2021 JLTLA Board of Directors

PRESIDENT

Marissa Hatchett
President
jltlapresident@gmail.com
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Vice President
amberdhamilton@yahoo.com

Amber Gregg

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President-Elect
agradney@gradneylegal.com

Ashlei Gradney

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Treasurer
jltlatreasurer.com

Cortney Parker

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Recording Secretary
klbobier@yahoo.com

Kila Bobier

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Corresponding Secretary
kandace@walterlegal.com

Kandace Walter

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Parliamentarian
trerodhall@ymail.com

Trerod Hall

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Director
Lauren.black.esq@gmail.com

Lauren Black

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Director
membershipjltla@gmail.com

Tawanna Franklin

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Amber Gregg

Amber H. Gregg was born and raised in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. She always knew she wanted to be an attorney since the age of 12. She attended the School of Law and Government at Townview where she graduated in 2004. She then attended Texas A&M University in College Station on an academic scholarship where she majored in Business Management with a focus on pre-law. She graduated with her B.B.A. in 2008. She then received scholarships to attend Texas A&M School of Law, formerly known as Texas Wesleyan University. In law school Amber was President of the Black Law Student’s Association and a member of the first school Mock Trial team to advance to the National Competition. Amber also obtained several notable clerkships and internships while in law school including a Summer Law Clerkship for the Honorable Judge Sam. A. Lindsay, a clerkship at the Attorney General’s Office and an internship at the Tarrant County DA’s Office.  She graduated with her Juris Doctorate in 2011 and was offered a post bar internship at the Dallas County DA’s Office.

Amber is currently an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County. She is an Attorney IV in the White Collar Crime Division where she prosecutes cases including embezzlement, securities fraud and trademark counterfeit. Amber is also very involved in her community. She served as the chair of the JLTLA Criminal Law Committee for three years and served on the board for three years. She is also a member of the media ministry for Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, a member of the Alpha Xi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and volunteer for various Career Days at local schools. She is the organizer of You CAN Sit with US DFW which motivates and encourages spirit building and the spread of kindness in professional women. Amber is also a recipient of the Texas A&M School of Law Black Law Student’s Association Alumni of the Year Award.

Ashlei Gradney

Ashlei Dior Gradney is the owner of GRADNEY, PC, a general practice law firm focusing on Family Law, Probate, Injury/Death cases and Business matters. She graduated from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and became a member of the Texas Bar in 2013. Prior to law school, Ashlei earned both a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Marketing and a Master's in Business Administration from Lamar University, in her hometown of Beaumont, Texas.

Ashlei started GRADNEY, PC in March 2018. The majority of Ashlei's professional career includes working at the Law Office of Audrey Moorehead, PLLC under the tutelage of the now Judge Audrey Moorehead. It is here that Ashlei learned to operate a successful law office practice. During her career, Ashlei has litigated for a plethora of clients in both federal and state court. In addition to representing undisclosed athletes in confidential uncoupling proceedings, she was also on the trial teams of well-known comedian, Steve Harvey, author, Michael Baisden, and the high-profile Atatiana Jefferson case in Probate Court.

Professionally, Ashlei is a frequent speaker on issues of law throughout various bar associations, and personally on issues of race, society, and business development. Her maxim is: "I am a lawyer as my profession to earn a living, but advocacy and helping the less fortunate and
disenfranchised is my passion." She proactively demonstrates this passion as she is well-engaged in local politics and hands-on campaigning, community, and educational events. Ashlei is the 2021 President-Elect of the J.L. Turner Legal Association, has served on the Dallas Bar Association Board of Directors as Secretary-Treasurer, and belongs to the 2017 class of the prestigious National Bar Association's "40 Under 40 Nation's Best Advocates" Award. Ashlei has been rated by Super Lawyers and has been named a Rising Star for 2020 and 2021.

Cortney Parker

Cortney Parker is an Assistant District Attorney in the Civil Division of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. She currently serves on the 2021 J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation Board of Directors and is active in the Dallas Bar Association where she serves as Co-Vice Chair of the Minority Participation Committee and is a member of the Allied Bars Standing Committee on Equality. Cortney is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Kila Lynn Bobier

Kila Lynn Bobier is a civil litigation attorney and is currently employed as staff counsel with Fred Loya Insurance Agency, Inc. She received her J.D. from Southern University Law Center and graduated summa cum laude, as Valedictorian, from Grambling State University with a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. Kila Lynn is licensed in Louisiana as well as Texas. As an experienced litigator, Kila Lynn regularly represents individuals in complex legal matters, including catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases where she serves as lead trial counsel, engaging with expert witnesses, handling depositions, case analysis, and leading litigation focus groups.

Kila Lynn is a former State District Court Judicial Law Clerk; serving in the First Judicial District in Shreveport, Louisiana. As an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and equal access to justice, Kila Lynn serves on various committees and boards. She was the 2020 Diversity Committee Chair of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association. In that role, she spearheaded programing that engaged and informed the membership on D&I issues. She also serves as an Executive Board Member for the National Bar Association’s (NBA) Women Lawyers Division (WLD). She was elected and sworn in as a Member at Large of the NBA’s WLD at the annual convention in Toronto, Canada in the summer of 2017. Kila Lynn received the prestigious WLD Chair’s Award for her work for the NBA’s 2019 Mid Year’s conference held in Dallas in March of that year. Moreover, Kila Lynn served as the WLD Retreat Chair for the 2019 Annual Convention in New York City. Kila Lynn is also a member of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and was selected for the 2018-2019 Leadership Class. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the J.L. Turner Legal Association; she is in her second term as Recording Secretary. She is a former member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s House of Delegates Committee and Legislative Committee. Kila Lynn also gives back to her community through her volunteerism through active membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she serves as the 2020-2021 Scholarship Chair. She has also been an active member of the Junior League for over a decade, giving back to her community by countless hours of volunteer work each year. Additionally, since the 2017-2018 school year, Kila Lynn has been the attorney advisor for Wilmer Hutchins Mock Trial Team.

Kandace Walter

Attorney Kandace D. Walter is a native Texan and a proud graduate of The University of Texas School of Law (J.D., 2004) and Florida A &M University (B.S. Chemistry, 2001). She is licensed to practice law in Texas and is also registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ms. Walter has provided valuable legal guidance to her business and intellectual property clients via Walter Legal PLLC since 2016. Prior to opening her own law firm, Ms. Walter was an Assistant District Attorney for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as well as an Assistant City Attorney and Community Prosecutor for the Dallas City Attorney’s Office. She also worked for a medium sized firm focusing on school law and an intellectual property boutique focusing on prosecution and litigation for a wide range of clients.

In 2020, Ms. Walter was hired as the Director of the Small Business Trademark Clinic at Southern Methodist University School of Law. She previously worked as an Adjunct Professor at Collin County Community College, where she has taught Introduction to Intellectual Property. She has served on the boards of J.L. Turner Legal Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association Foundation, and The NEW Roundtable, Inc. She also participated in the Dallas Bar Association 2019 WE LEAD Program and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers 2017 Leadership Class. Ms. Walter also served as the 2019 Chair for the Diversity in the Profession committee and was also recently appointed to the Justice in Leadership Committee of the State Bar of Texas.

Trerod Hall

Trerod Hall is an attorney licensed in Texas. He practices in the area of Eviction Defense.

Lauren Black

Lauren Black is the Division Chief of the Misdemeanor Division at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. She supervises 36 prosecutors, 12 legal assistants, and two investigators. The Misdemeanor Division is comprised of new attorneys in the office and one of Lauren’s primary responsibilities is to recruit and retain legal talent for those positions and train those new prosecutors on best practices in criminal prosecution. As a Division Chief, Lauren works with the Executive Team on the creation and implementation of policies for the office and is also responsible for taking high profile cases to trial.

Lauren grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and went on to pursue her undergraduate degree from University of Texas at Dallas. She received her law degree from Texas Wesleyan School of Law—now Texas A&M University School of Law. Lauren joins Dallas County from Rockwall County, where she started her prosecution career in 2010. She began as a misdemeanor prosecutor and last served as a felony trial court chief until Dallas County welcomed her. She has extensive trial experience prosecuting all levels of misdemeanor and felony offenses, such as: assaults, drug offenses, intoxication offenses involving serious bodily injury or death, child abuse and murder.

Lauren has a special interest in prosecuting intoxication offenses and was referred to as the dedicated expert for handling such cases in the Rockwall County District Attorney's Office. While there, she developed a telephonic warrant process that streamlined blood draw and search warrant procedures for the county. Recognized as a subject matter expert in the field, she has been requested to speak and teach across the State of Texas on prosecuting driving while intoxicated offenses.

Lauren is licensed by the State Bar of Texas and the United States Supreme Court. She currently serves as a faculty advisor and training committee member for the Texas District & County Attorneys Association. In these roles, she trains and mentors new Texas prosecutors and helps develop training curriculum for prosecutors state-wide. Lauren is passionate about mentoring the next generation of attorneys and works with the UNT Dallas College of Law as a mock trial competition coach. Her most recent team was named 1 st Place Regional Champions at the 2020 NTC Regional Mock Trial Competition.

Tawanna Franklin

Tawanna Franklin currently serves as a Contracts Manager for Fidelity Investments.