Press Release

Wilson Elser Promotes 10 to Equity Partner

New York (January 29, 2019) National law firm Wilson Elser has promoted 10 attorneys, seven of whom are women, to equity partner, effective January 1, 2019.  

“Our new equity partners have demonstrated excellence in their practices, commitment to their clients and a dedication to the firm,” shared Daniel J. McMahon, Wilson Elser chair. “We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their contributions for years to come as the practice of law continues to evolve.

“Additionally,” said McMahon, “the exceptionally large showing of women in this group of new equity partners and the strong diversity represented in the new nonequity partner promotions speaks to the commitment of our firm to diversity and inclusion and specifically to the accomplishments of our Diversity & Inclusion Committee and our WAVE (Women Attorneys Valued & Empowered) initiative.”

Carolyn O’Connor, WAVE leader and regional managing partner of the firm’s New Jersey office is proud of how far the firm has come in such a short time: “Women occupy many leadership roles at Wilson Elser – on the Executive Committee, as practice group chairs and as regional managing partners. Wilson Elser is doing its part to support and acknowledge the success of women attorneys in the firm.”

Diversity and inclusion events and programming grow each year and include the annual firmwide Diversity & Inclusion Day, a WAVE Mentoring Program that boasts 80 pairings firmwide, regional and national WAVE events, and partnerships with national organizations such as NAWL, the American Bar Association, Women, Inc. Magazine and many more.

The equity partners listed here represent the firm’s Dallas, Houston, New York Metro, San Francisco and Virginia offices.

Jillian Keith is a trial attorney who focuses her practice on catastrophic injury, commercial and product liability cases. Her experience is wide-ranging and includes toxic tort and product liability, commercial, banking and employment litigation. She was named a Texas Monthly Rising Star, 2010–2011, and listed in D Magazine’sComprehensive Guide to North Texas Attorneys. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law (1999) and her B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1995).

Linda Wills is co-chair of the firm’s Employment & Labor practice. She focuses her practice on labor and employment law counseling and litigation. She earned an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Wills graduated cum laude with her J.D. degree from University of Houston Law Center (1990), where she was associate editor of the Houston Law Review. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1987).

New York Metro
Jeffrey Araten focuses his practice on counseling and defending hospitals and health care professionals against medical malpractice claims. He graduated cum laude with a J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law (1994) and with an A.B. degree from Cornell University (1991).

Joseph Francoeur is an experienced trial lawyer and appellate advocate who concentrates his practice on professional liability defense and federal statutory litigation. He was awarded Wilson Elser’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 2016. Francoeur earned his J.D. degree from Hofstra University School of Law (1998) and his B.A. degree from Binghamton University (1994).

Celena Mayo has focused exclusively in the employment and labor area throughout her legal career. A Cuban-American bilingual in Spanish and English, she also is a member of the firm’s Latin America practice and e-Discovery practice. She earned her J.D. degree from New York Law School (2000), where she was editor in chief of the Journal of Human Rights, her M.F.A degree from University of Missouri (1992) and her B.A. degree from California State University, Long Beach (1989).

Aviva Stein is an experienced civil litigator whose practice encompasses general liability defense work with a strong emphasis on construction cases, labor law matters and insurance coverage litigation. She was selected for inclusion in Top Women Attorneys New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2016, and Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2015. She earned a J.D. degree from Hofstra University School of Law (2005), and graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree from Goucher College (2002).

Nancy Wright assists clients with comprehensive legal services in the labor and employment areas, from proactive training to claims litigation. She effectively serves as an extension of the in-house staff for employers of all sizes. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1995) and was valedictorian of the 1992 graduating class at Audrey Cohen College, where she received her B.A. degree.

San Francisco
Nick Martin is co-chair of the firm’s Toxic Tort and Environmental practices and Regional Administrative Partner for the firm's San Francisco office. He was selected for inclusion in Rising Stars for Northern California Super Lawyers, 2015−2018. He graduated cum laude with his J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2009) and with a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (2005).

Kathryn Grace has a dedicated civil practice in complex litigation and is a co-chair of the firm’s national Aviation practice. She has earned an AV® Preeminent™ rating by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected for inclusion in Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2012−2018, and Washington, DC, Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013−2018. She graduated with her J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law (2005) and magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a B.B.A. degree (2002).

Yoora Pak has extensive experience handling complex employment-related litigation matters. In addition to her litigation practice, she provides counseling to human resources staff and in-house counsel of diverse companies on various employment matters. Pak earned an LL.M. degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center (2001), her J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School (1995) and a B.S. degree from Cornell University (1992).

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About Wilson Elser
Wilson Elser ( helps individuals and organizations transcend challenges and realize goals by offering an optimal balance of legal excellence and bottom-line value. More than 800 attorneys strong, Wilson Elser serves clients of all sizes, across multiple industries and around the world. Wilson Elser has 37 strategically located offices in the United States and another in London. The firm also is a founding member of Legalign Global, a close alliance of four of the world’s leading insurance law firms created to assist companies doing business internationally. This depth and scale has made Wilson Elser one of the nation’s most influential law firms, ranked in the Am Law 200 and top 53 in the National Law Journal 500

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