Alumni Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 100 Lawyers of 2022. Now, more than ever, is an important time to celebrate the dedication, skill, and hard work of lawyers across the country. These individuals are champions to the rule of law and defend fundamental rights of individuals and corporations alike. They practice in a variety of fields including real estate, immigration, corporate, environmental, and litigation law. There’s no denying that law is a complicated business but these awardees have the initiative, drive, creativity, and legal mind that sets them apart from the rest.
Awardees include Jennifer Yeh, Senior Attorney for The Standard, who defends the company with respect to nationwide employee benefits litigation; Lindsay Leifeste, Senior Attorney with Old Republic Title, who assists with providing a smooth closing process for commercial real estate and has been part of the closing in more than $425 million in commercial real estate transactions since mid-2019; and Rich George, Senior Attorney for Portland General Electric, who represents the company in renewable energy matters.
Congratulations to this year’s prestigious awardees. Please join us in celebrating the achievements of The Top 100 Lawyers of 2022.
1. Rich George
Senior Attorney, Portland General Electric
Rich George is a Senior Attorney for Portland General Electric. He first joined the company in 2001. For more than 125 years, Portland General Electric has been powering their community and helping connect Oregonians to what matters most to them. Today, they’re focused on delivering energy that is safe, clean, reliable, affordable, and secure. Their world and industry are faced with new and exciting challenges driven by evolving technology, changing customer expectations, and a shared desire for a cleaner energy future.
Previously, George was an associate at Preston Gates & Ellis and before that, an honors attorney at the Oregon Department of Justice. George earned a JD from the University of Oregon School of Law and an undergraduate degree in human biology from Stanford University.
5. Jason Lee
Attorney, Kim & Chang
University of California, Irvine
Jason Lee is an Attorney for Kim & Chang. He first joined the firm in 2012. Kim & Chang is Korea’s largest and most specialized law firm with a premier global practice. Since 1973, they continue to advise the world’s leading companies and financial institutions. Based in Seoul, they are a full-service law firm with over 1,500 dedicated professionals, including Korean, Chinese, American, French, British, and other European-licensed lawyers, tax lawyers, patent and trademark attorneys, accountants, and other subject matter and industry experts.
Previously, Lee was an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel and before that, an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Earlier in his career, he worked with Salomon Smith Barney as an associate for investment banking. Lee earned a JD from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California, Irvine.
6. Tom Hastings
Attorney Advisor, Federal Communications Commission
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tom Hastings is an Attorney Advisor for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is an independent United States government agency established by the Communications Act of 1934. They are charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Hastings has over 17 years of experience. He began his career in 2005.
Before joining the FCC, Hastings was an associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, and before that, a regulatory associate at Omnispace. Earlier in his career, he worked with Content House as an executive. Hastings graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law with a JD and from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in economics.
17. Marisa Chaves
Senior Attorney, Morgan Lewis & Bockius
The University of Texas at Austin
Marisa Chaves began her professional career over 23 years ago. Today, she is a Senior Attorney with Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Morgan Lewis is recognized for exceptional client service, legal innovation, and commitment to its communities. Their global depth reaches across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, with the collaboration of more than 2,200 lawyers and specialists who provide elite legal services across industry sectors for multinational corporations to startups around the world.
Chaves first got her start in 1999 as a litigation assistant at Scott, Douglas, & McConnico. From there, she went on to Crosby & Rowell before eventually rising to become a senior counsel at Vasquez Estrada & Conway, her most recent position prior to joining Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Chaves graduated from Boston University School of Law with a JD and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in psychology.
25. Ariel Fliman
Attorney, Weil Gotshal & Manges
Ariel Fliman is an Attorney with Weil Gotshal & Manges. Founded in 1931, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has been a preeminent provider of legal services for the past 90 years. With approximately 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents, Weil has been a pioneer in establishing a geographic footprint that has allowed the firm to partner with clients wherever they do business. The firm’s four departments including corporate, litigation, restructuring and tax, executive compensation and benefits, and more than two dozen practice groups are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields.
Previously, Fliman was an attorney for product development at QBE North America and before that he co-founded A&B American Style where he served as the general counsel. Earlier in his career, he worked as an associate editor. Fliman earned a JD in law from Emory University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Northwestern University.
26. Drilona Breçani
Senior Associate Attorney, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP
Drilona Breçani is a Senior Associate Attorney at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP in their New York City office. With 56 offices located around the globe, Fragomen is the premier and largest immigration law firm in the world. Founded in 1951, Fragomen represents a broad range of companies, organizations, and individuals to facilitate the transfer of employees worldwide. Fragomen’s services include: immigration compliance services, corporate immigration program development, immigration work permit and business visa services, consular services, employment verification services, and government advisory services. An Am Law 100 and Global 100 firm, Fragomen’s professionals are respected thought leaders in the immigration field. The firm employs more than 4,300 immigration professionals and support staff across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and EMEA. Fragomen has been recognized as 2022 “Law Firm of the Year” for Immigration Law.
Drilona is admitted to the Bar in New York and joined Fragomen in 2017 where she currently represents multinational corporate clients in the financial services industry on all aspects of corporate U.S. immigration, including nonimmigrant visas, permanent residence, immigration compliance and immigration program management. Previously, Drilona was an Associate Attorney - Manager at EY Law LLP affiliated with Ernst & Young LLP in Canada and an Associate Attorney at Jeffries & Corigliano LLP, a boutique immigration firm in New York City. Drilona earned a JD from The Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Italian from Georgetown University. During law school Drilona worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and prior to law school, Drilona was a litigation paralegal with Dechert LLP and Merrill Lynch. Drilona was born and raised in Albania and is fluent in English, Albanian, and Italian.
32. Kevin Passerini
Lawyer, Blank Rome LLP
University of Virginia
Kevin Passerini is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Blank Rome LLP. Passerini received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 2002 and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2006. Over the last 15 years at Blank Rome, Passerini has built a strong practice focused on the protection of trade secrets, the implementation and enforcement of restrictive covenants in the employment and M&A contexts, lateral recruiting, and disputes between competitors arising out of corporate raiding and other forms of unfair competition. Passerini has served as a Career Development Advisor to multiple associates and regularly comments on legal developments, including publications in Bloomberg Law, Law360, The Legal Intelligencer, and the Employee Benefit Plan Review, among others, and frequent seminar and webinar presentations.
Blank Rome is an Am Law 100 firm with 14 offices and more than 600 attorneys and principals who provide comprehensive legal and advocacy services to clients operating in the U.S. and around the world. Blank Rome’s professionals have built a reputation for their leading knowledge and experience across a spectrum of industries. Since its inception, Blank Rome’s culture has been dedicated to providing top-level service to clients and has been rooted in the strength of its diversity and inclusion initiatives, and it has long been recognized for its pro bono commitments.
37. Derek Wetmore
Attorney, Paul Hastings
University of Virginia
Derek Wetmore began his professional career over 18 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney with Paul Hastings. At Paul Hastings, their purpose is to help their clients and people navigate new paths to growth. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., Paul Hastings is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative global law firms. Its winning approach is anchored in its culture of collaboration and collegiality, and in always harnessing the insights of its diverse team to get to the best solutions. They attract and promote extraordinary talent, preeminent partners in their fields who are energetic, dynamic, and who share their commitment to their clients.
Wetmore first got his start in 2004 as a summer litigation clerk at Husch Blackwell. From there, he went on to NewFields, before eventually rising to become a senior associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, his most recent position prior to joining Paul Hastings. Wetmore graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law with a JD and from Emory University with an undergraduate degree.
40. Paul Do
Attorney, Clark Hill
University of California, Berkeley
Paul Do is an Attorney with Clark Hill. Clark Hill offers their clients an exceptional team, dedicated to the delivery of outstanding service. With locations spanning across the United States, Ireland, and Mexico, they work in agile, collaborative teams, partnering with clients to help them reach and exceed their business goals. Do represents clients in commercial general liability, product liability, and class action litigation. He assists his clients in all phases of litigation and alternative dispute resolution at state and federal levels. He has successfully defended clients and achieved favorable results via dispositive motions, arbitration, mediation, and settlement negotiations. Do has substantial experience that covers defending clients in catastrophic accident, toxic tort, construction defect, and medical malpractice litigation.
Prior to joining Clark Hill, Do was an independent contract attorney for over 10 years. Previously, he was an associate at Tribler Orpett & Meyer, McKenna Storer, and Pugh, Jones & Johnson. He first got his start in 2004 as an associate with Patton & Ryan. Do graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a JD and an undergraduate degree in political science and government.
42. Patrick Quine
Corporate Lawyer, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
University of Notre Dame
Patrick Quine is a Corporate Attorney at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, a full-service law firm with offices in 15 cities worldwide. Quine specializes in merger and acquisition transactions representing private equity firms, public and private companies, founders, and family-owned businesses in various industries including consumer goods, food services, aerospace and defense, technology, and financial services. Quine is a trusted advisor to his clients and proactively helps them find solutions rather than problems.
Patrick earned his JD at Georgetown University Law Center and his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame.
44. Marva Brown
Senior Trial Attorney, The Legal Aid Society
Columbia University in the City of New York
Marva Brown is a Senior Trial Attorney with The Legal Aid Society. The Legal Aid Society is built on one simple but powerful belief: that no person should be denied the right to equal justice. The Legal Aid Society is the nation's oldest and largest provider of legal services to the indigent. Founded in 1876, the Society provides a full range of civil legal services as well as criminal defense work, and juvenile rights representation in Family Court. Their core service is to provide free legal assistance to New Yorkers who live at or below the poverty level and cannot afford to hire a lawyer when confronted with a legal problem. Brown has over 14 years of experience. She began her career in 2008.
Brown graduated from Cardozo School of Law with a JD and from Columbia University in the City of New York with an undergraduate degree in African American and Black studies.
50. Chelsea Mikulencak
Research Attorney, Jackson Walker
The University of Texas at Austin
Chelsea Mikulencak is a Research Attorney with Jackson Walker. She first joined the firm in 2021. Jackson Walker is a Texas-based law firm with a national presence and global reach. With more than 400 attorneys, they are one of the largest firms in the state and provide comprehensive services in a broad range of practice areas. At the same time, by keeping their offices in Texas, they provide excellent value for clients and maintain the nimbleness to adapt to their needs.
Previously, Mikulencak was an assistant city attorney for the City of San Antonio and before that, a law clerk and attorney at Joshua Graham & Associates. Earlier in her career, she worked with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as a writing consultant. Mikulencak earned a JD from Texas A&M University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in English language and literature from The University of Texas at Austin.
51. Ken Gish
Renewable Energy & Sustainability Lawyer, K&L Gates
Ken Gish began his professional career over 27 years ago. Today, he is a Renewable Energy and Sustainability Lawyer with K&L Gates. At K&L Gates, they foster an inclusive and collaborative environment across their fully integrated global platform that enables them to diligently combine the knowledge and expertise of their lawyers and policy professionals to create teams that provide exceptional client solutions.
Gish first got his start in 1995 as a naval officer in the U.S. Navy. He previously served as an environmental and energy attorney at Stites & Harbison, his most recent position prior to joining K&L Gates. Gish graduated from the University of Michigan Law School with a JD and from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in government.
62. Joshua Ferrentino
Attorney, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Joshua Ferrentino is an Attorney for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He first joined the firm in 2020. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. FERC also regulates natural gas and hydropower projects. Their mission is to assist consumers in obtaining reliable, safe, secure, and economically efficient energy services at a reasonable cost through appropriate regulatory and market means, and collaborative efforts.
Previously, Ferrentino was a counsel at Corr Cronin, and before that, an assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorneys' Office, Western District of Washington. Earlier in his career he worked with the Federal Trade Commission as an honors paralegal specialist. Ferrentino earned a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and an undergraduate degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.
64. Ken Levinson
Attorney, Fredrikson & Byron
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ken Levinson began his professional career over 32 years ago. Today, he is an Attorney with Fredrikson & Byron. At Fredrikson & Byron, they've built a reputation as the firm “where law and business meet” by bringing business acumen and entrepreneurial thinking to their work with clients, and by operating as business advisors and strategic partners as well as legal counselors.
In 1990, Levinson served as a vice president with Northwest Airlines. From there, he went on to KPMG US, before eventually rising to become a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, his most recent position prior to joining Fredrikson & Byron. Levinson graduated from George Washington University
66. Todd Henderson
General Attorney, U.S. Small Business Administration
Todd Henderson began his professional career over 15 years ago. Today, he is a General Attorney for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Created in 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to help small business owners and entrepreneurs pursue the American dream. As the nation's only go-to resource and voice for small businesses, the SBA provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise so businesses can confidently start, grow, expand, or recover.
Henderson first got his start in 2007 as a paralegal specialist at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. From there, he went on to Faruqi & Faruqi before eventually rising to become an associate attorney at Bragar Eagel & Squire, his most recent position prior to joining the SBA. Henderson graduated from Brooklyn Law School with a JD in business law and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in American studies and film.
75. Cristina Covarrubias
Trial Attorney, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Cristina Covarrubias began her professional career over 17 years ago. Today, she is a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The mission of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation. They are guided in the service of their unique mission by their core values of commitment, forward-thinking, teamwork, and clarity.
Covarrubias first got her start in 2005 as a project assistant at Jenner & Block. From there, she went on to Winston & Strawn before eventually returning to Jenner & Block to become an associate, her most recent position prior to joining the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Covarrubias graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with a JD and from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in government.
82. Jennifer Jovcevski
Corporate Attorney, Nixon Peabody
Florida State University
Jennifer Jovcevski is a Corporate Attorney for Nixon Peabody. At Nixon Peabody, they create a positive impact for their clients, their communities, their people, and their firm. They deliver exceptional service, building and preserving trust while fostering a culture of collaboration, respect, and diversity. Deep industry knowledge, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit fuel creative solutions to the most complex legal problems. Jovcevski has over 14 years of experience. She began her career in 2008.
Before joining Nixon Peabody, Jovcevski was a senior associate at Boylan Code and before that, an associate attorney at Osborn Reed & Burke. Earlier in her career she worked with Teach for America as a third-grade teacher. Jovcevski graduated from Syracuse University with a JD and an MA in cultural foundations of education, and from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in communication studies.
92. Libby O'Neill
Attorney, Loeb & Loeb
Libby O'Neill is an Attorney with Loeb & Loeb. She first joined the firm in 2015. Loeb & Loeb is a premier law firm focused on helping organizations and individuals innovate, grow, and evolve in a changing world. Their market-leading practice and industry teams deliver practical insight and strategic solutions in complex deals, high profile disputes, cutting-edge regulatory issues, and other matters critical to their clients’ success.
Previously, O'Neill was an attorney at Pattishall McAuliffe and before that a literary agent at InkWell Management. Earlier in her career she worked with William Morris Agency as a literary assistant. O'Neill earned a JD from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and an undergraduate degree in English language and literature from Yale University.