Class Notes: Class of 2004

Leslie Tan, Class of

Senior Counsel

Leslie Tan recently joined the Houston office of national law firm, Chamberlain Hrdlicka, as Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Group. Tan brings 16 years of experience in complex civil litigation to the firm. Her current practice focuses on guiding employers through challenges, from counseling on daily operations to navigating litigation, and all stages in between. She has been named to the Texas Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers® consecutively from 2012 to 2019.

Cori Hash, Class of


Austin-based immigration law firm Lincoln-Goldfinch Law has named Cori Hash as partner. Hash was inspired to become a lawyer after serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in Zimbabwe and observing the injustices and political unrest there. Before joining Lincoln-Goldfinch Law in 2018, she was the Managing Attorney of the Washington, D.C. office of Human Rights First.

September Rea, Class of

The University of Texas School of Law alumnus September Rea joined Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli as Principal in the Los Angeles office. September joined Polsinelli's Labor and Employment practice, which will focus on advising California and national employers within multiple industries on all aspects of employment.

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Smita Bhakta, Class of


Kruger Carson, PLLC, has promoted Smita Bhakta to Partner of the law firm, which works with a wide range of business clients from its offices in San Antonio and Austin. Bhakta focuses on complex commercial real estate matters. She joined Kruger Carson in 2016 as Attorney and Counselor.

Bhakta served on the 2016 and 2017 Board of Directors for the San Antonio chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW). She is active in the Real Estate Council of San Antonio.

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Ryan Chargois, Class of

Partner at Foster LLP

Ryan Chargois was honored in Who's Who Legal 2018 as a leading corporate immigration attorney. Ryan is a partner at Foster LLP and leads the global immigration practice out of the Austin office.

David Hoffman, Class of


David Hoffman, a principal at Fish & Richardson, the largest intellectual property law firm in the country, was named a top IP attorney in Texas in the 2018 edition of "Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business."

Jamie T. Hall, Class of

Jamie Hall, Land Use and Environmental Attorney and President of the Laurel Canyon Association in Los Angeles, spearheaded an effort to acquire 17 acreas of open space in the Hollywood Hills to preserve as wildlife habitat. The “Let’s Buy a Mountain” project was a collaboration between the Laurel Canyon Association, Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Over $1.6 million was raised to acquire the parcel. Donors included Don Henley.

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Smita Bhakta, Class of

Kruger Carson PLLC attorney, Smita Bhakta, has been accepted into the 2018 Class of Leadership San Antonio, a highly selective annual program, launched in 1975, which helps to train the city’s next generation of leaders. The 2018 Class (Class 43) will be remarkable because it will integrate San Antonio’s tricentennial into the program.

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Chris Hamilton, Class of


High-profile Dallas trial lawyer Chris Hamilton and attorney Paul Wingo have teamed up to form Hamilton Wingo, LLP, to represent individuals and companies in high-stakes litigation. The two lawyers’ commitment to fight for justice and their shared passion for helping people in tough legal disputes sparked their decision to establish a new law firm together. The firm's clients include companies in all types of business disputes and individuals seriously injured through corporate negligence.

Scot Clinton, Class of

Scot Clinton has joined Wilson Cribbs + Goren, PC as a senior attorney in its Real Estate Litigation practice. An experienced trial lawyer, Clinton will focus his practice on real property and real estate, including lien, contract and warranty issues, as well as construction and general business litigation.

Kennon L. Wooten, Class of

Kennon L. Wooten has been elected to the American Law Institute. As an attorney at Scott Douglass McConnico, she represents individuals and entities involved in complex commercial litigation, general civil litigation, and civil appeals. At the trial level, she represents both plaintiffs and defendants. To the appeals, she brings experience and expertise that she gained as the rules attorney and as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson of the Supreme Court of Texas.

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Connie Pfeiffer headshot

Connie Pfeiffer, Class of

Beck Redden Partner, Connie Pfeiffer, led the charge to overturn a Fifth Circuit decision affecting millions of Texas homeowners in May. The Fifth Circuit had decided that homeowners with constitutionally defective liens on their homestead must file suits to set the lien aside within four years of originating a home equity loan. This meant that lenders could foreclose on a home when they had not complied with all of the Constitution's consumer protection requirements to make a valid lien. Pfeiffer co-authored the briefs and presented the oral arguments in front of the Texas Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit's decision was overturned.

Shannon Zmud Teicher headshot

Shannon Zmud Teicher, Class of

Jackson Walker congratulates Shannon Zmud Teicher for her selection to the “Texas Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” list by Thomson Reuters. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. The list will be published in the April 2016 issue of Texas Monthly.

Melissa M. Davis, Class of

Thompson & Knight LLP is pleased to announce Melissa M. Davis has joined the Firm’s Austin office as Counsel in the Trial Practice Group.