Click for Barristers/Young Attorneys Section Newsletter Online Version
MARCH 2021
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Social Media
Section Spotlight
Barristers Spotlights
Get Involved


Barristers/ Young Attorneys Newsletter

Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee Officers:

Sharon G. Gelbart, President
Diana A. Sanders, Immediate Past President
Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, President-Elect
Anne Nash, Vice-President
J.D. Rees, Assistant Vice President of Outreach
Janette Blair, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations
Melissa Hailey, Assistant Vice President of Special Events
Nick Spear, Secretary
Social Media

To stay connected with us and receive information about events, updates and opportunities, follow us on the following social media forums:

  • Instagram: Follow @lacbabarristers
  • Twitter: Be one of the first to follow @LACBAbarristers
  • Facebook: Like our page @lacbabarristers
  • LinkedIn: Connect with us. Group Name: Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association (
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Event Review—Federal Judicial Clerkship Event

On March 3, the Law Student Outreach and Bench and Bar Committees of the Barristers/Young Attorneys Section co-hosted a panel event on Federal Judicial Clerkships. A role that many are unaware of when entering law school, this program focused on providing law students and young attorneys with more information on life in the federal judiciary. The joint event featured a stellar group of incredibly accomplished young attorneys who are all currently clerking, or have previously clerked, in the United States Bankruptcy, Magistrate, District, or Circuit courts. The panelists shared their insights, rooted in their diverse personal experiences, on three key topics: (1) what is a federal judicial clerkship; (2) how to best prepare an application; and (3) how to be a successful law clerk. The Committees are incredibly thankful to the panelists: Sarah Xiyi Chen, Brad Barnhardt, Nour Hamida, and Jena MacCabe for spending an evening speaking about their life-changing clerkship opportunities and providing their candid advice on how to best prepare, apply, and succeed in these roles. A special thank you to the panel moderator, Michelle Arra, and Todd Berman, Harmony Gbe, and the rest of the Committee members for their efforts in making this event a true success! For an opportunity to connect with esteemed judges and network with other young attorneys, be on the lookout for updates about the Bench and Bar Committee's upcoming virtual mixer on May 20, 2021.

Be on the lookout for news on our upcoming spring events, including:

  • But First, Unmute Yourself: Guerrilla Tactics for Virtual Lawyering, a Barristers' Networking Affair (March 18, 2021 6-7:30pm)
  • Virtual "Brown Bag" Lunch with Judge Daniel Crowley (March 25, 2021 12-1pm)
  • Advocacy Skills Event (April 27, 2021)
  • Bench and Bar Virtual “Bench Meets Bar” Event (May 20, 2021)
  • Joint Event with Cannabis Section (May 2021)
  • Social Justice—Diversity in the Workplace (May 2021)
  • New Bar Admittees Celebration (Spring 2021)
Section Spotlight—Remedies Section

If your practice includes civil litigation and you are seeking attachment, possession, receiverships, injunctions, foreclosure on collateral, or post-judgment collection, it is likely that you are a Remedies attorney. Securing a judgment and collecting a judgment are two of the most critical aspects of a lawsuit, and without these remedies, a win for your client may still be a hollow victory.

LACBA’s Remedies Section keeps you on top of new rules, regulations, and laws affecting your practice through email announcements, and also provides an email-based forum where Section members communicate seeking and giving relevant advice.

The Section regularly hosts MCLE events with panelists including sitting judges, corporate counsel, and outstanding practitioners. There is no better forum than Remedies to develop your knowledge in this area of law!

Visit the Remedies Section webpage HERE or contact Kasun Wijeyewickrema, the Section’s BYA Liaison, at for more information.

Barristers Spotlights

Meet Your BYA Executive Committee

Alison Spirito photo

Alison Spirito is a family law attorney and mediator at McGaughey & Spirito, a law firm in Redondo Beach, California. She handles a variety of family law matters, including divorce, parentage, high-net-worth asset division, custody, and support.

Alison enjoys working with families, and learning about her clients’ children, relationships, and financial goals. What she quickly learned from litigating divorces and custody cases is that the adversarial court model is not working for most families. Alison’s practice is centered around family peacemaking and putting children first. She believes that court-free processes like mediation and collaborative divorce are transforming the way families work through disputes and empowering clients to design their own futures, where customized solutions, client convenience, and choice are paramount.

Alison is an Executive Committee member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA)’s Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, where she serves as co-chair of the Membership Committee and liaison to LACBA’s Family Law Section. Alison is also a board member of the South Bay Bar Association (SBBA) and co-chair of SBBA’s Family Law Section.

Alison is a double Trojan (Fight On!), earning her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Southern California and her J.D. from USC Gould School of Law. She loves comedies, sunny SoCal days, pizza, and most importantly, spending time with family and friends.

Member Spotlight

Michelle M. Arra photo

Michelle M. Arra is a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where she handles a variety of litigation matters across all sectors and maintains an active pro bono practice. Before joining the firm in November 2020, Michelle served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew, United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California, and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Dolly M. Gee, United States District Court Judge for the Central District of California. While at Loyola Law School, Michelle served on the Scott Moot Court Honors Board and as executive editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review.

Michelle currently sits on the Law Student Outreach Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Barristers/Young Attorneys Section. She is also a member of the Japanese American Bar Association and the Italian American Lawyers Association.

Before graduating from Loyola Law School in 2019, Michelle earned her Master of Public Administration and B.S. in Public Policy degrees from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.

In her spare time, Michelle enjoys exploring Los Angeles’s food scene, re-watching The West Wing, and cheering on her USC Trojan athletic teams. Firmly committed to raising awareness of social justice issues, Michelle recently published a piece in honor of Fred T. Korematsu Day discussing Executive Order 9066 and her family’s personal experience of being incarcerated during World War II.

Get Involved

Interested in getting more involved with the BYA Section? Connect with our AVP of Outreach J.D. Rees ( to hear about the various BYA Committees and benefits of membership. The Committees are: Bench and Bar, Law Student Outreach, Networking, Professional Development, Media and Marketing, Membership, and Counsel for Justice (CFJ). Committee descriptions can be found at

CFJ is also looking for (1) volunteers who can work remotely and conduct a telephone interview with the applicants to the domestic violence project, (2) support for its various fundraisers this year (i.e., posting, linking, and participating in) the Veteran's Project Campaign (May), AIDSWalk fundraiser (July-September), and Domestic Violence Awareness month (October), and (3) volunteers to assist with social media / marketing or grant writing. More information regarding CFJ’s projects and contact information may be found at As always, you can also support CFJ by donating here, or by simply selecting it when shopping at or Ralphs!


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