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Spencer Fane Welcomes Largest Class of Summer Associates in Firm’s History

May 22, 2024

Spencer Fane is pleased to welcome 26 summer associates – the largest class to date in the firm’s history – to 11 offices across the firm’s national footprint. The new class of summer associates comprises students from a variety of backgrounds who will participate in programming designed to aid their preparation for legal practice and add their unique, wide-ranging skill sets and experiences to the firm’s service of clients and communities.

This year’s class includes: Yatzaret Aguirre-Sanchez (Nashville), Kaylen Aldridge (Denver), Michael Banks (Houston), Ryan Barber (St. Louis), Rachel Carr (Kansas City), Savannah Charles (Plano), Kate Daus (St. Louis), Ursula Davy (Denver), Madison Droubay (Salt Lake City), Casey Fizer (Dallas), Brandon Ford (Springfield), Brendan Fowler (Kansas City), Grace Green (Dallas), Henry Hong (Kansas City), MinJae Kim (Salt Lake City), Ryan Larson (Phoenix), Charles Mulholland (Houston), Kate Pearce (Nashville), Kaleb Rasmussen (St. Louis), Ethan Sotak (Omaha), Anna Syptak-Welch (Kansas City), Hailey Winn-Cotton (Salt Lake City),  Hunter Tarry (Salt Lake City), Marissa Valdez (Houston), Taylor Vogel (Denver), and Cayden Williams (St. Louis).

“We always look forward to welcoming each year’s new class of summer associates to our firm with an eagerness to make a meaningful contribution to their professional growth and development as aspiring attorneys,” Spencer Fane Chair Patrick J. Whalen said. “We equally prize the enthusiasm, creativity, and unique perspectives they bring to their work, and hope that we can, in return, offer valuable learning and networking opportunities that help them prepare for practice after law school.”

The summer associate program kicks off in late May and concludes the first week of August. Learn more about each member of the class below.

Yatzaret Aguirre-Sanchez (Nashville)

A 1L at Belmont University College of Law, Yatzaret is a member of the university’s American Inn of Court and Women’s Legal Society. During previous internships, she researched matters related to immigration law and estate planning and assisted with projects for decriminalizing poverty, improving school districts, and LGBTQIA+ rights matters, among other case preparation responsibilities. An active member of her broader legal community, Yatzaret is proficient in Spanish and is a member of the Latino Law Student Association, Tennessee Bar Association, and Expungement Clinic with Davidson County. She completed her undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy at the University of Florida.

Kaylen Aldridge (Denver)

Kaylen is a Student Bar Association elections commissioner and a student ambassador at the University of Colorado Law School, where she is currently a 1L. She is also an active member of the Women’s Law Caucus, treasurer of the Society for Work, Employment, and Labor Law, and participated in the Interdisciplinary Ethics Tech Competition. Kaylen completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude with a triple major in business administration, business management-human resources, and political science at the University of Arkansas. She previously served as an administrative intern at an injury law firm and as a human resources intern for an excavating company, where she notably overhauled the company safety manual to comply with OSHA guidelines.

Michael Banks (Houston)

Michael entered the South Texas College of Law following eight months as a legal assistant, where he handled new client intake, assisted with document preparation, and regularly consulted with attorneys and paralegals. This practical experience lends itself to a more comprehensive understanding of the legal profession as he continues his studies as a 1L. While completing his undergraduate degree in political science at the University of Saint Thomas-Houston, Michael was actively engaged in campus activities, including as a National Drama Honor Society member cast as lead actor in six theatrical shows, vice president of Chess Club, and through work as both a university office assistant and resident assistant.

Ryan Barber (St. Louis)

As a 2L and 1843 Scholar at the Saint Louis University School of Law, Ryan holds positions within the Saint Louis University Law Journal, Student Intellectual Property Law Association, Student Environmental Law Association, Student Ambassadors, and the Student Bar Association. During his previous experience as a summer associate, Ryan observed court proceedings and depositions and researched and drafted several memos as well as materials for an appellate brief and a motion for summary judgment. As an undergraduate at Rockhurst University, he was the president of the Student Ambassador Program, a dedicated writing tutor, and completed his dual English and political science degrees summa cum laude.

Rachel Carr (Kansas City)

Rachel is a 2L at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law, where she serves as research editor for the UMKC Law Review and is a CALI Excellence for the Future Award recipient in two courses. During her most recent work as a student attorney at a tax clinic, Rachel served as lead counsel and acted as a point of contact for both clients and the IRS. Within her extensive internship experience, which includes work as a summer associate and a legal assistant, Rachel also completed two judicial internships with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri – one under the Hon. Beth Phillips and one rotating between the Hon. Brian T. Fenimore, Hon. Dennis R. Dow, and Hon. Cynthia A. Norton. She completed her undergraduate degree in marketing at Southern New Hampshire University.

Savannah Charles (Plano)

Savannah’s organizational involvement as a 2L at Emory University School of Law spans multiple leadership titles, including executive clinic editor of the Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal, president of the Energy Law Society, fundraising chair of the Black Law Student Association, and team member of the South Regional Black Law Student Association Moot Court. Additionally, Savannah works as a research assistant responsible for analyzing the evolution of the law of war. She previously served as a judicial intern to the Hon. Shermela J. Williams at the Superior Court of Fulton County (Texas), where she researched and drafted memos regarding family law matters. Savannah was also a previous candidate and event coordinator for the Harris County Democratic Party. She completed her undergraduate degree as a dual English-history major at Grambling State University.

Kate Daus (St. Louis)

Kate is a 2L at Washington University School of Law, where she serves as a staff editor for the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy and is a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and Law and Business Society. A seasoned Spencer Fane intern, she spent more than three years as an office services clerk and one year as a summer associate in the firm’s Cape Girardeau and St. Louis offices, where she conducted legal research, drafted memos, and organized and analyzed legal documents. Most recently, Kate completed her practicing externship in a global legal department, where she updated the human rights legal assessment handbook and conducted research on topics including trademark protection. While completing her undergraduate studies at Southeast Missouri State University, Kate was a Division 1 soccer player and graduated summa cum laude in rhetoric and public communication.

Ursula Davy (Denver)

Ursula’s experience includes two judicial externships – one with the Denver District Attorney’s Office Second Judicial District and the most recent with the Colorado Court of Appeals under the Hon. Lino S. Lipinsky. She also previously completed a summer associate internship with Spencer Fane in the firm’s Denver office, where she conducted research, drafted various legal documents, and attended mediations and depositions. A native Spanish speaker, Ursula completed her undergraduate studies in English at Florida State University and is currently a 2L at the University of Colorado Law School, where she is external chair of the Barristers’ Council, president of the Black Law Students Association, vice president of the Latinx Law Students Association, and DEI chair of the Women’s Law Caucus.

Madison Droubay (Salt Lake City)

A 1L at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, Madison serves as a student ambassador and uses her Spanish fluency to volunteer as an interpreter for the university’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies. She completed her undergraduate studies in accounting at Southern Utah University, where she co-authored an academic article published in the Journal of Education Advancement and Marketing. Madison previously worked as a managing regional controllers’ assistant, completing intern training and payroll, reconciling bank account statements, and compiling materials for year-end audit reports.

Casey Fizer (Dallas)

Casey is a 1L at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she is a member of Women in Law and the Corporate Law Association. She previously worked at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as an exercise program manager, consulting with government officials to establish response strategies for disasters, including cyberattacks, civil unrest, long-term power outages, and extreme weather events. Casey completed her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, where she earned the highest distinction in law and public policy and presented a thesis on social welfare policy.

Brandon Ford (Springfield)

During his undergraduate and now post-graduate studies at the University of Missouri, Brandon’s extensive university involvement has spanned multiple positions. He previously worked as a teaching assistant, where he graded assignments and provided detailed feedback to College of Business students; as a paraprofessional, where he scheduled advising appointments and analyzed data-driven trends; and as a researcher / supervisor, where he maintained the codebook and worked with a team to increase inter-coder reliability. A current 1L at the School of Law, Brandon serves as events chair for OUTLaw and is both a Curator Law and Thomasson Dickerson Scholar. He has also co-authored and presented research relating to minority portrayals in the news at multiple forums.

Brendan Fowler (Kansas City)

Brendan is a highly engaged 2L at Baylor University School of Law, where he is the senior executive editor and incoming editor-in-chief of the Baylor Law Review, guest editor of the Texas Review of Law & Policy, president of the Christian Legal Society, student ambassador, and a member of both the Baylor Barrister Society and Federalist Society. He was also selected for the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, which he completed in 2023. Brendan’s legal experience includes a judicial internship for the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri under the Hon. Stephen R. Clark and a judicial externship for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under the Hon. Matthew J. Kacsmaryk. After completing his undergraduate studies in accounting and data analytics at the University of Kansas, Brendan worked as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for three years.

Grace Green (Dallas)

Grace is a 1L at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where she enjoys participating in campus sports leagues in her spare time. While completing her undergraduate degree in government and history at the University of Texas at Austin, she worked as a paralegal clerk, then a production specialist at the Lawyer’s Aid Service. Following, Grace spent a summer as a Constitutional Law Undergraduate Fellow and Constitutional Law Intern at the University of Texas School of Law, where she created a report on amendment codification, compiled and edited academic texts and data, and scheduled engagements with guest speakers.

Henry Hong (Kansas City)

While serving in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Second Class, Henry completed his undergraduate degree summa cum laude in health services management at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Following, he began law school at the University of Missouri and was honored with CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in three courses. Henry then transferred to the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is the executive editor of The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, was the 2023 Student Fellow for the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, and serves on the Professional Committee of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. He is returning to Spencer Fane for his second summer associate internship and recently completed an externship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the Criminal Division.

MinJae Richard Kim (Salt Lake City)

A former Deputy Sheriff, Reserve Police Officer, and 19th Special Forces Group Drone Pilot, Minjae entered Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School with extensive experience in criminal and civil proceedings as well as non-judicial conflict resolution, case analysis and investigative work, and numerous compliance matters. He completed his undergraduate studies in applied business management at Brigham Young University-Idaho and, prior, was a National Security Education Program Scholar specializing in the Turkish language at Boston University. He is also fluent in Korean. A 2L, Minjae has completed internships at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Utah and was a summer associate at Snow Christensen & Martineau prior to the firm’s combination with Spencer Fane.

Ryan Larson (Phoenix)

An accomplished 2L at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Ryan has received CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in two courses, the Distinguished Oral Advocate Award, and Pedrick Scholar Honors. On campus, he is vice president of the J. Reuben Law Society, a staff writer for the Arizona State Law Journal, a member of the O’Connor Honors Program, and serves as a volunteer at the Arizona Legal Center. Ryan graduated cum laude in economics and communication from the University of Utah, and has served as a law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, as a judicial extern for the Hon. John J. Tuchi at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, and as a law clerk for a local law group.

Charles Mulholland (Houston)

Charles is a 1L at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, where he has been honored with CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in two courses and is a member of the Presidential Fellows Program and the Aggie Law Students Association. He completed his undergraduate degree in science in electronic systems engineering technology and minored in cybersecurity at Texas A&M University, where he gained an advanced knowledge of programming language and coding systems.

Kate Pearce (Nashville)

A 2L at the University of Tennessee College of Law, Kate is a staff editor for the Tennessee Law Review, secretary for If/When/How: Lawyers for Reproductive Justice, representative of the Student Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and treasurer for the Environmental Law Organization. Additionally, she serves as a research assistant and research support for multiple courses. Kate previously completed an internship at Spencer Fane in addition to another local internship, pro bono work with the ACLU Tennessee, and a judicial externship under the Hon. Deborah Stevens of the Sixth Circuit Court in Knoxville. She received her undergraduate degree in environmental studies with a concentration in sustainability at Elon University and oversaw two Federal Nutrition Programs as a client outreach manager prior to enrolling in law school.

Kaleb Rasmussen (St. Louis)

While completing both his Master of Health Administration and Juris Doctor at Saint Louis University, Kaleb also carves out time to lead the International Law, Health Law, and Run Club student associations; serve as a student ambassador; and participate in the First Generation, Hispanic & Latinx, Asian American, and Health Management and Policy student associations. A 2L, he has completed several internships spanning health and legal policy, including a research fellowship within the university focused on medical-legal partnerships and a legal externship with a large health system involving research on end-of-life care and medical malpractice. Kaleb has also completed a law clerkship with the Utah Attorney General’s Office in the Highways & Utilities Division. He received his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Utah.

Ethan Sotak (Omaha)

Ethan completed his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in political science at Creighton University, then continued on to the School of Law, where he is a 2L Dean’s Fellow, Law Ambassador Mentor, Business Law Society member, and participates in the Moot Court Board. He has completed two legal internships; one in e-discovery, where he analyzed civil discovery requests, standardized the firm’s national defense litigation program, and completed research and document review; and a second as a general counsel, where he drafted memos, conducted due diligence, reviewed data protection agreements, and provided litigation support.

Anna Syptak-Welch (Kansas City)

Anna is a 1L at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where she is active in several university organizations. She is a member of the UMKC Law Review, Trial Advocacy Team, Criminal Law Association, and Association of Women Law Students. Notably, she is also president of the Christian Legal Society, was named a Top Oralist for 1L Oral Arguments, and is both an Hon. Stephen R. Bough Law Review Scholar and Second Century Scholar. Anna completed her undergraduate studies summa cum laude in theatre at Oral Roberts University, then worked as an ophthalmic technician prior to attending law school.

Hailey Winn-Cotton (Salt Lake City)

A 2L at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law, Hailey has gained broad internal and external experience through student organizations and a former summer clerkship. She is a Quinney Fellow and Assistantship recipient, LexisNexis Ambassador, vice president of Disability Law Club, and vice president and co-founder of Yoga for Stressed Out Law Students. Hailey is also a research assistant and dedicated member of the Women’s Law Caucus and Business Law Society. During her clerkship, she prepared motions and office memos, conducted legal research, and attended hearings, depositions, client meetings, and mediations. Hailey completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude in history at Utah State University.

Hunter Tarry (Salt Lake City)

Hunter completed her undergraduate degree in human development at Brigham Young University, where she worked as a teaching and research assistant for multiple courses. She now attends the university’s J. Reuben Clark Law School as a 1L and serves as a Mental Health Ally and Law School Wellbeing Club member. She also participates in Women in Law, Startups Academy, and the Woody Deem Trial Advocacy Competition. Beyond her studies, she is the current president of her local Homeowners Association Board, where she ensures legal compliance, negotiates vendor contracts, oversees maintenance, and standardizes policies.

Marissa Valdez (Houston)

Marissa is a 3L at the University of Houston Law Center, where she participates in the Alternate Dispute Resolution Team and was a semi-finalist in the Trans-Atlantic Negotiation Competition. She is also a member of the Houston Young Lawyers Association and the Houston Bar Association. Marissa earned her business management degree at Texas State University and completed a prestigious Presidential Fellowship Program at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. Most recently, she completed a judicial clerkship under the Hon. Jason Cox at the Harris County (Texas) Probate Court in Houston, where she advised the supervising attorney and associate judge on legislative changes and effects on the court.

Taylor Vogel (Denver)

Taylor completed his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder while serving as a teaching assistant for the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. Following, he worked as a control systems engineer, where he supported and maintained all types of control systems, industry practices and standards, networking and operating systems, and cybersecurity. As a 1L at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, he is a Sturm Law Scholar, student ambassador, member of the IP Law Society, and has obtained his certificate in Basic Legal Research.

Cayden Williams (St. Louis)

A 1L at Washington University School of Law, Cayden is an active member of the Law & Business and Sports & Entertainment Law Societies, is a Dean’s Fellow, and has received the Excellence in Oral Advocacy Award. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics, a subject he still actively practices, and minored in philosophy at the University of Kansas (KU). While completing his undergraduate studies, Cayden worked as an analyst for a STEM consulting group and was a research assistant for the KU Mathematics Department.