News Releases
April 30, 2012

Boston Bar Identifies 14 Public Interest Leaders

Press Release

The Boston Bar Association (BBA) today announced that 14 lawyers — all of whom are within ten years of graduating from law school — have been admitted to the BBA’s 2012-2013 Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP). Designed to identify and develop the next generation of lawyer leaders, this highly selective program drew applicants from an exceptionally talented and diverse group of young professionals committed to serving the public interest. 

PILP kicks off in May 2012. Restructured after its 8th year, the program now requires a time commitment of 150 hours over 14 months.  In addition to facilitating public service activities benefitting  the community, the PILP class will execute  programs drawing on the talent and resources of PILP alums from the past 8 years. 

The 14 attorneys who make up the 2012-2013 Public Interest Leadership Class are:

Jacqueline Silva Anchondo – Greater Boston Legal Services
Jacqueline Anchondo is currently a Skadden Fellow at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she collaborates with Cambridge Health Alliance to offer weekly onsite immigration consults and full representation for patients who are victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and other crimes.  Jacqueline is a graduate of Stanford Law School where she was a Public Interest Fellow, the elected Student Liaison to the Public Interest Faculty Committee, and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Journal of International Law.  During her 2L summer, Jacqueline worked at Greater Boston Legal Services’ Immigration Unit, and during her 1L summer she was a clinical fellow at the Domestic Violence Clinic of WilmerHale Legal Services Center.  Prior to attending Stanford, Jacqueline completed her BA at Cornell University and studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico investigating immigration and women’s rights issues.

Benton B. Bodamer – Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP
Benton Bodamer is a senior corporate associate with Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP. He regularly represents public and private companies and financial sponsors in complex domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, minority investments, divestitures, and restructurings. Before joining Weil, Ben was a Moritz Scholar at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, graduating with honors in 2006. Prior to his legal career, he studied archaeology at Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. A former college hurdler, he currently sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the Friends of Harvard Track.

Julia E. Devanthéry – HomeStart, Inc.
Julia Devanthéry is the Manager of Legal Advocacy at HomeStart, Inc. where she represents low-income tenants on the verge of homelessness. She joined HomeStart in 2010 after completing a post-graduate clinical legal fellowship at Northeastern University School of Law’s Domestic Violence Institute. She graduated from Northeastern School of Law in 2009 and Brown University in 2004.  She is the Vice President of the Board of Directors of RESPOND, Inc., a domestic violence shelter and community services provider.

Jennifer R. García – Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
Jennifer García has provides legal counsel to MAPC where she is responsible for ensuring that the agency is compliant with relevant federal and state law in the areas of employment, ethics, open meeting, public record and procurement law. Jennifer is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of North Carolina School of Law. She is a graduate of the Commonwealth Seminar and the Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership (IDCL), and is a current National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) ALL IN fellow. Jennifer serves on the board of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy.

Omar F. Gonzalez-Pagan – Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
Omar Gonzalez-Pagan is an Assistant Attorney General within the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley.  Through part of 2011, he also worked as a Special Assistant District Attorney in the Boston Municipal Court Division of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.  He serves on the boards of the Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association and the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society. Omar is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Eric A. Haskell – Foley Hoag LLP
Eric Haskell is litigator at Foley Hoag LLP who specializes in commercial disputes and class action defense.  Eric earned his juris doctor from Columbia Law School in 2005.  Before joining Foley Hoag, Eric served as a law clerk to the Honorable Peter T. Zarella of the Connecticut Supreme Court.  While at Foley Hoag, Eric has participated extensively in the firm’s signature pro bono program, the Domestic Violence Prevention Project, representing numerous victims in domestic violence, immigration, and other proceedings.  Eric serves as Chairman of the Hingham Republican Town Committee and as a lector at Resurrection parish.

Emily F. Hodge – Choate Hall & Stewart LLP
Emily Hodge is an associate in the litigation department with Choate where she focuses on representation of individuals and corporations in government and internal investigations as well as complex civil litigation. Emily chairs the Choate’s collaboration with the Lawyers Clearinghouse, is active with the Citizen Schools program, and serves on the Board of Friends of CASA, Inc. Emily is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee. Outside of the office Emily also sits on the United Way Emerging Leaders General Committee, and spends time volunteering as a member of Boston Cares.

Daniel M. Routh – Ropes & Gray LLP
Daniel Routh is an associate in the Litigation Department with Ropes & Gray where he focuses on business litigation. Daniel has significant involvement in firm pro bono activities, representing clients in guardianship and asylum matters and serving as Firm Co-Captain for the 2011 and 2012 Walk to the Hill events, as well as the 2011 and 2012 GBLS Associates Fund Drives. Prior to starting at Ropes & Gray, Daniel worked as a New Alternatives Fellow at Cambridge & Somerville Legal Services, where he represented low-income clients in housing and benefits matters. Daniel is a graduate of Harvard Law School and University of Maryland.

Staci Rubin – Alternatives for Community and Environment, Inc. (ACE)
As Staff Attorney at Alternatives for Community and Environment, Inc. (ACE), Staci Rubin provides legal services to community groups and coalitions working for environmental justice. Her career includes experience in environmental law, administrative law, energy law, civil rights law, public health, environmental health, epidemiology, and restorative justice. Staci obtained a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, a Master of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine where she studied the occupational hazards of benzene exposure and cancer outcomes as well as the legal challenges inherent in toxic tort litigation.

Christopher T. Saccardi – Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi
Chris Saccardi is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Christopher T. Saccardi where he focuses on landlord-tenant law in Boston and the surrounding communities. An active volunteer with the BBA’s Volunteer Lawyer Project, Chris was awarded VLP’s 2011 Denis Maguire Pro Bono Award for exceptional service in accepting and handling pro bono cases at Boston Housing Court. Prior to starting his own practice, Chris was a litigation associate at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge in Boston. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Northeastern University School of Law.

Brendan St. Amant – Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP
Brendan St. Amant is an associate at Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, where he focuses his practice on business litigation, employment law, and white-collar criminal defense.  He is a Trustee for the East Cambridge Scholarship Fund and was recently appointed to serve on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission.  Prior to attending law school, Brendan was a high school teacher in Pittsburgh and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger from 2002-2004.  Brendan is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Anjali Waikar – Krokidas & Bluestein LLP
Anjali Waikar is an associate at Krokidas & Bluestein LLP, where she represents non-profit, health care, and social service organizations and charter schools in a wide range of employment, privacy, litigation, civil rights, and health care legal issues. Anjali joined the firm after serving as the Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts where she worked on issues relating to post-9/11 racial, religious and ethnic profiling. Prior to law school, Anjali worked at South Brooklyn Legal Services, where she advocated on behalf of low-income, HIV-infected people. Anjali is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Northeastern University School of Law.

Meghan D. H. Walsh – Holland & Knight LLP
Meghan Walsh is the manager of Holland & Knight’s Public & Charitable Service Department. She was previously a member of the firm’s corporate law department and national Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations and Education Practice Groups. Megan completed a fellowship with the nonprofit corporation of MetroLacrosse, Inc., where she assisted with business and structural issues for the organization and has served as a volunteer coach for many years. Through the Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service Department, she has also been a volunteer at two public schools in Boston – the Boston Renaissance Charter School and the Josiah Quincy Lower School. Meghan is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Amherst College.

Raquel Webster – City of Boston Law Department
Raquel Webster serves as Assistant Corporation Counsel with the City of Boston Law Department where she represents the City in state and federal court and before administrative agencies in all stages of litigation involving civil rights litigation, police misconduct, employment and tort law. Raquel spent 7 years as a litigation associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP before joining the City of Boston Law Department. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Boston Debate League, is a lead teacher/program coordinator for Discovering Justice and Citizen Schools Legal Apprenticeship Mock Trail Program, was selected by the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association to participate in the 2011-2012 Women’s Leadership Initiative Program, and volunteers her time with C.A.R.E and Restart Program.