Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Andrew Villacastin graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law in 2012, and is now a litigation associate at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Andrew joined the firm after clerkships with Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before law school, Andrew served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.
Andrew cheers for the Mets, Knicks, Giants, and Rangers, and is a dim sum enthusiast.
Ariel M. Risinger
AXA XL, a division of the AXA Group
Ariel is a next-gen tech lawyer, which means she spends a lot of time thinking about and regularly speaking on artificial intelligence, biometrics, IoT devices, data and privacy. Her practice interests also include social media and advertising law. As Legal Counsel at AXA XL, Ariel supports the emerging tech development and global sourcing teams. In 2019, Ariel was recognized as a “Rising Star” in-house counsel by the First Chair Awards. Prior to joining AXA in 2018, Ariel was an Assistant Counsel as AIG supporting the travel insurance and assistance business and several social media marketing teams.
When Ariel isn’t doing the whole lawyer thing, she spends her time moving as much weight as possible aka powerlifting and hanging with her very spoiled pets, Tina Turner the Cat and Rocky the Beagle. Ariel also spends her time mentoring law students and new grads.
Ariel earned her B.A. in Art History in 2003 from Smith College and her J.D. in 2015 from Seton Hall University School of Law. During her last semester of law school, Ariel clerked at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxemburg for Judge Borg Barthet (ret.) of Malta. Prior to law school, Ariel was a litigation paralegal for eight years.
Immediate Past President
Robinson & Cole LLP
Noel Vales practices commercial real estate law at Robinson & Cole LLP in their New York City office. He is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. His professional experience includes working on commercial real estate finance transactions representing institutional lenders, the leasing of commercial office space, acquisitions/dispositions of real property and affordable housing transactions utilizing the federal low-income housing tax credit program (LIHTC). Noel has worked on many New York City transactions, as well as deals involving properties located throughout the United States. He has worked worked at various Am Law 100 law firms and also in-house at Wall Street investment banks such as Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Citi.
Noel is the Northeast Regional Governor for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and is on the board of directors of the University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Association. He is also a former treasurer and an original steering committee member of FALA New York.
Noel is a proud Bruin and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending the University of San Diego School of Law, Noel worked at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (a non-profit community service organization in Los Angeles) and at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA). During law school, he was a law clerk extern to the Honorable Robert F. Takasugi of the United States District Court, Central District of California and a summer intern to Vice Chairman Paul Igasaki of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, DC. Noel was also the recipient of law scholarships from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Philippine American Bar Association (Los Angeles), and the Japanese American Bar Association (Los Angeles).
The Legal Aid Society
Cheryl Andrada is a Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society, where she advises indigent noncitizen defendants on the immigration consequences of their criminal cases, and represents them on related immigration matters. Earlier at Legal Aid, Cheryl represented detained immigrants in removal proceedings, as part of the nation’s first public defender program in immigration court. Cheryl was previously an appellate public defender at the Center for Appellate Litigation, and a Department of Justice Honors Attorney at the San Juan Immigration Court in Puerto Rico. Cheryl received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She is a proud native of Queens, New York.
New York State Office of the Attorney General
Leslieann Cachola is the Section Chief of Tobacco Enforcement, Health Care Bureau, at the New York
State Office of the Attorney General. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and
regulatory investigations. Leslieann graduated with a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley,
and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Johan is an Associate in the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, and has litigated a wide variety of complex civil and criminal matters in both federal and state courts, including matters involving allegations of securities fraud, environmental damage, and price fixing, in all stages of litigation.
Johan also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing clients in asylum applications, housing actions, and challenges to criminal convictions. Through his pro bono practice, Johan has assisted in drafting amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts, including an amicus brief in support of affirmative action in United States v. Fisher, and in opposition to the addition of a citizenship question in Dep’t of Commerce v. New York.
Johan served as a law clerk to the Hon. Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Northern District of California. He obtained his B.A. in Classical Studies and History, summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2013. While at Columbia, he served as a managing director for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
Currently, Johan also serves as a co-chair for the Minorities in the Profession Committee of the NYC Bar Association.
Vincent J. Roldan
Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C.
Vincent Roldan is a Partner in the Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors' Rights and Banking and Financial Services practice at Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C. He has represented parties in interest in various aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, including debtors, secured lenders, noteholders, foreign and domestic trade creditors, creditors' committees, trustees, and asset purchasers. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Partner and head of the restructuring practice at a number of New York firms, and a senior associate in the New York office of DLA Piper LLP, for whom he worked for over nine years. He is a frequent speaker and writer on corporate bankruptcy, restructuring, and commercial litigation topics.
Vincent served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis M. Killian, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Florida, and interned for the Honorable Adlai S. Hardin, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York.
He is an active member of the Asian American Bar Association, and is a founding member of FALA New York, for which he has served on the Steering Committee since its inception.
Guerrero Law Firm
Rio Guerrero is renowned for over 20 years of successfully representing companies, organizations and individuals with complicated U.S. visa, work permit and green card matters. In particular, he is respected for achieving creative solutions for profoundly complex immigration cases.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has presented Attorney Guerrero with the coveted “Best Lawyers” national award. He was selected among distinguished attorneys nationwide for his long and outstanding record of success representing corporate and individual clients in matters involving U.S. immigration law. Also, Attorney Guerrero has received the “Contributions to Excellence” award from the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS), recognizing his national success as a Filipino-American attorney, and his commitment to the preservation and promotion of Filipino-American history and culture.
Deeply involved in all facets of immigration law, Mr. Guerrero is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he has served on the National Committee on Health Care Professionals. He founded and served for many years as Co-Chair of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. He has served as a member of the Corporate Immigration Committee and the U.S. Department of Labor Committee for the AILA-New York Chapter.
A distinguished Edward V. Sparer Fellow of Brooklyn Law School, Attorney Guerrero also holds one baccalaureate degree in Economics and a second in International Studies as a Dean’s Scholar of The American University of Washington D.C.
Since 2007, he has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at the City University of New York – School of Professional Studies. A sought-after speaker in his field, he frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars and other pro bono events.
Rio is a founding member of FALA New York and led the charge to form the original Steering Committee. He also served in 2015-2016 as the organization’s first president.
Anna Mercado Clark, CIPP/E
Anna Mercado Clark is a Partner at Phillips Lytle LLP, a full service law firm in the U.S. and Canada. She leads the firm’s Data Security and Privacy and e-Discovery and Digital Forensics Teams. As a former Assistant District Attorney, she also handles white collar criminal matters and investigations. She is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and led the firm’s creation and implementation of a diversity pipeline program to encourage students from underserved communities to pursue legal careers.
Ms. Clark is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. She is a member of EDRM at Duke Law, a community of technical and legal professionals who create practical resources to improve e-Discovery and information governance, including cross-border data transfers in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).
Ms. Clark obtained her B.A. in Biology from Rutgers University and J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She was named New York Metro Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2014-2018, Fordham University School of Law, Honorable Denny Chin ’78 Alumni Award for Excellence in the Legal Profession awardee for 2018, Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 17th Annual Women Worth Watching® Award recipient, and was the Pan American Concerned Citizens Action League, Woman Achiever awardee in 2010.
While in law school, she interned for the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York and received various Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition awards (Best Team, Best Oralist, Regional 2003; Finalist, National 2003; Best Brief, Finalist, Regional 2004; Best Oralist, National 2004). She also received awards for Best Brief and Best Team at the Cardozo/BMI Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition in 2004.
Ms. Clark is a founding member of FALA New York and served as its inaugural Vice President. She is a member of the Asian American Bar Association and its Trial Reenactment Team. She is also a member of the New York City Bar Association Diversity Champion Award Selection Committee.
Ms. Clark has been awarded the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) designation by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a preeminent certification for advanced concentration in European data protection laws, standards and practices.