The Board of Directors directs and manages the affairs of the Foundation and controls the disposition of its funds, primarily through grants to local non-profit organizations that protect the legal rights of women and children in Central Texas. The Board is composed of up to 14 directors. Four of these directors are permanent directors: Past President, President, and President Elect of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association and Past Chair of the Foundation. The remaining directors are non-permanent and each serve two-year terms. The officers of the Foundation are the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The current Board is:
Jessica L. Mangrum
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.
Immediate Past Chair
Sue Ayers is a partner in the trial department of Jackson Walker L.L.P. During the first several years of her law practice, Sue developed broad trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, toxic tort, and free speech, and represented the court-appointed Receiver in one of the largest Ponzi scheme cases ever filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of Jackson Walker’s eminent domain practice group, Sue has developed expertise in land acquisition, including the negotiation of easements and crossing agreements, the purchase of property in fee simple, and condemnation. Sue assisted with all aspects of the acquisition of right-of-way for an electric transmission line project selected as one of the Top 10 Infrastructure Projects in the nation in 2013 by the International Right of Way Association.
Before law school, Sue was a high school English teacher for nine years. As an attorney, her community service has included membership on the Walnut Creek Elementary Campus Advisory Council and the Development Council for A Community for Education (“ACE”). Sue is a Fellow and a Board Member of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation.
Catherine “Cassie” Baron
Catherine Baron is a trial attorney with a practice dedicated to family law. Before opening her firm in 2016, she worked as an associate family law attorney at the firms of Weinman & Associates and Rivers McNamara. Catherine provides straightforward, results-based advice regarding family issues such as property division, child custody, modifications, and prenuptial agreements.
Catherine obtained her law degree from American University. She believes in the importance of volunteer work and political advocacy. Catherine loves stories and travel. Locally, she enjoys the Austin food scene and reading outside.
Tracy Kasparek’s focus at Kasparek law centers on Wills, Probate, Estate Planning, Elder Law, Guardianships, Friendly Family Law, and Business Formation and Succession. Tracy also accepts ad litem appointment from the Travis County Probate Court.
Tracy received her J.D. from St. Mary’s in San Antonio and B.A. in Business from Southwestern University in Georgetown. While attending St. Mary’s, she became a published staff writer on The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority issues.
Tracy currently serves as the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Foundation Treasurer, and is the Co-Secretary for the Solo/Small Firm Section of the Austin Bar Association. Tracy’s past board positions include Treasurer and President of the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association, and board positions on the AGLCC, AGLPF and Vice President of her homeowner’s association. In addition, Tracy helped found the Austin Pride Foundation, and co-chairs the UT LGBT OUTlaw Wills Clinic.
Eleanor Ruffner has been licensed to practice law in Texas since 2004. Eleanor focuses her practice on the litigation needs of the firm’s business clients. The majority of her current practice is devoted to resolving disputes arising from contractual or other legal relationships and obligations; from the purchase, sale, merger, or breakup of companies and partnerships; from allegations of financial fraud; and from the performance or breach of fiduciary obligations. In addition, she also represents select clients in appellate proceedings, complex contested probate litigation, and administrative disputes against the State of Texas.
Eleanor has litigated a variety of matters in state and federal court, handling disputes from pre-suit investigation and counseling through exhaustive appeals. Over the course of her career, she has represented and advised individuals, small businesses, and international companies on a broad range of subjects, including commercial and contract disputes, fiduciary obligations, business divorces, securities law violations, intellectual property claims, antitrust regulations, personal injury defense (including toxic tort, premises, and products liability), professional malpractice, and constitutional rights.
In addition to her private law practice, Eleanor also serves as an adjunct at the University of Texas School of Law. In the Fall Semester, she teaches Intensive Trial Skills and serves as an instructor for the UT Law Advocacy Program’s Fall Litigation Institute. In the spring, she serves as an instructor for the UT Law Advocacy Program’s Spring Trial Academy and teaches Advocacy outside the Courtroom.
Eleanor and her husband, Tom (also an attorney in Austin), have two young children and a rescue dog. In her recreational time she practices yoga with more enthusiasm than skill.
Danica L. Milios
Danica Milios is a litigator with Jackson Walker’s appellate practice group. Danica came to Jackson Walker after serving nine years as an Assistant Solicitor General and three years as Deputy Solicitor General in the Texas Attorney General’s Office. In her state practice, Danica handled or substantially participated in several important and high profile appeals, including the 2011 challenge to the State’s franchise tax system and the 2005 school finance case. Danica also served four years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tort Litigation Division, where she defended state agencies in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases.
Danica has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, the Texas Supreme Court, and many of the State’s intermediate courts of appeals.
Danica often begins her involvement in cases at the trial stage of proceedings to ensure proper error preservation and presentation of legal issues. Since moving into private practice, she has handled appeals in a diverse range of areas, including arbitration awards, bill of review procedure, business disparagement, tortious interference with contracts, oil and gas matters, free exercise of speech and religion, and the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act.
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.
Alyson Falk has exclusively practiced family law litigation in the Austin area since becoming licensed in 2011. She maintains her law practice with Jodi Lazar of LAZAR LAW, PLLC, a boutique firm located in Westlake, focusing exclusively on representation in family law matters in Central Texas, including divorce, custody, marital agreements, termination/adoptions, and enforcement proceedings. Lazar Law represents clients in both traditional litigation and collaborative law models, depending on the client’s needs.
Alyson is a fourth-generation Austinite who has enjoyed serving her community over the years by volunteering her time with Rodeo Austin, a 501(c)3 promoting western heritage and youth education throughout the entire State of Texas, and The Junior League of Austin. As a member of the Board of Directors of TCWLF, Alyson chairs the Raffle, which has raised more than $9,000.00 each year at the Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon, held each Spring. The money raised goes directly to TCWLF grant funding.
Chair Corporate Sponsorships
Monica B. Stallings is a trial attorney specializing in family law at the Law Office of Nikki G. Maples. She focuses her practice on divorce, custody, adoption, and other family law matters. Monica graduated from Boston College and then attended Seattle University School of Law, where she co-founded the school’s chapter of the ACLU and focused her studies on family law and intellectual property. Monica has a deep passion for women’s and minority issues. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, working out, and exploring all the great culture, music, and activity that Austin has to offer.
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.
Honorable Aurora Martinez Jones
Aurora Martinez Jones is an appointed Associate Judge in Travis County and was sworn in on January 2, 2015. She is from La Porte, Texas, a suburb of Houston, and attended college at The University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a minor in Spanish. She then attended law school at The University of Texas School of Law and upon receiving her law license; she started her own law firm, The Martinez Jones Law Firm, PLLC. As an attorney, Aurora Martinez Jones practiced primarily in child welfare law, personal injury, probate, real estate, family law, and civil litigation.
Judge Martinez Jones is a Child Welfare Law Specialist, Certified by the National Association of Counsel for Children and has extensive experience working with parents suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Currently, her judicial position is dedicated to the child welfare dockets in Travis County including the specialty, Family Drug Treatment Court.
She is currently the chair-elect for the Texas Children’s Justice Act Task Force, is the past President of the Austin Black Lawyers Association, is the former Chair of the Austin Court Appointed Family Advocates (CAFA) and is on the board for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Judge Martinez Jones is active in both the local Austin Bar Association and Texas State Bar through her service on various committees. She is also a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow and a member of the Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court.
Judge Martinez Jones and her husband, Mitchell Jones, are the proud parents of two precious little girls.
Mallory Beck is a Legal Counsel in Litigation at Dell Inc. where her practice focuses on general commercial litigation, products liability, consumer litigation, and pre-litigation advice and negotiation. Mallory obtained her JD and LLM from Duke University School of Law in 2010. After completing a 2-year term clerkship for the Honorable Hilda G. Tagle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Mallory continued her career at Jackson Walker, LLP in Austin, Texas.
Karen focuses her practice on appellate litigation. Since starting the Law Office of Oprea & Weber, Karen has worked on a number of fascinating issues in federal and state courts, including the right to record on-duty police officers, the right against self-incrimination, and the permissible scope of traffic stops and vehicle searches.
Karen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2012. During law school she interned for the ACLU of Michigan, the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, White & Case, LLP, and the National Registry of Exonerations. She spent the first part of her career fighting for the rights of indigent defendants at the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the New York Legal Aid Society.
Karen is licensed to practice law in New York and Texas. She is also admitted into the Federal District Courts in the Southern District of New York and the Western District of Texas. She is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Texas and Williamson County Bar Associations. She is also a member of the Texas Bar College, which is an honorary society of lawyers who are interested in high ethical and professional standards.
Tori David is the Court Investigator and a staff attorney for Judge Guy Herman at the Travis County Probate Court, where her practice focuses on investigating and prosecuting court initiated guardianship cases of incapacitated adults. Prior to her position at the Probate Court, Tori worked with Lone Star Legal Aid as a staff attorney in the Crime Victims Unit. While with Lone Star Legal Aid she served low income Texans who were survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
Tori received her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington and her Bachelor of Social Work summa cum laude from Texas State University – San Marcos. While attending Gonzaga University she competed in and won the ABA Client Counseling Competition, and received the Pro Bono Distinction Award.