ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

The tight-knit Villanova Law alumni community is over 11,000 lawyers strong. They are leaders in their field, spanning all areas of industry. Our alumni are invested in helping you during your three years at Villanova Law and more importantly, beyond. Our alumni are committed to helping you succeed.

Take this opportunity to meet a few of our distinguished graduates who serve on the Board of the Villanova Law Alumni Association. Learn about their paths to law school and why they chose to call Villanova home, as they share some advice with you as incoming students. Explore their bios and don’t hesitate to connect with them one-on-one. 

Undergraduate School: Villanova University
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Why did you decide to apply to Villanova Law?

As a lifelong Philadelphia resident and Villanova University School of Business graduate, I was looking for a law school with strong roots locally with the potential to network nationally. Villanova Law's strong presence as a leader in the Philadelphia-area legal network, reputation for academic excellence and opportunity for practical clinical experience made VLS my clear first-choice.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

The people you meet in law school will be your friends, colleagues, and professional network for years to come. Take advantage of your time in law school to both learn the law and lay the foundation for your important professional network.

 

Biography

Ashley R. Lynam is an experienced trial attorney with the special investigations and fraud team.

In 2011, Ashley graduated from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law where she was an executive member of the Moot Court Board and member of the Trial Advocacy Club. While in law school, she clerked for the Honorable Rayford Allen Means of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and was a certified legal intern for the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

After law school, Ashley worked at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, primarily in the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit where she prosecuted felony-level rape, domestic violence, and child physical and sexual abuse cases. She specialized in the prosecution of human trafficking cases, conducting proactive investigations into the trafficking and sexual exploitation of children while collaborating with local, state and federal agencies and coalitions. She received a certification in human trafficking training and was the keynote speaker at several events, including the Philadelphia Safety Summit for Women and Children and the Federal Women’s Program hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Ashley was assigned to the Major Trials Unit, where she was responsible for prosecuting non-fatal shootings, gun-point robberies, and attempted murder cases. She has also handled investigations and prosecutions arising out of the Philadelphia Indicting Grand Jury with a focus on cases involving victim or witness intimidation.

Prior to joining Bennett, Bricklin and Saltzburg LLC Ashley was an associate in a boutique Philadelphia plaintiff’s firm. She is an executive board member of Villanova Law’s Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, a board member of Villanova Law’s Alumni Association, and a regular online contributor to The Legal Intelligencer.

Undergraduate School: Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Hometown: Lafayette Hill, PA

Why did you decide to apply to Villanova Law?

I liked the small town feel and community vibe at Villanova. It seemed like the administration, faculty and students were all working together to create an atmosphere of critical thinking and learning.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

Find colleagues for a study group to help prepare for class. Get involved in the community by finding a non-profit organization to volunteer.

 

Biography

While attending Villanova Law, Mr. Drossner was an intern with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the Honorable James J. Fitzgerald, III, currently a Senior Judge for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. At Villanova, he was also President of the Criminal Law Society and a member of the Litigation and Trial Law Society.

Following graduation from Villanova Law in 2001, Mr. Drossner worked as an attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia where he represented indigent criminal defendants in Philadelphia County and handled hundreds of trials to verdict. Shortly after obtaining his LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from the Temple University Beasley School of Law, Mr. Drossner began working as an attorney at a premier white-collar litigation boutique in Philadelphia. At that firm, he was responsible for representing clients during all stages of government investigations and proceedings as well as conducting trials in both federal court and state court.

In 2008, Mr. Drossner opened Drossner Law, a white-collar criminal defense boutique with offices in Philadelphia and Norristown.  In October 2016, Mr. Drossner merged his firm with a colleagues firm, forming Halim Drossner, PC, where they represent targets, subjects and witnesses in grand jury investigations at the state and federal level. In addition, the practice includes representing clients at trial, aggressive sentencing advocacy, post-trial and post-conviction matters, and federal appeals.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Drossner was recently elected as a Township Supervisor in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, where he is part of a five-member, volunteer Board that oversees the budget and all operations for his local municipality. He is on the Executive Committee of the J. Willard O’Brien American Inn of Court and he's the vice-president of his synagogue, Beth Tikvah-B’nai Jeshurun. And finally he is a coach and commissioner for the Whitemarsh Youth Basketball League, the Whitemarsh Girls Basketball League, Whitemarsh Little League and the Whitemarsh Girls Softball League.

Undergraduate School: Pennsylvania State University - University Park
Hometown: Lafayette Hill, PA

Describe some of your experiences at Villanova Law.

Villanova prepared me well for practicing law. The classes I took were great and the professors really cared about the students. When I was a summer associate, I was having difficulty with a concept I had not learned in law school yet, so I reached out to a couple of professors in that area who took time to discuss and explain the issue to me. I also liked the small sizes of the more specialized classes. I got my 2L summer associate position through on-campus recruiting and Villanova Law really put me on my path to my current career.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

Get out and network with alumni. It is important to do well in law school, but who you know is equally important in getting jobs and practicing law. Do not be shy or nervous about approaching alums or attending bar functions in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Alumni are here to help you.

 

Biography

In 2000, Helen graduated from the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law where she was a member of the Villanova Sports and Entertainment Journal, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and Pro Bono Society. Prior to joining Lamb McErlane PC, Helen worked for prominent, global law firms, such as Duane Morris LLP and Blank Rome LLP, where she specialized in corporate and business law.

Helen concentrates her practice on representing companies in corporate and business law counseling, as well as corporate and financing transactions. She has also handled complex corporate transactions, including mergers, stock acquisitions, asset sales, recapitalizations and reorganizations.

She has experience representing clients in areas such as corporate governance, private placements of securities, executive compensation, insider trading and ownership reporting, securities law reporting and public disclosures. She also concentrates in municipal finance, focusing in the areas of general government, project finance, refinancing and working capital finance.

Helen is admitted to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bars, is an Executive Committee member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania and is a Committee Member for the March of Dimes Chester County Salute to Women of Achievement.

Undergraduate School: The College of New Jersey
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ

Describe some of your experiences at Villanova Law.

My professors were excellent. To this day, I remain in touch with several of them -- and I even had the opportunity to retain one as an expert witness!
During law school, I dedicated 10 credit hours during my 3L year to the Civil Justice Clinic. That was far and away the best experience I had, and it was the best preparation I was offered for the practice of law after graduation. I represented indigent clients in social security, custody, and other civil matters.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

Treat law school like a job. Prepare each day and keep up with your work throughout the semester.

Why did you decide to apply to Villanova Law?

My wife graduated from Villanova Law, as I was preparing my law school applications. I applied to Villanova based on local job placement opportunities, clinical programs, and local reputation.

 

Biography

Justin has a broad practice involving complex individual and class action disputes, including products liability, commercial fraud, and employment discrimination matters. The matters that he handles come from varied industries, including manufacturing, finance, insurance, and real estate. Justin considers pro bono work to be an important part of his practice, and he is a member of his firm’s Philadelphia Pro Bono Committee.

Before joining Ballard Spahr, Justin served as a judicial law clerk for four years. He began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael J. Koury, Jr. of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, and he thereafter served the federal judiciary: first, the Honorable Mary L. Cooper of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and later, the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Following this clerkship, Justin joined DLA Piper, working on complex commercial cases in state and federal courts.

He is a member of the bars of both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and he is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey.

While attending Villanova Law, Justin was a staff writer and managing editor for the Villanova Law Review, and also a managing editor of the Journal of Catholic Social Thought. He earned several honors and awards at graduation, including the Dorothy Day Award, which acknowledges students who have volunteered at the inception of their careers to take on the added responsibility of pro bono service, and the Joseph R. Wenk Award for his contributions to the Civil Justice Clinic. Justin was also awarded the Hyman-Goodman Award, which is awarded to graduating students who, in the opinion of the faculty, have done the most for the class and the Law School through both academic and extracurricular achievements.

Undergraduate School: University of Missouri - Columbia
Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Describe some of your experiences at Villanova Law.

I found Villanova Law to be a wonderful experience. My classmates became great friends and the atmosphere was one in which we helped each other succeed. From study groups to sharing outlines, we all wanted the best for each other. The professors were friendly and available for assistance when I needed them. I was a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, and the older students on the Journal took the time to teach me about legal writing. The Journal selected my article for publication, which in turn helped me land my first job at a regional law firm as a labor and employment attorney.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

Be open to new experiences and follow your interests. It's okay to not know what you want to do when you graduate law school. Try different things and talk to different people during law school and that may help you decide what you want to do. Also, talk to alumni and older law school students! Most alumni are happy to help, and you can learn a lot from talking to them.

 

Biography

Prior to law school, Sarah earned her Master's in Accountancy from the University of Missouri - Columbia. Following graduation, Sarah worked as a certified public accountant for a major international accounting and consulting firm and for a car rental company. She also interned at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Government Accountability Office. In 2008, Sarah received her J.D. from Villanova Law where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and Treasurer for the Public Interest Fellowship Program.

Prior to her work with the U.S. Department of Education, Sarah was an attorney for Littler Mendelson P.C. where she provided labor and employment counseling and defense services to employers in the retail, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing industries, handling claims arising under:

  • Title VII
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Similar state laws

She appeared in state and federal courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. She also handled arbitration before the American Arbitration Association. Additionally, Sarah offered harassment prevention training and counseled employers on discrimination issues and employment decisions and policies, including employee handbook revisions.

In her current role, Sarah specializes in educational law, investigating complaints of discrimination against schools, colleges and universities. She is admitted to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bars.

Undergraduate School: University of Delaware
Hometown: Broomall, PA

Why did you decide to apply to Villanova Law?

I grew up only a few minutes from Villanova and although I didn't attend undergrad there, I always felt an affinity for the school. When I started visiting law schools, I was particularly impressed by the friendliness of the Villanova Law faculty as well their subject matter expertise, many of them having authored the "go-to" treatises and textbooks in their respective fields. The low faculty to student ratio was also very important to me.

Describe some of your experiences at Villanova Law.

My years at Villanova Law School are some of the fondest I have ever had. Villanova truly felt like a community to me. My fellow students were intelligent and creative and inspired me to be the best that I could be. The environment was supportive and energetic, never overly competitive or intimidating. The atmosphere was as social as the coursework was rigorous. It was a perfect balance. At Villanova, I made long-lasting friendships. Many of the friends that I made there are still some of my closest friends today, more than twenty years later. Most importantly, Villanova provided me with the foundation that I needed to make the transition to professional life. As a young associate at a large law firm, I was fully equipped with the knowledge and skills to become a successful lawyer.

 

Biography

Lauren is currently responsible for all legal aspects of the commercial lending operations, servicing and control matters for the Corporate and Specialty Banking and the Regional Commercial Banking divisions of TD Bank, N.A. Prior to her start there in 2016, she was a partner at Duane Morris LLP, where she spent more than twenty years practicing in the areas of commercial finance, secured transactions, business reorganization, financial restructuring, creditors' rights and bankruptcy law. In her finance practice, she routinely represented commercial banks, insurance companies, non-institutional lenders and borrowers in secured lending, asset-based lending, leasing and credit enhancement transactions and other types of commercial transactions. Additionally, she assisted creditors in complex workout, restructuring and insolvency matters, including in connection with the enforcement of remedies through commercial litigation in federal and state court.

Prior to her graduation from Villanova Law in 1995, Lauren served as an Associate Editor for the Villanova Law Review, was an elected class representative for the Student Bar Association, and was the co-chair of the Women's Law Caucus. Since graduating, Lauren has gone on to receive multiple awards and honors for her outstanding work in the legal field. Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, she is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the CRE Finance Council. Lauren also sits on the Board of the Law School's Alumni Association.

Undergraduate School: Loyola University Maryland
Hometown: Marlton, NJ

Describe some of your experiences at Villanova Law.

Villanova's Clinical Program enriched my experience as a law student and gave me the skills and confidence to succeed as a litigator.

What advice do you have for students starting law school?

Keep an open mind. Your areas of interest in the law may - and likely will - change over the course of your time in law school.

 

Biography

Alexis concentrates her practice on representation of long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation, assisted living, home health and hospice care corporations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Alexis helps clients successfully navigate through every stage of the litigation process, including depositions, court appearances, settlement negotiations and trial/arbitration. Through her deep knowledge of the healthcare industry, Alexis also conducts internal investigations and advises clients on best practices for managing their risk.

In 2014, Alexis was selected to the New Jersey Law Journal's "New Leaders of the Bar," formerly known as the "40 Under 40." Alexis was also named to the 2016 "Rising Stars" List by New Jersey Super Lawyers.

Prior to joining Buchanan, Alexis gained experience as an associate at a Philadelphia-based litigation firm. She also worked as law clerk for the Honorable Kyran Connor, Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division. During law school, Alexis served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Marie E. Lihotz, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

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Charles Widger School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
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