An American Flag hanging from a balcony.

Public Interest Leadership Program Class of 2023

Public Interest Leadership Program meeting.
Public Interest Leadership Program members.
Two Public Interest Leadership Program members.

Each year, the Boston Bar Association’s Public Interest Leadership Program welcomes a select group of talented and highly-motivated lawyers to participate in a year-long program designed to provide intensive leadership and professional development training. Participants learn from and connect with leaders in Boston’s public and private sectors to gain the critical skills and tools needed to grow as an effective leader and voice in the community. 

Madison Bader, Trial Attorney, Todd & Weld LLP

Madison Bader is a Trial Attorney at Todd & Weld LLP where she concentrates her practice on on complex civil litigation matters, representing clients in all phases of litigation, from drafting pleadings and managing pre-trial discovery, to arguing at trial and pre-trial motions.  

Madison currently serves as chair of the Federal Bar Association’s national Criminal Law Section, is a member of the BBA’s Criminal Law Section Steering Committee and is the BBA’s liaison from the New Lawyers Forum to the Criminal Law Section

Kate Barry, Senior Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services

Kate Barry is a senior attorney in the Family Law Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she represents survivors of domestic violence in family law cases.  She is also an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School, where she teaches Domestic Violence and the Law. In addition to her work in direct service, Kate has been involved in several efforts to improve the court system and create tools for self-represented litigants. 

She is a member of the BBA’s Family Law Section, where she has served as co-chair of the Divorce Fundamentals Committee and a member of the Public Service/Pro Bono Committee.  Kate also serves on the Amicus Committee of the Women’s Bar Association, the Access to Justice Commission’s Family Law Section and is a member of UAW – National Organization of Legal Services Workers.  She received her law degree from Boston College School of Law. 

Karen B. Bobadilla, Staff Attorney, De Novo

Karen Bobadilla is a dual-licensed attorney, in Massachusetts (U.S.) and in Peru. Her practice focuses on domestic violence survivors, victims of crimes, and on Special Immigrant Juvenile cases in the Probate and Family Courts, USCIS, and the Immigration Court. Before becoming an attorney in the U.S., she was one of the few DOJ Full Accredited Representatives in the State.  

In addition to her work at De Novo, she serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys (MAHA) and as the Probate and Family Court liaison at the American Immigration Lawyers Association – New England Chapter.  She is a member of the BBA’s Immigration Law Section Steering Committee and New Lawyers Forum and volunteers as a coach for the BBA’s Bar Exam Coaching Program.

She graduated from Northeastern University School of Law. 

Grace Brockmeyer, Staff Attorney, Volunteer Lawyers Project

Grace Brockmeyer is a Staff Attorney at the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), where she practices in the Consumer Law and Bankruptcy Units. As a Staff Attorney within VLP’s Consumer Unit, Grace represents low-income, pro se debtors in their civil debt collection lawsuits and provides supervision and mentoring to pro bono attorneys in their representation of these clients. In the Bankruptcy Unit, she assists clients with their Chapter 7 cases, and supervises pro bono attorneys who represent these clients.

In addition to the BBA, Grace is a member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys and the Women’s Bar Association.  She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. 

Tiixa Chukwuezi, Licensing Specialist, Cannabis Control Commission

Tiixa Chukwuezi currently serves as a Licensing Specialist at the Cannabis Control Commission. In this role, she works on various regulatory compliance matters, and is a member of the Commission’s inaugural Diversity, Access and Equity committee; which focuses on developing equitable policies to positively impact communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement and prohibition laws. 

During law school, Tiixa served as a board member of the Black Law Student Association and volunteered for the school’s Innocence Project Clinic and Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic. 

Tiixa is a member of the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys, the Massachusetts Black Lawyer’s Association, the Fulbright Scholarly Foundation and the Council on Legal Opportunities, Inc. (CLEO).  She is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law. 

Gloria Donati, Staff Attorney, Project Citizenship

Gloria Donati is a Staff Attorney at Project Citizenship where she first joined as an AmeriCorps member. In her current role, Gloria represents immigrants across Massachusetts seeking to naturalize while focusing on clients with disabilities.  

Gloria is a member of the BBA Delivery of Legal Services Steering Committee, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. Gloria received her law degrees from Boston University School of Law, University of Bologna (Italy), University of Paris Nanterre (France). Gloria is fluent in Italian and French.

Shae E. Fitzpatrick, Assistant General Counsel, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Shae Fitzpatrick is an Assistant General Counsel at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she maintains a broad corporate healthcare practice with a focus on charitable and tax-exempt matters.  Prior to her current position, Shae was a Corporate Associate in the Life Sciences & Strategic Transactions Group at Ropes & Gray and served as a Law Clerk to Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. 

Shae participated in pro bono work through the COVID Relief Coalition, which was honored with the BBA’s Empowerment Award in 2021.  She also provides pro bono services to Dana-Farber patients to assist them with navigating daunting legal and medical challenges through the Dana-Farber-MLPB program.  Shae currently services on the Board of Directors for the Brown University Sports Foundation.  

Shea is a graduate of Boston College Law School. 

Katharine K. Foote, Associate, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Katharine Foote is an associate in Mintz’s litigation practice, where she focuses her practice on complex commercial, appellate, and securities litigation, as well as criminal defense. She represents consumer brands and retail and manufacturing clients in business disputes and commercial litigation with particular expertise in breach-of-contract cases and complex Lanham Act claims.  Prior to private practice, Katharine served as a Judicial Law Clerk for Associate Justice Gregory I. Massing of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.    

Katharine maintains an active pro bono practice. She runs Mintz’s flagship pro bono program, the Domestic Violence Project, and personally represents survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at the state level.  She is the current Co-Chair of the BBA’s Senior Associates Forum.  Katharine received her J.D. from Boston College Law School. 

Michael Frieber, Director of the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General’s Pandemic Funding Oversight Unit

Michael is the Director of the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General’s Pandemic Funding Oversight Unit, which is charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of federal pandemic funds by Massachusetts government entities. Prior to his current position, Michael worked in the office as a Policy Analyst and Associate Counsel. 

During law school, Michael held a number of internships including in the City of Boston’s Law Department, the Massachusetts Governor’s Office, the White House and the United Nations.  He is a current member of the American Constitution Society and graduated from Northeastern University School of Law.

Rachel Gargiulo, Counsel, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Rachel Gargiulo has a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on securities litigation and complex commercial disputes at Wilmer Hale. She also has experience defending clients in internal corporate and government investigations. Prior to joining the firm, she clerked for the Honorable Allison Burroughs of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  

Rachel maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on juvenile justice, prisoner’s civil rights, and immigration matters. She obtained her law degree, as well as a Master of Bioethics from the Perelman School of Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Anne Georges, Staff Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services

Anne Georges is a staff attorney in the Immigration Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). Her work at GBLS primarily focuses on humanitarian-based immigration relief, including removal defense matters, domestic violence-based petitions, and petitions for children and youths.  In addition to her position as a staff attorney at GBLS, she also serves as an outreach coordinator, an active member of the student hiring committee and contributes to the unit’s racial justice committee.  

Anne is also a part-time lecturer and clinical faculty at Northeastern University School of Law (NUSL), where she leads the Immigrant Justice Practicum, a course that provides law students the opportunity to assist in the representation of non-citizens in a variety of humanitarian-based immigration matters. She also teaches as a Visiting Lecturer Tufts Experimental College. 

Anne currently serves as liaison for the New Members Division of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law 

Sean Grammel,  Associate, Anderson & Kreiger LLP.

Sean Grammel is a litigation associate at Anderson & Kreiger, where focuses his practice on representing public sector clients, including government agencies, municipalities, and airports. This work includes conducting sensitive internal investigations, counseling clients on compliance, and representing them in court at the trial and appellate levels.  

Before joining Anderson & Kreiger, Sean worked in the Boston office of a large international law firm as a biotechnology litigator. He also worked for years as a public defender in the children’s welfare system, where he represented parents and children at both the trial and appellate levels. Sean continues this work pro bono and is a member of Anderson & Krieger’s Pro Bono Committee.  Sean is also active in his hometown of Mansfield, MA, working on affordable housing issues, local politics, and educational strategic planning.  Sean is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania Law School.  

Kari-Ann Greene, Attorney, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency

Kari-Ann Greene is an attorney at Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency where she does a broad range of legal work related to affordable housing finance transactions and initiatives. Prior to joining MHFA, she practiced for over six years at a Boston-based law firm, where she was responsible for negotiating a broad range of commercial and residential real estate transactions, as well as handling corporate and research matters. 

Kari-Ann has volunteered in the Family Law and Guardianship Clinics at the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association.  She received her law degree from Suffolk University School of Law. 

Sean Hildenbrandt, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

Sean Hildenbrandt is an Assistant Attorney General in the False Claims Division at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General.  In his role, Sean is responsible for evaluating, investigating, and prosecuting violations of the Massachusetts False Claims Act. He previously served in various positions within the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division, where he worked collaboratively with charitable organizations in addition to investigating claims of waste, fraud, and misappropriation of charitable funds.  

Sean currently serves on the Board of Directors for Bikes Not Bombs, a Jamaica Plain-based organization that uses the bicycle as a means for empowering and educating marginalized youth in Greater Boston.  He previously served on the advisory board of a start-up nonprofit that focused on K-12 mental health education and advocacy.  Sean received his law degree from Suffolk University Law School. 

Sean is a Board Member of Bikes Not Bombs and previously served on the advisory board of a start-up nonprofit that focuses on K-12 mental health education and advocacy.

Darshana Indira, Senior Associate, Laredo & Smith, LLP

Darshana Indira is a Senior Associate at Laredo & Smith, LLP, where she advises company owners, organizational leadership and c-suite executives in a broad range of employment and commercial litigation matters across many sectors, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, healthcare, and retail. Darshana is a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law.

Born in India, Darshana is fluent in Malayalam and is active in the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, where she currently serves as Co-President.  She has also served on the Joint Bar Committee on Judicial Nominations and in the Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Women’s Bar Association.  At the BBA, Darshana has served on the Steering Committees for the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Section and the Labor & Employment Law Section.  She recently co-authored an article for a special edition of the Boston Bar Journal titled “Reflections on Efforts at Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Profession.” 

Natalie M. Jersak,  Associate, Locke Lord LLP

Natalie Jersak is a Public Finance Associate at Locke Lord LLP, where her practice focuses on all sides of tax-exempt and taxable bond issuances for educational and healthcare institutions, states, cities and towns throughout New England.  

Natalie serves on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Boston office of Locke Lord, and was selected to participate in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s Pathfinder Program.  In 2019 she received the Analisa Smith-Perez Rising Star Award from the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys, in recognition of her steadfast commitment to the Latino community. Natalie has also participated in advocacy efforts to secure increased funding for civil legal aid as Co-Captain for her firm’s participation in the Equal Justice Coalition’s Annual Walk (now Talk) to the Hill initiative.  In addition to the BBA, she is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Association of Bond Lawyers and the Boston Chapter of Women in Public Finance.  Natalie is a graduate of Boston University School of Law. 

Nicole M. Levesque, Associate, Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP

Nicole Levesque is an associate attorney at Conn Kavanaugh where she practices in the areas of commercial and construction litigation and white-collar criminal defense, representing clients in complex state civil litigation, defending clients against state and federal government investigations, and providing legal counsel on a wide variety of industry-specific regulatory matters. 

Prior to joining Conn Kavanaugh, Nicole worked as an associate at a boutique law firm in Chicago, where she served as counsel to a prominent Fortune 500 insurance company.  While in law school, Nicole was an active member of the Loyola Community Law Clinic, a law clerk for the Illinois Attorney General, and a judicial clerk to late Illinois Appellate Justice Laura Liu. 

Nicole is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law. 

MacKenzie K. Mahoney, Staff Attorney, Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee

MacKenzie Mahoney is a Staff Attorney with the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee as a part of their Family Law Project, where she represents indigent clients with diagnosed or perceived mental health challenges in a wide range of family law matters and assists in the advancement of their rights and opportunities through advocacy and legislation.   

MacKenzie is also committed to empowering the next generation of young attorneys and volunteers as a mock trial coach and judge at the undergraduate and high school levels.  She is a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law. 

Odette T. Martins, Associate, Sunstein LLP

Odette Martins is an associate at Sunstein concentrating her practice in trademark law. Prior to joining Sunstein, Odette was a Trademark Examining Attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) where she received their Trademark Customer Service Recognition Award in 2019. 

Originally from Cape Verde, Odette is committed to community service with a focus on promoting diversity.  She serves on the Membership Development Committee of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and is a former volunteer for the BBA’s Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity Program. Odette is also engaged in pro bono work with GoodWeave International, an organization dedicated to ending child labor in global supply chains. 

Odette received her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.  

Justin R. Masterman, Associate, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP

Justin Masterman is an associate in Nutter’s Real Estate Department, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of commercial real estate law and finance. Justin represents owners, developers, and investors in a wide variety of real estate transactions across all asset types, including joint ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, debt and equity financings, leases, and permitting.  He is a graduate of Boston College Law School. 

Justin is a former co-chair of the Public Policy Committee of the BBA Real Estate Section, and member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and NAIOP Massachusetts. He serves as member of the Gen2Gen emerging leaders group at B’nai B’rith Housing, a nonprofit developer whose mission is to ease the housing crisis in Greater Boston.  

Katherine D. McCann, Assistant General Counsel and Data Privacy & Security Manager, Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

Kate McCann is Assistant General Counsel and Data Privacy & Security Manager at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), an independent state agency that works to develop policy to reduce health care cost growth and improve the quality of patient care for all residents across the Commonwealth.   Since joining the agency in 2014 as a junior lawyer, Kate has taken on various responsibilities in the Office of the General Counsel, working to support an agency with a wide variety of functions, including regulatory oversight, research and publications, and investment programs.  Kate is a graduate of Suffolk University School of Law.

Nicole Merida, Managing Attorney of the Legal Advocacy Program, Casa Myrna

Nicole Merida is the Managing Attorney of Casa Myrna’s Legal Advocacy Program, which provides domestic violence survivors with access to legal services, including representation to survivors in family law, restraining order, and immigration cases in the Greater Boston area. 

Prior to her current role, Nicole practiced immigration and abuse prevention law in both the private and public sectors. 

Nicole is a member of the BBA’s Delivery of Legal Services Section Steering Committee, the Women’s Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  She is a graduate of New England School of Law | Boston.  

Albert J. “AJ” Moscone, Jr., Moscone Law

Albert J. “AJ” Moscone, Jr. is the founder of Moscone Law, where he focuses on an array of civil, criminal, and business litigation matters as well as transactional, hospitality and zoning/licensure matters.  Prior to founding Moscone Law, AJ spent six years as a litigation associate with a large Boston firm.   

Born and raised in East Boston, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the East Boston Chamber of Commerce as well as the East Boston YMCA.  He has previously served as the Law Student Liaison to the BBA’s Real Estate Section Steering Committee, and has helped individuals seal their criminal records as a volunteer for the BBA’s CORI Sealing Project.  He is a graduate of New England Law | Boston. 

Ashley Paquin, Associate, Nutter, McClennen & Fish

Ashley Paquin is an associate in Nutter’s litigation department, where she focuses her practice on advising clients in a broad range of matters, including SEC investigations and other government inquiries, securities litigation, and complex civil litigation.  

Ashley previously served as a judicial intern for the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for the Honorable William G. Young on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  She is involved in the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association and is a graduate of Boston University School of Law. 

Margarita Amanda Petrakis, Immigration Attorney, Rian Immigrant Center

Amanda Petrais is an Immigration Attorney at the Rian Immigrant Center, where she represents clients in family-based and humanitarian immigration cases.  In her role, she has also helped manage and facilitate Rian’s medical-legal partnerships with Boston Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which provide critical immigration legal services to hospital patients and their families.  

Amanda is a member of the BBA’s Immigration Law Section Steering Committee, as well as an active member of the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Law Association.  Amanda is fluent in French and Spanish and received her law degree from McGill University. 

Marina Pullerits, Senior Associate, Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

Marina Pullerits is a Senior Associate in Choate’s Litigation Department, where she specializes in intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining Choate, Marina clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Ralph Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, working closely with the Access to Justice Commission in their mission to address systemic inequalities that act as barriers for individuals across Massachusetts, including those who cannot afford to retain counsel. While in law school, Marina completed an internship with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and served as a judicial extern to Judge Allison D. Burroughs of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 

Marina maintains an active pro bono practice and has helped clients with a variety of matters including sealing criminal records, applying for asylum, and navigating the probate process.  In these matters she has worked closely with several Boston Bar Foundation grantee organizations such as Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR) and Prisoners’ Legal Services. 

Marina received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

Joseph J. Sherman, Staff Attorney, MetroWest Legal Services

Joseph Sherman is a Staff Attorney at MetroWest Legal Services, where he specializes in housing advocacy and prioritizes eviction defense in public and subsidized housing, subsidy terminations, denials for public and subsidized housing, lockouts, and shelter denials and terminations.

Joseph initially came to MetroWest Legal Services through the Americorps Legal Advocates of Massachusetts Program, continuing as staff attorney after his service year.  He currently serves as the President of MWLS’s Union. Joseph is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law. 

Aaron Spacone, Associate, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP

Aaron Spacone is an Associate at Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, where his practice focuses on labor and employment law. Aaron represents employers in a wide variety of labor and employment matters, including claims related to workplace discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment, among others.   

Following law school, Aaron completed judicial clerkships with the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court and the Honorable Gilbert V. Indeglia of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. He also served as an intern for the Honorable William E. Smith at the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. 

Aaron currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of Even Field, Inc., a non-profit organization promoting character, leadership, and integrity in youth sports.  He is also a member of the Alumni Board of The Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island. Aaron is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law. 

Kelsey Tavares, Associate, DLA Piper LLP

Kelsey Tavares is an associate at DLA Piper, where she is a member of the firm’s Product Liability and Mass Tort, Class Action Litigation, and FDA Regulatory practice groups.  Her practice focuses on complex litigation and regulatory matters involving clients in the life sciences, food and beverage, consumer products, and hemp and CBD industries. 

In addition to her litigation and regulatory practice, Kelsey is actively involved in pro bono and has represented clients faced with housing, immigration, disability, and civil rights issues. Kelsey currently serves on the board of HypoPara Support and Advocacy, Inc. (“HPSA”) which provides support and advocacy to individuals with hypoparathyroidism. She is a member of the DRI Young Lawyers Steering Committee and is a co-manager of Cultivate, a DLA Piper blog focused on the hemp and CBD industry.  Kelsey earned her law degree from Harvard Law School. 

Domonique Williams, Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office

Domonique Williams is the Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where she oversees program and policy development in order to help address disparities in the criminal justice system.  She previously served as the Deputy Director the Office of Housing Stability, where she worked on eviction prevention and affordable housing, and in the Office of Equity where she helped develop inclusive business strategies to ensure that our city’s workforce is reflective of the diversity of our residents. 

During law school, Dominique completed a year at the Fair Housing Clinic and served as a John Paul Stevens Fellow in the Fair Housing Office in Boston. She is a member of the Massachusetts Black Women Attorneys Association and the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Assocation.  Dominique received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law.