Alumnae Leadership Council

Our goal is, over time, to develop a vibrant network of young alumnae, mid-career alumnae, and senior professionals who connect with each other and with current students, sharing their multi-varied and prodigious talents and skills.

Read about the founding of the Alumnae Leadership Council


The Alumnae Leadership Council is a formal chapter of the Law School's Alumni Association and is open to all alumnae. Our goals include offering Mentoring Circles, assisting the Law School staff in their efforts to recruit and develop women in the law, and helping to raise funds for women-focused programs and scholarships at SJU Law.

Two years ago, a small group of St. John’s Law alumnae spearheaded by Rose DiMartino, ’81, retired Willkie Farr partner, joined together to mentor, support, and connect with other St. John’s Law alumnae and current members of the Women’s Law Society as part of the Alumnae Leadership Council.  

The Mentoring Committee of the ALC has completed two semesters of six one-hour virtual monthly sessions of mentoring circles for over 120 alumnae, complete with facilitator training and detailed curriculum. The Student Support Committee provided a program of mock interviews for members of the Women’s Law Society. The Programming Committee produced a webinar open to alumnae of all levels of experience on Financial Literacy and is partnering with the Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law for a Virtual Panel discussion: “Getting a Foot in … Real Estate: First 10 Alumnae in Real Estate” at 9:30 on February 3, 2023. The Social/Networking Committee organized two very successful social/networking event for all interested alumnae. All the Committees will be collaborating with the Women’s Law Society for “Celebrating Women in the Law,” honoring distinguished alumnae, hosted by Sheppard Mullin on March 15, 2023.

In 2023, the ALC is looking to grow, expand and strengthen.  We would like to be a resource for all St. John’s Law Alumnae. Members have organized an ALC Steering Committee, with co-Chairs and volunteers for each of the Committees. Plans are underway for expanded Mentoring, Student Support, Social/Networking and innovative Programming Committees. Please join fellow alumnae in the many activities of the Alumnae Leadership Council!

To learn more about the Mentoring Circles Program, or to join one of the Committees of the Alumnae Leadership Council, please contact:

Jeanne Farnan Mulry, Esq.
Director of Major Gifts
St. John's Law School
[email protected]

More Information



Law Office of Vincent Toomey
3000 Marcus Avenue, Ste. 1W10
New Hyde Park, NY 11042




BARBARA J. BURGER '85                                                       
General Counsel CCO                                                               
Zimmer Partners, LP
9 West 57th Street, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10019




EUGENIE M. CESAR-FABIAN '04                                            
General Counsel                                                                      
Ethic, Inc.
99 Hudson Street, Floor 17
New York, NY 10013




DANIELLE D'AQUILA '12                                                         
RPN Executive Search, LLC
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2516
New York, NY 10170




ROSE F. DIMARTINO '81                                                       
Partner - retired                                                                       
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP





JENNIFER GILROY RUIZ '92                                                    
NYC Law Department Office of the Corporation Counsel
Family Court Division
100 Church Street, Room 4-179
New York, NY 10007




ROSELIND F. HALLINAN '14                                                   
Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch, LLC
500 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10110




FIONA R. HOGAN '21                                                            
Anderson Kill
1251 Avenue of The Americas
New York, NY 10020




TINA KASSANGANA '19                                                         
BurgherGray LLP
1350 Broadway, Suite 1510
New York, NY 10018




KATHLEEN MCGOVERN '88CBA, '91L                                    Partner                                                                                    
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP
2550 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037




QUEENIE A. PANIAGUA '12                                                  Associate                                                                                 
Sack and Sack
70 East 55th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10022




JENNIFER A. PREVETE '15                                                      
Senior Counsel, Litigation                                                         
Altice USA
1 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11120

Megan Quail


Managing Director & Co-Head of R&W
Vale Insurance Partners
1120 Avenue of the Americas, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10036


Gabrielle Schwartz


Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019


Margaret Turano



Professor Emerita
St. John's Law School
Room 4-66
Queens, NY 11439


Stephenie Yeh Chan

Senior Associate
Lassar & Cowhey LLP
730 3rd Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10017




Getting a Foot in Real Estate: First 10 Alumnae in Real Estate Law (2.28.24)
Presented by the Mattone Family Institute for Real Estate Law, the St. John’s Law Alumni Association First 10 Chapter and Alumnae Leadership Council Chapter.



ALC/Mattone Center Webinar - "Getting a Foot in Real Estate - First 10 Alumnae in Real Estate" 2.3.23

Sabeena Ahmed Liconte '06 serves as Head of Legal and Chief Compliance Officer, Americas to ICBC Standard Bank Group (“ICBC Standard”), including its SEC-registered broker-dealer, ICBC Standard Securities Inc., and its CFTC-registered introducing broker, ICBC Standard Resources (America) Inc.   

Prior to joining ICBC Standard, Sabeena’s previous professional experience included serving as Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer to the US investment banking division of Bank of China International. She also served as Futures & Derivatives Counsel to E*TRADE Financial Corp., including E*TRADE Clearing Corp. and E*TRADE Securities Corp.; and worked for the Office of General Counsel at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Incorporated, the Division of Enforcement at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Bank of New York Mellon’s Legal Division and the Securities Fraud Prosecution division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of New Jersey. Sabeena is a licensed attorney with a Juris Doctor from the St. John’s University School of Law. She also completed a visiting year at Fordham University School of Law. In addition to her law degree, she holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Columbia University and, paying homage to her Canadian roots, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Political Science from the University of Toronto. She also serves as a member of the Executive Committee to the Futures Industry Association’s Law and Compliance Division; advisory board member of the Center for Financial Professionals FinTech Advisory Group; Diversity Chair of the American Bar Association’s Business Law Committee – Futures and Derivatives Law Subcommittee; and member of the New York City Bar Association’s Foreign and Comparative Law Committee, and Derivatives and Futures Committees.

Joan Mongada Albright '82. During her time at St. John’s School of Law, Joan completed two internships: Public Broadcast Channel 13/ WNET and Warner Communications (Time Warner Corp.) that would affect her future career choices and ultimately lead her to an in-house corporate position. During the first three years after law school, she practiced in a general practice firm that specialized in litigation, matrimonial and family practice. For most of her legal career, Joan served as General Counsel/ Vice President for Overseas Military Sales Corporation-OMSC Ltd. (Jan.1985 – May 2007). As chief legal counsel her “client” was actually a group of companies, (domestic & foreign) with exclusive rights to distribute, market and sell GM, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Toyota, VW/Audi and Harley-Davidson products to the overseas US military, diplomatic and US and foreign expatriate markets. During her tenure, the scope of service involved both the legal and ethical considerations underlying strategic planning, corporate policy-making and corporate governance. In her first year she established, originated, designed and implemented legal department that served both US companies and related foreign entities. During the course of her employment, she saw the company grow from 44 employees in the USA to over 200. In addition, the work force consisted of hundreds of independent contractors serving oversea in the marketplace in over 10 countries.

While still practicing law, Joan founded Huntington Center for Performing Arts in 2005 as a home for Long Island Ballet Theatre (LIBT), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting full -length professional productions that provide performing opportunities for emerging students as well as professional performers. In 2008 Joan purchased Huntington Suzuki Music School, which has been a fixture in Huntington Village since the 1980's. Joan served as President of LIBT for 10 years and in this time produced countless productions such as Coppelia, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and more as well as created Gala performances featuring dancers from New York City Ballet. She also served as Vice President for Long Island Dance Consortium for over 10 years. Currently she is a Suzuki violin teacher at the Center and oversees all creative projects. During her time at St. John’s Law School she met her husband of 40 years, Stephen Albright and together they have raised 3 daughters and welcomed a grandson in 2021. They reside in Huntington and on occasion will work on legal matters together in the spirit of true partnership.

Christine Bella '96, is an attorney with The Wrongful Conviction Unit of The Legal Aid Society. Christine has worked for The Legal Aid Society for over twenty-five years in all three of its practice areas, Civil, Juvenile and Criminal, representing New Yorkers in individual and law reform matters. She is a recipient of The Legal Aid Society’s Charles Schinitsky Award for outstanding service on behalf of children. Christine received her bachelor's degree from Purdue University and her juris doctor from St. John's University School of Law Class of ‘96.

Regina A. Beechert '93 is Of Counsel to Ford Law Firm LLP where her practice focuses on the representation of telecommunications clients in connection with their wireless leasing and litigation matters.  Regina drafts and negotiates agreements for macro and small cell wireless telecommunications facilities and distributed antenna systems (DAS) with governmental entities, utility companies and commercial entities. Regina began her law career as an intellectual property litigator and specialized in pharmaceutical patent litigation.  Regina’s litigation experience includes participation on trial teams that successfully defended patents involving a well-known medication. She was also a named attorney on a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States involving another pharmaceutical product. Regina is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and is a registered patent attorney before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Regina is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Westchester Women's Bar Association.

Suzanne Q. Burke '01 focuses her practice on estate planning, trust and estate administration, and elder law in both New York and Florida. Ms. Burke specializes in drafting Wills, Revocable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Medicaid trusts and Qualified Personal Residence Trusts. Her tax practice focuses on Federal and State Estate Tax, New York State residency audits, and Estate and Gift tax audits. Ms. Burke served on Sacred Heart Academy's Board of Trustees, Nominating Committee and on the Institutional Advancement Committee. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. of Long Island and the Estate Planning Council of Nassau County. Ms. Burke has assisted the Suffolk County Bar Association's social media initiatives and is former co-chair of their New Members and Members Benefits Committees. At St. John's University School of Law, Ms. Burke was the Articles and Notes Editor of the American Bankruptcy Institute's Law Review. While in law school, Ms. Burke spent a summer interning with the Honorable Arlene R. Lindsay. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in 1998 from the University of Scranton. Ms. Burke studied at the Universite de Strasbourg (Strasbourg, France) from 1996-1997. In addition, Ms. Burke earned her LL.M. in Taxation in 2013 from the University of Alabama School of Law. Ms. Burke has been selected numerous times by SuperLawyers' Magazine as a leader in the Trusts & Estates field in New York State. In 2016, Ms. Burke received the Outstanding Women in the Law award by Hofstra University School of Law.   Ms. Burke is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Florida. She is a member of the Nassau County Estate Planning Council; the Suffolk County Bar Association; The Florida Bar; the Real Property and Probate Section of the Florida Bar and is an active member in the St. John's University School of Law Alumni Association. After over ten years in large firms, Ms. Burke started her own firm, Harding and Burke, PLLC, in Garden City, New York in 2013, where she practices in the area of Estate and Trusts.  

Maryann Canfield '92. After graduating from St. John’s University School of Law in 1992, Ms. Canfield was an Associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP from October 1992 to March 2000. In April 2000, she joined Soros Fund Management LLC (SFM) and became General Counsel in April 2005. Ms. Canfield served as General Counsel of SFM for 14 years, and currently serves in the role as Chief Operating Officer and Legal Counsel to the Soros Family Office. Ms. Canfield received her B.S. in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany in 1987. 

Carrie Durant '99. Carrie began her legal career in real estate law at Clifford Chance US LLP (formerly Rogers & Wells LLP) where she focused on real estate acquisitions and dispositions and structured finance products. After six years at Clifford Chance, she moved to Bryan Cave to expand her knowledge of “dirt” real estate. In her first year at Bryan Cave, Carrie was approached by Clifford Chance client Morgan Stanley work in their real estate finance group primarily focused on closing CRE loans and working the CRE Warehouse Group. She has been with Morgan Stanley for 16 years and now works primarily in their CRE Warehouse Group. Carrie is a Board Member of CREFC Women’s Network and serves as a mentor to young professional women in the CRE industry.  Carrie’s other interests include: volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (Gridiron Games Committee Member and Casino Jazz Night Committee Member), Skidmore College Alumni Admissions Contact (interviewing high school seniors interested in Skidmore College and attending college fairs), and she is a Girl Scout Troop Leader.

Justice Genine D. Edwards '92 was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York, in November 2005. In 2011, Justice Edwards was elevated to Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, and in November 2015 she was elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court Judge of the State of New York in Kings County. Justice Edwards graduated from St. John’s University School of Law and began her career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York. For the proceeding thirteen years she was a litigator in both the public and private sectors. Justice Edwards served as a volunteer arbitrator in the Small Claims Part of the Civil Court, in Kings County. Justice Edwards currently presides over a medical malpractice part and is the Presiding Justice of the Medical Malpractice Alternate Dispute Resolution Part in Kings County. Currently, Justice Edwards is a Board Member for the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the City of New York; Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the Lefferts Manor Association. She is a staunch advocate for student interns, formerly serving as the Judicial Liaison for the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John’s University School of Law. Justice Edwards created and moderates “Meet Your Judges” events for the Brooklyn community. Justice Edwards is the proud mother of three sons, Bryce Carter Edwards, Cole Preston Edwards and Chase Parker Edwards.

Donna Furey '01 is an elder law attorney with an office located at 44-14 Broadway, Astoria, New York. She received her law degree from St. John's University School of Law and her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Bernard M. Baruch College. She is licensed to practice law in NY and NJ. She was Co-Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Queens County Bar Association from 2012 through 2019. She is Past President of the following organizations: Catholic Lawyers Guild of Queens County, Women's Bar Association of Queens County, Flushing Lawyers Club, Kiwanis Club of Astoria/LIC and the East River Kiwanis Club. She is a member of the Elder Law and Trust & Estates Sections of the New York State Bar. She recently served on the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Committee for the 2nd and 13th Judicial Districts. She is proactive in the legal and local community and received the "Community Person of the Year" award from the Powhattan & Pocahontas Regular Democratic Club in 2015 and the "Woman of the Year" award from the Kiwanis Club for her service to the community in 2009. For her participation with the St. John's University School of Law Alumni Association, she received the Recent Graduate Service Award for 2007. She has chaired or been a member of a number of social and professional development committees, taught Continuing Legal Education classes to attorneys, been a judge for several law student competitions and a participant in several law school panel discussions.

Also a member of the Law-Related Education Section of the New York County Lawyers Association, she regularly speaks to students of all ages in the public schools of New York City about the need for higher education and the legal profession. Furthermore, Ms. Furey speaks at senior centers, public libraries and to church groups about estate planning, probate and related elder law issues. She received the New York County Lawyers Association's Pro Bono Award in November 2005. The focus of the firm is estate planning and planning for the needs of elderly individuals, children with disabilities and their families. The services provided by her firm include elder law, estate planning, probate and estate administration, wills, trusts, health care proxies, living wills, powers of attorney, guardianship, Medicaid planning, applications and advocacy and real estate.

Elisa Garcia '85 has been Chief Legal Officer at Macy’s since 2016, Elisa has blazed trails as a first-generation college and law student and as an accomplished executive, attorney, and Hispanic woman in the C-Suite. Elisa D. Garcia is an accomplished corporate executive and attorney with over 30 years of experience advising management and boards of directors on strategy, legal, business, structuring, activism, capital markets and government relations matters. Since 2016, Ms. Garcia has served as the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Macy’s, Inc. and as a member of Macy’s Enterprise Committee, which sets the overall strategic direction for the company. Ms. Garcia leads the legal, information security, enterprise risk management, business resiliency and data privacy functions. From 2007 to 2016, Ms. Garcia served as the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Office Depot, Inc. where she had global responsibility for legal, compliance and government relations matters and led investor relations, enterprise risk management, asset protection and internal audit. Ms. Garcia has held general counsel and senior executive positions with Domino’s Pizza and Philip Morris International. She also has worked as counsel for GAF Corp., a chemical and roofing manufacturer, and began her legal career with the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Garcia was an Energy Analyst working in-country with developing country governments and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ms. Garcia serves on the Board of Directors of Dollarama, Inc., a leading Canadian value retailer in Canada with sales of over $3 billion and over 1,800 stores in Canada and Latin America.  Ms. Garcia also serves on the Board of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, a non-profit organization supporting research and scholarship to improve the entrance and retention of minorities, women, and LGBT in the legal profession. Ms. Garcia serves on the Board of DirectWomen, a non-profit that prepares women lawyers for service on corporate boards of directors. Ms. Garcia also serves on the Advisory Board of Corporate ProBono/ProBono Institute.

Ms. Garcia is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, where she was an Editor of the Law Review. She also received a joint BA/MS in Political Science and Management and Policy Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ms. Garcia is a member of the New York and Michigan Bars and Authorized House Counsel in Florida.

Laurie Gibbons '03 is senior principal law clerk to the Hon. Madeline Singas, Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.  Laurie has clerked for Judge Singas since her confirmation as Associate Judge, providing counsel regarding both civil and criminal appellate litigation.  Prior to her work with Judge Singas, Laurie was principal law clerk to the Hon. Robert A. Schwartz, Acting Supreme Court Justice, Nassau County Court, assisting the Judge in each phase of criminal trial litigation. And before that, Laurie spent fourteen years in the Appeals Bureau at the Office of the Nassau County District Attorney, handling all manner of post-conviction litigation and supervising special litigation throughout the Office. Laurie began her legal career as an associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. She has a BA in political science from GW and a JD from St. John’s, and lives in Port Washington with her husband and four daughters. Let’s go Mets!

Kathleen McGovern '91 is a government investigations and white collar lawyer who advises clients regarding complex regulatory, risk and compliance issues across multiple industries, including health and life sciences, telecommunications, financial services, sports and education. Kathleen leads global investigations involving allegations of healthcare and disaster relief fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations and transnational corruption, securities and financial fraud and other governmental investigations. Prior to joining the firm, Kathleen served as a principal at a Big Four consulting firm where she led the Forensics Healthcare Practice (East). In that capacity, she led the team that provided guidance on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to the firm’s US clients, across all service lines. In addition to her private practice experience, Kathleen served in the public sector as a US federal and state prosecutor. During her time at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Kathleen also served as senior deputy chief of the DOJ’s Fraud Section, Criminal Division, leading the prosecution of numerous complex international and domestic white collar crime matters. During her tenure, Kathleen oversaw the operations of the DOJ’s healthcare fraud strike forces; led investigations of corporate healthcare fraud matters across healthcare industries, including hospital systems and pharmaceuticals; and launched the healthcare fraud data analytics team. She was DOJ’s representative to the US delegation on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Working Group on Bribery and Corruption. She has conducted over 50 federal and state trials to verdict, including securing convictions against the executives of the largest healthcare finance company in the US in a US$2.9 billion conspiracy fraud scheme.

Stephanie R. Sweeney '09 represents clients across a wide range of industries in bankruptcy and restructuring matters, bankruptcy litigations, financings and other corporate business transactions. Before joining the firm, Ms. Sweeney was an associate at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, where she handled large-scale bankruptcy cases and represented secured lenders in complex commercial lending transactions. She was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Burton R. Lifland, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, 2009-2011. She graduated from St. Johns University School of Law, and Boston College, Magna Cum Laude, 2006. She is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Eastern District of Michigan, and is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, New York Institute of Credit (“NYIC”) Women’s Division Committee, and she is a contributing author to Lexis Nexis and Collier.

Erin Kandel '11 is an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General, where she represents and defends state agencies in a variety of cases brought in federal and state court. Prior to joining the OAG, Erin served as a law clerk to the Honorable A. Kathleen Tomlinson, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, and the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam of the New York State Court of Appeals. Erin received her B.A. in Journalism, magna cum laude, from New York University, and she worked as a magazine journalist for several years before going to law school. She graduated cum laude from St. John's University School of Law, where she was Research Editor for the St. John's Law Review.

Melissa King '09 was a Notes and Comments Editor of the Law Review while at St. John’s School of Law.  Upon graduation, Melissa joined the law firm of Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP and worked as an Associate in the Firm's litigation department until 2019. While at Davis Polk, Melissa specialized in white collar criminal investigations and commercial antitrust litigation and worked on a number of elder law pro bono matters. At Davis Polk, Melissa also had the opportunity to participate in a partnership program with the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, serving as a felony assistant district attorney for a period of time. Melissa clerked for the Honorable Judge P. Kevin Castel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Currently, Melissa consults for the Columbia University Center for Public Research and Leadership, undertaking legal research on various education law matters.  

Katherine McGrath '10 is the General Counsel at Ascend Public Charter Schools, overseeing the organization's legal, governance, and policy functions. She helps guide the organization's strategic decision-making as a member of Ascend's executive team. Kate began her legal career as an Associate at D’Amato and Lynch, advising insurers in securities class actions in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis, before pivoting to education in 2015. Kate is a first generation college graduate, earning her BA from Fordham University and JD from St. John's University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review. She lives in Forest Hills with her husband and son. 

Laura Monaco '04 is an Associate General Counsel in the Office of Legal Affairs for Northwell Health, Inc.  With 21 member hospitals, more than 850 outpatient facilities, and long-term-care facilities and home care agencies, Northwell Health is the largest healthcare system in New York. Northwell currently has approximately 80,000 employees who collaborate to deliver world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area. Ms. Monaco provides training and counseling to Northwell Human Resources partners on a wide variety of labor and employment matters, and she represents Northwell management in administrative agency proceedings, arbitrations, and resident review and medical staff hearings. Ms. Monaco counsels Northwell management on labor law issues raised by union organizing activity, and she participates in collective bargaining negotiations. Ms. Monaco represents and defends Northwell in connection with investigations conducted by OSHA, including by preparing responses to OSHA investigation inquiries and representing Northwell at fact-finding and settlement conferences. In addition, Ms. Monaco oversees all aspects of litigation and counsels Northwell leadership, risk managers, and medical staff services personnel.

Jessica Giambrone Palmese '05 is a Senior Counsel at Epstein Becker & Green where her practice focuses on employment litigation. Prior to this recent transition to the private sector, Jessica spent 17 years at the New York City Law Department. While in government service, Jessica focused her craft on the art and science of trial advocacy and, during the last 10 years there, served on the Labor & Employment Law Division’s trial team – ultimately serving as the supervisor of the team and all the Division’s trials and hearings. Jessica has “first chaired” close to 20 jury trials, most of them in the S.D.N.Y. & E.D.N.Y.; she also supervised dozens more trials both in federal and state court as well as in various administrative tribunals.  In the Labor & Employment Law Division, Jessica defended the City of New York, its managers and the myriad agencies that keep our City running. During this time, she also represented numerous high-level officials in their individual capacities, including the New York City Police Department Commissioner. Jessica was also a member of the Women’s Committee at the New York City Law Department and served on the Labor & Employment Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Now, as a Senior Counsel at “EBG,”  Jessica has the ability to continue honing her craft while also exploring the business side of the law.  She is also a native New Yorker, first generation American and first-generation attorney. While at St. John’s Law, Jessica was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society Executive Board and a staff member of the New York International Law Review. First and foremost, however, Jessica is a mother of three children (all under the age of 11). Jessica and her husband, a fellow St. John’s Law alum, live in downtown Manhattan and partner to juggle it all every day.    

Tianja Samuel '13 is currently a senior associate in the real estate practice group at Greenberg Traurig’s New York City office. Tianja represents clients in a broad range of complex real estate transactions, including, mortgage and mezzanine financing, joint ventures, and acquisitions and dispositions of hotels, office buildings, condominiums, and other real estate assets. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Tianja was an associate at Kriss & Feuerstein LLP, a boutique real estate firm in midtown Manhattan and at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, a Long Island based firm where she was an associate in the banking and financial services practice group. Before law school, Tianja was a retail banker for several major financial institutions.

Lindsey B. W. Savage '09 is a Senior Vice President in the Chief Legal Office at Blackstone. Before joining Blackstone in 2021, Ms. Savage was of Counsel at SRD Legal Group, a women-owned virtual law firm. Prior to SRD, she was in private practice at law firms in Monterey, CA, and Seattle, WA, and worked as a contractor for the US Department of State in Tokyo, Japan. Before law school, Ms. Savage worked in the television industry. Ms. Savage received a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from St. John’s University School of Law. She also studied in Tokyo, Japan, at Temple University School, Japan Campus, Beasley School of Law. Ms. Savage is a founding member and former board member of the Military Spouse JD Network and serves on the executive committee of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.

Lisa Bonanni '12 is an Associate at Coughlin, Midlige & Garland, LLP, in the Insurance and Reinsurance Services Group. Lisa focuses her practice on insurance coverage litigation, concerning commercial property, casualty, additional insured and construction matters. She has experience handling coverage matters from inception to trial for insurers. In addition to her litigation expertise, Lisa aids clients with her careful analysis of various coverage issues, including issues as to additional insureds in both pursuing and defending against declaratory matters. She is also experienced in providing carriers with detailed coverage opinions on complex coverage matters, including claims involving water damage, business interruption, construction accidents and vandalism. Before handling insurance coverage matters, Lisa defended insurers and insureds in personal injury litigation involving motor vehicle accidents and premises liability. Outside of practicing law, Lisa assists her local chapter of Dress for Success in its virtual Career EDGE Program, a weekly seminar program designed to help unemployed and under-employed women gain professional skills, accelerate their job search, and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking in a supportive environment. Lisa is also an active member of the Greater Long Island Running Club. Lisa graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo with a B.A. in English and Minor in Legal Studies in 2009.

Courtney Chicvak '14 is the Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution at Long Island Dispute Resolution Centers (LIDRC), the Community Dispute Resolution Centers for Nassau and Suffolk counties, and CEO at Courtney Anne Chicvak Mediation LLC. As an International Mediation Institute (IMI) Certified Mediator, she has served as a mediator in hundreds of disputes. An experienced educator, she is a Lecturer at Columbia University, an Associate Adjunct Professor at Grand Canyon University, an Online Instructor at Abilene Christian University, and an Online Instructor at the Indian Institute of Management – Rohtak, where she teaches conflict resolution and negotiation courses. In addition, she is a Conflict Resolution Coach at several organizations, including Stanford Law School, Yale School of Management, Hitotsubashi University, and UC Hastings College of the Law. An attorney in New York, Courtney is a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Master’s Program at Columbia University, and St. John’s University School of Law.

Samantha Kwartler Holzberg '16 is Senior Counsel, Corporate at WeWork Inc., where she is responsible for advising on the Company’s securities law and stock exchange compliance obligations, preparing the Company’s SEC filings (including 10Ks, 10-Qs, 8-Ks, proxy statements and registration statements), and advising on governance, equity administration, and corporate disclosure matters. Prior to joining WeWork, Samantha was a corporate associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where she worked on securities offerings, provided Exchange Act advice for SEC reporting entities, and represented purchasers and sellers in M&A transactions. Samantha graduated from St. John’s University School of Law, magna cum laude, where she was a member of the St. John’s Law Review. Samantha is a member of the Society for Corporate Governance. 

Alexa Perlman '15 graduated Cum Laude from St. John’s University School of Law. After law school, she joined Winston & Strawn LLP as a Litigation Associate. During her three years at Winston & Strawn, she represented clients in the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Department and kept her practice very diverse - litigating claims involving, among other things, breach of contract in the insurance context, shareholder disputes, and fraud. Wanting a higher-level understanding of litigation and the courtroom, Alexa left Winston & Strawn and clerked for The Honorable I. Leo Glasser in the Eastern District of New York, where she managed one half of Judge Glasser’s case docket and observed civil and criminal trials. After her clerkship, Alexa joined Kobre & Kim LLP, where she represented clients in complex civil and criminal matters ranging from a four-week patent trial to a criminal case involving RICO and wire fraud charges and defending clients in investigations brought by various regulators. Alexa recently left Kobre & Kim and, in addition to becoming a new mom, joined the Enforcement Department at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where she furthers FINRA’s mission to identify misconduct, stop fraud and prevent losses, obtain restitution for harmed investors and remove bad actors from the financial industry.  

Jennifer Prevete '15 is Senior Counsel, Litigation at Altice USA, where she handles litigation matters, including contract disputes, consumer class actions, government investigations and regulatory activity, and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining Altice, she was a litigator at a boutique litigation firm, Walden Macht & Haran LLP. Jennifer was also previously a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Her practice has focused on commercial litigation, white collar defense, government investigations, and internal investigations. Before joining Davis Polk, she clerked for the Honorable Joan M. Azrack in the Eastern District of New York. Jennifer graduated from St. John’s University School of Law, magna cum laude, where she was an Associate Managing Editor of the St. John’s Law Review.

Megan Quail '13 is a Managing Director and Head of North American R&W at VALE Insurance Partners. She also works directly with executive management on strategic growth initiatives and business development projects. Prior to joining VALE, Megan practiced at a global, full-service law firm where she represented professional liability insurers in coverage and litigation matters involving directors and officers liability (D&O), errors and omissions, and fiduciary liability claims. She also handled complex claims and negotiated settlements under representations and warranties insurance policies. Megan graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English and Economics in 2009.

Stephanie L. Rainaud '14 is a real estate attorney in Holland & Knight LLP's New York office. Ms. Rainaud has experience in a wide range of real estate transactions, such as the purchase, sale and financing of commercial and residential properties. Her practice includes an emphasis the representation of developers in the development of mixed-use properties, new construction and the conversion of vacant and occupied buildings to condominium ownership. She also regularly advises condominium and cooperative boards with respect to the day to day operations of the property.  While in law school, Stephanie was the executive articles and symposium editor for the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development. She was also active in the Dispute Resolution Society, where she competed in international mediation competitions, including the International Academy of Dispute Resolution Law School Mediation Tournament in Dublin, Ireland (first place advocate/client team) and the International Chamber of Commerce International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris, France. She received her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College.

Each year, the ALC and Women's Law Society (WLS) partner for a special event to recognize the Law School's long history of supporting women in the legal profession. That history lives on in today's WLS student group as it frequently partners with the ALC on programs and initiatives that support students and graduates on their career paths. 

We're pleased to honor four alumnae who serve as wonderful role models at the 2024 Celebrating Women in the Law event: 

Trailblazer Award Recipient

Headshot of Hon. Genine Edwards.

Hon. Genine D. Edwards ‘92, Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Kings County

Justice Edwards was elected in 2015 and currently serves as the Presiding Justice of the Medical Malpractice Alternative Dispute Resolution Part in Kings County. Over the years, Justice Edwards has worked closely with college students participating in the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program, an award-winning pipeline initiative of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights at St. John’s Law. She regularly hosts interns from high school to law school. Justice Edwards serves on the St. John’s Law Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Alumni of Color Chapter Board of Directors. She is also a mentor in the Alumnae Leadership Council Chapter. 

Public Service Award Recipient

Headshot of Hannah Yu.

Hannah Yu ‘09, Chief, Hate Crimes Unit, New York County District Attorney's Office 

Hannah supervises the prosecution of hate crime cases at the New York County District Attorney's Office, and she oversees investigations into bias-motivated incidents. Prior to joining the Hate Crimes Unit, she served as a criminal court supervisor and attorney-in-charge of the Summer Law Fellowship Program, and prosecuted a variety of violent crimes, including homicides and sex crimes. At St. John’s Law, she was a member of the Frank S. Polestino Trial Advocacy Institute (PTAI), an editor for the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Law Review, and a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA). She’s a former board member of the Korean Prosecutors Association (KPA), a member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and the Korean American Lawyers Association for Greater New York (KALAGNY). 

Outstanding Alumna Award Recipient

Headshot of Edda Santiago.

Edda Santiago ‘14, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Covenant House International 

Prior to joining Covenant House, a multinational nonprofit organization that provides support to young people experiencing homelessness and survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking, Edda worked at The Legal Aid Society defending low-income tenants facing eviction after starting her legal career at a large, international law firm. A first-generation law student, Edda was awarded the Ronald H. Brown Scholarship and the National Women Lawyers Association Award, among others. She also served as president of the Latin American Law Students Association. She sits on many boards, including the Hispanic National Bar Association VIA Fund, the Mayor’s Committee on City Marshals, and formerly served on the St. John’s Law Alumni Association Board of Directors. She’s an active member of the St. John’s Law Alumni Association Alumnae Leadership Council Chapter.   

Rising Star Award Recipient

Headshot of May Mansour.

May Mansour ‘14, Counsel, Private Funds and ESG and Sustainability Practices, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 

At Simpson Thacher, May advises sponsors on the formation, structuring, and operation of private investments funds across a range of strategies, including real estate, infrastructure, and secondaries, among others. She represents clients in relation to impact funds and other ESG issues and advises pro bono clients on various immigration matters and unemployment insurance hearings. She sits on Simpson Thacher’s Diversity Advisory Council. In law school, she was a symposium editor on St. John’s Law Review. In 2015, her article about Title VII’s Participation Clause was published in the St. John's Law Review. She’s remained active with the Law School’s Labor and Employment Center, recently serving as a panelist at a Center event.