In an evening brimming with jubilation and academic pride, Santa Clara University School of Law recently hosted its annual graduation awards reception–the Celebration of Spirit and Excellence–honoring the remarkable accomplishments of the graduating class of 2024. The celebration, hosted at the beautiful Mission Gardens, united faculty, staff, alumni, and loved ones to honor students and graduates who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary leadership, scholarship, and service. 

Dean Michael Kaufman set the tone for the evening with an address to the graduates, emphasizing the importance of these outstanding awards: “Tonight is the culmination of so many celebrations throughout the week. We will recognize nineteen other students who have been selected for special honors. Students in the midst of all of their other obligations have made extraordinary contributions to our law school through their research, their classroom performance, and their service to their classmates and their broader community.” Dean Kaufman said. 

Kiran Sutaria is a recipient of the Mabie Award for Outstanding Graduate. This honor is presented annually by the Mabie Family Foundation; the Mabie Award is the highest academic honor given by the law school. It is given to the graduating student who best represents exceptional “qualities of scholarship, community leadership, and a sense of professional responsibility.”

Kiran has excelled both academically and in extracurricular activities at Santa Clara Law. Kiran graduated at the top of her class with the highest cumulative GPA. In law school, she was a notes editor for the Santa Clara Law Review and a student associate for the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic. As a Dean’s Fellow and Tech Edge J.D. student, she leveraged her talents and work ethic to excel. Her dedication has led to prestigious summer associate positions at Morrison & Foerster LLP, all while balancing student leadership positions, law review, and full-time coursework.

“When Kiran was a student in the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic, I personally observed Kiran’s “mad skills” she took on a complicated research project for a client, mastering a difficult area of the law. She was a collaborative teammate and mentor to her 2L partner.” Associate Dean Laura Norris said. 

Kiran graduated summa cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D) and Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 

Leor (Vartikovski) Chechik is a recipient of the John B. Bates, Jr. Dispute Resolution Award. This award is given in recognition of a student’s coursework, publications, performance, and service related to the field of dispute resolution. 

Leor’s outstanding performance in Professor Gary Spitko’s Mediation Theory and Practice seminar showcased her remarkable communication and problem-solving skills, foreshadowing her potential as a sought-after mediator. As a law student, she has helped the Santa Clara community by founding and serving as president of Affirmed Law Students, which aims to “provide opportunities for social networking, professional mentorship, and career advice for law students with prior experience in other fields.” 

She also worked as a student associate at the Katherine & George Alexander Community Law Center (KGACLC), advising clients on legal issues regarding consumer rights. Beyond her campus involvement, she was a law clerk for the County of San Mateo and a Research & Advocacy intern for Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. 

In addition, Her proactive involvement in conceiving and planning a new Mediation Clinic at SCU Law underscores her academic prowess and commitment to expanding access to justice. 

“Leor’s dedication to learning and advancing in the field of Conflict Resolution positions her as an exemplary ambassador for Santa Clara Law, carrying on the legacy of leadership in ADR.” John Bates said. 

Leor is set to graduate from Santa Clara Law this December where she will obtain a Juris Doctor (J.D.) 

Connor Thomas Haney is a recipient of the Art Gemmell Prize, honoring the best student paper in International Arbitration and Conflict Resolution, for his paper: The CISG: A survey of US and International Perspectives. “In this well-researched, well-considered, and articulate paper, Connor compares the application of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) in the United States and internationally.” Assistant Dean Jolee David said. 

Beyond this achievement, Connor has translated his academic prowess into his employment where he was a Summer Associate for Zipline. Connor is set to graduate from Santa Clara Law in 2025 where he will obtain a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 

This year, Santa Clara Law honored 16 Dean’s Outstanding Leadership Student Leadership Awards from the Class of 2024.

Garrett Clark 

If you’ve ever been in the atrium of Charney Hall, you’ve likely encountered Garrett Clark, well known for his thoughtfulness, kindness, and ability to listen to anyone and everyone. He has embraced leadership roles in the American Constitution Society and the Environmental Law Society and has made invaluable contributions to the Santa Clara Law Review, SCOTUS Review, and the Student Bar Association. His talents aren’t confined to law alone; Garrett is also an active member of the university choir. Through his leadership, he is motivated to pursue a legal career in social justice and climate change. Garrett graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.)


Eamon Condon

For Eamon Condon, the pursuit of leadership and writing have been the twin pillars of his journey at Santa Clara Law. Eamon’s leadership traces back to his time as an Eagle Scout; the highest rank attainable in scouting. In law school, he was editor-in-chief for the High Tech Law Journal, notes editor of the Santa Clara Law Review, and managerial editor of the Santa Clara Business Law Chronicle–demonstrating his editorial competencies. He also served as vice president of external affairs for the Student Bar Association Executive Board and vice president of the Environmental Justice Society. Last year, Eamon expanded his expertise through an internship as a summer associate with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Eamon graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a certificate in Intellectual Property Law.


Jason Cowan

Known for his constant willingness to help others, Jason’s contributions have left an indelible mark on the Santa Clara community. When Jason decided to attend law school, he had a clear intention in engaging in social justice work; notably through his commitment to 400 pro bono hours, which garnered him the Gold Pro Bono Recognition Award and the title of Pro Bono Graduating Student of the Year. He was also a recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship, the B.T. Collins “Captain Hook” Endowed Scholarship, and the “Hoge Fenton Fellow” summer grant. As a law student, Jason says his proudest achievement lies in his work as a research assistant for the Center for Social Justice and Public Service as a policy research fellow with the Panetta Institute and two years with the International Human Rights Clinic. Last year, Jason worked as a legal intern for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative–a non-profit that champions human rights and justice globally. Jason is committed to employing his legal education, work ethic, and experiences to advocate for those marginalized by the system. Jason graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Criminal Justice and International Law certificate.


Maria Figueredo

Maria Figueredo’s leadership roles for various student organizations have shaped her perspective, and she hopes to be the change she wants to see in the world. In law school, Maria served as the internal vice president for the Latinx community and co-vice president of Entertainment for the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Maria’s energy and commitment to inclusivity have made a lasting impact–fortifying a supportive and engaging environment for all Santa Clara Law students. Maria graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and certificate in Intellectual Property Law.

Alisha Hacker

Driven by her passion for justice and making a tangible impact, Alisha Hacker served as chair of the Benefit for Justice for two years, where she spearheaded efforts that raised an impressive $50,000 for Summer Social Justice Grants. A natural leader, she made meaningful contributions to the Santa Clara community during her time as the symposium editor and an associate for the Santa Clara Law Review, as well as a writer for the Santa Clara Business Law Chronicle. Her ardent leadership extended to various student organizations as she held key positions, including vice president for both the Criminal Law Society and Street Law organizations and secretary for the Jewish Law Student Association. In addition, Alisha’s constant display of excellence was evident in her participation in multiple local and international competitions, such as the National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Competition, the ABA Negotiation Competition, and the Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition in Belgium. Going beyond personal success, she generously shared her expertise by serving as a coach for several of these teams, as well as for the Galloway Moot Court Competition. Now, Alisha is ready to make a lasting impact in the legal field as she embarks on a post-bar law clerking position with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Alisha graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a certificate in Criminal Justice.


Marisa Hawley

Marisa, known for her lucid, brilliant, and balanced attitude towards her endeavors in law school, positioned herself as a figure of inspiration and paving the way for future advancement. Throughout her time in law school, Marisa actively participated in student-related activities, serving as an associate for the High Tech Law Journal and volunteering as a Broncos entrepreneur during clinic hours. Marisa displayed her leadership qualities through her service as the event’s co-chair for Privacy Law and her term as an external content co-manager for Internet Law. Numerous awards and achievements decorated Marisa as a law student, including the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Contracts 1 (Fall 2021), Civil Procedure 1 (Fall 2021), Legal Writing 2 (Spring 2022), and Appellate Advocacy (Fall 2022). She also received the Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Criminal Law (Fall 2021) and Civil Procedure (Spring 2022), and was honored with the Emery Merit Scholarship. In addition, Marisa worked as a summer associate for Cooley LLP and a tax planning intern for Intuitive. She also worked as a legislative aide for the United States Senate, where she was responsible for the tax and trade policy aide for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer. Beyond her legal achievements, she was renowned as an outstanding tennis player–notable for her wicked backhand. Marisa is a great team player who is always willing to do the hard work on behalf of the team and take all of the hard shots. Marisa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 


Chelsey Jordan

Chelsey Jordan’s career goal is to become an advocate for justice, representing individuals who lack the means to afford legal representation. During her time in law school, she was an active member of the Black Law Student Association, and the Santa Clara Law Review. Chelsey was also a 1L representative for Women in Law, 1L representative for Black Law Students Association, and 1L representative for First Generation Law Student Association. Deeply committed to social justice, Chelsey has dedicated her tireless efforts to the Center for Social Justice and Public Service–championing equity and driving transformative changes. In 2021, she interned as a lawyer at Greater Boston Legal Services, where she worked towards a more timely housing placement and researched discrimination against people of color. Chelsey graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Molly Karasick

Molly Karasick is a catalyst in her cohort, distinguished by her dedication to social justice and service. As president of the Internal Law Student Organization, she did not just lead–she proposed and implemented programs, like the Street Law program, to champion causes close to her heart. Whether she rallied support for the Center for Social Justice & Public Service or made significant contributions to the 2023 Benefit for Justice, Molly’s passion for social justice shined through in everything she did. Beyond campus, she served as president of the Social Justice Coalition and co-president of the American Constitution Society, where she fought tirelessly for the rights of others. Molly’s achievements and works earned her well-deserved recognition as a recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Scholarship. During the summer, she worked as a summer associate at Pashman Stein Wayder PC in New York City. Molly graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and certificate in Criminal Justice. 

Rebeca Kinslow

For Rebeca Kinslow, law was always a destination she aspired to pursue. During her undergraduate years at Santa Clara University, she was the president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. During her time in law school, she was a communication editor for Santa Clara Law Review, vice president of the Latinx Law Student Association, and vice president of the First Generation Law Student Association, where she was instrumental in organizing site visits with students and employers. Rebeca spent a summer interning at Cooley LLP, supporting the firm with preparing financing and board documents, assisting with follow-on financing, and researching legal issues like securities exemptions and non-compete agreements. Currently, she is a legal research assistant for the MediaNews Group, tackling everything from the WARN Act to racial discrimination and wrongful termination. Rebeca is committed to acting to the best of her ability to push forward fundamental change to create a better space for all. Rebeca graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and certificate in High Tech Law. 

Julianna Major

The philosophy of lifting others as she climbs motivates Julianna to pursue a career that not only provides learning opportunities but also allows her to make a meaningful impact. As a law student, she has helped the Santa Clara community through her service as a co-president of the Student Bar Association and was an active member of the Society for Interactive Entertainment and Gaming Law. While at Santa Clara, Julianna also worked directly with the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic as a student associate. She currently works as a patent clerk for Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., and intends to demonstrate her work-based learning through this exposure. Julianna Major graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 


Kyle Perkins

For Kyle, leadership was not just a role to fulfill, it was a calling to inspire and uplift others, guiding them towards their fullest potential. As an undergraduate, his ambition for leadership was fueled by his stint as a senator-at-large for the Student Government Association, for which he received the President’s Service Award upon graduating. Following graduation, Kyle chose to take his leadership passion to the next level and decided to take up law here at Santa Clara. His zealous leadership extended to various student organizations, including co-vice president of Santa Clara Law’s Student Bar Association, and a stint as the vice president for the Black Law Student Association. Kyle was also a recipient of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship. Last year, Kyle interned for the Texas attorney general as a law clerk, where he honed his skills in legal research and writing. Kyle further channeled his passion for equal representation into his role as a law clerk at the All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc., ensuring that low-income and modest-means litigants had equal access to justice. Kyle graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) 

Nicole Poirot

Nicole is a strategic thinker with a knack for opportunities and a heart for service. As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), conferred by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, she brings expertise in U.S. privacy laws to the table. During her tenure in law school, she served the Bronco community through her engagement as president of the Student Bar Association, managing editor for the High Technology Law Journal, assistant section editor, and litigation editor for the Santa Clara Business Chronicle. She was also instrumental in developing the Environmental Law Society while serving as vice president and co-communication chair for the Privacy Law Student Organization. In addition to her involvement with student groups and organizations, she interned for Ernst & Young as a privacy intern, and Bigfoot Biomedical as a legal and privacy intern, where she was able to put into practice what she learned from Santa Clara Law. Nicole Poriot graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 


Sabreen Noel Ben Salem

Sabreen Noel Ben Salem is a beacon of leadership and unity within the Santa Clara Law community and beyond. As president of the Middle East North African Law Student Association, she recently orchestrated a joint networking event with the Middle East North African Law Student Association and the Jewish Law Student Association, sending a powerful message of unity at such a critical time. Sabreen takes pride in fostering an inclusive and respectful environment, which makes her stand as an exemplary testament to the leadership found among Santa Clara Law students. Beyond her inspiring work as a student leader, Sabreen used her experience at the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic and her interest and experience in technology law to serve as a volunteer program advisor for the Bronco Entrepreneurs Advisory Clinic Hours (BEACH) program. Additionally, she has contributed her outstanding talents as the 3L co-chair of the Tech Edge J.D. Executive Board. Sabreen graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.), Tech Edge J.D. certificate. 


Alexia Torres

From co-founding the Santa Clara Law Business Chronicle to becoming the youngest female certified Major League Baseball player’s agent, Alexia’s quest to success is nothing short of phenomenal. As one of the co-founders of the Santa Clara Business Chronicle, she crafted a platform where everyday readers can access new insights into the business and legal fields. Additionally, Alexia served as a co-treasurer for the Student Bar Association and was an active member of the Art Law Society. Alexia generously shared her time through volunteering for the Donations Committee for the Benefit for Justice, assisting with raising funds for summer social justice grants for students working in unpaid summer internships at non-profit and government organizations. Beyond her work as a student leader, she was able to gain hands-on experience as a project management intern for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Los Angeles. She epitomizes ambition and community spirit, making her an inspiring figure in the Santa Clara Law community. Alexia graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and certificate in High Tech Law, Corporate specialization.


Karina Vals

Karina Vals has always felt the duty to help others; she believes that lawyers can use the law as an agent for social change. At Santa Clara Law, she served as the assistant director for Honors Moot Court Internal, president of the Jewish Law Students Association, and co-vice president of the Labor and Employment Law Society. Karina currently serves as a judicial intern for the Superior Court, County of Santa Clara. With a law degree, she hopes to advance the movement of holistic lawyering and continue to serve the community by pushing for workers’ rights. Karin graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) 


Maria Williams

Maria Willians always found herself in her element whenever she stepped into moot court as if she were slipping into a familiar pair of shoes. She displayed her abilities as she walked on to be a finalist for the Galloway Moot Court competition and was named Best Oral Advocate. It wasn’t all competition for her; she demonstrated her leadership qualities as she was a co-director of Honors Moot Court Internal and public relations chair for Honors Moot Court External. Maria was also a member of SCOTUS review. Beyond her formal commitments, Maria was involved with Lawyers Who Adventure (Alum Rock Park Hike), a place where she could resort to when she felt the need to recharge–offering her an outlet for outdoor activities. Maria graduated with a Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Dean Kaufman, expressed his praise to each of the recipients: “Your faculty and administrative team have all praised your common attributes: great intellect, thoughtful and superb work product, astute observations, respectful and kind engagement with everyone, and a humble but determined commitment to using your talents to help others and contribute to the greater good.” 

To our awardees, the Santa Clara Law community is deeply grateful for the meaningful contributions you have made and the inspiration you have instilled within our community. We are confident that you will continue to make an even greater impact beyond law school.