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  • PRESS RELEASE: Mentorship Committee hosts Women’s History Month service day, Get Into the Legal Loop, awards Law Preview Scholarship

PRESS RELEASE: Mentorship Committee hosts Women’s History Month service day, Get Into the Legal Loop, awards Law Preview Scholarship

13 Mar 2024 10:24 PM | Anonymous

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, Queen’s Bench Bar Association celebrated Women’s History Month with the post-pandemic return of its annual service day, Get Into the Legal Loop (GILL), at Apple Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA. More than 30 legal professionals were in attendance among nearly 100 attendees. As Queen’s Bench Mentorship Committee (QBMC) co-chairs, Queen’s Bench Secretary Alexandra Sepolen and Linda Anderson welcomed college and law students from underrepresented backgrounds to learn more about pathways into the legal profession. 


History of GILL

Support from Queen’s Bench to host GILL first came from Hana Hardy (Queen’s Bench Past President 2019), who galvanized support from local community partners and law student leaders to host an event informing college students about pathways into the legal profession. The first GILL event was hosted shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic and received a positive reception from local students and attorneys practicing in the Bay Area.

In the early stages of planning the event, QBMC worked alongside Hana Hardy and 2018 Rookie Award recipient Heather Fuchs (Santa Clara Law JD’19). Both Hana Hardy and Heather Fuchs were instrumental in both planning the original event as well as providing guidance on GILL’s post-pandemic relaunch. “Receiving support from a Past President like Hana and a fellow Rookie Award recipient like Heather enabled QBMC to learn more about the strategies that made GILL such a huge success,” commented Alexandra Sepolen. “Their level of support for GILL exemplifies the Queen’s Bench spirit of uplifting and helping others succeed,” remarked Linda Anderson.


Panel Recap

The first half of the event was comprised of an attorney panel moderated by Alexandra Sepolen featuring the following panelists:

  • Elizabeth Miles Waring, Senior Legal Director for iTunes, Apple Music, Apple TV, Fitness+, and Apple Media Services International at Apple;

  • Liz Sanchez Santiago, Associate Attorney at Cooley LLP;

  • Administrative Law Judge Dorothy Chou Proudfoot from the San Francisco Rent Board;

  • Kristen Rovai, Associate Attorney at Fenwick & West; and

  • Michèle M. Bissada, Partner at Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP & Certified Family Law Specialist.

A photograph of the Get Into the Legal Loop 2024 Panelists and Queen’s Bench Mentorship Committee Co-Chairs; from left to right, Linda Anderson, Mentorship Committee Co-Chair; Michèle Bissada; Elizabeth Miles Waring, Liz Sanchez Santiago; Administrative Law Judge Dorothy Chou Proudfoot; Kristen Rovai; and Alexandra Sepolen, Secretary and Mentorship Committee Co-Chair.

A photograph of the Get Into the Legal Loop 2024 Panelists and Queen’s Bench Mentorship Committee Co-Chairs; from left to right, Linda Anderson, Mentorship Committee Co-Chair; Michèle Bissada; Elizabeth Miles Waring; Liz Sanchez Santiago; Administrative Law Judge Dorothy Chou Proudfoot; Kristen Rovai; and Alexandra Sepolen, Secretary and Mentorship Committee Co-Chair

Panelists shared how they found their passion for the law, as well as strategies to acquire useful skills in law school that are transferable to the practice of law. Panelists also encouraged students to find opportunities to explore practice areas and settings aligned with their interests. When asked to reflect on the panel, QBMC Co-Chair Linda Anderson remarked, “Had I not already been a practicing attorney, I would have been inspired to pursue a legal career after attending the panel.”


Networking Reception

After the panel event, students joined legal professionals for a lively networking reception, featuring interactive activities to educate students about various legal careers while helping them identify potential mentors. Students participated in GILL Bingo for a chance to win prizes. Queen’s Bench law student member Saamia Haqiq (UC Law SF JD’26) won this year’s bingo competition.

A photograph of Saamia Haqiq (UC Law SF JD’26) with her winning bingo card from the GILL networking reception


Launch of Inaugural Law Preview Scholarship Program

GILL also marked the launch of the Mentorship Committee’s inaugural scholarship program, the Queen’s Bench/BARBRI Law Preview Scholarship. The Law Preview Scholarship is awarded to a college senior who is entering their first year of law school and is from an underrepresented group in the legal profession. Law Preview Scholars are able to attend BARBRI’s Law Preview summer program

QBMC’s first Law Preview Scholar is Grace Carter (Stanford ‘24). Grace studies Psychology and Linguistics and was accepted into Stanford Law School’s Class of 2027. She is a 2023 Truman Scholar, a fellow with Stanford’s Constitutional Law Center, and the former Vice President of Stanford Natives in Pre-Law. Grace is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and looks forward to exploring federal Indian law, administrative law, and environmental law at SLS. 

A photograph of the GILL 2024 Panelists and Mentorship Committee Chairs announcing the Law Preview Scholarship; from left to right, Michèle Bissada, Liz Sanchez Santiago, Law Preview Scholar Grace Carter, and Mentorship Committee Co-Chairs Alexandra Sepolen & Linda Anderson

After learning that she is now a Law Preview Scholar, Grace stated, “I am so honored to receive the Queen’s Bench/BARBRI Law Preview Scholarship! I am grateful for this opportunity to enter law school prepared for my 1L year and beyond, and I am excited to see what doors this scholarship opens for my next season of life.”


Return of the Law Student Liaison Program

QBMC also announced the relaunch of the Law Student Liaison Program, inviting rising 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls to apply for the year-long program promoting the development of leadership skills among the next generation of Bay Area lawyers. Liaisons are held to high academic standards and represent various law schools throughout the Bay Area. Each student selected for the program is also charged with completing a year-long capstone project related to the mission and goals of Queen’s Bench. 

Queen’s Bench Secretary and QBMC Co-Chair Alexandra Sepolen was elated to announce the return of the program. “As a GILL alumna and former law student liaison, I am proud that this program is returning to Queen’s Bench. The Liaison Program enabled me to connect with Queen’s Bench members who remain my mentors to this day. I am eager to see which projects this year’s liaison class chooses to work on, and QBMC looks forward to supporting this year’s class.”

Applications for the Law Student Liaison Program are now open and close on Friday, March 22nd. Selected liaisons will receive notice via email by the end of March and will be announced at this year’s Past Presidents’ Dinner on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, at Fang Restaurant in San Francisco.


Looking to the Future

“We look forward to GILL returning as an annual event,” said Linda Anderson. “Our committee values the importance of providing opportunities for aspiring lawyers from diverse backgrounds to connect with potential mentors who can nurture their excitement for legal practice,” remarked Alexandra Sepolen.

Queen’s Bench members interested in joining QBMC or learning more about future mentoring events can contact co-chairs Alexandra Sepolen and Linda Anderson at asepolen@fkkblaw.com and landerson@fkkblaw.com. Queen’s Bench also thanks Administrator Ashley Knies and photographer Jesus Leyva for their phenomenal work as our bar association’s on-site team at the event.

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