2023 – 2024 Foundation Board of Directors


Adrienne Barclay is a partner at Perkins Law Group, PLLC.  She works as defense counsel with focus in insurance litigation. She represents private insurers, quasi-governmental entities, and their policyholders, in first and third party defense, including claims of catastrophic property damage, personal injury, contract and insurance code violations. She provides advice and counsel to senior management and claims staff on claim process, investigations, and insurance coverage. Adrienne’s practice also includes drafting, negotiation and interpretation of agreements and applications relating to insurance regulatory and corporate transactions and filings.

Adrienne was born in Austin, Texas. She holds degrees from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (J.D., 2008) and The University of Texas (B.S., cum laude, 2004). Her past board positions include Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association Publicity Chair and CLE Chair.   She is a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow and Austin Bar Association Member.


Jennifer Hopgood is an assistant county attorney at the Travis County Attorney’s Office in the Land Use Division. She also worked at the Texas Attorney General’s Office as an assistant attorney general in public financing and Medicaid fraud litigation and served as a staff attorney for the Honorable Bob Pemberton at the Third Court of Appeals. Prior to her legal career, Jennifer taught for eleven years in the Eanes school district, primarily teaching sixth grade English.

Jennifer received her B.A. in Japanese studies from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. She also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Austin Bar’s monthly magazine Austin Lawyer.


Liz Nielsen has guided hundreds of families through the estate planning process, serving as their trusted advisor to bring peace of mind to their lives. As a wife, mother, and business owner, she understands how overwhelming an estate plan can feel. As an attorney, she knows just how important it is to have that plan in place. Liz is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, special needs planning, and estate administration. She received her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Psychology and Religion with a concentration in Human Rights from Barnard College of Columbia University and her J.D. with honors from The University of Texas School of Law. Liz and her family enjoy going on walks around their Northwest Austin neighborhood, traveling around the world, spending time with friends and family, and watching sports, including the Texas Longhorns, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs.



Caroline Hall is the Marketing Manager for Allensworth, a leading construction law firm. After graduating from Baylor Law School, Caroline practiced construction law for 3+ years – just long enough to figure out she didn’t actually enjoy the practice of law. So she made a career change to focus on what she did love about it – business development and marketing. As a proud mom, Caroline knows life is all about balance and being present. She’s not afraid to laugh in the face of stress, or at herself. With her infectious energy and quick wit, Caroline always brings a smile to the room and a little extra fun to a party. When she’s not busy at work or industry events, Caroline loves spending time with her family at the lake, the ranch, or her favorite place – home.


Gabrielle Smith is an attorney at Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. She represents clients in litigation matters in state and federal courts, often involving issues of administrative and environmental law. She provides guidance to clients as they navigate through the steps of the process at both the trial and appellate levels. Gabrielle earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.B.A. from Texas A&M University. She is admitted to practice in the State of Texas, as well as United States District Court for the Western, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas.

Prior to joining Lloyd Gosselink, Gabrielle practiced in Dallas, Texas. Most immediately before moving to Austin, she represented federal government employees in their discrimination complaints and appeals of adverse personnel actions before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Merit Systems Protection Board. Gabrielle has also represented Texas public school districts in the areas of employment law, student discipline, and school board governance. While in Dallas, Gabrielle was involved in the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and served as Co-Chair for the Law Student Assistance Committee.


Tracy Kasparek’s focus at Kasparek law centers on Wills, Probate, Estate Planning, Elder Law, Guardianships, Friendly Family Law, and Business Formation and Succession. Tracy also accepts ad litem appointment from the Travis County Probate Court.

Tracy received her J.D. from St. Mary’s in San Antonio and B.A. in Business from Southwestern University in Georgetown. While attending St. Mary’s, she became a published staff writer on The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority issues.

Tracy currently serves as the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Foundation Treasurer, and is the Co-Secretary for the Solo/Small Firm Section of the Austin Bar Association. Tracy’s past board positions include Treasurer and President of the Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association, and board positions on the AGLCC, AGLPF and Vice President of her homeowner’s association. In addition, Tracy helped found the Austin Pride Foundation, and co-chairs the UT LGBT OUTlaw Wills Clinic.


Alyson Falk practices divorce and custody litigation in Travis County and surrounding counties. She has practiced family law exclusively since 2011. Alyson also serves as a mediator of family law matters. In 2022, Alyson Falk opened her own firm, Falk Family Law, where she continues to represent clients navigating divorce and custody matters, as well as clients planning for the future with prenuptial agreements, marital agreements, and cohabitation agreements.

Alyson is on the Board of Directors of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation, and has served on the Austin Bar Association’s Adoption Day Committee since 2012.


For almost twenty years, Shannon has represented companies of all sizes, from start-ups to publicly traded corporations, in virtually all aspects of labor and employment law, including counseling, training and litigation, as well in commercial disputes, including litigation and arbitration’s involving customers, distributors and franchisees. While in private practice, Shannon also served as interim Assistant General Counsel for global clients. Shannon’s tenure as an in-house counsel taught her that legal advice in a vacuum is worthless; it must always be given in the context of the business. Thus, Shannon’s #1 goal is to know her clients’ businesses and to provide advice that, when possible, is consistent with their business goals.

Five years ago, Shannon co-founded the firm of Hutcheson Bowers with a long-time litigation colleague. Prior to that, Shannon practiced with the international firm of Baker Botts LLP for twelve years in both Austin and Dallas. Hutcheson Bowers is proud to be a certified woman-owned business, as well as a member of the highly selective National Association of Minority and Woman Owned Law Firms.


Victoria is an associate of Osborne, Helman, Scott, Knisely & Stanton, LLP. She focuses her practice in the area of guardianship and fiduciary litigation, including the creation and maintenance of guardianship matters, as well as trust, estate, and guardianship disputes. Victoria also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in connection with probate procedures, trust and estate administration, guardian administration, and trust terminations and modifications. Prior to joining Osborne, Helman, Scott, Knisely & Stanton, LLP, Victoria served as the guardianship staff attorney and court investigator for the Honorable Guy Herman of Travis County Probate Court No. 1 for five years, where she was responsible for handling guardianship and management trust proceedings.


Danica Milios is a litigator with Jackson Walker’s appellate practice group. Danica came to Jackson Walker after serving nine years as an Assistant Solicitor General and three years as Deputy Solicitor General in the Texas Attorney General’s Office. In her state practice, Danica handled or substantially participated in several important and high profile appeals, including the 2011 challenge to the State’s franchise tax system and the 2005 school finance case. Danica also served four years as an Assistant Attorney General in the Tort Litigation Division, where she defended state agencies in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases.

Danica has represented clients before the United States Supreme Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, the Texas Supreme Court, and many of the State’s intermediate courts of appeals.

Danica often begins her involvement in cases at the trial stage of proceedings to ensure proper error preservation and presentation of legal issues. Since moving into private practice, she has handled appeals in a diverse range of areas, including arbitration awards, bill of review procedure, business disparagement, tortious interference with contracts, oil and gas matters, free exercise of speech and religion, and the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act.


Amber Vazquez is a Board Certified criminal defense attorney, and fifth generation Texan who has won trials for Murder, Attempted Capital Murder, Aggravated Assault, Sexual Assault of a Child, Burglary of a Habitation, Thefts, and many Driving While Intoxicated, Assault Family Violence and Drug Possession cases. Her success rate across the board makes her one of the most sought after defense attorneys in the state. Amber has been named a Super Lawyer in Texas Lawyer, was named Criminal Defense Attorney 2019 by the Austin Bar Association, she won the Criminal Justice Award from Travis County Women’s Bar and been named one of the top 20 “Winning Women” in Texas. She teaches criminal defense attorneys as well as serving on the Police Oversight and Judicial Committee for the City of Austin. Amber was recently referred to as the “Queen of Acquittals” in Texas Monthly.


Barbara Balliette is a partner with Reid Collins & Tsai. Barbara received her B.A. from Baylor University in 1990 and her J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993.

After graduating from law school, Barbara practiced law in the Dallas and Austin offices of Hughes & Luce, LLP and was a partner at Diamond McCarthy LLP. Barbara’s practice has included representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of complex litigation matters, including business fraud, director and officer liability, professional malpractice cases, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.

Barbara is admitted to practice in the state of Texas and all Texas federal district courts, as well as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to her legal practice, Barbara is an active volunteer in many local community organizations, the Girl Scouts, and school organizations.




Mallory Beck is a Legal Counsel in Litigation at Dell Inc. where her practice focuses on general commercial litigation, products liability, consumer litigation, and pre-litigation advice and negotiation. Mallory obtained her JD and LLM from Duke University School of Law in 2010. After completing a 2-year term clerkship for the Honorable Hilda G. Tagle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Mallory continued her career at Jackson Walker, LLP in Austin, Texas.


Amy is a partner at appellate boutique Alexander Dubose & Jefferson. She handles appeals in a variety of areas, including trade secrets, eminent domain, personal injury, and governmental immunity. Amy graduated from Brown University in 1989 and the University of Texas School of Law in 1995. At the beginning of her career, she served as a briefing attorney for Justice Craig Enoch of the Supreme Court of Texas. She has been board certified in civil appellate law since 2005. Amy is listed in appellate practice in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Texas Super Lawyers.

Amy keeps an active pro bono docket and enjoys work that has a personal impact on her clients. She has won several awards for her pro bono work, including the 2019 Frank J. Scurlock Award from the State Bar of Texas and the 2015 Pro Bono Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association.


Mary Taylor Henderson is a member of Butler Snow’s Tort, Transportation and Specialized Litigation group. As a litigator and board certified civil appellate specialist, Mary joined the Austin office of Butler Snow with many years of experience representing state agencies, individuals, corporations and the public interest in state and federal courts across Texas. Having served as a briefing attorney to a state appellate justice and as Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection and Senior Attorney for Charitable Trusts and General Litigation for the Office of the Texas Attorney General, she has a knack for evaluating, developing and implementing strategies through all phases of representation that lead to the best outcomes for the client. Mary is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Mary is a graduate of Stephens College and Baylor University School of Law.


Asra Syed is a partner at Botkin Chiarello Calaf PLLC where her practice focuses on civil litigation. Asra began practicing law in New York City (and is still barred in New York) and was a partner at Arent Fox. She joined Wittliff Cutter PLLC in fall 2020, and helped launch Botkin Chiarello Calaf in 2023. Her litigation practice spans state and federal court and arbitration proceedings, representing both corporate and individual clients involved in commercial disputes.

Asra also takes on significant pro bono matters and has litigated for the release of minors from immigration detention facilities and to enforce the 4th and 5th Amendment rights of immigrant detainees. A native Austinite, Asra has always enjoyed taking part in Austin’s lively music and cultural scene, and was an award-winning public radio journalist for KUT 90.5 before attending law school.

Asra received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and holds an M.A. and B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas.


The Honorable Darlene Byrne is the Chief Justice of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas since January 2021. Prior to that she served for 20 years as the presiding judge of the 126th Judicial District Court in Travis County beginning in January 2001. Prior to her election in 2000, she practiced for thirteen years in the areas of employment, commercial and governmental entity litigation.

She is a Commissioner on the Texas Children’s Commission. She is a past President of the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges and a past Judge of the Year of National CASA, Texas CASA and CASA of Travis County. She is a past recipient of many local, statewide, and national awards due to her work around child welfare. She currently serves as co-chair of the Judicial Council for National CASA, is an incoming board member for the Texas Center for the Judiciary, TexProtects and Travis County Women Lawyer’s Foundation, is an Advisory Council member for Partnerships for Children, Carrying Hope, and the Seedling Foundation, is the initial Chair of the Texas Statewide Collaborative for Trauma Informed Care, on the Editorial Review Board for NCJFCJ’s Juvenile and Family Court Journal, and on the Advisory Committee for the #WeToo project for Courts. She serves as a council member of the State Bar of Texas’ Administrative and Public Law Section. Judge Byrne is the founding judge of the Travis County Family Drug Treatment Court, the Travis County Model Court of Children, Youth and Families and the Travis County Dual Status Youth Court. She has served on many boards, committees, and speaking panels related to law and child welfare.


The Honorable Maria Cantú Hexsel is the Judge of the 53rd Judicial District Court in Travis County since January of 2021. She brings to the bench a twenty-five year career as a civil litigator. Most recently, as a partner with Germer Beaman & Brown PLLC, she was responsible for a diverse civil litigation caseload, including healthcare, general negligence, product liability and construction litigation cases, and handled cases from pre-suit through jury trial and appeal.

In 2019, she was named one of our community’s “Top Lawyers” by Austin Monthly Magazine, recognizing her 25 years of experience from service in the Attorney
General’s Office to private practice specializing in complex civil litigation. She’s focused her community service on removing barriers to ensure Texas benefits from the diverse perspectives and gifts of all its citizens. As a member of the Hispanic Bar Association, she has regularly spoken on career days, prepared students for mock trials, judged essay contests and grabbed every chance to remind young people of color that a career in the law is within their reach. She also served two terms as PTA President at Becker Elementary, formerly a Title 1 school, working to support teachers and staff to ensure educational opportunities for all students and remains active with the PTA in schools attended by her daughters. As a long-time supporter of the AVANCE-Austin mission of empowering parents to be champions for their children’s education, she joined the AVANCE-Austin board in 2018 and currently serves as board chair.