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YLS Officers and Directors

 

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YLS Chair - Jonathan B. Amarilio is a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP who focuses his practice in civil appellate litigation and critical motion practice. Jonathan has been involved in numerous high profile cases and regularly represents individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and Fortune 500 companies before state and federal appellate courts, primarily the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Jonathan has also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as a Special Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago in a number of matters.


In addition to serving as the CBA YLS Chair, and on the CBA Board of Managers, Jonathan has held several YLS officer positions and has served on a number of CBA practice and administrative committees, including the CBA Special Committee on Appellate Practice, the CBA Membership Committee, the CBA Officer Nominating Committee, and the CBA Special Committee Assisting the Illinois Supreme Court to Implement Recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Illinois Courts. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth organization, on the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Young Professionals Board, as a Vice-Chair to the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign, as Co-Chair of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Speakers Committee, and as a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association’s Rules Committee.


Jonathan has been repeatedly honored as an Emerging Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Network and has been repeatedly named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.

 
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First Vice-Chair - Brandon E. Peck is a partner at Peck Ritchey, LLC, who practices in the areas of trust litigation, probate litigation, fiduciary defense litigation, elder law, estate planning and estate administration with an emphasis on contested trusts and estates. Mr. Peck represents individuals, families, financial institutions, and medical institutions, concentrating his practice in the areas of trust, estate, and guardianship litigation and administration. He advises fiduciaries charged with the administration of estates and trusts as well as guides them through the probate process


Mr. Peck received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 2006 and his Juris Doctor from the University Of Illinois College of Law in 2009. Mr. Peck is authorized to practice law in Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


Mr. Peck has been a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyer's Section since 2009, serving as Co-Chair of the Estate Planning Committee from 2011 to 2012; Director from 2012 to 2014; and Public Service Manager from 2014 to 2015. He is also a current member of the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter Junior Board (2011-Present), formerly serving on the Executive Committee as the Chair of Education and Advocacy (2013-2015). Additionally, Brandon is a contributor to the book Alzheimer's and the Law, which was published by the American Bar Association in 2013.


In 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Brandon was selected by his peers in multiple statewide surveys of Illinois attorneys as a “Super Lawyer”, an attorney to whom other attorneys would refer their family. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 he was also selected by Leading Lawyers Magazine as a top emerging lawyer in Elder Law, Trust, Will and Estate Planning. Brandon achieved a 10.0 out of 10.0 rating by Avvo a reflection of his experience, industry recognition and professional conduct. Brandon lectures to colleagues and professionals in the areas of trust and estate litigation, guardianship, special needs, and estate planning.

 
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Second Vice-Chair - Octavio Duran, Jr. works at Bekkerman Law Offices, P.C., dedicating his practice to representing individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions.


Octavio got his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Illinois, receiving the honor of Senior Top 100. He started Michigan State University College of Law on a scholarship. He finished as the Class President. During law school, he also served as Vice-President of the Public Interest Law Society and as the liaison for the Hispanic Law Society and for Phi Alpha Delta. In addition, he was a member of the Moot Court Trial and Advocacy Board where he became a semi-finalist in the National Trial Competition and the American Association for Justice Competition.


Prior to serving as project officer of the Chicago Bar Association, he served as a a public service member and special project coordinator where he received the "Rising Star Award", given to YLS leaders with exceptional promise. He is currently the President of Board of Directors for the Michigan State College of Law Alumni Association. He mentors a young teen through the Juvenile Mentoring Initiative Program, sponsored by the CBA and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. To read more about Mr. Duran, visit his profile at http://www.bekkermanlaw.com/attorneys-and-staff/

 
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Member Service Manager - Jeffrey M. Moskowitz is a trial attorney with a broad knowledge of criminal law.  He is a graduate of DePaul University, College of Law, where he received a Certificate in Criminal Law and the prestigious CALI award for excellent trial litigation skills.

Jeff has handled hundreds of criminal cases and has primarily focused his practice on felonies. He has successfully represented clients charged with murder, attempted murder, criminal sexual assault, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, aggravated battery, assault, felony DUI, armed robbery, unlawful use of a weapon, theft and residential burglary. Jeff has achieved favorable outcomes for clients in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will County.


 Outside of work, Jeff is very active within the community. He is a recipient of the Benjamin Hooks' Distinguished Public Service Award for his extensive pro bono work. Jeff also serves on the DePaul University, College of Law's Dean's Advisory Counsel and is a member of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center’s Young Professional’s Counsel. Additionally, he is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professional's Board and is an attorney mentor for the Chicago Bar Foundation's Justice Entrepreneur's Project. He also coached the Little Village High School mock trial team and did volunteer expungements for Cabrini Green Legal Aid.

 
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Public Service Manager - Carl Newman is an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law and represents the City in state and federal appeals.  Previously, Carl worked for the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  As a law student, Carl interned in the United States Attorney's Office and for the Honorable James F. Holderman as well as in the Judiciary Committee office of Senator Dick Durbin.


Carl began with the YLS as a legislative liaison for the YLS criminal law committee, ran the Serving our Seniors project, co-chaired the YLS Civil Rights committee, and served as a special project coordinator.  Carl received the YLS Rising Star Award for his work in the 2015-16 bar year, and the YLS Secretary/Treasurer last year. Carl also serves as an investigator for the CBA's Judicial Evaluation Committee.


In addition to his work with the YLS, Carl is a member on the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board.  Having worked previously at LAF, the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, and Prairie State Legal Services, Carl is committed to expanding access to justice in Illinois.


Carl graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with honors in 2012 and the University of Illinois College of Business with honors in 2009.

 
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Secretary/Treasurer - Alexis Crawford Douglas is a senior associate at K&L Gates LLP and concentrates her practice in the area of intellectual property, including a range of transactional and litigation matters related to trademarks and copyrights, along with the strategic management of intellectual property portfolios. Alexis regularly represents clients ranging from multi-national to start-up companies in a variety of industries including consumer products, marketing and advertising, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, financial, technology, and entertainment.


Alexis previously served as co-chair of the YLS Creative Arts committee (2013-2015) and as a YLS Director (2015-2017). Alexis volunteers for NIJC as a pro bono asylum attorney and is a mentor at the 2112 business incubator. She routinely speaks on topics related to social media and trademark law. Alexis graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she was president of Moot Court Honor Society and executive articles editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property. As an undergraduate at Northwestern University, Alexis majored in journalism and political science. She subsequently worked at a media company and owned a writing, editing and publishing business prior to and during law school.

 
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Project Officer - Emily Roschek is Associate Director of ABA Legal Career Central, which is dedicated to providing robust career development resources and job opportunities for law students and lawyers at any stage of their careers.  From her work with the ABA and the Chicago Bar Association, Emily has significant experience in program management and in producing continuing legal education webinars and seminars in various areas of law.  As a member of the CBA, Emily served as Chair of the YLS Future of the Profession Committee (2015-16, 2016-17), Co-Chaired the YLS Professional Responsibility Committee for two years (2015-16, 2016-17) and was the Committee’s Vice Chair 2014-15, when the committee won the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service.  Emily is also a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Advocacy Committee.


Prior to joining the ABA, and before that, the CBA, Emily practiced in a variety of legal settings, including at a labor and employment firm, in the Office of the General Counsel at the Illinois Education Association, as a Hearing Office for the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.  Additionally, Emily has significant experience in eDiscovery and production.


Emily earned her J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law with a Certificate in Labor and Employment Law. While at Chicago Kent, she became a certified mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution. She earned her B.A. at the University of Michigan with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science

 
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Project Officer - Svetlana Gitman is an associate at Bruce Farrel Dorn and Associates where she focuses her practice on civil litigation defense.


Svetlana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. While working towards her undergraduate degree, Svetlana studied abroad at Queen Mary University, in London and returned to London to work at the Honourable Lincoln's Inn upon graduation. After working in London for a year, Svetlana returned to Chicago to attend The John Marshall Law School.


While in law school, Svetlana became involved with the Chicago Bar Association- Young Lawyer's section immediately. She served as the co-chair of the Law Student Committee, helping to organize numerous events. Svetlana also served as a staff editor of The John Marshall Law School Law Review, and her comment, titled (Dis) service of Process: The Need to Amend Rule 4 to Comply with Modern Usage of technology, was published in Spring of 2012.


After graduating law school, Svetlana remained involved with the CBA-YLS, serving as a special project coordinator from 2012 – 2013, co-chair for the Public Service Committee from 2013-2015, and as Director from 2015 - 2017.

 
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Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Natalie C. Chan is an associate in the Employment and Labor group in the firm’s Chicago office. Natalie’s practice involves counseling employers and litigating on a broad array of employment and labor matters, including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, contract disputes, and restrictive covenant issues, in single- and multi-plaintiff cases, as well as collective actions. Natalie also assists employers in drafting and reviewing employment-related agreements and policies, including employee handbooks, severance agreements, and non-competition and confidentiality agreements.


Natalie has experience with case management and has drafted a variety of litigation documents, including pleadings, discovery requests and responses, and dispositive motions and other briefs. She also has experience preparing to take and defend depositions of fact and expert witnesses. In addition, Natalie maintains an active pro bono practice in areas including employment and labor, immigration, and veterans’ benefits. She received the firm’s Thomas H. Morsch Award for Pro Bono Achievement in 2016.


Natalie was selected as a Fellow for the Class of 2016 National Employment Law Council (NELC) Academy, which is considered a pipeline for future leaders of the NELC, an organization primarily composed of minority outside and in-house lawyers, throughout the United States and abroad, who represent private- and public-sector employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters. She was one of 25 Fellows selected nationally for this advanced skills training program based on demonstrated excellence in the practice of management-side labor and employment law, demonstrated leadership potential, and stellar references.     


Natalie earned her law degree magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from Washington University School of Law. While in law school, Natalie served as Managing Editor of the Washington University Law Review and co-taught an undergraduate course on “Women and the Law.” Natalie was a recipient of the Scholar in Law Award, Excellence in Oral Advocacy Certificate, and Legal Practice Excellence Award for exemplary first-year writing.


Prior to joining Sidley, Natalie served as a judicial extern at the Cook County Circuit Court in the Law and Chancery Divisions. She graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Journalism.

 
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Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Nick Standiford is a commercial litigator and municipal attorney with the law firm of Schain Banks. For commercial litigation matters, Nick handles all stages of litigation in state and federal court. In his role as a municipal attorney, Nick advises municipalities on a wide range of legal issues including government relations, zoning, land use, real estate, taxation, and environmental law.


Prior to practice, Nick received his B.A. from the University of Michigan where he double-majored in History and Political Science. After spending a year in Washington, D.C. as a paralegal, Nick attended law school at Michigan State University, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the International Law Review and a national champion on the mock trial team. 


Nick served as the YLS real estate committee co-chair after graduating law school. Last year, he was an assistant co-editor of the CBA record. Nick is excited for another great year of publications and looks forward to his first year serving on the YLS board.

 

YLS Directors

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Tracy A. Brammeier is an attorney at Clifford Law Offices, P.C.  Her practice focuses on aviation, transportation, premises, and construction liability in addition to other areas of personal injury and wrongful death litigation.  She obtained a certificate in advocacy from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and has served as a judicial extern in the Northern District of Illinois.


Tracy volunteers for the 100 Club of Chicago, a not-for-profit organization that assists the families of police officers and firefighters throughout Cook and Lake Counties, by providing the families with a legal resource following the death of a loved one killed in the line of duty.  Previously, Tracy has been involved in the YLS as a project coordinator and enjoys participating in the YLS Wills for Heroes project.  She also serves on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association.

 
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Noah A. Frank is an attorney with SmithAmundsen LLC’s labor & employment group, representing businesses.  He focuses his practice in leave law (especially the intersection of FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation) and discrimination claims, providing practical advice and counsel to keep companies compliant, litigating when necessary.  Noah has been recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star each year 2012-2017, and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (General and Trial Bars).


Noah graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and Institute of Labor & Industrial Relations (now the School of Labor & Employee Relations).  He has been active with the CBA since 2008, and a co-chair of the YLS Labor & Employment Committee since 2012 (earning the Hilliard Award for 2012-2013). 


Noah is a frequent speaker for various chambers of commerce (such as the Illinois Chamber, where he serves on Employment Law Council and Business Advisory Board), and other business groups.  He is currently the American Bar Association District 15 (Illinois & Indiana) Representative, and Chair of the University of Illinois College of Law Alumni Board Nominations Committee.

 
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James J. Gay- After working in a small firm helping people recover for their injuries, Jim founded James J.  Gay Law, LLC in 2010 to assist individuals who have suffered catastrophic losses due to the conduct of others in personal injury, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and wrongful death claims.  Jim brings a strong record of success recovering millions of dollars on behalf of his clients.


Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Jim obtained two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and returned to Chicago to obtain his law degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2008.  While in law school, Jim was a law clerk at prestigious personal injury firm in Chicago where he developed his deep desire to help people and in the civil justice system.


Jim has been recognized for his hard work and success throughout the years and continues to earn respect from his colleagues. Jim has been named a Rising Star by the SuperLawyers organization in 2015 and 2016.  In addition, Jim has been named an Emerging Lawyer by the Leading Lawyers Organization in 2015 and 2016, and a Top 40 under 40 in personal injury by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2016.  Jim is a highly skilled trial attorney, obtaining numerous jury verdicts and settlements in his clients’ favor. 


Jim resides on the northwest side of Chicago in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood with his wife, Caitlin and two sons LJ and Tommy. When not practicing law, Jim spends time getting involved in his community.

 
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Nick Holland is examining counsel with Chicago Title Insurance Company. Before becoming director he was the YLS Corporate Practice Committee Co-Chair for four years. During this time he has participated in many YLS events including the annual Texas Hold em Tournament, Law Week, moot court competition, and Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago video project. Nick has also volunteered with CARPLS and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.


Nick earned his law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2009. As an undergraduate at Illinois Wesleyan University he majored in both economics and business administration before graduating in 2006.

 
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Oliver Khan is an Assistant Counsel at the American Association of Insurance Services, Inc., a not-for-profit advisory organization that serves over 700 insurance companies.


Before becoming a director for the YLS, Oliver served as a coeditor-in-chief of the YLS Journal and still sits on the editorial board for the CBA Record. He also previously served as a chair of the YLS Insurance Law Committee.


Previously, Oliver practiced complex commercial litigation and served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Michael B. Hyman at the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.


He graduated law school from Ohio State in 2010 where he was an issue editor and member of the editorial board of I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society.


He is also a published poet.

 
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Yana Karnaukhov works for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHEO, where she handles matters related to investigations of potential violations under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other related statutes. She also serves as the Region V expert for HUD on its Equal Access in Housing Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity rule. In this role, she regularly provides trainings for HUD staff and presents at professional conferences throughout the Midwest. She is a recipient of a 2014 HUD Secretary's Award for her work in this area.


Yana has served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Illinois, where she litigated fair housing and ADA related matters. She has also detailed at the CFPB with the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity where she worked on ECOA and Regulation B matters.


Yana is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctorate and was recognized as a public service star. While at Northwestern, Yana served as a federal judicial extern for the Honorable Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois.


Yana is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law, and she serves as a FINRA arbitrator.

 
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Lindsay Margolis is a family law attorney at Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP. She advises her clients in all areas of family law including divorce matters, premarital and postnuptial agreements, child support, child custody, visitation, maintenance, property valuation and division, orders of protection, paternity matters, and post-decree issues such as enforcement and modification of judgments. Lindsay worked as an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Scott Tzinberg, a boutique family law firm, from March 2012-June 2015.


Lindsay received a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law in May 2010 and was admitted to the Illinois bar in November 2010. Throughout law school, Lindsay clerked at various domestic relations firms in the loop and for Chicago-Kent's distinguished Family Law Clinic. She received the prestigious CALI award for academic excellence in both Trial Advocacy and Mediation. She was also on the Dean's List from Fall 2008 through Spring 2010.

Lindsay graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in 2007, where she received a B.A. in Spanish.


Dedicated to public service and being an active member of the legal community, Lindsay served on the CBA's Young Lawyers Section Executive Council as Special Project Coordinator from 2012-2015, and will be serving the YLS as a Director for the bar year 2015-2016. Lindsay also provides pro bono representation to minor children in contested domestic relations cases (divorce and parentage) as a Child Representative through Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) and is volunteers her time as a mentor to law students through Chicago-Kent's Society of Women in Law program. Outside of the legal community, Lindsay sits on the Special Olympics Illinois Leaders Council and is the Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Division of NA’AMAT's Greater Chicago Council.

 
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Tom Reynolds is an associate attorney in the international trade law firm of Page•Fura, P.C.


Page•Fura, P.C. represents companies engaged in global trade and concentrates in the areas of import operations and compliance; export controls and sanctions/embargoes; border/supply chain security; trade remedies and relief; government relations; foreign law; and transportation. Our firm is supported by a global network of attorneys and other professionals who also concentrate their work in international trade compliance.


Tom's trade law experience has included representing companies before U.S. Customs & Border Protection and counseling on issues such as tariff classification, country of origin determinations and marking requirements, tariff preference program/free trade agreement eligibility, trade relief and remedies, foreign-trade zones and customs enforcement matters.  In the export arena, Tom has counseled and represented companies before the Bureau of Industry & Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Bureau of the Census on issues relating to sanctions and embargoes, antiboycott regulations, export and re-export controls, and where necessary, submissions of voluntary self disclosures.


Tom received his B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Political Science and Religion from the University of Florida in 2009, and J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013 where he served as Managing Editor of the Journal of International & Comparative Law and Vice President of the International Law Moot Court Honor Society. Prior to joining Page•Fura, P.C., he was a litigation associate at Rodriguez Legal Group, and is active in other associations including the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Hispanic National Bar Association.

 
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John Risvold joined The Collins Law Firm in 2017 as an associate trial lawyer. As a trial lawyer John handles personal injury, medical negligence, wrongful death, environmental and other catastrophic injury cases. John works exclusively for victims and consumers to ensure they get the justice they deserve.


He has tried cases to verdict in the Chicago area and taken depositions throughout the country. Prior to joining The Collins Law Firm, John worked on both the defense and plaintiff’s side, giving him a unique insight into how cases are handled by defense firms.


A graduate of the University of Missouri, John received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law. While at Mizzou, John was recognized as one of the school’s top trial advocates, receiving the R. David Ray Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award and CALI Award for best Trial Advocate. He graduated Order of Barristers, a distinction which is given to the 10 attorneys in each class who exhibit excellence and attain high honor through the art of courtroom advocacy.

In 2017, John was named to the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. A distinction which recognizes 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 in each state.

 
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Lindsey A. Seeskin is an associate attorney with The Horwitz Law Group whose practice is dedicated exclusively to representing victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death cases including lawsuits arising out of motor vehicle and semi truck accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, products liability and dangerous workplaces. Lindsey has helped clients recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.


Lindsey has been a member of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section since 2013, first serving as vice chair and then serving as served as co-chair of the YLS Women in the Law committee. She also serves on the executive board of the Jewish United Fund’s Young Lawyers Group.


Lindsey earned her law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2011. As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois she majored in political science before graduating in 2007.