IWIL Board Members
Chris L. Newbold is Executive Vice President of ALPS, the nation’s largest direct writer of lawyers’ professional liability insurance, where he oversees business development, sales strategy and is ALPS’ chief liaison into the bar association. Additionally, Chris is a recognized strategic planning facilitator in the bar association and bar foundation worlds, a leader in the lawyer well-being movement and advises states/bar association exploring the merits of mandatory malpractice insurance or disclosure rules. Within the well-being in law arena, Chris has been at the epicenter of discussion nationally since 2016. As co-author of the movement igniting report The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, his leadership as co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, his participation on the ABA’s Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession and his role as co-host The Path to Well-Being in Law podcast, Chris has been at the forefront of a movement intent on creating a culture shift in the legal profession intent on advancing personal and professional satisfaction in all sectors of the legal field.
Heidi Alexander is Massachusetts’ first Director of the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. Before assuming that role, Heidi served as the Deputy Director of Massachusetts Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and led its Law Office Management Assistance Program, practiced law at a small firm in Boston, and clerked for a Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court. She is the author of Evernote as a Law Practice Tool, past co-chair of ABA TECHSHOW and founder of the ABA’s Women of Legal Technology initiative. Heidi is a native of Minnesota, a former collegiate goaltender for Amherst College Women’s Ice Hockey Team, and a graduate of Rutgers School of Law, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Law Review. Heidi attends to her own well-being by coaching CrossFit and girls’ youth hockey, competing in powerlifting, and most importantly spending time with her three young kids. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @heidialexander, or LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/heidisarahalexander
Immediate Past President
Bree Buchanan is founding co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being and is a co-author of its groundbreaking 2017 report, The Path to Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. In December 2020, she was appointed Board President of the newly formed Institute for Well-being in Law, a new nonprofit dedicated to bringing about systemic change in the legal profession such that considerations of well-being become central to the practice. Ms. Buchanan served as chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (2017-2020) and as director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program from 2013 until retirement in 2018. She is now Senior Advisor with Krill Strategies, Inc., providing consultation on issues related to lawyer well-being and impairment for major legal employers. Ms. Buchanan is co-host of the podcast, The Path to Well-Being Law, and has shared her own story of recovery as a featured guest on podcasts – as well as articles published – in the United States, Canada and the U.K.
Owner / Principal, RavenWork Consulting & Executive Coaching, Portland, OR
Denise Gaskin, Ph.D., PCC is a seasoned executive coach, culture and change management advisor who helps individuals and firms achieve specific, measurable goals. Denise’s world class solutions help organizations identify, measure, and connect culture and health to a stronger and healthier bottom line.
Denise earned her Ph.D. from University of Tennessee’s Collaborative Learning Program. The Program, in Educational Psychology Department emphasized Collaboration, Culture, Communication, and Dialogue. Denise received an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Indiana University, and a B.S. in Exercise Science and Wellness from Ball State University.
Before starting RavenWork, she served as law firm Chief Operating Officer for a large, regional firm in the Pacific NW. Before her legal career, she directed operations at a multi-county behavioral health organization in North Carolina. Early in her career, she developed and implemented wellness programs for a large hospital system and several large clients. Denise is the IWIL Fund Development Committee Chair and has extensive experience in the fundraising success.
On the IWIL board, Denise will serve in the Secretary role.
Robin Wolpert is an accomplished appellate practitioner, business litigator, and white-collar criminal defense attorney at Sapientia Law Group in Minneapolis. Her 20-year career began in BigLaw, and she went on to serve as a prosecutor and Senior Counsel of Compliance & Business Conduct at 3M. Robin uses her unique blend of government, private-sector, and in-house experience to address legal, policy, leadership, and organizational challenges for a wide variety of clients. Before becoming a lawyer, Robin earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. Her areas of expertise include constitutional law, judicial politics, cognitive and behavioral economics, and political and organizational psychology. Robin was Visiting Instructor at Georgetown University and Assistant Professor of Government & International Politics at the University of South Carolina. She earned her B.A. from Colby College and her J.D. from Cornell Law School. Robin is passionate about public service. She is President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), special advisor to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), member of the ABA House of Delegates, member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism, past chair of Minnesota’s Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board, and past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She oversees Minnesota’s lawyer disciplinary system as Chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Robin is Secretary of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, Member of the ABA House of Delegates, and past President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She served on the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being from 2018-20.
VP of Fund Development
John Mudd presently serves as the executive director and acting general counsel of the State Bar of Montana. Prior to joining the bar in 2018, John was the director of development and alumni relations for seven years at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. John helped direct the school’s record-setting capital campaign, which raised over $20 million. He also worked to help establish the Max S. Baucus Institute at the law school and secure the founding gifts for the same. The public policy institute is named for Ambassador Max Baucus, former U.S. ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
John graduated cum laude from the Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C., where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Montana School of Law. During law school, John was an articles editor for the Montana Law Review and was a member of the school’s National Moot Court Competition team, which won the national championship.
After law school, John entered private practice in Missoula, Montana, during which he served a term as secretary of the Montana Senate. Prior to joining the law school, John served as executive counsel for the Montana commissioner of securities and insurance. He was selected as a Rising Star by Mountain States Super Lawyers before leaving private practice.
John currently serves on the boards of the Max S. Baucus Institute, the Montana World Affairs Council, and the Montana Justice Foundation, among others. He has been appointed as a “Montana Ambassador” by the governor of Montana.
John is also a frequent presenter on lawyer well-being topics, including for CoLAP, the State Bar of Montana, the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers, the Jackrabbit Bar, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. He lives in Missoula and Helena and is the very proud parent of a teenage daughter. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing, sailing, painting, and drumming (all of which he reports need work).
*A note from Bree: To get a measure of the man, check out his blog: https://johnmudd.blog/.
VP of Programming
Anne is a former equity partner at Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius LLP and the founder of Aspire, an education and consulting firm for the legal profession. Anne is the past Chair of the ABA Law Practice Division’s Attorney Well-Being Committee and was the Editor-in-Chief and co-author of the 2017 report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. As part of her role with the ABA’s Presidential Working Group formed to investigate how legal employers can support healthy work environments, Anne authored the freely-available Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers. Anne is the author of an ABA-published book titled Positive Professionals. Anne has earned a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and is nearing completion of her doctoral work in positive organizational psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Anne has served as a teaching assistant to both Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the co-founders of positive psychology. Anne’s research focuses on lawyer thriving and includes topics like positive leadership, resilience, work engagement, meaningful work, motivation, inclusion, and retention of women lawyers.
VP of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Following his 2006 retirement as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Commissioner,Lindsey D. Draper oversaw Wisconsin’s adherence to the mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) as the state’s Disproportionate Minority Contact Coordinator and Compliance Monitor until his retirement in 2014. Draper previously served as Chair of the ABA then-Standing Committee on Client Protection and a Trustee at St. Francis de Sales Seminary. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors at St. Charles Youth and Family Services in Milwaukee; Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee County Historical Society; a Director-at-Large of the National Client Protection Organization (NCPO); liaison to the Wisconsin Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being; a member of the Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee and a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Continuing Legal Education Committee.
VP of Research and Scholarship
Dr. Matthew Thiese’s research focuses on the overlap between a person’s job and their health. This includes everything from musculoskeletal disorders like Low Back Pain or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, to motor vehicle crashes, to COVID-19, to mental well-being. He is interested in identification of potential risk factors, interventions to prevent injury or illness, evidence-based practice for both treatment and prevention, and assessments of worker health and safety fitness-for-duty. His graduate degrees are in Public Health, specifically Occupational Epidemiology and Injury Prevention. He has coauthored 109 articles (29 as first author), 34 practice guidelines and 5 book chapters and is a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Utah. He has mentored 19 PhD and Masters Students, and teaches 4 courses. He has more than 10,000 hours giving guest lectures, consulting, and helping move his research into practice among law firms, businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations and academic institutions around the world. Dr. Thiese has extensive experience in designing and conducting epidemiologic and interventional research having worked with law professionals, first responders, healthcare providers, manufacturing, construction and transportation workers. Some of his highest impact research to date includes research-analyzing relationships between driver health and subsequent crashes in a retrospective cohort of 90,000 drivers. He has been part of multiple large prospective cohort studies evaluating relationships between musculoskeletal disorders and both job and personal factors. He is currently working as an expert for the CDC regarding COVID-19 and am a co-investigator on the largest COVID-19 study regarding transmission rate and vaccine efficacy and conducting multiple epidemiologic studies. Research specifically related to law professionals and students includes currently conducting research into the occupational relationships between hazards of law students and law professionals and their well-being to identify current trends and design effective interventions. He can be reached at email@example.com or on linked in at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-matthew-thiese-43492a4a/. His scholarly record can be accessed at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1ktZFjoAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/matthew.thiese.1/bibliography/public/
VP of Policy
Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, Executive Director, Topeka, KS
Danielle Hall has served as the Executive Director for the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program since December 2019. Prior to her appointment, Danielle served as a Deputy Disciplinary Administrator for the State of Kansas where she investigated and prosecuted disciplinary cases before the Kansas Supreme Court, assisted with Client Protection Fund investigations, and served as a coordinator for the Attorney Diversion Program. As part of coordinating the Attorney Diversion Program, Danielle’s primary focus was in providing lawyers with assistance and training in the area of law practice management and she worked directly with lawyers who were struggling with time management, stress, and burnout issues related to the practice of law. Danielle has also worked for the Kansas Bar Association, serving as the organization’s Law Practice Services Director where she managed the continuing legal education and publications departments and created the organization’s Law Office Management Assistance Program.
Danielle regularly teaches continuing legal education on many topics including lawyer well-being, addiction issues, ethics, law practice management, and technology use in the law practice. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Kansas Lawyer Well-Being Task Force and is Chair of the Topeka Bar Association Technology Committee, Co-Chair of the Minority Women in the Profession Committee for the Kansas Women Attorneys Association, and a regular contributor to the Kansas Bar Association Law Practice Management and Technology Blog. She is also an active member in the ABA Law Practice Division, having served on several committees.
In her free time, Danielle serves an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Washburn University, teaching law office technology in the Legal Studies Department and coaching the undergraduate mock trial team. She is also an adjunct professor at Washburn School of Law, teaching in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program and coaching the competition teams with her husband, Jay Hall, who is also a lawyer. Danielle received a B.A. degree in Political Science in 2006 and a J.D. in 2009.
With IWIL, Danielle has been an active member of Policy Committee and will assume the VP of Policy role on the IWIL board.
At Large Director
Hispanic National Bar Association–Co-Chair
Los Angeles, CA
Raul Ayala is the collaborative courts supervising attorney for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Central District of California. As such, he has been assigned as the lead deputy federal public defender for each of the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program courts—two in Los Angeles and one each in Santa Ana and Riverside. In addition, he is a team member of the Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) Program, the district’s post-conviction reentry drug court. Raul has been part of the CASA and STAR programs since 2011 and also serves as the office supervisor for its developing Social Services Unit.
After working several years at a private nonprofit community law firm that he and some law school classmates established after graduating from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, he became a trial deputy for the Federal Public Defenders Office from 1984 through 1988. During that time, he tried dozens of cases in district court and argued several matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the following 20 years of private practice as a criminal defense lawyer, he tried many more cases in both federal and state courts and remained active in various bar associations and public interest scholarship foundations. He returned as a federal defender for a second “tour of duty” in 2008 and is a regular trainer for the national Defender Services Office of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C. Raul is currently chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Diversion Standards Task Force and serves as a co-chair of the section’s Alternatives to Incarceration and Diversion Committee.
Raul, a recovering alcoholic, has served on the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and on the board of The Other Bar, Inc. (a California non-profit organization for legal professionals in recovery), and he is currently co-chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association Attorney Wellness Committee.
At Large Director
Professor, Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA
Professor Shailini George teaches legal writing, and her scholarship focuses in the areas of lawyer well-being, mindfulness, and the cognitive science of learning. She is the author of The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well (Carolina Academic Press), as well as the co-author of Mindful Lawyering: The Key to Creative Problem Solving (Carolina Academic Press), and law review articles on distraction and the cognitive science of learning and why law students need mindfulness training.
Professor George was recently elected to the Executive Committee for the AALS Balance and Wellbeing in Law Section and was the winner of the section’s inaugural section award in January of 2022. Professor George also was recently appointed to the Institute for Well-Being in Law’s Research and Scholarship Committee. Professor George is highly involved in the national legal writing community, having served on the Association of Legal Writing Directors Board, the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Research and Reasoning, and co-chaired various committees of the Legal Writing Institute.
At Large Director
State Bar of Georgia Wellness Committee–Chair, Atlanta, GA
Javoyne Hicks serves as chair of the State Bar of Georgia Attorney Wellness Committee and is a member of the Lawyers Assistance Program and the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Committee. She is also a member of the Executive Committee for the Georgia State Bar’s Board of Governors. Over the last several years, Javoyne has been committed to promoting the importance of wellness on all levels— physical, mental, social, and financial. She has served as a speaker for several organizations and as a panel member/ presenter for numerous continuing legal education classes on the topics of wellness and suicide prevention. She helped develop the State Bar of Georgia’s first Wellness and Practical Skills 12-hour Continuing Legal Education Seminar and adapted the 2nd Annual Wellness CLE to a six-hour virtual event during COVID.
Javoyne is a senior attorney with Lawrence & Bundy LLC in Atlanta. Over the course of her career, Javoyne has conducted more than 75 internal investigations. This in-depth experience, combined with her exceptional listening and interpersonal skills, enable Javoyne to connect with witnesses and establish the trust and rapport that is often necessary to uncover the facts in a case, particularly when the subject matter is sensitive in nature.
Javoyne is a seasoned leader and manager who served as Chief of Staff of the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4 under the Obama Administration and as Acting District Attorney for DeKalb County, Georgia, and most recently as Clerk of Court for the DeKalb County State and Magistrate Courts. She has managed hundreds of employees and is acutely familiar with the myriad of employment issues that arise when overseeing large and varied workforces. Javoyne is well-versed in the rules, regulations, and continually changing guidelines that inform employment decisions
Javoyne is a past president of the DeKalb Bar Association and served on the boards of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and Leadership Georgia. She presently serves as a member of the State Bar of Georgia’s Board of Governors and Cooper Inn of Court. She volunteers with the Stewart Foundation focusing on enhancing the lives of young people, and the Community and College Partners Program (C2P2), an organization partnering academic institutions with local communities to improve their environment. Javoyne is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her undergraduate and law degrees. She is also the proud mom of two daughters, Victoria and Sydney.