Public Interest Law Initiative

PILI Elects New Directors to Its Board of Directors

Posted on: July 30, 2014

At its meeting on July 24, 2014, the PILI Board of Directors elected several new directors to its board. Those elected to serve included Karina Ayala-Bermejo of Metropolitan Family Services, Traci Braun of Exelon Corporation and Jonathan Jennings of Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP. Each of these attorneys have had impressive legal careers with demonstrated commitments to pro bono and public interest law. Brief biographical information is provided below for each new director.


Karina Ayala-Bermejo
Metropolitan Family Services (MFS)

Karina is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources & General Counsel for MFS, where she is responsible for all legal and human resources aspects for MFS. Prior to MFS, she was with the City of Chicago for nearly three years most recently as the First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Human Resources (DHR). She also served as DHR Managing Deputy Commissioner and DHR Acting Commissioner. Prior to the City, she spent seven years as the Director of Community Services for the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) where she encouraged attorneys to take on pro bono work and collaborated with the bar and various divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County on initiatives to improve the justice system. Karina has been a leader involved in community service for over 20 years. She currently serves as Hispanic National Bar Association National Vice President of Regions; Board of Directors of the Jane Addams Juvenile Court Foundation; Advisory Board Member for the DePaul University College of Law Center for Public Interest Law, and Board Member of the Chicago Legal Clinic. Karina has also served on the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, is a Founding Member of Illinois Legal Aid Online, and served on the Latina Leadership Council of the Chicago Foundation For Women. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the CBA Alliance for Women’s Alta May Hewlett Award, the Chicago Commission of Human Relations’ Advisory Council on Latino Affairs Award, and DePaul College of Law’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Karina received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law.


Traci M. Braun
Exelon Corproation

Traci is Associate General Counsel for Exelon Corporation. At Exelon, she is responsible for handling and supervising litigation on behalf of the company, including death cases, multimillion-dollar vendor disputes, and litigation in support of multibillion-dollar transactions. In addition, for the last five years, Traci has served as co-chair of Exelon’s Pro Bono Committee, supervising and creating pro bono volunteer opportunities for attorneys and staff of the company’s legal department. Prior to joining Exelon in 2008, Traci was a partner in Jenner & Block LLP, in Chicago, where she was a member of the firm’s product liability and mass tort defense practice as well as its class action litigation practice. She has represented manufacturers and distributors of consumer products, including pharmaceutical and chemical products, in breach of warranty, fraud, and other related claims, and has defended numerous class actions in both state and federal courts. Traci was also an active member of the firm’s pro bono committee. In addition to serving on PILI’s Board of Directors, Traci also serves on the Board of Directors for Cabrini Green Legal Aid, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation and support services for individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system, and is Exelon’s lead for the Chicago Bar Foundation’s yearly Investing in Justice Campaign. Traci received her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School.


Jonathan S. Jennings
Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP

Jonathan protects brands, copyrighted works and domain names throughout the world. As part of his practice, he represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of disputes involving trademark, copyright, trade secret, right of publicity, breach of contract, unfair competition and false advertising claims. Jonathan also helps companies and individuals with brand development, audits, clearance, and worldwide registration issues; due diligence; licensing and assignment transactions; and with clearing advertising, promotional and marketing claims and contests. He also evaluates and counsels companies on claims in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical fields in light of FDA, FTC and consumer protection laws and regulations. He has been recently honored as a 2014 AV-rated Preeminent Lawyer, a 2014 Illinois “Super Lawyer” in Intellectual Property Litigation, and a 2014 Illinois “Leading Lawyer” in Intellectual Property Law. After over 1000 interviews and surveys with industry clients and peers, Managing Intellectual Property Magazine also selected Jonathan as an “IP Star”. Jonathan was recently appointed as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, where he will teach trademarks and unfair competition law. He also enjoys taking on pro bono matters for artists, The Chicago Bar Association, and not-for-profit charitable and service organizations. Jonathan also previously served on the Board of Managers for the Chicago Bar Association through which he also held a one year appointment to the PILI Board of Directors. He received his Juris Doctor from the Northwestern University School of Law.

Stay Connected. Sign Up For Our Newsletter: