Board of Directors
SBWL PRESIDENT – Jennifer R. Smith
SBWL VICE PRESIDENT - Kate McGuinness
SBWL TREASURER – Allegra Geller-Kudrow
SBWL SECRETARY – Elizabeth Diaz
SBWL PRESIDENT – Elvia P. Garcia
Elvia P. Garcia, is a partner with the Law Offices of Gregory I. McMurray, P.C. She specializes in the areas of family and criminal law. Additionally, Ms. Garcia currently provides legal support to the Mexican Consulate in Oxnard through the Department of Protection in association with Programa de Asistencia Legales Externas (PALE). This program provides low cost and pro-bono legal assistance to hundreds of Mexican nationals.
Ms. Garcia is past president for the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation (SBWLF) and currently serves as the president for the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL). She is also a board member with the Santa Barbara Latina/o Lawyers Association and Isla Vista Children’s Center. When not practicing law, Ms. Garcia can be found traveling with her husband, enjoying wine and rooting for the Oakland Raiders.
SBWL VICE PRESIDENT - Jennifer R. Smith
Jennifer Smith is an Employee and Labor Relations Analyst and Trainer at UC Santa Barbara. Jennifer is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis School of Law with a certificate in Public Service. As a law student she served on the Moot Court Board, chaired the local chapter of Law Students for Choice, and was named Outstanding Woman Law Graduate of the school by the National Association of Women Lawyers. She previously worked as an attorney with Legal Services of Northern California and Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County. Jennifer is the Vice-President of SBWL and has served on the Board since 2013.
SBWL TREASURER – Katharine Allen
Kate Allen is a transactional associate at Mullen & Henzell L.L.P. in Santa Barbara, focusing her practice primarily on business, real estate, and land use matters. Kate earned her JD at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where she served as Executive Senior Editor of the Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice, as well as a chair of USC’s LGBT advocacy organization, Outlaw. During law school, she interned with the ACLU of Southern California, working on LGBT youth issues, and externed for the Honorable Neal Bason in the United Stated Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. Kate is the Treasurer of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and has served on the Board since 2013.
SBWL SECRETARY – Elizabeth Diaz
Elizabeth Diaz is Managing Attorney for the Family Violence Prevention Program at the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County, in Santa Barbara, focusing her practice primarily on restraining orders and other related family law and civil matters for victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual of abuse and Human Trafficking. Elizabeth was born and raised in Santa Barbara, Spanish was her first language. Elizabeth attended local schools, earned her BA in Law and Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara and her JD from Santa Barbara College of Law. Elizabeth currently serves on the Board of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and has since 2015. Elizabeth is the Secretary of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and has served on the Board since 2013.
Emily Allen works at the Legal Aid Foundation of SantaBarbara County where she is the managing attorney of the Homeless Education and Legal Project and supervises the Common Ground Santa Barbara County homeless outreach project. Emily grew up in Santa Barbara and began working in the community at an early age. In high school she tutored at Girls, Inc. and conducted exhibition tours for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Teens for Teens program. Emily Attended Scripps College where she majored in Women’s Studies and worked as an advocate for Project Sister, an organization providing sexual assault crisis and prevention services. After graduating Emily became an Americorps VISTA for a tutoring program that worked with low income children in Los Angeles. This experience convinced her that she wanted to continue her community work. She volunteered as an advocate at General Relief offices throughout law school. Emily also clerked at the California Women’s Law Center, served as the Chair of the Loyola Public Interest Law Foundation and was Public Interest Coordinator of the Loyola Women’s Law Association. Emily serves on the boards of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.
Shannon DeNatale Boyd is an attorney at Buynak Fauver Archbald & Spray, specializing in civil litigation from pre-litigation consultation to resolution, including discovery, law and motion, mediation, arbitration and trial preparation, and writs and appeals. Shannon also serves on the board of Santa Barbara Barristers and Santa Ynez Valley Bar Association. She enjoys gardening and hiking.
Kate McGuinness is a certified coach and the founder of Empowered Women Coaching. She was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers when Times Mirror Company, then a Fortune 500 corporation, recruited her to act as its general counsel. After leaving the corporate world, Kate studied creative writing. Her legal thriller Terminal Ambition pivots on a woman partner’s campaign to obtain fair treatment for the women at her Big Law firm. Kate has also addressed other aspects of women’s rights in her essays published on sites such as Forbes, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. As a coach, she empowers women to maximize the quality of their lives by achieving their own, self-identified goals. She specializes in helping clients achieve their career objectives, including business development. Additionally, she assists clients making professional and personal transitions. Kate graduated from the Hudson Institute of Coaching. She is available as a keynote speaker and as a workshop trainer. She has spoken at programs sponsored by the National Association of Women Lawyers, California Women Lawyer, Practicing Law Institute and other organizations. Kate sits on the boards of California Women Lawyers and the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Association. She can be reached at email@example.com
Lauren Joyce completed her juris doctor degree in 2012 and was admitted to the State Bar of California that same year. Ms. Joyce’s legal practice has focused on small business services and civil litigation.
Her experience includes consultations and litigation regarding:
- Entity formation, reorganization, and dissolution.
- Administrative and regulatory enforcement actions.
- Commercial tenancy issues.
- Real property matters.
- Oil and gas issues.
- Equine and livestock law.
- Contract issues.
- Liability assessment and mitigation strategies.
Primarily located in the Santa Ynez office, Ms. Joyce works with a wide variety of small business and agricultural clients including restaurants, agricultural service providers, and both commercial and residential real estate professionals. Her work takes her throughout the Santa Ynez Valley. She experiences her clients’ businesses first hand which allows her to provide practical, down-to-earth solutions and advice.
Ms. Joyce believes in the principle that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” She encourages her clients to bring their small problems to her so she can help them to prevent bigger problems later.
Ms. Joyce strives to serve her community, and participates in various non-profit organizations. She has served as president of the Santa Barbara Barristers and continues to be on their board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors of both the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation.
Betty L. Jeppesen of the Law Offices of John J. Thyne III is the 2015 President of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers, a Past President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, Santa Barbara County Bar Foundation and Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation. She has been SBCBA’s delegate to the Conference of California Bar Associations for most of the past 30 years for which she received an award of excellence in 2012. In 2006, she received the SBWL Deborah Talmage Attorney of the Year Award. Betty has practiced in Santa Barbara for 34 years.
Michelle E. Roberson has practiced law in three different states, finally settling down in California where she operates The Roberson Firm. Her primary practice is in business and real estate law where she has negotiated several settlements and handled various trials, both bench and jury. She has recently scaled back her litigation practice to devote her time operating Sierra Property Group, Inc., a Santa Barbara real estate company offering residential, commercial, and facilities management as well as construction services in Santa Barbara, California.
She enjoys participating in charitable races, spending time with her family, and working on different business ventures. She has served on various boards, including the Salem County Board Association, New Jersey Legal Aid Foundation (Trustee), Santa Barbara Women Lawyers Foundation, and is a participant of the Latino/a Bar Association.
Danielle is experienced in a wide range of legal matters, from plaintiff’s civil work to complex environmental litigation to criminal defense. At Bamieh & Erickson, Danielle represents clients through jury verdict. Danielle gives back and helps strengthen our community through her volunteer service, including leadership roles as Past President of SBWL and its Foundation, through which she worked with and supported the Rape Crisis Center, the Foodbank and Girls, Inc. Danielle enjoys coaching high school and college mock trial, representing District Six as a California Women Lawyers Governor, and serving as a board member for the American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund.
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