top of page

Member Spotlight: Five Award Winning Chapter Members

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Five San Diego Chapter Members Recognized at FBA Annual Meeting & Convention


We are pleased to announce that the national Federal Bar Association recognized five of our outstanding San Diego FBA chapter members at the recent Annual Meeting and Convention in Memphis, Tennessee: Dylan Aste, Betsey Boutelle, Carolina Bravo-Karimi, Mark Conover, and Kim Gregg. Congratulations Dylan, Betsey, Carolina, Mark, and Kim, and thank you for your tireless service to our Chapter and our community.


Dylan M. Aste: Outstanding Achievement Award


The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes exceptional FBA chapter leaders for their diligent work and accomplishments throughout the year and their dedication to their chapters. Congratulations, Dylan, for receiving this prestigious award!

Dylan is the Immediate Past President of the San Diego FBA. Under his leadership, this Chapter has thrived, grown, and risen to new heights. As president, Dylan instituted a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. Additionally, in early 2022, Dylan co-created the San Diego Federal Bar Foundation—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the mission of the FBA, offers scholarships and assistance, and promotes causes in the federal legal community that advance justice for all—and helped organized the Foundation’s inaugural charity golf.


In addition to the Foundation’s golf tournament, which raised over $35,000, Dylan hosted over 30 CLE panels and 10 non-CLE events during his presidency, including the 2022 State of the District luncheon, a seminar entitled Pathways to Federal Practice in the Public Sector, the San Diego FBA annual conference, multiple new attorney recruitment events, a law student mentorship mixer, a civics day event, the 2022 holiday party and judicial law clerk reception, and a luncheon for past presidents of this Chapter. The San Diego FBA co-sponsored over a dozen important community events, including the 5th Annual Class Action Law Forum and the United Against Hate Week campaign.


During his tenure, Dylan also focused on connecting with the local bar and expanding San Diego FBA's reach. Under Dylan’s leadership, the San Diego FBA increased membership by over 60%, gained over 1,100 new social media followers, and increased sponsorship income by more than 220%.


Dylan managed to dedicate so much time to the San Diego FBA while maintaining a prestigious and demanding career. Dylan is an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting civil fraud and opioid actions on behalf of the United Sates. Dylan has served in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California since 2014.


Dylan is also an active member of the legal community. He is an adjunct professor at University of San Diego School of Law and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Additionally, he serves on the USD Law Alumni Board, the SDSU Board of Advisors, the Federal Bar Foundation Board of Directors, and as Co-Chair of the Lawyer Representatives. Dylan’s many awards and recognition include USD Law’s Rising Star Recent Alumni Award (2021), the FBA’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award (2020), San Diego Metro Magazine’s “40 Under 40” (2020), and SDSU’s Rising Aztec Award (2019).


A San Diego native, Dylan received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in computer science, with distinction, from San Diego State University.


Betsey Boutelle: Younger Federal Lawyer Award


The Younger Federal Lawyer Award recognizes younger federal lawyers who attain high standards of professional achievement and accords public recognition for outstanding performance. Congratulations, Betsey, for this well deserved recognition!

Betsey Boutelle has been an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for nearly four years. She graduated from Yale University with dual bachelor’s degrees in history and international studies and thereafter received her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She began her legal career as a labor and employment associate at two Am Law 50 firms before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2019.


Betsey is extremely devoted to serving the legal community. While in private practice, she maintained a busy pro bono practice helping immigrants and refugees. She is a member of the Special Events Committee of the San Diego FBA and secretary of the San Diego Federal Daycare Board of Directors. Betsey is a volunteer attorney in the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, where she helps victims of domestic violence to navigate the temporary restraining order process at the San Diego Central Courthouse. She is an active member of the San Diego FBA as well as a member of both the San Diego Lawyers Club and the San Diego County Bar Association.


Outside the law, Betsey is a mother of two toddlers as well as an artist and educator who has performed as an actress in “off-off-Broadway” plays in New York, taught English while stationed in France, and toured throughout the world as a college a capella singer.


Carolina Bravo-Karimi: Elaine R. Boots Fisher Award


The Elaine R. “Boots” Fisher Award, which recognizes exemplary community, public, and charitable service by FBA members. Congratulations, Carolina, and thank you for your service.

Carolina graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. She obtained a master’s degree in gender studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science before earning her J.D. from USD School of Law, where she received an Order of the Barrister. She clerked for four years for United States Magistrate Judge Louisa S. Porter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California before joining Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP (“WTK”), one of the largest certified women-owned law firms in California.


Carolina was WTK’s first Latina partner and is now its managing partner. She practices employment law, representing both public and private entities, and conducts workplace investigations, including those requiring fluency in Spanish and multicultural understanding and finesse. Carolina further serves as practice chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) practice group, assisting employers in implementing and managing DE&I efforts. In addition, Carolina has supervised the firm’s Diversity Fellows program for the past eight years and chaired its Diversity Committee from 2018 through 2022.


As a result of Carolina's efforts to enhance DE&I in private practice, WTK was named Law360’s “No. 1 Top Small Firm for Female Attorneys” in 2020. WTK also participates in the San Diego County Bar Association and Association of Corporate Counsel-San Diego’s Diversity Fellowship program.


Beyond her own firm, Carolina has a longstanding commitment to fostering DE&I in the broader legal community. She was awarded USD School of Law’s 2017 Rising Star Recent Alumni Award in recognition of her devotion to mentoring current and prospective law students and promoting diversity in the legal field. Carolina also co-chairs the Steering Committee for “Just the Beginning,” a pipeline program to incentivize underrepresented high school students to pursue legal careers, and speaks to various organizations on an array of DE&I issues, including unconscious bias, disability discrimination, harassment and bullying, microaggressions, intercultural fluency, and equal pay.


Carolina's community service does not stop there. She serves on the San Diego Federal Bar Foundation Board and was the San Diego FBA’s president in 2018. She is actively involved in the USD School of Law Alumni Board, having served as its president from 2021 through 2023, and she formerly served as a faculty advisor for her alma mater’s Executive Moot Court Board and as an adjunct faculty member. Carolina is vice chair of the Fleet Science Center Board of Trustees and serves on the Board of the Monarch School, which serves unhoused children and their families in San Diego. She is also a member of the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s trial program.


Carolina has rightly been widely recognized for her outstanding legal practice and service. The Hispanic National Bar Association named her a “Top Lawyer Under 40” in 2019, and she was named a “Rising Star” by San Diego Super Lawyers from 2015 to 2020 and a “Super Lawyer” from 2021 to 2023. She was also the recipient of SD Metro Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2018, named a 2019 Woman of Influence by SD Metro Magazine, a 2019 finalist for San Diego Magazine’s Celebrating Women Award, named a “Woman Worth Watching” in 2020 and a “Latino Leader Worth Watching” in 2021 by Profiles in Diversity Journal, and the recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Service to Diversity Award in 2021. In 2022, San Diego Business Journal named Carolina Business Woman of the Year for a private, medium-sized company.


Carolina is Chilean and Iranian and speaks four languages: English, Farsi, Italian, and Spanish. She is a devoted daughter, wife, and mother to her two children.


Mark Conover: Peter J. Mazza Outstanding Federal Lawyer Award


The Peter J. Mazza Outstanding Federal Lawyer Award recognizes exemplary federal lawyers who have dedicated a significant portion of their career to federal service with high standards of professional achievement and outstanding performance. Congratulations, Mark, for continuing Peter's legacy.

Mark, who has practiced law in San Diego for nearly two decades, is presently the chief of the Major Frauds and Public Corruption Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University, where he was captain of the cross-country team, and his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law. He is the first person in his family to attend college and receive an advanced degree. He began his legal career as a litigation associate at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2007, where he has since steadily risen through the leadership ranks.


In addition to excelling at his career, Mark devotedly serves his community. For many years, he has used his background in construction to build homes in Mexico for those in need. After the start of the COVID pandemic, when cross-border travel was infeasible, he began building homes locally for Peace Village, which provides shelter to refugees and asylum seekers, as well as non-profit drug rehabilitation centers. He has served as an Equal Employment and Opportunity Mediator for seven years. Mark also has assisted with evacuating and resettling Afghan refugees following the collapse of Afghanistan, and he cofounded and served as co-chair of the San Diego Fentanyl Working Group to combat the opioid epidemic. In addition, for the past eight years, Mark has taught a course in federal crimes as an adjunct professor at California Western School of Law.


This award is particularly meaningful to Mark, who was a close friend of its namesake, trying cases together and playing on the same sports teams.


Kim Gregg: Younger Federal Lawyer Award


Last, but certainly not least, congratulations, Kim, for also receiving the Younger Federal Lawyer Award. Congratulations, Kim, for your excellent leadership.

Kim, the Career Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia, was born in the Philippines. When she was eight years old, Kim and her family immigrated to Harlingen, Texas. Her family’s immigration experience would later inspire Kim to become an attorney. Kim shares that her deep gratitude for the United States and the opportunities it provided her family pushes her to give back and be the best federal attorney she can be.


Kim graduated summa cum laude from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Minor in Philosophy. Kim then attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law on an academic merit scholarship, where she continued to excel academically and professionally. During law school, Kim completed federal internships with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) at the San Diego Immigration Court, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., the DOJ’s Summer Law Intern Program, where she was placed with EOIR at the Miami Immigration Court, the Honorable Jose E. Martinez in the Southern District of Florida, and the Honorable Mitchell D. Dembin in the Southern District of California. Through these experiences, Kim developed a passion for the practice of federal law and a deep respect for the federal law community.


After graduating as valedictorian of her law school class, Kim started her career as a federal lawyer in the Attorney General’s Honors Program as a Judicial Law Clerk and Attorney Advisor for the EOIR. For the next three years, she excelled while assisting 26 immigration judges in the Miami Immigration Court. She served as Team Leader of the attorneys in the judicial law clerk program, spearheaded the creation of a topically-organized outline of precedential cases, and directed the court’s volunteer internship program. She then started a term clerkship with Judge Battaglia in the Southern District of California and shortly thereafter became his Career Judicial Law Clerk. She has provided invaluable assistance to federal decision makers and mentored several co-clerks and law student interns along the way.

Kim is an active member of the legal community. She has served on our Chapter’s Board of Directors as the Vice President of Legal Education for two years. In this role, she has organized over 20 presentations, including multi-part civil and criminal legal practical skills seminars, an introduction to federal courts presentation, Supreme Court term reviews, and the Chapter’s marquee event featuring all-judge panels on civil practice in honor of the late Hon. Judith N. Keep, the Southern District of California’s first female federal judge and first female chief judge. Kim was also recently elected as President Elect for 2024 and will serve as our Chapter President in 2025.


Kim has volunteered her time with the San Diego County Bar Association, speaking at presentations focused on providing law students advice on how to excel in law school and internships. Kim is also a member of Welsh Inn of Court and the Filipino Lawyers Association of San Diego. Finally, she is an article contributor to the Ninth Circuit’s Jury Trial Improvement Committee’s newsletter, an essay grader for the annual Ninth Circuit’s Civics Contest, and is presently assisting Judge Battaglia with updates for the upcoming edition of the Ninth Circuit’s Jury Trial Procedures Manual.

Kim also served as our Chapter delegate to this year’s Annual Meeting and Convention and received her award in person at the ceremony.


Thank you to San Diego FBA Public Relations Committee members Hannah Dubina and Kelly Smith for drafting these spotlights.



Comments


bottom of page