Young Lawyers Section Executive Council

The YLS Executive Council, chaired by the Chair of the Section, is composed of approximately 100 volunteer attorneys. The  Council aims to address the needs and interests of attorneys during their first 10 years of practice. It also sets the policy and exercises general supervision and control over the Section subject to the provisions of the YLS By-Laws. The Executive Council is comprised of the Officers, the Immediate Past Chair, the Directors, the Chairs of each of the various YLS Committees, and Special Project Coordinators. The Executive Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month and at additional times when called by the Chair.

Officers and Directors

The Section’s officers consist of a Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, a Member Service Manager, a Public Service Manager, a Secretary/Treasurer, two Project Officers, two Editors-in-Chief of the YLS Journal section of CBA Record, two Editors-in-Chief of the YLS's Online Publication, a Health & Wellness Facilitator, Immediate Past Chair, and ten Directors. The Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair, Member Service Manager, Public Service Manager, Secretary, Treasurer, and Project Officers serve one-year terms. The Editors-in-Chief of the YLS Journal section of CBA Record, the Editors-in-Chief of the Section's Online Publication, and the Directors serve two-year terms. The Chair is not eligible for re-election. The Second Vice-Chair automatically success to the position of First Vice-Chair and the First Vice-Chair automatically succeeds to the position of Chair at the conclusion of his or her term.

Kenneth A. Matuszewski – Chair
Kenneth A. Matuszewski is a registered Patent Attorney and Associate at Goldberg Segalla with a background across several technical backgrounds, including the life sciences, software, electrical, and mechanical technologies. His practice focuses on complex and high-value intellectual property litigation in federal district court and before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Kenny leverages his experience working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to early-stage startups to obtain favorable outcomes during litigation and while drafting and prosecuting patent applications. Representative technologies he has worked on include gaming technologies, cancer treatments, blockchain, opioid treatments, medical devices, microphones, drones, gene therapies, pollution control technologies, and power tools. 

He has been recognized early in his career for his leadership and writing, including the American Bar Association’s On The Rise: Top 40 Young Lawyers Award, the Top Emerging IP Player Award from IPR Gorilla Conference, and earned the Richard Linn American Inn of Court's inaugural Best Program Award. He has also been selected to Super Lawyers' Rising Stars List since 2021, which is awarded to less than 2% of all attorneys under the age of 40 in Illinois. Patexia has also ranked Kenneth among the Most Active and Best Performing Patent Litigators since 2022 for Plaintiff Activity out of 14,685 patent litigators across the country. 

Previously, he co-founded and co-chaired the Young Lawyers Section's Racial Justice Coalition and served as the first Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning @theBar blog. The YLS has recognized Kenneth for his efforts over the years by honoring him with all 4 awards that YLS members are eligible to receive.  A firm believer that learning is a lifelong process, Kenny graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Oregon State University. Previously, he double-majored in Biological Sciences and Spanish at the University of Notre Dame and earned his J.D. at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Gavin Phelps – First Vice Chair
Gavin Phelps, CIPP/US primarily practices business transactional law serving as outside general counsel for his clients. He also helps with business succession planning, privacy law, insurance coverage, and real estate closings. He has worked with start-ups, nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies. Gavin received his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 2016.

Aleksandra Petrovic – Second Vice Chair
Aleksandra Petrovic is an associate attorney at Damisch & Damisch, Ltd. She represents Plaintiff's in a variety of Civil Litigation matters including personal injury, premises liability, medical malpractice, product liability, and wrongful death. Aleksandra has also assisted her clients and other attorneys nationwide with ERISA subrogation negotiation on both a state and federal level. Aleksandra has received a Certificate of Excellence from the Office of the Cook County Treasurer for her commitment and dedication to the Serbian American community through her participation with the Serbian Bar Association of America. She also received the Rising Star Award from the YLS in 2020.  Aleksandra graduated from Lake Forest College with a bachelors in Economics and Philosophy and earned her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. In the past she has spent time working with the City of Chicago Department of Buildings General Counsel helping the City of Chicago modernize its crane, masonry, and trade regulation codes.  She also had an externship with the New Orleans City Attorney's Office assisting on various Federal Civil Litigation cases and spent two summers with a 711 License at the Cook County Public Defender's Office where she defended and won a Felony Bench Trial. 

Andre Hunter, Jr. – Secretary-Treasurer 
Andre A. Hunter, Jr. is a litigation attorney at Gordon & Rees, America’s only law firm with offices in every state. As an "all-tort" defense attorney and former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois, Andre is recognized as a forward-thinking litigator and trial lawyer who excels at mitigating risks and reducing costs for his clients.
Known for his ability in cross-examining eyewitnesses, physicians, and industry experts, Andre specializes in defending cases involving product liability, premises liability, and environmental and toxic torts, including asbestos, talc, and PFAS (“forever chemicals”) lawsuits. He is also a published author on toxic tort litigation and shares his knowledge at CLE events to help guide law students and young lawyers.

As Secretary-Treasurer for the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section, Andre also serves as Chair of the Tort Law Committee. During his previous term on the Board of Directors, he was honored with the "Rising Star Award for Leaders with Exceptional Promise" and appointed as an Ambassador to Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Andre is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he served as President for the Class of 2017. He subsequently earned his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, distinguishing himself by winning multiple mock trial titles and achieving recognition as part of the #2 mock trial team in the United States.

Stephanie Moon – Recruitment Officer
Stephanie Moon is an associate in Armstrong Teasdale LLP’s Litigation practice group.  In this role, she focuses on a variety of legal matters, including professional liability, shareholder disputes, cannabis and employment. She represents clients in a variety of industries and business sectors in both federal and state courts through the entire litigation lifecycle.  Stephanie was previously a trial lawyer at Novack and Macey in Chicago. While at Novack and Macey, Stephanie focused her practice on legal malpractice matters and commercial litigation. During that time, she co-authored over a dozen blog posts for the firm’s Illinois Legal Malpractice and Defense of Lawyers blog.  Stephanie joined the Chicago Bar Association while in law school.  Since that time, she has served as the Social Committee Chair for the Young Lawyer’s Section (“YLS”) and was appointed to serve on the YLS Executive Committee in 2023.  

Jacob Berger – Philanthropy Officer
Jake is an associate at Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC, practicing primarily in the area of commercial litigation in various state and federal courts throughout the country.  Jake has extensive experience in all aspects of the litigation process, including pre-suit investigation and development, e-discovery, depositions, trials, and appeals.  He also regularly counsels many different types of clients, from startups to well-established leaders in their respective industries, on issues such as business formation, risk management, and employment issues.  As a result of Jake’s strong commitment to pro bono work and to serving the Bar, Jake received the 2022 Excellence in Pro Bono Award from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Jake is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin (2009), where he doubled majored in Political Science and International Studies:  International Political Economy, matriculated with honors, and was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  He is also a proud graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law (2014), where Jake graduated near the top of his class with magna cum laude honors, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served on the executive boards of both the Chicago-Kent Law Review and the Chicago-Kent Moot Court Honors Society.

Deepa Singh – Project Officer
Deepa Singh is a Trademark Examining Attorney at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to relocating to Chicago, Deepa was a tenants' attorney in New York City representing tenants in eviction proceedings in Brooklyn, New York during the height of the Pandemic. While taking a couple of years to assist tenants during the pandemic, Deepa's primary interest in law and legal background is in trademark prosecution and litigation for startups, family-owned businesses, and Fortune 100 companies. Deepa graduated Cum Laude from the American University Washington College of Law and was the Executive Editor and published author for the International Law Review. 

Pam Sran – Project Officer

Bianca Ciarroni – DEI Officer
Bianca is a member of the commercial litigation practice group at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. Her focus includes shareholder and partnership disputes, business torts, trademark and trade secret cases, breach of contract cases, Section 1983 civil rights litigation and trust litigation. She also represents creditors enforcing their judgments and third-party respondents pulled into post-judgment matters. Before Taft, she was an associate at a mid-sized law firm in Chicago and represented creditors, creditors’ committees and Trustees in bankruptcy as well as judgment creditors in post-judgment litigation. Bianca also advocated pro bono on behalf of two inmates based on infringements of their constitutional rights while in prison.
Bianca was selected for Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars as well as Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” in both 2023 and 2024. Previously, Bianca was a director for the Young Lawyers Section and before that served as a Special Project Coordinator. In 2024, she was recognized by YLS and received the Rising Star Award for Leaders with Exceptional Promise.
Bianca graduated cum laude from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law. During that time, she was Chief Justice of the Moot Court Honors Program and a published member of the UIC Law Review. 

Nikki Marcotte – Co-Editor in Chief of the YLS Journal
Nikki Marcotte is a litigation associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Their practice primarily centers on complex commercial litigation in both federal and state trial courts. They have a broad range of experience representing clients in matters involving white collar defense and government investigations, trade secrets, antitrust, contract disputes, employment defense litigation, toxic torts and product liability.

Joanna Kopczyk – Co-Editor in Chief of the YLS Journal

Teresa Dettloff – Co-Editor of the YLS Blog
Teresa practices law in Chicago, Illinois and graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She competed on both the Vis and Uvaldo Herrera moot court teams and served as a lead article editor on the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Journal. She previously interned at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Hannah Werner – Co-Editor of the YLS Blog
Hannah graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations and a B.A. in Psychology from Auburn University. After working at Ankin Law Office for almost a year, she discovered an interest in law and joined the Chicago-Kent community. She is a recent graduate from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she served as a representative for the Society of Women in Law, as well as being a member of various organizations matching her passions, such as the First-Generation Law Student Association and the Chicago Kent Animal Legal Defense Fund. Because of an amazing, hands-on legal internship, she looks forward to a career in estate planning, real estate, or business law, and will be sitting for the bar this summer.

Martin Gould – Immediate Past Chair
Martin D. Gould is a Founding Partner at Stinar Gould Grieco & Hensley (SGGH), who has dedicated his career to securing justice for individuals and classes of victims who have suffered from personal injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, mass torts, and sexual abuse and assaults. Martin has devoted a significant portion of his practice to helping survivors of rape, sexual assault, and childhood sexual abuse find justice, financial compensation, and closure through the legal system. Prior to co-founding SGGH, Martin served as a Partner at a prominent national personal injury law firm based in Chicago, where he led and managed the firm’s Sexual Abuse Practice Group.

Martin graduated toward the top of his class from Chicago-Kent College of Law, cum laude, and was a published member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Currently, Martin holds leadership positions within several legal organizations dedicated to representing survivors of sexual abuse and assault, serving on the Advisory Board of the National Crime Victims Bar Association as well as on the junior board of Child USA.  Martin earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Northwestern University, where he was also a four-year member of the Northwestern Varsity Wrestling Team. The team placed 4th in the NCAAs Martin’s sophomore year in 2007.