundations, that help create avenues for those released from prison to avoid returning to a criminal life. Orians was featured in the Forbes article "Not Going Back to Prison: A Rising Foundation in New Orleans" on 9/26/2017.
  • Matt Rilla ’15 joined Reed Smith as an Associate in its State Tax Group. He joins from Morrison & Foerster.
  • Sabine Tsuruda ’16 , a Ph.D. Candidate, has been named a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2017 at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
  • Erika Georgiou Cumbee ’17 , an Associate Attorney at Quinn Emanual Urquhart & Sullivan LLP (Complex Commercial Litigation), was featured in the Daily Journal.
  • Ira Catherine Perez ’17 was added as an associate for Bell Nunnally. Perez is a member of the Corporate and Securities, Mergers and Acquisitions and Tax practice areas. She joined the firm after working on trust and estate administration, investment analysis and energy leases (including wind and oil and gas) at one of the largest Texas-based banks.