Law School Alumni

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We’re proud of our successful law school alumni.

Empire College alumni comprise approximately 25 percent of the Sonoma County Bar. Thirteen are now members of the judiciary in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Lassen, Calaveras, and Merced counties, along with one in Arizona. A partial list of alumni appears below.

Tadd C. Aiona, Attorney at Law, Provencher & Flatt LLP

Hon. Shelly Averill, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Jared J. Babula, Senior Staff Counsel, California Energy Commission

Hon. Raima H. Ballinger, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Hon. Carla Bonilla, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner (retired)

Craig T. Brooks, Deputy District Attorney, Sonoma County; President, Sonoma County Prosecutors Association

Hon. Ron W. Brown, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge (1996-2011)

Jeanne M. Browne, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Hon. Jeanne M. Buckley, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner (retired)

Hon. Thomas S. Burr, Commissioner, Superior Court of Merced County (retired)

Anne D’Arcy, Associate, Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP

Teresa de la O, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Jeffrey E. Duplicki, Associate, McMillan & Shureen LLP

Patrick M. Dyas, Attorney at Law, Adams Nye Sinunu Bruni Becht LLP

Marlisa A. Ferreira, Senior Deputy District Attorney – Gang Unit, Stanislaus County

Gail F. Flatt, Partner, Provencher & Flatt LLP

Jacqueline D. Gillespie, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Michael Gogna, City Attorney, Healdsburg and Fort Bragg; Attorney at Law, Meyers Nave

Stephen E. Hansel, President, Hansel Leasing

Donald P. Hawley, Claims Counsel, Universal Underwriters Group

John A. Holdredge, Partner, Geary, Shea, O’Donnell & Grattan PC

Sharon H. Holwerda, Attorney at Law, Bishop, Barry, Howe, Haney & Ryder

Ronald W. Horton, Attorney at Law, State Compensation Insurance Fund

Seth Howard, Attorney at Law, Law Office of Steve Turer

Yolanda M. Jackson, Deputy Executive Director and Diversity Director, Bar Association of San Francisco

Scott A. Jamar, Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney

Patrick W. Kilkenny, President/CEO, National Bank of the Redwoods

Joseph C. Kinkade, Staff Attorney, School and College Legal Services

John P. LaLonde, Deputy District Attorney, Fresno County

Heidi Larson, Deputy District Attorney, Mendocino County

John P. Levering, Associate, Mullen & Filippi LLP

Mark F. Lightfoot, Attorney at Law, American Home Shield Insurance

Hon. Paul Lozada, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner

Katy Rose Lusson, Attorney at Law, Protection & Advocacy, Inc.

Julianne Major, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Jean Maltby, Research Attorney, Sonoma County Superior Court

Susan Moore Massini, Mendocino County District Attorney, 1987-1999

Michael G. Miller, Partner, Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz LLP

Carol J. Monahan, Chief Counsel, California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Adrienne M. Moran, Partner, Shapiro, Galvin, Shapiro, Piasta & Moran

Hon. Lawrence E. Ornell, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge

Kathleen A. Pozzi, Sonoma County Chief Deputy Public Defender

Douglas B. Provencher, Partner, Provencher & Flatt

Nathaniel Raff, Law Offices of L. Stephen Turer

Hon. Becky Rasmason, Sonoma County Superior Court Commissioner

Andy J. Rubinger, Chief Deputy Public Defender, Napa County

Peggy J. Schmeck, Attorney at Law, Sonoma County Family Mediation Services (retired)

E. Gregory Schrader, Attorney at Law, Private Practitioner

Richard S. Scott, Associate, Andrian & Gallenson

Doug Shureen, Partner, McMillan & Shureen LLP; 2006 President, Sonoma County Bar Association

Ann Thomas, Attorney at Law & Project Director, Council on Aging

Daniel Taylor, Associate Attorney, Ellis Law Group, LLP

Hon. Francisca P. Tisher, Napa County Superior Court Judge

George R. Valenzuela, Attorney at Law, Santa Rosa City Schools

J. Ross Walker, Willits City Attorney

Robert Wieworka, Staff Counsel, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Thomas Q. WinterMD, Of Counsel, Teal & Montgomery

Note: Listings reflect the most current information available at the time of publication. To update a listing, contact shurd@empirecollege.com.


One of the things that I appreciate about going to Empire College was that the training was so hands-on.

Yesenia Avalos

Medical Assistant Coordinator, West County Health Centers
Empire Law School provided the instruction, guidance, and motivation that I needed to pass the California State Bar Examination on the first try, despite the rigors of managing a full-time career and family commitments in parallel. I would absolutely recommend Empire Law School to anyone looking for relevant and masterful instruction in the subjects of law.

Chris Van Nuys

Operations Manager, LEMO USA, Inc. (Class of 2019)

By assisting clients at the Self-Help Access Center, students learn about law, human nature, society and challenges people face on a daily basis.

Michelle Brown

Empire Law Graduate

Empire is perfect for individuals seeking a practical, cost-effective legal education taught by committed practitioners. Empire enabled me to grow and learn through experiences with the Superior Court’s Office and the District Attorney’s office as a student and then launch into a rewarding career serving as General Counsel for American Home Shield >Corporation, The ServiceMaster Franchise Group, Graham Packaging Company, and currently, Evergreen Packaging.

Mark Lightfoot

General Counsel, Evergreen Packaging

Walking across the graduation stage already employed with a full-time job was very gratifying.

Nancy Clark

Paralegal, Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc.

I had a lot of friends go through Empire who had a great experience. If you want a solid IT foundation to get out in the workforce, it’s the place to be.

Blake Buchanan

Service Desk Analyst, Davita Medical Group