Archive - Alumni Spotlight

Jessica King ‘01
Jessica King ‘01

TJSL was the perfect school for me,” says King. “I was able to find legal mentors and participate in extra-curricular activities, ensuring that I was ready for the road ahead. TJSL prepared me for work in the corporate sector, in the small firm setting, and for solo practice. I have served on the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Panel and now serve as a member of the Wisconsin State Senate. When opportunity knocked, I was ready to take the challenge thanks to TJSL.


In addition to her full-time job as a State Senator, she also maintains a solo practice doing bankruptcy work for small businesses and consumers.


In August 2012, King was interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” about the tendencies of voters in Wisconsin, allowing her to speak to a national audience.  In the interview, King talked about how she believes that Wisconsin is one of the nicest places in the country, with people who look out for each other. And it’s a good place to go if you “want to hear what real people think,” she says.

King is running for re-election this fall and she reports she is ahead in the polls.

Keith Bremer ‘91
Keith Bremer ‘91

My experience in law school is really the foundation/cornerstone of my firm and my career.  I had a great learning experience in law school which prepared me for the war ahead – the practice of law/trials.


In the September 27, 2011 issues of the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal, Keith Bremer ‘91 is listed among the “Top 100 Lawyers in California.”


Bremer is a founding principal attorney of Bremer, Whyte, Brown & O'Meara LLP, a law firm with 80+ attorneys and offices in Newport Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Northern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix.


A number of TJSL graduates also hold positions at Bremer, Whyte, Brown & O’Meara. They include: Raymond Meyer Jr. ‘94, Partner; Vikas Nagpal ‘99, Partner; John Henri Toohey ‘99, Partner; John Clark Gottlieb ‘00, Associate; Alexander Michael Giannetto ‘08, Senior Associate; Henry Hyunku Kang ‘10, Associate; and Orchid Barzin ‘10, Associate.

Honorable Lilliam Y. Lim '77
Honorable Lilliam Y. Lim '77

Of her relationship with TJSL, the Honorable Lilliam Y. Lim '77 says, "Being just 5 feet tall, I know the analogy is a stretch, but for me being a graduate of Thomas Jefferson is like having a 6th player on my NBA team. TJSL is the 6th man. We graduates are scrappers, survivors and practical practitioners of the law. Our connection as TJSL graduates, in my experience, is closer and more supportive than among graduates from other schools."


Judge Lim is a retired Judge of the San Diego Superior Court. She has been a Judge since January 1986 and, following her retirement in 2007, continued to serve as a visiting Judge in Courts throughout California. She was a member of a task force sent to California’s inland empire to resolve or try civil cases in an effort to reduce the civil trial backlog. She was also selected to serve on the Chief Justice’s criminal “Strike Force” and again sent to Riverside County to resolve or try cases in an effort to reduce the criminal trial backlog. She also writes a column for Asian Media, Inc. Prior to her appointment as a judge, she was a California Justice Department State Prosecutor, specializing in fraud cases. Most recently, Judge Lim has joined ADR Services, Inc., as a mediator and arbitrator. 


Judge Lim was the first of her family born in the United States. She graduated from Berkeley High School, Brown University with Honors and Western State University College of Law San Diego (Now Thomas Jefferson School of Law) cum laude.


Judge Lim’s mother, Socorro Toribio, is from Baliwag, Bulacan in the Philippines. Judge Lim’s father, Alfredo Lim, is from Iloilo in the Philippines. She is believed to be the first Filipina American Judge appointed to the bench in the United States. Judge Lim is a founding officer and member of the Asian Pacific Bar of California, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego and Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego. She is also a past President of the California Asian American Judges Association.


Judge Lim received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) 1995 Trailblazer Award presented at the Kennedy Center in Boston. She was selected as a Woman of the Year in 2004, 78th Assembly District, by the California State Legislature and selected as TJSL’s alum of the year in 2006. She was a faculty advisor for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and an adjunct professor of law teaching Trial Practice as well as a course on “Race and the Law”. She has been or is a volunteer with numerous organizations including San Diego City College Foundation, San Diego Charter Review Commission, United Way, Bell Junior High School (working with female students), and Women of Color in the Law.


She has chaired both the Judicial Council’s Subcommittee on Women of Color and the Subcommittee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She co-chaired the Judicial Council’s First Statewide Conference for Women of Color in the Courts as well as the first statewide conference on Indian Land, bringing together state and Indian leaders within the parallel court systems. Judge Lim has been a speaker at colleges throughout the United States, including Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Government, University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Brown University and most of the local colleges and law schools in San Diego. She has also participated in panels for the National Women Judges Association and San Diego Lawyers Club. She is proud to be an “auntie” to many law students and young lawyers, many of whom attended law school in Northern and Southern California as well as the East Coast.


She was selected as the Outstanding Jurist of 2007 by the San Diego County Bar Association and served as the 2007 Commencement Speaker for Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she received an honorary Doctorate.

Susie Lorden ’08
Susie Lorden ’08

"I will always be grateful to Thomas Jefferson School of Law for its generous LSAT scholarship and excellent part-time program, which allowed me to continue working full-time at the California Attorney General’s Office while attending law school at night. I am extremely proud of TJSL for maintaining its strong part-time program that gives working adults like me the ability to attend law school. I think TJSL’s commitment to working students is part of its overall philosophy of providing dedicated, caring professors who teach practical law to students who are eager to learn and want to pass the bar. Students at TJSL tend to have a real camaraderie, and I hope to continue those relationships by acting as the leader of the TJSL D.C. alumni group."


"I became a lawyer to make a difference in people’s lives, so it was an honor for me to work in our nation’s capitol on that historic law that is already helping millions of people get the care they need. I was outside the Supreme Court when it heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the health care reform law. Inside that same courtroomI was sworn in by the U.S. Supreme Court Justices as a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court. Somebody pinch me!"


In late 2010, Susie Lorden ’08 moved to Washington, D.C., to work on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since then she been involved in drafting regulations and guidance, implementing new programs, ensuring compliance with the ACA by states and health insurance issuers, and responding to Freedom of Information Act requests. Prior to moving to D.C., Lorden was a Deputy Attorney General in the Consumer Law Section of the California Attorney General’s Office.

The Fenelli Family
The Fenelli Family - Katie Fenelli ’05, Karianne Fenelli Welch ’03, Amy Fenelli Ciftcikara ’01

The Law Offices of Rick J. Fenelli, LLP, started by Rick J. Fenelli—father of Amy Fenelli Ciftcikara ’01, Karianne Fenelli Welch ’03, Katie Fenelli ’05—is an Orange County law firm that has been around for 34 years. The family-owned firm prides itself on taking care of clients as they would their own Family - it’s the Italian tradition.


Amy Fenelli Ciftcikara ‘01 has been with the firm since 2001 and focuses on Estate Planning, Trust Administration and Probate. “TJSL gave me the foundation and confidence to take the knowledge I learned while in Law School, and transition to practicing in the real world. I am very thankful for the close knit community and family-like atmosphere of TJSL.”


Amy is married to Oz C. Ciftcikara ’02, who also worked at the firm from 2004-2011 and is now a research attorney with the San Bernardino Court. They have four children – Matthew, Cole, Anna, and Drew.


Karianne Fenelli Welch ’03 has been working at the firm since 2006 and focuses on Estate Planning. “TJSL provided a great environment to learn and helped me in establishing the fundamental background to practice law.  I look back at my time at TJSL with fond memories.”


Kari is married to Thomas J. Welch ‘02 who also works at the firm handling litigation issues. They have three daughters – Katelynn, Carson, and Leah.


Katie Fenelli ‘05 has been working at the Firm since 2005 and focuses on Trust Administration and Estate Planning. Katie is currently obtaining her Masters in Taxation, LL.M from Chapman University and expects to graduate at the end of this year. “The education and experience I received from TJSL was the cornerstone in establishing my legal career. The professors at TJSL prepared me to pass the bar and provided me with the knowledge to practice law. I am very thankful for my time and experiences at TJSL.


I am impressed by TJSL and how well TJSL prepared my daughters for private practice.” says Rick Fenelli of his three daughters.