Our People


Young professionals board

Illinois Legal Aid Online's Young Professionals Board (YPB) is an organized group of up-and-coming leaders who engage in networking, socializing, and fundraising in support of our mission to use technology in innovative ways to increase access to justice for lower-income Illinois residents. Please see the YPB's Fact Sheet to learn more about the group, or join members at one of our upcoming new membership lunches.

Alyse Mauro, Co-Chair
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Alyse is a Litigation Paralegal in the Intellectual Property Practice Group at McDermott Will & Emery where she is also a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. Alyse was a Senior Litigation Paralegal at Haug Partners in New York. She is passionate about giving back and volunteers to help those in need as often as she can. She believes that when people come together anything is possible.
Michael Gibbons, Co-Chair
Mike is Director of Business Development at TransPerfect Legal Solutions, where he oversees litigation + language support services for AmLaw 200 Law Firms + Fortune 500 companies. He has gained experience working on a variety of pro bono cases and joined Illinois Legal Aid Online's Young Professionals Board in 2015. A Chicago native, he graduated from the University of Iowa.
Lauren Miller, Communications Chair
American Indian Health Service of Chicago, Inc.
Miller is the Youth Project Coordinator for American Indian Health Services of Chicago, Inc. Lauren has an MSW The University of Chicago and an MSc in Gender, Rights and Development Studies, from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Lauren has been an advocate for youth and gender-based violence awareness for the last 12 years and has worked/interned for Amnesty International, UNIFEM, the KK.
Jonathan Federman, Membership Chair
Pretzel & Stouffer, Chtd.
Before joining Pretzel & Stouffer, Jonathan served as a judicial law clerk and administrative assistant to Justice Thomas L. Kilbride in the Supreme Court of Illinois, where he worked on petitions for leave to appeal, motions, opinions and assisted Justice Kilbride in his administrative duties to the Court. He graduated summa cum laude from The John Marshall Law School in 2013.
Stephanie Garces, Social Co-Chair
Garces Law
Carly Pace, Social Co-Chair
University of Chicago
Carly is a graduate student at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Previously, she interned as a domestic violence legal advocate. She has experience providing direct services to survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking as well as evaluating policy regarding these issues. Carly received a B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish from Loyola University Chicago.
Jack O'Connor, Board Liaison
Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger, LLP
Jack represents corporate clients in complex reorganization proceedings, and counseling businesses in all phases of their development and operations. He graduated summa cum laude from The John Marshall Law School in 2010. Jack lives in the western suburbs with his family. He is also a recreational endurance athlete + homebrewer.
Kourtney Baltzer
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kourtney is an intellectual property litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis. Her practice involves a range of technologies including biotechnology, thermal heat sinking of electronics, data processing systems, and GPS technology. Kourtney is a 2012 graduate of Harvard Law. She previously served as a PILI Fellow at Illinois Legal Aid Online.
Aileen Chan
Chicago Public Schools
Aileen is a Data Analyst at Chicago Public Schools. She spends her free time volunteering with other organizations such as Chicago Cares and iMentor. At Chicago Cares, she leads an opportunity to have current event discussions with former prison inmates to better acclimate them into society. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Christa Cohrs
Disparti Law
Christa is an office manager and paralegal at Disparti Law. After learning of the extreme legal obstacles her family went through after her sister’s accident and injury, Christa was inspired to dedicate more time to helping others. She enjoys volunteering with Inspiration Corporation, trying new restaurants, and riding her bike on the lake shore path.
Lari Dierks
Northwestern University School of Law
Lari Dierks is a student at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Prior to law school, she was the lead pension analyst for the Illinois House of Representatives, Office of the Speaker. Lari will receive her J.D. from Northwestern Law in May 2018.
Kenneth Donat, II
Hall Prangle and Schoonveld LLC
Ken is an associate at Hall Prangle and Schoonveld, where he focuses his practice on civil and commercial defense litigation including property loss, bodily injury, and healthcare industry claims. Prior to becoming an attorney, Kenneth worked as a paralegal for a civil litigation defense firm handling insurance defense claims. He is a 2015 graduate of The John Marshall Law School.
Kehinde Durowade
Chico & Nunes, P.C.
Kehinde moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2004, and immediately set out to obtain her education. She graduated from UIC in 2009 and NIU Law in 2012. She spent 2.5 years representing tenants facing evictions. In 2017, she joined Chico & Nunes, P.C., where she focuses on commercial litigation, regulatory compliance, and corporate transactions.
Elham Aliabadi Farahani
Elham is an Associate at PwC's Forensic Technology practice. She specializes in eDiscovery and litigation support services. Elham graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in Information Systems.
Andrew Fraerman
The Bernstein Law Firm
At The Bernstein Law Firm, Andrew represents clients in both state and federal courts in a variety of commercial disputes. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, Andrew was a Litigation Associate at DLA Piper. He is a 2010 graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Andrew is also a board member of Juvenile Justice Initiative and Jewish United Fund’s Young Lawyers Group.
Joseph Gartner
UpRight Law
Joseph is an Associate at UpRight Law. As a civil rights attorney, he focuses his practice on fair housing, employment, and police misconduct. He also consults with condo boards on best practices. Joseph holds degrees from John Marshall Law School and Western Michigan University.
Urmi Graft
CME Group
Allyson Grillot
Allyson is a Senior Associate in the Forensic Technology practice at PwC. She specializes in litigation support and investigative data analytics work for clients with highly complex FCPA and fraud investigations. Allyson graduated from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business in 2014.
Chase Hertel
American Bar Association, Center for Innovation
Chase is the Deputy Director & Counsel for the ABA's Center for Innovation. He is an attorney and legal technologist passionate about helping the public access legal services. Before joining the ABA's staff, Chase helped to build and launch multiple consumer-facing legal technology tools. Chase is a 2014 graduate of Michigan State University College of Law.
Evan Jefferson
Saint Louis University School of Law
Lourdes Jimenez
Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services
Lourdes specializes in providing trauma-informed assistance and legal relief for crime victims. She is grateful to be working with survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Lourdes earned a B.A. from the University of Illinois Chicago, in Criminology and Latin America, Latino Studies and an M.A. from Northwestern University in Public Policy and Administration.
Ashley Knowland
Global Immigration Associates, P.C.
Ashley is an Associate Attorney at Global Immigration Associates, P.C.(“GIA”). GIA partners with the Envoy Global, an enterprise software company that seeks to use technology to improve access to legal services. Prior to law school, Ashley earned a B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. Ashley also serves as a pro bono attorney with CVLS.
Jane Lombardi
Erie Neighborhood House
A former AmeriCorps VISTA for ILAO, Jane is currently the Director of Citizenship and Immigration at Erie Neighborhood House, where she provides essential legal services to over 2,000 community members annually. She earned a M.S. in Public Service Management from DePaul University in 2017.
Adam Maxwell
Greiman, Rome & Griesmeyer, LLC
Adam is a commercial and employment law litigator at Greiman, Rome & Greismeyer. He has successfully handled jury trials in courts across the nation. Adam is a 2009 graduate of University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law and a 2005 graduate of Missouri State University.
William Murphy
Cook County Public Defender's Office
Currently an attorney with the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Will is experienced in both criminal and civil litigation and has a background in legal project management consulting. He has represented clients in a wide variety of practice settings and is proud to work for those who cannot otherwise speak for themselves.
Naeem Nulwala
An attorney at LAF, Naeem focuses on representing victims of domestic abuse. Previously, he worked at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. While there, Naeem became Chair of its Technology Task Force, leading efforts to modernize its technology. Naeem knows the importance of technology in legal aid, and the important role ILAO serves in providing legal knowledge + resources to IL citizens.
Marie Sarantakis
Davi & Associates, P.C.
Marie is the Principal Attorney of Sarantakis Law Group, Ltd. She represents clients in family law and criminal defense matters and is formally trained as a mediator and distinguished as a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois. Marie is a 2016 graduate of The John Marshall Law School. She is also an Associate Board Member of the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program.
Nathaniel Schnader
Charles River Associates, Inc.
Nate is Senior Associate at Charles River Associates,where hework on high-profile matters pertaining to digital forensics, incident response, and cyber security. He us a GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA), EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE), a Cellebrite Certified Mobile Examiner (CCME), and a 2009 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington.
Matthew Swenson
Emerson Law Firm, LLC
Matt is an Associate at Emerson Law Firm, LLC, a small consumer law firm located in Oak Park that focuses on consumer bankruptcy, foreclosure defense litigation, real estate transactions, and consumer law. Previously, he volunteered for the Center for Access to Justice & Technology at Chicago-Kent, CARPLS, and ILAO. Matt graduated UIUC and holds a 2010 J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Garrett Thomas
The Law Office of Garrett Thomas
Garrett is a criminal defense + civil rights attorney. He represents clients in all phases of criminal cases and emphasizes trial advocacy. A Georgetown Law graduate, Garrett’s practice is focused primarily on helping people navigate the broken criminal justice system. Garrett also works with the Criminal Defense Program at Cabrini Green Legal Aid.
Sharon Uti
U.S. Navy (JAG Corps)
Sharon is a lieutenant in the Navy Judge Advocate’s General Corps and is stationed in Great Lakes, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Anthony Vitale
Michael Vitale
Stout Advisory
Mike is a Manager with Stout Advisory's Disputes Consulting practice. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) in the state of Illinois. Mike earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan.
Lizzy Wallace
Lizzy is a Senior Associate in the Forensic Technology practice at PwC. She specializes in eDiscovery and litigation support services. Lizzy earned a bachelor's degree in Communications and a master's degree in Information Systems from Indiana University.