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Board of Directors

Monique N. Bhargava

Monique (Nikki) Bhargava is a Partner at Loeb & Loeb in its Advanced Media & Technology group. She advises clients in a broad spectrum of industries with respect to litigation and transactional issues concerning advertising, consumer promotions/marketing, trademark, copyright, data privacy, domain name, and other intellectual property matters. Nikki earned her J.D. from University of Illinois – College of Law and earned a B.A. in both Molecular Cell Biology (Neurobiology) and Political Science from University of California, Berkeley. She is also serves on the Board of Directors of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.


Debjani Dasgupta

Debjani Dasgupta serves as Assistant General Counsel for Litigation and Eligibility for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Prior to that, she was an Administrative Law Judge for the same agency, handling medical vendor appeals and fair hearings. Before joining HFS, Debjani served as an Assistant State's Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in the Special Prosecutions Bureau’s Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit, Juvenile Justice Bureau, and Civil Actions Bureau. She is also the current President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago. Debjani earned her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School and her B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of New Orleans.


Courtney Fong

Courtney Fong is the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Privacy Officer of CompTIA, the leading voice and advocate for the global technology ecosystem. Prior to joining CompTIA, Courtney served as General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Chief Privacy Officer for various companies in the financial services industry. Courtney is an Adjunct Professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, a recognized writer, and TEDx speaker. Courtney is a graduate of Northwestern University and received a JD and MBA from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Courtney is the Vice President for Finance and Development for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and is a board member of the NAPABA Law Foundation. He currently serves a 3-year term on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education and is the Chair of its Co-sponsorship and Diversity Subcommittees. Courtney is the Co-Chair of the Programs Committee of the ABA Section of Science and Technology Law and was previously named an ABA Business Law Fellow and an ABA YLD Scholar. He is a past president of the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, a Board Member of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago, and an Honorary Board Member of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago.


Kristy Gonowon

Kristy Michelle Gonowon is in-house counsel at Allstate Insurance in the Claim Litigation Department within the Law & Regulation division. Her current practice focuses primarily on providing oversight and approval of legal matters concerning bad faith, extra-contractual liability, excess verdict, and coverage issues. She also provides legal opinions on pending legislation for the Southern region (Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) and for the New York region. Kristy is also the department’s subject matter expert on the topics of diminished value claims by leasing companies and Medicare issues. Within the Allstate community, Ms. Gonowon is a member of the women’s affinity network and the Asian-American affinity network.

Prior to becoming in-house counsel in Allstate’s corporate offices, Ms. Gonowon was a litigator handling both insurance defense and the recovery aspect of subrogation matters on behalf of Allstate in the Chicago staff counsel office for two years. Prior to that, she was a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney for 10 years with the boutique law firm of Gonsky, Baum & Whittaker, Ltd. in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood.

Ms. Gonowon is active with the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA). She currently serves as NFALA’s Central Regional Governor and is an active member of NFALA’s In-House Counsel/Partner affinity group. Alongside her role as Central Regional Governor for NFALA, Ms. Gonowon also serves as Secretary for the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago), which is an affiliate of NFALA.

Ms. Gonowon graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Political Science and a certificate in Markets & Management. She received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.


Peter Kim

Peter Kim is a partner at Litchfield Cavo LLP. He concentrates his practice in employment matters, commercial litigation and aviation litigation claims. Peter is active in the legal and non-profit communities. He has served on executive committees, and currently serves as secretary of one of the oldest social services non-profit organization in Chicagoland. For several years now, Peter has been serving low income families and individuals through pro bono legal clinics in housing, family law, real estate and similar matters. Peter earned his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Kwanwoo Lee

Kwanwoo Lee is an associate at Marshall Gerstein, who secures patent protection for major corporations in the electrical and computer technology fields. He is also an active pro bono advocate, volunteering time with Lawyers for the Creative Arts and the Wills for Heroes Foundation. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Samera Syeda Ludwig

Samera Syeda Ludwig is a partner in the Litigation Department of Nixon Peabody LLP where she focuses on complex commercial disputes, employment discrimination and immigration. Samera also is on the Board of the Chicago High School for the Arts. Samera received her B.A. with Honors from Wesleyan University (1994) and her J.D. from Columbia Law School (1997).

Amol Parikh

Amol Parikh is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery where he concentrates his practice on intellectual property and technology litigation, counseling, and procurement. He draws on his trial and litigation experience in combination with his engineering training to quickly identify intellectual property and technology issues and works with clients to develop creative strategies to address them. He earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and was a member of the DePaul Law Review. Amol maintains a robust pro bono practice focusing on immigration and civil rights matter. In addition to his legal practice, Amol is a 2018 Fellow for the Legal Counsel on Legal Diversity and a member of the Ravinia Associates Board.

James Vergara

James Vergara is a patent attorney in Barnes & Thornburg’s intellectual property (IP) department. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications for a variety of clients, such as startups, universities, and large corporations. James also has experience in patent litigation support, freedom-to-operate analysis, and patent portfolio due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. James received his B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University and J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.


Samantha Woo

Samantha Woo is an associate in the Labor and Employment group at Jones Day, where she represents employers in connection with a wide range of employment litigation matters and labor management relations issues, including collective bargaining and unfair labor practice cases, as well as employment discrimination and wage and hour disputes. Samantha has an active pro bono practice, and also is involved in the Firm's recruiting and diversity committees. Samantha earned her J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law, her Master's in Public Health from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and her B.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.

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