Tracy McCreight is a litigation partner at Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC. Her primary practice is commercial litigation, on both sides of the docket, and she also handles commercial construction disputes.
She is a 2002 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (with honors) and has a B.A. from the University of Maryland at College Park. Tracy has an 12-year old son and a 3-year old daughter.
Sarah Glaser is an employment lawyer, providing proactive and cost-effective representation to employers. In addition to preventative counseling and conducting workplace investigations, Sarah is a litigator who represents employers in courts and in front of administrative agencies. She also enjoys assisting executives in negotiating employment agreements.
Her son Oliver, two dogs, and husband fill most of her time outside the office, but she still finds a way to get outside and enjoy the Greenbelt and the rest of Austin’s parks and trails.
Immediate Past President
Danielle Ahlrich is a partner at Martens, Todd, Leonard & Ahlrich. She represents clients in state tax controversies with the Texas Comptroller, primarily concerning sales tax and franchise tax. Danielle assists clients with audits, challenging assessments, and seeking refunds of overpaid tax before the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, state district court, and the courts of appeal.
Danielle obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and her law degree from Baylor Law School. Danielle enjoys Pilates, trying new restaurants, and exploring Austin with her family.
April Lucas is a civil litigation partner at McGinnis, Lochridge, & Kilgore, LLP. She has practiced at McGinnis Lochridge since 2005, after working as briefing attorney to Justice David Puryear at the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas. April’s civil litigation practice includes commercial, contract, and business disputes, trust and family disputes and probate suits, oil and gas, and occasional personal injury or wrongful death matters. A large portion of her practice is dedicated to fiduciary litigation, including defending attorneys against legal malpractice claims.
April practices in federal and state courts throughout Texas and the Fifth Circuit and often handles clients’ disputes through arbitration and mediation. She also enjoys appellate work and has handled briefing, argument, emergency motions, and mandamus matters in a variety of appellate courts.
April is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a member of the Order of the Coif, and a proud member of the fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2001. Although a devoted Aggie (and former resident of Lechner, Keathley, Hart, and Santa Chiara), she fails to follow collegiate sports closely and will be unable to keep up if you attempt to engage her in football banter. She grew up in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
April enjoys her family, horse, and dog. She also used to read a fair bit, before the law came along.
Lea Brigtsen is a civil litigation associate at Hunton & Williams LLP. Lea has practiced at Hunton since 2009, after working as an associate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP in Austin, Texas. Lea’s commercial litigation practice includes contract cases, business disputes, and environmental cases.
Lea also consistently takes on a number of pro bono cases a year to assist those who would otherwise have to represent themselves in the confusing world of law. Lea’s pro bono cases vary greatly, from cases dealing with obtaining asylum to assisting with an individual in defending an eviction from a trailer park. Around Hunton’s Austin office, Lea is known as a specialist in trailer park and towing cases. All the sexy areas of law.
As a board member of Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Lea has met so many extraordinary women and has really enjoyed broadening her circle of friends and colleagues. She is also a member of Austin Young Lawyers’ Association and the Austin Bar Association. Through AYLA and the Austin Bar, Lea served as a member of the Leadership Academy Class of 2013.
Lea is a proud University of Texas graduate where she went for her undergrad, masters, and law school. Burnt orange through and through. Lea also enjoys serving as an advisor to the University of Texas’ Chi Omega sorority. During her free time, Lea loves running Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake) with her dog, hanging with her husband, and eating at all the amazing local restaurants that have made Austin so special.
Adriana Reyes focuses her practice on corporate and investment-based immigration law. She advises foreign entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers and professionals in general immigration matters and investors in the EB-5 immigrant investor program. As part of her practice, she works alongside tax and estate planning attorneys to counsel high net worth individuals on comprehensive cross-border investment and immigration planning. She also provides pro-bono legal services to victims of domestic violence through Volunteer Legal Services of Texas. Adriana is licensed in Texas and Mexico and holds an LL.M. degree from The University of Texas School of Law. During her spare time, Adriana enjoys exploring the Austin trails.
Shelby O’Brien is a partner at Enoch Kever PLLC where her practice focuses on civil litigation and appeals. Before joining Enoch Kever, Shelby served as a staff attorney at the Texas Supreme Court. In addition to serving on the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association Board of Directors, Shelby serves on the Austin Bar Association Civil Appellate Section’s Governing Council and the Austin Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Committee. Shelby received her J.D. with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland. She is board certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Membership Co-Chair and TCWLF Liaison
Jessica L. Mangrum is a partner with Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. She is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Construction Law. Jessica’s practice includes commercial and business litigation across the state. Her docket includes products liability, professional liability, personal injury, and construction cases. Jessica also has trial and arbitration experience, including in personal injury, DTPA, construction, and contract disputes.
Jessica is the Membership Co-Chair for the Travis County Women Lawyers Association and Chair of the Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation. She is a former board member of the Austin Young Lawyers Association and the Austin Bar Association.
Jessica is a Barrister in the Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, which she joined in 2009. Jessica has served on the City of Austin’s Building and Standards Commission since October 2014. She supports Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, providing advice at VLS clinics and handling pro bono cases and she also volunteers with Meals on Wheels of Central Texas.
Lauren Ybarra is an associate at Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. Her practice focuses on handling corporate regulatory and transactional matters, with a particular emphasis on insurance companies. Ms. Ybarra has successfully led and managed complex regulatory and compliance issues for insurance companies in Texas and on a national basis.
Lauren enjoys kickboxing, fishing with her dad, and spending time outdoors with her dog, Mouse.
Ashley Thomas is an employment law attorney at Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C.
Ashley’s practice focuses on providing practical advice and assistance to employers on daily employment matters such as interviewing, hiring, firing, disciplining, training, investigating, and drafting and implementing workplace policies. She also defends employers in courts, before state and federal agencies, and at arbitration and mediation in workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation claims, wage-and-hour, and other employment-related claims. In addition to being a member of the firm’s Employment Law Practice Group, she is also a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, where she represents clients in all aspects of litigation.
In law school, Ashley was a member of the American University International Law Review and the Legislation and Policy Brief. She also worked as a legal intern for The Honorable Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining Lloyd Gosselink, Ashley worked as a key staff member in the Texas House of Representatives during the 80th, 81st, and 83rd legislative sessions.
When not in the office, you can find Ashley enjoying Austin’s live music scene, cheering on her Texas Longhorns, or volunteering with Meals on Wheels.
Emily Morris assists individuals and small to medium sized business owners with their transactional and real estate needs. Her work includes entity formation, contracts negotiation, acquisitions, employment issues, intellectual property issues, commercial leases, and the purchase or sale of real property. She has assisted businesses in many different industries, including oil & gas, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, and professional services. Emily draws on her background in marketing and business administration when guiding business clients through the legal process in order to help achieve their company vision. In addition to being licensed to practice law by the State of Texas, Emily received FINRA Series 6 and 65 licenses in 2015 and 2013, respectively.
Emily received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Louisiana State University and Juris Doctor from Tulane University before returning home to Texas. She also spent a semester studying international corporate law at the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark, during her final year of law school. During her free time, Emily enjoys singing soprano with Chorus Austin, watching football and baseball, and exploring Austin’s green spaces and live music scene with her husband Andy.
Liz has guided hundreds of families through the estate planning process, serving as their trusted advisor to bring peace of mind to their lives. As a wife, mother, and business owner, she understands how overwhelming an estate plan can feel. As an attorney, she knows just how important it is to have that plan in place. Liz is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, and estate administration. She received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Psychology and Religion with a concentration in Human Rights from Barnard College of Columbia University and her J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. Liz and her family enjoy going on walks around their Northwest Austin neighborhood, traveling around the world, spending time with friends and family, and watching sports, including the Texas Longhorns, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs.
Mentoring Program Co-Chair
Sherine Elizabeth Thomas is the Executive County Attorney at the Travis County’s Attorney’s Office. Although Sherine litigates cases filed against and on behalf of Travis County, its elected officials and employees in state and federal court at both the trial court and the appellate levels, she also oversees and coordinates with all six civil litigation and transactional divisions of the County Attorney’s Office. She assists in developing and managing policy and the budget for the office. In her appellate practice, Sherine has presented oral argument to various state and federal courts of appeals, including the Supreme Court of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her practice areas have included employment law, civil rights, personal injury and condemnation, elections, and land use.
When Hamilton Pool was polluted by developers, Sherine took the lead for Travis County in negotiating a collective settlement totaling $3.5 million dollars with almost $2.1 dollars going to Travis County. Not only is this the highest settlement amount received by Travis County for an environmental case of this kind, this settlement allowed for an unprecedented cleanup of the creek and Hamilton Pool. Most recently, Sherine was recognized as the 2016 Civil Practitioner of the Year by the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and with Government Services Award by Travis County Women Lawyers Association.
She is special instructor for The University of Texas Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program. She is on the board of several professional organizations and community non-profits, with an emphasis on women’s issues.
Mentoring Program Co-Chair
Jane Atwood is a former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas where she represented various state agencies in state and federal court litigation for over 20 years. In that role she managed the enforcement section of the Environmental Protection Division.
Jane obtained her law degree for the University of Texas School of Law and has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. She is currently enjoying a sabbatical from her law practice and acting as chief transportation officer for her her 13-year-old daughter.
Stephanie Allen is a Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor with Argent Trust Company in Austin, providing fiduciary and wealth management services to wide range of customers. Stephanie previously worked in trust administration at Frost Bank and prior to that practiced law in the areas of estate planning and probate. Stephanie received her J.D. from Regent Law, an L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of Alabama, and a Bachelor of Science from Southwestern Assembly of God University, where her studies were concentrated in vocal and sacred music (her husband of 14 years might have been her music theory professor, but he was a very young professor). She enjoys cooking, traveling, doing almost anything creative, and most of all spending time with her hubby and two “intentional mutts”, Mozart (a toy schnoodle) and Gretchen (a toy shih-poo).
Emily Franco practices estate planning and probate law at The Blum Firm. She advises families, professionals, and businesses in the areas of asset protection, estate and tax planning, business planning, estate administration and probate. Emily received her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, and earned a B.A. in psychology cum laude from Rice University.
Bar Outreach Liaison
Jeana Patel is a Director of Legal Recruitment at Special Counsel. Originally from California, Jeana is licensed in both California and Texas and practiced primarily family law and business litigation in both Southern California and Austin before joining Special Counsel as a legal recruiter. She recruits and places candidates to fill temporary, temporary to hire, and direct hire attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professional positions for a variety of law firms and corporate clients in the Greater Austin area. Jeana also frequently works with law firms and corporations to ensure their staffing, recruiting, and employment needs are met.
Jeana obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego and her JD from California Western School of Law. Jeana is also a member of the Austin Young Lawyers Association and the Austin Bar Association, and served as a member of the AYLA 2017 Leadership Academy Class. In addition to serving on the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association Board of Directors, Jeana also serves on the South Asian Bar Association Board of Directors. In her free time Jeana enjoys traveling and trying new restaurants around Austin.
Community Outreach Chair
Jennifer Hopgood is an assistant attorney general in the Financial Litigation and Charitable Trusts Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas. She represents the State of Texas in litigation, including bond validation matters, and various agencies including the Department of Insurance and the Comptroller of Public Accounts in insurance and financial litigation. Jennifer also served as a staff attorney for the Honorable Bob Pemberton at the Third Court of Appeals. Prior to her legal career, she taught for eleven years in the Eanes school district, primarily teaching sixth grade English.
Jennifer received her B.A. in Japanese studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. She also serves on the board of the Austin Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section as a CLE co-chair.
As the Community Outreach Chair, Jennifer promotes the involvement of TCWLA in various community events including the Color of Justice program and the Women’s Resource Fair. The Color of Justice program was started ten years ago by the Honorable Orlinda Naranjo. Each April, minority middle and high school students attend a half-day program where judges and area attorneys share their personal experiences and advise the students about preparing for college and graduate school. The Women’s Resource Fair, held annually in late spring, is a comprehensive all-day program that provides a variety of free resources, including legal assistance, medical care and mental health services, job skills and educational counseling, social services, financial counseling, haircuts, a clothing closet, childcare, and breakfast and lunch.
Amie Rodnick graduated from UT law and has been licensed since 1979. She has been in private practice since 1984, specializing in using alternative dispute resolution techniques in her family law practice, such as mediation and collaborative law. She is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a Distinguished Credentialed Mediator by the TMCA and a senior fellow in the Texas College of Collaborative Law. She has served on the TCWLA Scholarship Fund since its inception in 1983 and currently serves as president. She is a former chair of the Family law Section of the Austin Bar Association and currently serves on several local and national nonprofit boards.