Board Members

Officers

Barbara Dickinson

Barbara Dickinson

President

Barbara Dickinson graduated from The George Washington University and Hastings College of the Law. Miss Dickinson is currently employed by the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office where she has worked as an attorney since 1989. During her tenure at the Public Defender’s Office, Miss Dickinson has tried numerous felony and misdemeanor cases before juries. She also served on the in-house training team conducting trainings on various evidentiary and criminal practice issues.

Miss Dickinson has also organized and conducted trainings on alternative dispute resolution for attorneys and judges from other countries including Israel, India, Egypt and Turkey.As a result of these trainings Miss Dickinson was invited to give these trainings abroad and traveled to Egypt and Turkey to consult with the judiciary and government officials.

In addition to her trial work, Miss Dickinson has worked extensively in the Juvenile Justice System focusing most recently on a collaborative court system which treats mentally ill juvenile offenders. As a result of her expertise in this work she has spoken at East Bay Legal Aid and was recently a panelist at the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association Conference.

Miss Dickinson currently serves as the supervising attorney of the Pleasanton Branch of the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office and is the proud mother of two children who attend Oakland public schools.

Mary Cain-Simon

Mary Cain-Simon

Vice President

Mary Cain-Simon attended Chaffey Community College, then transferred and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, before obtaining her JD from UC Hastings College of the Law. Ms. Cain-Simon’s career has traced a path from service as a judicial research attorney, through civil litigation defense in law firms and a Fortune 500 company, before entering public service with the California Attorney General’s Office in 1998. Ms. Simon practices employment and administrative law before both state and federal courts, as well as administrative tribunals, and conducts workplace investigations on behalf of state entities. Ms. Cain-Simon enjoys spending time with her husband, two teen-aged children and family dogs, as well as attempting to grow a drought-tolerant garden at their Oakland home.

Heather Chang

Heather Chang

Co-Secretary

Heather Chang is a criminal defense attorney in Alameda County and her office, Law Office of Heather Chang, is in Oakland. She graduated from Harvard University and Northeastern School of Law. She represents juveniles and adults in court-appointed and privately retained cases. She also enjoys teaching, both a mock trial class for high school students at Boalt Hall and a Trial Advocacy Skills Workshop at Stanford Law School. In addition to WLAC, Heather is a board member of Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association, where she is the Mentorship and Training Director. In her spare time, she enjoys rowing with the Lake Merritt Rowing Club.

Gina Boer

Gina Boer

Co-Secretary

Gina D. Boer is a partner with Haapala, Thompson & Abern LLP. She has over 30 years’ experience specializing in real estate, complex litigation, commercial and residential landlord/tenant, construction defect, insurance defense, personal injury and other torts. Gina has been a mediator for over 15 years in the areas of real estate, contract disputes, business, debt recovery and personal injury. Additionally, Gina sits as Judge Pro Tem for Contra Costa County Superior Court and serves as Settlement Mentor.

Gina is also a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, California Women Lawyers and the American Bar Association. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and George Washington University Law School. She is designated an AV rated Preeminent Woman Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.

Maggie Calonge

Maggie Calonge

Treasurer

Margaret “Maggie” Calonge is a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She presently serves on the Rene C. Davidson Felony Preliminary Examinations Team. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office in 2014, she clerked for the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office. She attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate, earning her bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies in 2005. She earned her J.D. from UC Hastings College of Law in 2013. In addition to serving as a board member for Women Lawyers of Alameda County, she is a member of California Women Lawyers.  

The Honorable Tara M. Desautels

The Honorable Tara M. Desautels

Judicial Liaison

Hon. Tara M. Desautels is the Assistant Presiding Judge-Elect of the Alameda County Superior Court and has been Judicial Liaison to WLAC since 2013.  Currently sitting in a felony criminal assignment, Judge Desautels has also presided over juvenile delinquency matters (helping to start Alameda County’s first Girls Court, offering gender-specific services to juvenile offenders), family law, unlawful detainers, and was previously the Supervising Judge of the Wiley E. Manuel Courthouse.  A graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Judge Desautels began her legal career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and later moved to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where she litigated complex civil and antitrust matters before being appointed to the bench in 2010. Judge Desautels is honored to be WLAC’s 2016 Jurist of Distinction and 2010 WLAC “Hockey Puck” award recipient. When she is not occupied with work and related duties, Judge Desautels spends her time with her husband chasing after their two young children.

The Honorable Stuart Hing

The Honorable Stuart Hing

Judicial Liaison

Judge Stuart Hing was appointed to the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, in July 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before his appointment, he was a Deputy District Attorney in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for 23 years and a Senior Marketing Representative with Xerox Corporation where he attained #1 in sales for the U.S. western region. He and his wife, Rhoda Hing, are active in the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association including its voter project, Women Lawyers of Alameda County where he was the only male board member, Charles Houston Bar Association, Centro Legal de la Raza, BALIF, Alameda County Bar Association, St. Vincent de Paul, and his own outreach program. He also grew up in a housing project and played lead guitar in a band that opened for Earth, Wind & Fire.

Board Members
Sharon Alkire

Sharon Alkire

Sharon Alkire is a family law practitioner handling marriage and domestic partnership matters. Ms. Alkire began her legal career as a Fellow at the Alameda County Family Justice Center, studying intimate partner violence (IPV) in LGBTQ communities. There she developed a deep respect and compassion for people struggling to leave abusive relationships. Ms. Alkire continued this work as a pro bono attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid and has recently opened her own family law practice.

Ms. Alkire has strong roots in the Bay Area and works to promote the initiative, creativity, and diversity of her communities by proudly sitting on the WLAC Board of Directors and establishing the first Queen’s Bench Bar Association Diversity Committee. “Equality is the ability to fulfill one’s own potential without the oppressive yoke of becoming ‘alike,’ rather than being seen as equal only when one mirrors the dominant culture,” she says. This ideal forms the basis of Ms. Alkire’s work as an attorney and a person.

Emily Doskow

Emily Doskow

Emily Doskow has been practicing family law in the Bay Area since 1989. She specializes in family matters including adoptions, surrogacy agreements, prenuptial agreements, parentage issues, and divorce mediation. She is a frequent speaker on LGBTI family issues. She is the author or co-author of numerous books published by Nolo, including Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce; Nolo’s Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support, and The Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples. Emily is a member of the Boards of Directors of Inter/ACT, the Women Lawyers of Alameda County, and the Center for Understanding in Conflict. She is a past member and co-chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she currently sits on the National Family Law Advisory Council. Ms. Doskow has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 18 years and has taught mindfulness to attorneys at JFK University Law School, Continuing Education of the Bar, the Alameda County Bar Association, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
Leslie F. Levy

Leslie F. Levy

Leslie Levy brings a lifelong passion for social justice to her employment discrimination law practice. Her primary focus is representing employees, especially women, who have faced or are facing discrimination or harassment on the job. She also represents victims of sexual abuse by professionals, such as doctors, therapists and teachers, and of sexual harassment in housing situations. Leslie believes in empowering her clients to be an active part in the decision-making process of their cases.

Leslie has been an adjunct professor at both the University of San Francisco School of Law and New College of the Law, and speaks at numerous legal conferences. She has authored articles, contributed chapters to legal reference books and practice manuals, and drafted California civil rights legislation. She is the recipient of the Hastings College of Law’s Clara Foltz Award for distinguished service to women. She is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law, and has a Philosophy degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Leslie has volunteered for years at the Marine Mammal Center and the Gulf of the Farallons Marine National Sanctuary. An avid environmentalist and lover of the outdoors, she also enjoys kayaking and birdwatching.

Suzanne Nero

Suzanne Nero

Suzanne Nero is an associate at Boies, Schiller Flexner in Oakland, CA, specializing in antitrust and other complex civil litigations. Ms. Nero completed her undergraduate education at UCLA and received her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law. In addition to the practice of law, Ms. Nero serves as a coach for Berkeley Law’s Trial Advocacy Team and enjoys playing soccer.

Dorothy Chou Proudfoot

Dorothy Chou Proudfoot

Dorothy Chou Proudfoot is a Deputy District Attorney in Marin County. She currently serves on a Felony Trial Team and was the Office’s Gang Crimes Deputy for over 8 years. She was cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney from 2008 to 2009, to prosecute Project Safe Childhood and Project Safe Neighborhood cases in the Northern District of California. Prior to joining the District Attorney’s Office in 2001, she practiced civil litigation. She graduated from UC Berkeley twice, earning her bachelor’s degree in English in 1995, and her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1999.

Ms. Proudfoot is the first Asian-American President of the Marin County Bar Association.  She represents District 3 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties) on the Board of Governors of California Women Lawyers, and also serves on its Executive, Bylaws, and Legislative Committees.  She is a sustaining member of the Asian American Bar Association, and is active in the Earl Warren American Inn of Court in Oakland.  In addition, she is a member of the Alameda County Bar Association, Marin County Women Lawyers, Queen’s Bench, Marin Asian-American Public Local Employees and a founding member of the Marin County Prosecutors Association.  She also finds a creative outlet on the Performance Committee of the University of California Marching Band Alumni Association.

Yunah Rha

Yunah Rha

Yunah is an associate at Burnham Brown, practicing general civil litigation with an emphasis in the areas of premises liability, personal injury, employment, and real estate. She counsels and represents businesses of varying sizes, including large and mid-size restaurant franchises, small businesses, and retail companies in civil litigation matters. She has previously worked at Block & Leviton, with experience in conducting voluminous discovery in complex securities, antitrust, and employment class-action cases. In her spare time, Yunah enjoys doing “pretzel” and “fold-over” in Bar Method classes and dining at omakase-style Japanese restaurants.

Ms. Rha has been a long-time volunteer at the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, dedicated to providing direct legal services to low-income individuals in matters of immigration, family and landlord/tenant law. Upon graduating from Golden Gate University School of Law, Ms. Rha has been active in many minority bar associations, advocating for increased diversity within the legal profession. In addition to serving as a board member for the Women Lawyers of Alameda County, she also serves as a board member for the Korean American Bar Association, Filipino Bar Association, and co-chairs a committee in the Asian American Bar Association.

Bentrish Satarzadeh

Bentrish Satarzadeh

Bentrish Satarzadeh is a Legal Research Attorney at Alameda County Superior Court where she advises judicial officers on various pre- and post- trial matters. She also currently sits on the board of the Center for Judicial Education and Research with the Judicial Council of California. Prior to the court, Ms. Satarzadeh was a trial attorney at the Cartwright Law Firm in San Francisco where she handled an array of personal injury cases. Ms. Satarzadeh also handled civil rights cases at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Ms. Satarzadeh graduated in the top ten percent of her class from Golden Gate University, where she also earned a Specialization Certificate with Distinction in Litigation as well as an International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Outstanding Student in the field of Litigation. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Satarzadeh was invited to grade the California Bar exam and graded it for the next three years. Ms. Satarzadeh is currently serving on the emeritus board and has been the Co-Chair of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first registered Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club in the nation, which is responsible for making a profound impact on San Francisco, California and American politics in the advancement of LGBT rights. Ms. Satarzadeh is fluent in Farsi and Assyrian and continually strives to inspire passion about advocacy work and advancement of civil rights, especially within the many communities of which she is a member.