2020-2021 YLD Board Nominations


Chair: Nate Benjamin, Benjamin Law Group

I am honored to be considered for the 2020–2021 Chair Position for the Young Lawyers Division and am excited for the opportunity to serve. Since graduating from Gonzaga University School of Law and passing the bar exam in 2015, I have worked at Benjamin Law Group, PLLC, where we handle personal injury, family law, and estate planning matters. I look forward to continuing to represent the interests of solo practitioners and small firms on the YLD Board of Trustees.

Outside of the YLD, I have remained heavily involved on alumni board leadership positions. I have been the Seattle Regional Connections Chair for the Barrett Honors College of Arizona State University for the past five years, was the Co-Chair of the University Child Development School Alumni Board for three years, and will soon begin my term on the Lakeside/St. Nicholas School Alumni Board.
Having grown up in Seattle, I am truly invested in this city and excited to help create a thriving legal community that fosters meaningful professional connections. As someone from a small firm and a law office outside of Downtown Seattle, I will seek to be inclusive of our membership throughout the entire King County area.

One of the most rewarding parts of my young legal career has been my involvement with the KCBA. Starting out attending monthly happy hours, community service events, and social activities, the YLD allowed me to quickly find my place in the legal community.

I have been proud to serve on the YLD Board of Trustees for the past two years. This past year, I filled the role of Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, which has prepared me for the Chair position responsibilities. I have also served on the Membership, Community Involvement, Awards Selection, and Social Committees. In all of these roles, I have enjoyed engaging unfamiliar faces and planning events that speak to a wide range of our membership.

I am eager to rise to the challenges of this role to contribute to growing an inclusive and active community for other new and young attorneys. Thank you to the YLD membership.

Trustee: Armando Padron-Cruz, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

I am so humbled to be among the brilliant men and women on this board for the Young Lawyers Division. 

I am currently a Deputy Assistant Prosecutor at the King County Prosecutor’s Office in Seattle. In addition to my role dedicated to ensuring public safety, I am also a member of King County Bar Association’s Social Committee and its Services and Communications Committee, and the Latino/a Bar Association of Washington.

I moved to Seattle from Tampa, Florida, in the beginning of September of 2019. I attended Stetson University College of Law and participated as a member of its top-ranked nationwide, Mock Trial Board. I traveled and advocated in three of the nation’s most competitive mock trial competitions including the American Bar Association’s Criminal Competition in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout my law school career, I worked for two years at a prestigious trial firm, Smith Thompson Law. I also assisted professors at Stetson in teaching Trial Advocacy to second-and-third-year law students for three continuous semesters.

The Young Lawyers Division was my introduction to the legal community here in Seattle. Were it not for its wonderful, welcoming members, I would not have felt as empowered and encouraged as I did my first months in this beautiful state. This amazing opportunity on the board is my opportunity to give back and say thank you. I look forward to providing the Younger Lawyers Division with my innovative imagination and undying gumption.

Trustee: Zachary Davison, Perkins Coie

It’s a pleasure to serve the young lawyers of the King County Bar Association.  As I type this statement, I’ve been holed up in quarantine for nearly 30 days.  In less than a month, law schools have moved to online classes and virtual commencement ceremonies, states have postponed their bar exams, and legal professionals around the globe have relocated to remote workspaces.  Young lawyers are bobbing for air in a sea-change that’s been described as one of greatest transformations the legal industry has ever seen.  I think someone once said that with every change comes opportunity.  I look forward to helping our young lawyers navigate those opportunities in the days ahead.




Trustee: Ian Brown, Dorsey & Whitney

I am honored to be nominated for a position on the Young Lawyers Division Board of Trustees, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve my local legal community. I grew up in Texas, but have spent much of the past decade abroad. I went to undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal, and then lived and worked in South Korea and China, ultimately pursuing an LL.M. from Fudan University in Shanghai. I have since earned my J.D. from University of Houston, and finally another LL.M. in Tax from NYU. 
In my current position at Dorsey & Whitney, I am a Tax Associate with a focus on domestic and international tax planning and mergers & acquisitions. In addition, I have been actively involved in our firm’s pro bono program, from advising charities on how to obtain 501(c)(3) status, to helping small enterprises pursue federal funding, to providing support in civil rights litigation. Prior to joining Dorsey & Whitney, I was in house for a multinational energy company, working at their headquarters in a tax planning capacity.
During law school, I served in many leadership capacities, from Executive Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, to President of the UHLC AIPN Chapter, to Vice Chair of the International Committee for the ABA YLD. I enjoy being active in the legal community, as well as the chance to spearhead social and charitable activities. I greatly hope that my previous background can be of value in serving the KCBA YLD!

Trustee: Ben Byers, Corr Cronin

I am thrilled to have been nominated to serve on the King County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Board of Trustees.  As a life-long Seattleite, I am eager and excited to serve our legal community.  

I am a 2007 graduate of Wesleyan University, and a 2016 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, where I served as President of the Student Bar Association.  After graduating, I spent eighteen months clerking for the Honorable Justice Perry B. Inos on the Supreme Court of the Northern Mariana Islands.  Since returning to Seattle in 2018 I have worked at Corr Cronin, a boutique litigation firm in downtown Seattle.  

Along with all of the traditional challenges facing young lawyers, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised a myriad of new issues and barriers not only for young lawyers, but for our entire community.  From concerns about economic slowdowns and hiring freezes, to fundamental changes to how we live and work, we will all be faced with new and distinct trials in the coming months and years.  I look forward to working with the Board, the Young Lawyers Division, KCBA, and our entire community to face and overcome these obstacles.  

Lay Trustee: Erin Vanderwall, KPMG

I look forward to having the opportunity to serve on the KCBA YLD Board of Trustees. I am a Forensic Consultant at KPMG, LLP, where I work on projects ranging from litigation support to investigations to risk assessments. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I decided to stay local and went to the University of Washington for my undergraduate degrees (Accounting and Mathematics) and graduate degree (Master's of Accountancy). After obtaining my CPA, I went on to study and obtain my Certification in Financial Forensics (CFF), geared toward forensic accounting focused on litigation support and become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), geared toward investigatory forensic accounting. 
From my background, it may be easy to tell that I’m interested in the ways that forensic accounting can support the legal world. Being a part of a large corporation with work in more than just litigation consulting, I can bring a new point of view to the Board and truly understand ways that I can support the legal community more through work and volunteerism. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and forming new relationships and mentorships within the Board members.