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2023-2024 Board of Directors


President, Keela Seales:

Keela Seales is a Staff Attorney at the D.C. Court of Appeals.  She previously worked as an attorney for the Appellate Court of Maryland, the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Veterans Appeals, and the Louisiana Supreme Court.  Keela's previous GWAC roles include Membership Chair, Recording Secretary, and President-Elect.  She received her B.A. in English from Howard University and her J.D. from Tulane University.  She is licensed to practice in DC, Maryland, and Louisiana (inactive).  

President- Elect, Tracey G. Jackson, JD, PhD:

Immediate Past President, Bayliss Fiddiman

Bayliss Fiddiman is the Director of Educational Equity and Senior Counsel on the Education & Workplace Justice team at the National Women’s Law Center. She advocates to ensure that girls have equal access to education which includes addressing policies that keep girls of color from being pushed out of school, and advocating for the rights of pregnant and parenting students. She previously worked as Associate Director on the K-12 Education team at the Center for American Progress where she advocated for state and federal policies that increase access to a high-quality education for all children She received her B.A. in legal studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with Commonwealth Honors College distinction, and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Treasurer and Financial Secretary, Ebonee Johnson

Corresponding Secretary and Historian, Daraja Carroll:

Daraja Carroll currently works with the Policy Team at the ACLU of DC where she advocates for various criminal justice related reforms, including improvements to the D.C. jail. Before joining the ACLU, Daraja served as the Access to Justice Fellow for Legal Aid DC. Her fellowship project focused on advancing systemic changes in administrative and court procedures and ensuring all litigants in the District have equitable access to justice, regardless of whether they are represented by counsel.

As a California native, Daraja moved to the East Coast to attend American University Washington College of Law. She graduated in May of 2021 and received recognition as an Exceptional Pro Bono Service Graduate for her pro bono work. In her spare time, Daraja takes American Sign Language clases, indulges in her Yelp Elite perks and serves as an intake volunteer with the Washington Lawyers Committee’s Worker’s Rights Clinic.

Recording Secretary, Patricia-Joy Mpasi

Patricia-Joy Mpasi received her J.D. from William and Mary Law School. After that, she received her LL.M, from the Washington College of Law. She holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland. She is licensed to practice in Maryland and D.C.

Patricia-Joy has a passion for assisting disadvantaged people in the community. She is enthusiastic about protecting children who are abused and neglected. She previously clerked for the Honorable Charles B. Day, in the United States District Court for the District Court of Maryland. Before her clerkship, she served as an Assistant Attorney General, in the Child Protection Section, Family Services Division, for the Attorney General’s Office in Washington D.C. She represented the Child and Family Services Agency, in litigation proceedings involving child abuse and neglect cases. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, she worked at Maryland Legal Aid, where she advocated for children who were abused or neglected, who had developmental disabilities, or who had behavioral issues. Patricia-Joy also worked for a social security disability law firm, where she represented claimants with physical and mental disabilities at the appellate level. She successfully advocated for claimants who were previously denied social security disability benefits.

Committee Chairs

Judicial Liaison, The Honorable Tanya Jones Bosier

Judge Tanya M. Jones Bosier was appointed magistrate judge by Chief Judge Robert E. Morin in January 2017.  She has presided in the Civil, Domestic Violence, and Probate Divisions and Family Court. She serves on several judicial committees.

Before joining the Superior Court bench, Judge Jones Bosier served as an Assistant General Counsel for DC Courts, where she handled complex employee relations matters.  Prior to her employment with DC Courts, she worked as an Assistant General Counsel, Assistant Attorney General, Attorney Advisor, and Section Chief for the DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG). While at OAG, Judge Jones Bosier gained extensive experience in administrative, child abuse and neglect, child support, domestic relations, domestic violence, public benefits, and procurement law, as well as in intervention proceedings. Judge Jones Bosier was instrumental in the growth of the Fathering Court Initiative and the formation of the Name Change Calendar, both within the Family Court. 

Judge Jones Bosier is committed to service and volunteers in various capacities within the legal and local community. Judge Jones Bosier has garnered a host of awards, scholarships, and recognitions for her service to the local community. Most recently, she received the 2018 American University Washington College of Law Hairston Alumni Award in recognition of her accomplishments in the field of law and commitment to the law school and the 2014-2015 Adjunct Professor of the Year for her dedication and service to law students.  Judge Jones Bosier continues to serve as an adjunct professor in the WCL externship program and to mentor young lawyers and students.

Judge Jones Bosier received her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Syracuse University and her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law.  After graduating from law school, Judge Jones Bosier served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Zoe A. Bush. 

Brandi G. Howard, Law Firm and Corporate Counsel Chair:

Brandi G. Howard's practice focuses on representing corporate and individual clients in government investigations and complex commercial trial and appellate litigation. Brandi was named among the National Bar Association’s “Top 40 Under 40” in 2022 and has been named a top 40 under 40 lawyer in Washington, D.C. by The National Black Lawyers since 2021. Brandi’s investigations practice involves defending clients in government investigations conducted by regulatory and enforcement bodies involving consumer protection, antitrust, and anti-money laundering issues and in congressional investigations often involving consumer protection and employment issues. Brandi’s litigation practice involves defending and representing clients in routine and high stakes litigation involving constitutional issues such as free speech, religious freedom, and sovereign immunity, fiduciary issues, and breach of contract and consumer protection cases. Brandi is a two-time appellate law clerk, having clerked for former Chief Judge Eric T. Washington of the D.C. Court of Appeals and civil rights icon Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Judicial and Executive Appointments Chair, Erinn Martin:

Erinn D. Martin is the Director of Nominations & Cross-Cutting Policies at the National Women’s Law Center, where she leads the Law Center’s advocacy on the judiciary, democracy, and cross-cutting policy work. Prior to joining the Law Center, she served as Senior Policy Counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She has also served at the U.S. Department of Justice, where her work focused on consumer protection and appellate civil rights matters. While at DOJ, Erinn was part of a trial team that won a landmark telemarketing civil penalty. She began her legal career as a legal fellow for the National Center for Law and Economic Justice.

Erinn received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Frank J. Guarini Leaders in Government Service Scholar and a student advocate in the Brennan Center for Justice Public Policy Advocacy Clinic.  She holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland and a M.S. Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania.  She previously served as President of the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association (GWAC). She is licensed to practice in New York and Washington, D.C.

Community Outreach Chair, Chastidy Burns:

Chastidy Burns is currently Deputy General Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under Chair Richard J. Durbin. Prior to coming to the Hill, she was an Assistant Public Defender in the Felony Trial Division of the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender. She graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2008, and she received her Juris Doctor with a certificate in Public Interest Law from the DePaul University College of Law in 2012 where she has also taught as an adjunct professor.

Chastidy is a Past President of the Black Women Lawyers' Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. and a past Chair of their Scholarship Fund Board. She has also served as a member of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers' Section Executive Council, President of the Just the Beginning - A Pipeline Organization Associate Board, a founding member and President of the DePaul Law Alumni Engagement Board, and a member of the My Block, My Hood, My City Associate Board. 

Membership Chair, Shahidah Williams:

Employment and Professional Development Chair, Robin Earnest:

After working as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Robin started the appellate practice of Earnest Attorney at Law, LLC. Through this practice, Robin represents indigent appellants assigned by appointment from the Criminal Justice Act panels for the Fourth and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as the D.C. Court of Appeals.  As a passionate promoter of minority representation in appellate law, Robin’s 2023 Washington Lawyer article discusses how area appellate practices might reduce the existing gender-minority gap.    

Robin also serves as Chair of the Steering Committee for the D.C. Bar’s Criminal Law and Individual Rights Community, and as a member of the Committee on Admissions for the D.C. Court of Appeals. She is a 2023 recipient of the Lawyers of Distinction award for excellence in appellate law; and a 2022 nominee for the NBA WLD’s Outstanding Woman Lawyer In a Solo/Small Firm Practice award. 

Robin received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and her LL.M. (in Environmental Law) from The George Washington University Law School. Robin is licensed to practice in Maryland, D.C., and N.C. (vol. inactive). 

Charlotte E. Ray Awards Chair, Jeanine Howard:

Jeanine Howard, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, is a graduate of Temple University and Widener University – Delaware Law School. After graduating from Widener in 2014, Jeanine worked as a prosecutor at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for three years. At the Philly DA’s Office, Jeanine prosecuted a vast variety of crimes – from misdemeanor trials and juvenile offenders to felony bench and jury trials. In 2018, Jeanine moved to Washington, DC where she was a Staff Attorney for the National District Attorneys Association where she provides resources and training to prosecutors nationwide. Currently, Jeanine works as an Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia where she continues to prosecute an array of crimes in the city. Jeanine has been heavily involved in the legal community since moving to the District, serving as the Raising the Bar Chair for the Washington Bar Association – Young Lawyers Division (WBA-YLD) from 2019-2021, the 2019-2020 Vice President for the then newly formed DC Chapter of the National Black Prosecutors Association and the 2020-2021 Eastern Regional Director for the National Black Prosecutors Association. Additionally, Jeanine was recognized as one of the 2019-2020 recipients of the WBA-YLD’s Chair’s Legacy Award and was also one of the 2020-2021 recipients of the WBA-YLD’s Kim Keenan Advocacy and Leadership Award. In her spare time, Jeanine enjoys volunteering in the DC community serving as a mentor for two local organizations and leading a ministry team at her church.

Law Student Affairs Chair, Lucille Blackburn:

Dinner Series Chair, Natasha Hudgins

Natasha Hudgins currently serves as an Attorney Advisor at the United States Department of Justice. In this role, she manages FOIA and Privacy Act requests and litigation. She has trained government personnel from around the country on conducting proper searches and the importance of providing public access to federal records while protecting the personal privacy rights of individuals. Natasha also has experience at the US Department of Commerce and as a legal consultant, drafting D.C. legislation, and assisting non-profit organizations.

Natasha currently serves as the GWAC Treasurer. She also serves as the Vice Chair for the Washington Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.. She was the recipient of the YLD Chair Legacy Award for 2020-2021. For 2019-2020 she was the recipient of the NBA YLD Young Lawyer Chairman’s Award and the WBA YLD Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

Natasha holds a Bachelors of Arts in Integrative Studies and Dance from George Mason University. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of the District of Columbia. During her time in law school, she was involved in a variety of activities, including the National Black Law Students Association and the Student Bar Association. Additionally, she was the recipient of several prestigious scholarships.

Program Planning Chair, Yvonne Harris Burnley

Yvonne Harris Burnley is currently General Counsel for her family- owned music publishing company, Seventh House Ltd., launched by her father, Eddie Harris. Mrs. Burnley’s father is the late Jazz Saxophonist Eddie Harris, and she actively oversees the management of his legal affairs and his intellectual property rights. Mrs. Harris Burnley oversees the review of mechanical and synchronization licenses for the usage of Eddie’s music in film and television. She manages and monitors copyrights and royalty distributions for songwriters affiliated with Eddie’s  works. Mrs. Harris Burnley is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and a graduate of Howard University School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. Mrs. Harris Burnley has also handled matters in the areas of probate, antitrust, insurance defense and bankruptcy law matters.  

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