Vivian M. Martinez is a second-year law student and Public Interest Scholar at LMU Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Vivian currently engages in immigration advocacy and direct representation of clients at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic. In this capacity, she also implements advocacy projects to advance the rights of immigrant communities of East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. Since 2020, Vivian has devoted her extracurricular activities to the issue areas of immigration, disability law, and LGBTQ+ rights as a member of La Raza de Loyola, and the Disability Law Society.
Vivian is passionate about pursuing a career in direct legal services after graduation. During her first-year summer, she was a Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellow at California Rural Legal Assistance, where she assisted with employment and immigration matters for LGBTQ+ rural communities in the Central Coast and Central Valley. Throughout her service, Vivian showed incredible leadership, poise, and dedication as a Fellow.
Prior to law school, Vivian was an advocate for public service organizations, such as California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, and Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice which served the Latinx community with a focus on low-income, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals and young women. Vivian intends to incorporate her experience in holistic services to uplift immigrant communities and show them that the law is not only within reach, but that they are deserving of it.
In 2017, Vivian graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and Global & International Studies.
Erin Johnston is a litigation partner in the Washington D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Ms. Johnston has represented several Fortune 500 companies and household names, helping them resolve complex business disputes in state and federal courts across the country. She has successfully handled products liability actions, contract disputes, class actions, securities and accounting fraud cases, antitrust matters, bankruptcy-related disputes, government investigations, and appeals. Ms. Johnston was recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. for General Commercial Disputes and was named a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation twice by Super Lawyers.
Ms. Johnston earned her law degree from the NYU School of Law and her B.A. cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles. In law school, Ms. Johnston interned with both the Innocence Project and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She has continued that civic commitment at Kirkland, receiving the Firm’s Pro Bono Service Award multiple times. Ms. Johnston also holds several leadership roles within the Firm, including serving as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee and the Women’s Leadership Initiative in the D.C. office, for which she was profiled in Washington Lawyer Magazine.
Marc Morial, who has been described as one of the few national leaders to possess “street smarts”, and “boardroom savvy”, is the current President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization.
He served as the highly successful and popular Mayor of New Orleans as well as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He previously was a Louisiana State Senator, and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high profile practice.
He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity.
A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non Profit Leaders by the Non Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.
Steve McManus is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for State Farm® Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Bloomington, Ill. State Farm® and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home, and individual life insurance in the United States. In this position, he has overall responsibility for the Law department, including the Corporate Law division which handles litigation, legislative and regulatory affairs, and legal counsel provided to the organization and the Claim Litigation Counsel division which provides insurance defense representation to State Farm policyholders through 38 offices around the nation.
Steve joined State Farm® in 1985 and has served in a variety of leadership positions. He assumed his current position in 2016.
A native of New Jersey, Steve received a bachelor’s degree from Kean University, an MBA from the University of Arkansas, and a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. Steve is a member of the McLean County, Illinois and New Jersey Bar Associations.
Steve presently Co-Chairs the Civil Justice Reform Group. He is a member of the National Center for State Courts General Counsel Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform Board of Directors, the Washington Legal Foundation Legal Policy Advisory Board, the Rand Institute for Civil Justice Board of Advisors, the Advisory Board to the Rand Feinberg Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation, the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors, the General Counsel 50, and the Conference Board General Counsel Leadership Network and ESG Advisory Board. Steve is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Tort Reform Association and the Heartland Community College Foundation.
James Graves, Jr. is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Prior to his federal appointment in 2011, he had been a justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Judge Graves began his legal career as a staff attorney at Central Mississippi Legal Services in 1980. He then worked in the private practice of law for three years, before returning to public service work. He served as legal counsel for both the Health Law Division and the Human Services Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. He also worked as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Mississippi and served as the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in the Mississippi Department of Human Services. In 1991, Judge Graves was appointed as a circuit court judge in Hinds County, Mississippi. He was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2001.
Judge Graves has served as a Teaching Team Member of the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School since 1998 and he has also held the position of adjunct professor at Millsaps College, Tougaloo College, and Jackson State University. He has taught courses in media law, civil rights law, and sociology of law and is a jurist-in-residence at Syracuse University School of Law.
EDUCATION: Millsaps College, B.A.; Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, M.P.A.; Syracuse University School of Law, J.D.
Michael J. Harding is a first-year law student at Villanova University where he is also a Public Interest Scholar. A native of Philadelphia, PA, his service and scholarship have taken him abroad to nearly 20 countries, including places such as Spain, Ghana, and Tanzania. He is fluent in Spanish and as a Fulbright Scholar, conducted research on the challenges of achieving transitional justice and social healing after overcoming political injustice in Santiago, Chile.
Mr. Harding has worked with Justice at Work and The Public Interest Law Center, two Philadelphia-based public interest non-profit organizations. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, he led efforts to assist low-wage, Spanish-speaking clients apply for and receive emergency housing assistance during the unprecedented public health and financial crisis. Additionally, he supported civil litigation and casework by completing client interviews and substantive legal projects in the areas of immigration, housing, and environmental justice. As a clerk this summer at Terris, Pravlik, & Millian, LLP – a small DC-based public interest law firm – Mr. Harding will contribute to its civil rights and federal environmental litigation.
Since July 2020, Mr. Harding has served as chair on the National Advisory Committee of Equal Justice Works representing the Mid-Atlantic region. He also participates in The Appellate Project’s mentorship program, which enables black and brown law students to meaningfully engage with and learn from appellate practitioners about effective advocacy in our nation’s highest courts.
Mr. Harding is guided by the belief that lawyers can be stewards of democracy by harnessing the law’s potential for goodness to ensure our lived experiences – especially those of us pushed to society’s margins – are more fair and fruitful. As an aspiring public interest lawyer and policymaker, he aims to leverage law and policy as tools for a lifetime of work committed to social and environmental justice.
Mr. Harding graduated summa cum laude from Fairfield University in 2018, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Politics.
Garry W. Jenkins is dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. His research and teaching interests are in law and philanthropy, corporate governance, and leadership studies. Prior to joining Minnesota Law, he was associate dean for academic affairs and John C. Elam/Vorys Sater Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He practiced at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City and was chief operating officer and general counsel of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. He earned a B.A. from Haverford College, a M.P.P. from Harvard Kennedy School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Upon graduation, he clerked for Judge Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Dean Jenkins currently serves on numerous nonprofit boards and committees, including the Law School Admission Council, Haverford College, and the Guthrie Theatre.
Ernest Greer is Co-President of Greenberg Traurig, an international law firm of over 2,200 attorneys in 41 locations. Ernest plays a key role in the strategic direction of the firm and firmwide day-to-day operations. Ernest is dedicated to continuing to shape the firm’s brand as a collaborative law firm providing high-quality legal work and excellent service to our clients and the communities we serve. Previously, Ernest served as Vice President of the firm, Co-Chair of the U.S. Strategic Committee, and Atlanta Managing Shareholder. During his tenure as Managing Shareholder, Ernest was instrumental in the growth and advancement of the Atlanta office.
Ernest is not just a highly-accomplished business attorney, but he is an outstanding leader and champion for his community. He uses his global position to reflect the firm’s commitment to dedicating time and talents through active involvement in communities in which they live and work. In doing so, Ernest served as the Chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 2014, where he was the first lawyer to serve in this capacity in the Chamber’s more than 100-year history. At present, he serves on the boards for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Atlanta History Center, Achieve Atlanta, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Atlanta Police Foundation. Greer also currently serves as the Director of Buckhead Coalition and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Guardsman, Inc. Ernest also currently serves as the Director of Buckhead Coalition, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Guardsman, Inc. Past board memberships include the Center for Civil & Human Rights, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, and The Carter Center’s Board of Councilors, which he joined at former President Carter’s request.
His leadership, accomplishments, and legal practice have been recognized by many industry publications and organizations, including the National Law Journal (Equality Trailblazer), Atlanta magazine (Atlanta 500 – The Most Powerful Business Leaders in Atlanta; Top 100 Attorneys in Georgia), The Atlantan (Philanthropist of the Year), Atlanta Business Chronicle (Most Admired CEO; Corporate Diversity Champion), the Daily Report (Distinguished Leader), National Bar Association (Sankofa Award), Best Lawyers in America, Chambers & Partners USA, Georgia Super Lawyers (Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia), and Georgia Trend (Legal Elite). In 2018, Ernest was inducted into the Gate City Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Jami McKeon is the Chair of Morgan Lewis. The first woman chair in the firm’s 150-year history, she was elected unanimously to a second five-year term beginning in 2019. In implementing a strategic approach focused on client needs, Jami has spearheaded large combinations that have significantly expanded the services of Morgan Lewis’s 2,000+ lawyers in 31 offices across 17 time zones. Morgan Lewis now ranks as one of the largest law firms in the United States and is among the top 25 in the world. It is the largest law firm in the world led by a woman. A signature priority for Jami has been establishing Morgan Lewis as a force for good in the communities around the world where the firm has offices. Virtually all of the firm’s lawyers devote at least 20 billable hours to pro bono matters annually. In recognizing Morgan Lewis as one of the firms on its “A-List,” The American Lawyer in 2019 cited Morgan Lewis as one of the top law firms in the United States and globally in terms of its commitment to pro bono work. In 2019, Jami named a veteran of numerous high-profile human rights cases as the firm’s first senior pro bono counsel, handling high-impact litigation on behalf of the underrepresented and disenfranchised. Under Jami’s leadership, the firm sponsors an annual Community Impact Week, hosting approximately 175 events across all offices that draw together lawyers and staff to carry out a wide variety of activities, many of them directed at improving youth education and community well-being. Jami also established and co-leads Morgan Lewis’ Racial Justice Task Force, a significant focus of which is on pro bono representations. Jami has served on several non-profit boards and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her commitment to pro bono work, including The American Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award and The United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative Award.
Joshua Medina is a Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator at the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) in Portland, Oregon, where his legal and educational initiatives advance victims’ rights nationwide. Joshua manages NCVLI’s pro bono attorney network, as well as the National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys & Advocates (NAVRA) and its resources. He collaborates with professionals throughout the country on NCVLI’s Increasing Legal Access to Rural Victims of Crime project and Rights in Systems Enforced (RISE) project. As an Equal Justice Works alum, Joshua is energized by NCVLI’s role as a training and technical assistance provider for the Crime Victims Justice Corps (CVJC), through which he supports current Equal Justice Works Fellows in their work every day. Joshua is proud to bring that same energy into his service as a member of the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors.
Joshua’s strong sense of community was instilled in him during his upbringing in Las Cruces, New Mexico, but he committed to empowering others from the moment he started working at a Legal Aid office and volunteering with immigration clinics in 2009. His experience creating policy to strengthen human and environmental rights enforcement for the Municipality of Urubamba in Peru’s Sacred Valley in 2010 fortified his determination to generate sustainable advancements towards equal access and opportunities for meaningful participation in the justice system. He remained dedicated to those principles when he first agreed to build, refine and manage community-centered immigration law projects in 2012 with the Center for NonProfit Legal Services in Medford, Oregon, and they continued to help him serve his communities as the only nonprofit immigration attorney in the state of Alabama, where he assembled and trained a network of pro bono attorneys throughout the region between 2015-2018.
He graduated from New Mexico State University in 2006 as a Presidential Scholar and the University of Oregon School of Law in 2011.