New York City Alumni Chapter

The New York City Alumni Chapter promotes interaction among New York-based alumni through programs, which enrich their professional, cultural and personal lives and to provide opportunities for alumni in the greater New York area to participate in, and contribute to the continued growth and development of the Washington College of Law. 


Upcoming Event

Stephen Wermiel, Professor of Practice in Constitutional Law
Stephen Wermiel, Professor of Practice in Constitutional Law

The Supreme Court in 2024
A Conversation with Professor Stephen Wermiel JD '82

Introductions by Emily Brait JD '17
Moderated by Laura Herr JD '03 

Wednesday, April 10
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP
919 Third Avenue, 23rd Floor, NY, NY 

Hosted by David A. Curtiss JD '09, Partner at Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP


  • Registration fee is $20 and includes hors d'oeuvres, beer/wine, and soft drinks.  

  • Registration deadline is Wednesday, April 3.  


Chapter Leadership:



Emily Brait


Brait, who is now an associate at Baker McKenzie, regularly advises clients on government and regulatory investigations, complex commercial litigations, arbitrations, and antitrust matters. She was previously an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Bernice B. Donald on the Sixth Circuit.



David Curtiss
WCL 2009-Regional Representative
(External Partnerships)


David A. Curtiss is a partner in the M&A and Securities group at Schulte, Roth + Zabel LLP where he focuses his practice on capital markets matters, including private preferred equity, convertible equity and debt, PIPE investments, in and out of court restructuring transactions, initial public offerings, “follow-on” equity offerings, high-yield debt offerings, SPAC transactions, leveraged buy-outs, and investment grade debt offerings. Prior to joining Schulte, David practiced in the New York offices of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and in the Singapore office of Shearman & Sterling LLP. A member of WCL’s class of 2009, David was the Editor-in-Chief for Volume 24 of the American University International Law Review and a member of the Moot Court team. Some of his favorite professors at WCL remain at the school, including Professor Wermeil for Constitutional Law, Professor Rosser for Property Law and Professor Davis for Criminal Law. Prior to law school, David worked as a staffer for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. David received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Gettysburg College and lives in Hoboken, New Jersey with his wife Erin and two children.


Laura Herr

WCL 2003 – Communications & Marketing


Laura K. Herr is a Senior Director in Carnegie Mellon University’s Advancement team. With over 15 years of work experience in the non-profit and private sector, Herr has extensive expertise in development management, strategic planning, fundraising campaigns, and donor/prospect engagement, cultivation and stewardship.

Herr obtained her bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and psychology from the University of Michigan in 2000. She then went on to American University Washington College of Law and obtained her juris doctorate in 2003. Herr worked as in-house counsel at Pfizer before transitioning to fundraising for non-for-profits. During her 15 years of fundraising, she has worked largely with arts and higher educational institutions. In addition to her work with individual donors, Herr has collaborated and partnered with financial advisors, foundations, and community partners to maximize and strengthen relationships with donors and prospects.  When it comes to philanthropy, Herr believes in driving conversations by focusing on the intended impact the donor wishes to achieve. Collaboration and clearly delineated philanthropic goals lead to the most rewarding of gifts for both donor and institution.

After a rewarding position as the Associate Dean of Advancement at WCL, Herr recently took on a new role at CMU so she could be closer to family. The chance to participate as a member of the WCL NYC Chapter is a welcome opportunity to stay connected to her law school alma mater.



Jonathan Ratchik

WCL 1997 – Secretary


Jonathan R. Ratchik is a partner at Kramer, Dunleavy & Ratchik, PLLC, a boutique personal injury law firm located in downtown Manhattan.  Mr. Ratchik’s practice focuses exclusively on personal injury, wrongful death litigation and medical malpractice.

For over twenty-five years, Mr. Ratchik has been helping New Yorkers who have been injured due to the negligence and wrongdoing of others.  The cases that he has worked on have arisen out of incidents involving premises liability, motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian knockdowns, construction site accidents and medical malpractice.

During his distinguished career, Mr. Ratchik has recovered tens of millions of dollars on behalf of accident victims and their families. He has also amassed an impressive record on appeal, on both the state and federal level.  His professional accomplishments have earned him a great deal of recognition from his fellow members of the bar, including an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a “Superb” peer review rating through Avvo.

Admitted to practice in New York since 1998, Mr. Ratchik is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York as well as before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. Ratchik attended New York University’s College of Arts and Science as an undergraduate, where he double-majored in French and political science and was a member of the school’s varsity swim team before receiving a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in 1994. He then went on to pursue his legal education at American University’s Washington College of Law where he served on the International Law Review before being awarded his Juris Doctor in 1997.



Nirali Shah

WCL 2015 – Vice President (Events)


Nirali has spent her career in client-serving industries, first as a big law corporate attorney for many years, and now as a real estate broker in NYC. She provides exceptional service with knowledge, integrity, and care. Nirali is the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Business Development of the Devine Team, one of the top teams in NYC and the top 5% nationally at Douglas Elliman. Nirali is attentive to her clients’ needs, loves analyzing problems and finding creative solutions, focuses both on the big picture and important-though-tiny details, and thrives on clear and efficient communication. She is relentless in fulfilling her clients’ real estate dreams, whether buying, selling, investing, or renting.

Prior to her real estate career, Nirali’s legal career consisted of representing technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their corporate life cycle (formation, venture capital financings, initial public offerings, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions). In addition, she previously represented investment and commercial banks and borrowers/issuers in connection with a variety of domestic and cross-border financing transactions.

Nirali resides in Greenwich Village with her husband Sean, has lived in Hell's Kitchen, and grew in up in Basking Ridge, NJ. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College majoring in International Relations-Political Science and with a Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law. Nirali is Co-President of the New York Wellesley Club, serves on the Board of Directors of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, and is a member of the national ALS Association’s Public Policy Committee.

Most importantly, Nirali loves exploring NYC and enjoys building community by bringing family and friends together.



WCL 1996 - Treasurer


AMY F. SHULMAN is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP, and a member of the firm’s Individual Practice Area, the Executive and Professionals Practice Group, and the Medical Employment Practice Group.  A tireless advocate for her clients, she negotiates executive employment, compensation, change-in-control, secondment, and other employment-related contracts, counsels employees involved in workplace disputes, and litigates employment law claims.  Amy assists professionals in transactions and disputes in a wide-range of industries, including financial services, media, healthcare, and bio-technology, among others.  In the healthcare industry, for instance, she frequently represents physicians in the evolution of their careers from employment contract, to practice and hospital transitions, and to bio-tech consulting. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Ms. Shulman was a Partner at a boutique labor and employment law firm, where she represented individual employees in the full range of employment disputes, disability rights organizations in public accommodation cases, and labor unions in contractual and disciplinary grievances and arbitrations. Before entering private practice, Ms. Shulman served as a Clerk for the Honorable Aida Delgado-Colon (then-United States Magistrate Judge, now United States District Judge) in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. Ms. Shulman received her B.A. from Cornell University and her J.D., cum laude, from the Washington College of Law of American University, where she was a Note and Comment Editor on the Journal of International Law and Policy.

Ms. Shulman is a Council Member (Union & Employee) of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor & Employment Law (“LEL”) and a Co-Chair of the Contracts and Executive Compensation Subcommittee of LEL’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee (“ERR”).  Her former leadership positions include member of the Law360 2021 Employment Editorial Advisory Board, Co-Chair and Co-Chair Emeritus of LEL’s Annual Section Conference, Co-Chair of ERR, Co-Chair of LEL’s Webinars Committee, Coordinator for Whistleblower Programs and for Litigation Programs for LEL’s Annual Section Conferences, Secretary of NELA/NY, Advisory Board Member of the NYU Center for Labor and Employment Law, and President of the New York Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. She is a member of NELA, NELA/NY, and the American Health Law Association.


Rodney Villazor

WCL 2000 – Vice President (Internal Partnerships) Partner, Clark Smith Villazor LLP New York, NY