Account Number

YLS Officers and Directors


YLS Chair- Paul Ochmanek is the founder of the Paul Ochmanek Legal Office. Paul works closely with condominium and homeowner associations. Paul helps the board of directors and management with the association's day-to-day business. Paul's association work includes; issuing legal opinions regarding the association's governing documents, amending the governing documents and adopting rules, enforcement of the governing documents, turnover from the developer to the newly formed board, collection of assessments, counseling regarding special assessments, building code, bankruptcy, and foreclosure matters.

Honors and Awards
  • The Young Lawyer Section (YLS) of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) "Rising Star Award" for a YLS leader with exceptional promise - June 5, 2008
  • The YLS of the CBA David C. Hilliard Award for "Outstanding Committee Service (Real Estate Committee 2007-2008).
First Vice-Chair - Matthew A. Passen an attorney with Passen Law Group, represents plaintiffs in serious personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death actions. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2002, and law degree, summa cum laude, Order of the Coif, from DePaul University College of Law in 2006. Prior to joining Passen Law Group, Mr. Passen was a litigation associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago.

Mr. Passen has repeatedly been named a "Rising Star" By Super Lawyers, and is recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV® rated attorney. He received the "Rising Star Award" from the CBA YLS in 2010.

In addition to his work on behalf of the YLS, Mr. Passen serves on the editorial board of the CBA Record, and is an investigator for the CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee. Mr. Passen is a member of the Chicago Bar Foundation's Young Professionals Board, and was recently appointed Vice-President.

Mr. Passen also serves on the Associate Boards of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Illinois Legal Aid Online, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, New Lawyers Division. In addition, Mr. Passen serves as Vice-Chair of the Products Liability and Medical Negligence Committees for the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association.
Second Vice-Chair - Kathryn Carso Liss is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and holds a law degree from DePaul University in Chicago. While in law school, Kathryn attended a comparative family law course in Granada, Spain, was a dean's scholar, and authored a published Law Review article. Kathryn began practicing law in May, 2007 and joined Griffin McCarthy & Rice LLP as an associate attorney in August, 2008.

Kathryn focuses in domestic relations with the goal to competently assist families through difficult transition periods while attempting to educate clients and minimize the length of the process. She assists clients with the adoption process and is involved in the Chicago Bar Association Adoption Law Committee. Kathryn is also involved in the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Executive Committee as a Project Officer. Kathryn was named a Rising Star in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by Super Lawyers, completed mediation training at Northwestern University, is a Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, and is the Co-Committee Chair of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois Community Outreach Committee.
Member Service Manager - Matthew T. Jenkins joined the Chicago law firm of Corboy & Demetrio as a personal injury lawyer in 2008. He practices personal injury law in all areas including cases arising from automobile collisions, construction negligence, premises liability and product liability.

In 2013, Matt, along with Flip Corboy, obtained an $8 million verdict for the family of a woman killed by a truck as she stood on shoulder of I-294. Before returning to Corboy & Demetrio, where he clerked while attending law school, Matt practiced plaintiffs' Civil Rights Law at Loevy & Loevy in Chicago. While at Loevy, Matt assisted in obtaining a $4 million verdict in a significant civil rights case on his very first trial.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2007 from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he was recognized for both his academic achievements and his commitment to public service. In 2005, the law school honored Matt's personal dedication to public service by naming him a Public Interest Law Initiative Scholar.

Matthew is licensed to practice law in Illinois, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern Districts of Illinois.

He is an active member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he currently serves as co-chairman of its Civil Rights and Criminal Law Committee and the Illinois State Bar Association where he is a member on the Judicial Evaluation Committee. Matt currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Center for Disability & Elder Law and and is a member of the Young Alumni Committee of the Alumni Board at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. In 2010 he was selected as the Illinois Pro Bono Attorney of the Month by Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) for the volunteer legal work he has done. View ILAO's video of Matt here.

Jenkins also sits on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyer Section and on the Auxilary Board of Lawyer's Lend-a-Hand.
Public Service Manager - Brandon Peck is a litigation associate at Peck Bloom, LLC, who practices in the areas of trust litigation, probate litigation, fiduciary defense litigation, elder law, and estate administration with an emphasis on contested trusts and estates. Mr. Peck represents individuals, families, financial institutions, and medical institutions.

Mr. Peck received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in 2006. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the University Of Illinois College Of Law in 2009, where he was actively involved with providing pro bono service to the community. 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. He is also a current member of the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter Junior Board (2011-Present). Mr. Peck is authorized to practice law in Illinois and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Secretary/Treasurer - Vickie Argueta
Project Officer - Malcolm "Skip" Harsch works for the American Bar Association as an Associate Director in the Center for Continuing Legal Education. He designs and implements distance-learning courses for ABA Members and other legal professionals. His areas of focus are mainly the Intellectual Property, Education, and Labor & Employment sectors.

Skip is a native of Illinois with strong ties to the Midwest. Skip received his bachelor of science from the University of Iowa and his JD from DePaul University College of law. While at DePaul, Skip began his association and non-profit crusade as a summer intern for Lambda Legal. In addition to his service for the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Skip is a board member for the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago and the National LGBT Bar Association. He is also the President of the Board for Lights Out Theatre Company, a company of multi-disciplined artists dedicated to serving Chicago audiences with fresh and provocative theatrical productions.
Project Officer - Gabriela C. Sapia is an associate at the Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C. Gabriela graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2011 where she participated in the Family Law Clinic and focused her legal education on family-related matters. In January 2010, Gabriela continued her education in the area of family law when she joined the Law Offices of Patrick Markey as a law clerk. Through her work with the Family Law Clinic and the Law Offices of Patrick Markey, Gabriela has assisted clients with a wide range of family law issues, including divorce, custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, property division and post-judgment matters. Gabriela joined the Young Lawyers' Section in 2011 after graduating law school and has served as a special project coordinator for the YLS since becoming a member.

Prior to attending law school, Gabriela graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 2003.
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Jonathan B. Amarilio is an associate at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP where focuses his practice on all aspects of appellate and commercial litigation. He has experience representing individuals, small businesses, state and local governments, and a number of Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of matters before state and federal trial and appellate courts, including 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. Prior to joining Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Jonathan clerked for Justice James R. Epstein on the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, and in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Jonathan is currently the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the YLS Journal, a member of the CBA Record Editorial Board and Co-Chair of the CBA Moot Court Committee. He also serves as a member of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association Rules Committee.

Jonathan received his B.A. from American University and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. He is admitted to the Illinois State Bar, the State Bar of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Co-Editor in Chief YLS Journal - Geoffrey T. Burkhart is an attorney and project director at the American Bar Association, where he works to improve indigent criminal defense systems. He previously served as a law clerk to Justice James Epstein of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District. He also worked for four years as an Assistant Appellate Defender. In law school, Geoff served as Editor in Chief of the DePaul Law Review and as an extern to Justice Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court. Geoff has published several articles in the CBA Record, where he is a member of the editorial board, and the Illinois Bar Journal, where he twice received the Lincoln Legal Writing Award.


YLS Directors

Ashly Iacullo Boesche is an associate at Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP, an intellectual property boutique in Chicago. Ms. Boesche focuses her practice on litigation and counseling in the areas of trademark, and copyright law, and on global brand development and trademark prosecution. Ms. Boesche also counsels clients in advertising issues and promotions and sweepstakes ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

Ms. Boesche is active in the intellectual property legal community. She is a member of the Young Professionals Board for the Chicago Bar Association and has served with the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section in a variety of roles including as the vice-chair (2007-2008) and co-chair (2009-2010) of the Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section, Intellectual Property Committee. In 2010, Ms. Boesche was awarded with the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Chair by The Chicago Bar Association and was recognized as a Rising Star by Law and Politics.

Ms. Boesche formerly served as the Secretary and Treasurer for the Young Lawyers Section (2012-2013), currently serves as a Director of The Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Section and also chairs the Intellectual Property Committee for the Chicago Bar Association.

Ms. Boesche received her Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University and her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

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 director of the Chicago Bar Association, he served as a special project coordinator where he received the "Rising Star Award", given to YLS leaders with exceptional promise. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Michigan State College of Law Alumni Association and the Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Long Beach, CA. 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

Kalisa R. Gary is a commercial real estate attorney at the law firm of Dubin Singer P.C. She represents developers on all aspects of projects nationwide including negotiations of purchase and sale agreements, planning, zoning, leasing, borrowing and due diligence matters. She also serves as a primary contact for all individual and portfolio site conveyances, and coordinates mechanic lien claim and litigation responses.

Prior to working at Dubin Singer P.C., she was a top billing attorney at Richmond Breslin LLP, where she represented prominent clients in the commercial real estate sector, and well as high wealth individuals on private residential transactions.

She has served as a chairperson of the YLS Real Estate Law Committee for five (5) bar years. As a descendant to CBA President Elbert H. Gary (served 1893-1894), Kalisa considers The Chicago Bar Association her Alma Mater - alongside Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied the Liberal Arts and majored in all things French, and Chicago Kent College of Law where she received her Juris Doctor in May 2005.

In her spare time, Kalisa can be found riding her bicycle across the States of Iowa and Illinois, spinning, dancing and doing yoga, and learning about Abraham Lincoln.
Nick Holland is an attorney practicing in Chicago. 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.
Daniel Hwang is an associate with K&L Gates LLP. Daniel assists clients on a variety of intellectual property matters including patent litigation, trademark and copyright litigation, trademark portfolio management, registration and enforcement issues, and information technology contracts. He has experience assisting clients with domain name enforcement, international trademark registration and enforcement campaigns, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, and federal litigation. Daniel is also a registered U.S. Patent Attorney and an active officer of both local and national intellectual bar associations including The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and the International Trademark Association.

Daniel graduated from the University of Illinois School of Law, where he served as an Articles Editor for the Journal of Law, Technology & Policy, and President of the Student Bar Association. Daniel earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jennifer P. Irmen is a trial attorney at the Chicago law firm of Anesi Ozmon Rodin Novak & Kohen where she prosecutes construction negligence, products liability, medical malpractice, premises liability, and auto liability matters. Jennifer recently joined Anesi Ozmon Rodin Novak & Kohen after practicing law at Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates for the past 7 years. While practicing at Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates, Jennifer acted as the lead defense attorney for countless jury trials, bench trials, arbitration and ADR proceedings involving premise liability, negligent hiring, dog bite, fire, auto, and construction cases, all of which resulted in thirty not guilty verdicts in her favor. Moreover, for the past two years, Jennifer has been an adjunct law professor for the nationally acclaimed legal writing program at The John Marshall Law School.

Before joining the law firm of Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates, Jennifer clerked for Beermann Swerdlove, where she drafted legal memoranda regarding child support, property division, and maintenance. Prior to clerking there, Jennifer clerked in the Employment Litigation Division of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago. The summer and fall after Jennifer's first year of law school, Jennifer served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Judge Guzman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where she drafted legal opinions concerning employment and racial discrimination as well as deportation and removal proceedings.

Upon graduation from The John Marshall Law School, after being the President of John Marshall's Student Bar Association, Jennifer was appointed a member of the John Marshall Alumni Association's Board of Directors; she has served as a member of that board for the past seven years. This bar year, Jennifer received The John Marshall Alumni Association's coveted Presidential Service Award for her dedication to the organization, JMLS students, and the school as a whole. Jennifer will serve on the Executive Board of The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association as Secretary in the 2011-2012 bar year.

Jennifer is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Women's Bar Association as well as the Women's Bar Foundation.
Yana Karnaukhov works for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, where she handles matters related to investigations of potential violations under Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 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 also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Illinois, where she handled fair housing and ADA related matters. Yana is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. 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 for her volunteer work. While at Northwestern, Yana served as a federal judicial extern for the Honorable Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois. Yana also externed for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Chicago. She volunteered as a certified mediator with the Center on Conflict Resolution and mediated cases at the Cook County Circuit Court. She was also a senior law student at the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions and volunteered for First Defense Legal Aid.

Yana has served as a Vice Chair and Legislative Liaison (2012-2013) and later as the Co-Chair (2013-2014) of the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section Civil Rights Committee. She is a volunteer attorney with Equip for Equality, and she is involved with several committees which promote social justice, such as the Equal Access to Justice Medical Legal Partnerships Committee. Yana is fluent in Hebrew and Russian.
Alex Memmen focuses his practice on civil litigation. His primary practice areas are personal injury, contract, toxic tort and construction litigation.

He is a currently serving as a director as well as co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Moot Court Committee.

His extensive experience has led Mr. Memmen to litigate all levels of cases, including cases valued at over a million dollars. He has represented clients in the trial and appellate courts of both Wisconsin and Illinois.

Hailing from Green Bay, Mr. Memmen is an avid Packer fan. When not practicing law, he enjoys golf, tennis, skiing and American history.

Mr. Memmen is proud to sit on the board of directors of the New Colony Theater Company. Visit their website for showtimes, events and other exciting news.

Adam Sheppard is a partner at Sheppard Law Firm, a firm which specializes in defense of criminal cases. In addition to serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the YLS Journal, Mr. Sheppard serves on the editorial board of the CBA Record. Mr. Sheppard has published a number of legal articles that have appeared in the CBA Record and other legal periodicals. Mr. Sheppard has also lectured at the Young Lawyers Section Criminal Committee.

Mr. Sheppard graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2005, where he had been the recipient of a Chicago-Kent Merit-Award Scholarship. Mr. Sheppard was also the recipient Northwest Suburban Bar Association Merit Award Scholarship, the CALI Award for excellence in the area of Futures-Commodities Regulations, and a finalist in the Charles Evans Hughes Oral Advocacy Competition. Prior to joining Sheppard Law Firm,  Mr. Sheppard gained extensive trial experience with the Cook County Public Defender's Office as the recipient of the Jack Carey Merit Award Scholarship.

Bar Admissions: Federal Trial Bar, U.S. District Court; Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin; State of Illinois.

Law School: Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2005

Bar/Professional Organizations: Young Lawyers Section/Chicago Bar Association (Co-Editor of YLS Journal; YLS Officer; Editorial Board; Criminal Law Committee), Constitutional Rights Foundation (Lawyers in the Classroom), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, Decalogue Society of Lawyers, Shomrim Society of Illinois Inc.: Chicago Police Branch.

Other Relevant Employment Experience: Clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court; Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office.

Recent Publications: Co-Editor/Contributing Author of 2011 YLS 40th Anniversary Book: "Celebrating 40 Years Service, A Brief History of the Young Lawyers Section," May/June 2011, "Working in a Family-Run Law Practice," CBA Record, February/March 2011, "A Trail Blazing Opinion - Justice Stevens Role in Making Federal Sentencing Matters More Flexible," CBA Record, September 2010, "Hey Teachers, Leave Them Kids Alone," [re: school searches], CBA Record, July, 2010, "10 Tips for Young Lawyers," CBA Record, April, 2010, "The Hits Just Keep Coming: PLEA: The Chicago Bar Association's 87th Annual Christmas Spirits Show," CBA Record, 2011, "The 2009 Chicago Bar Association's 86th Annual Christmas Spirits Show," CBA Record, January 2010, "Back to School: What Parents and Students Should Know About Extracurricular Activities," The Tablets (Decalogue Newsletter), Fall 2009.

Lectures: Practicing Law in a Family-Run Law Practice, CBA/YLS Criminal Law Committee, 1/7/11; Production of Non-Transactional Informants, CBA/YLS Criminal Law Committee 3/11/11 (Co-Lecturer).