Color of Law Roundtable

Created in 2007, the Color of Law Roundtable brings attorneys of color to Western New England University to share their educational, career, and personal experiences with the School of Law community.

The speakers give students an opportunity to ask candid questions about career choices, career challenges, and the decisions that the speakers made in response to those challenges. Roundtable speakers, many of whom are graduates of Western New England University School of Law, represent a wide range of practice areas and careers, giving students a firsthand look at the numerous possibilities a legal education can provide.

Fall 2015 Speaker

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Rishi K. Desai ’09, Director of the Business Law Department at Shah & Associates, P.C.

12:00 noon
Faculty Lounge

Lunch will be served.
Seating is limited.
Reservations required by contacting Professor Sudha Setty at

For more information, contact Professor Setty or Professor Bridgette Baldwin at

Color of Law Roundtable Directors

Professors Sudha Setty and Bridgette Baldwin both joined the School of Law faculty in the fall of 2006.

Professor Setty was a litigator for seven years prior to joining the School of Law, and has written in the areas of comparative constitutional law and politics as well as Title IX and women’s rights.

Professor Baldwin was a criminal and civil defense attorney in New York City and also taught in the area of criminal law and procedure before joining the School of Law. Her research interests include criminal law and procedure, welfare law, and critical race theory.

Past Color of Law speakers 

For more information, please contact Professor Baldwin at or Professor Setty at

Color of Law Speakers 2013-14

Fall 2015

Rishi K. Desai ’09
Director of the Business Law Department at Shah & Associates, P.C.

Thursday, October 1, 2015
12:00 noon
Faculty Lounge

In his Ney Jersey-based practice, Rishi K. Desai ’09 oversees the Business Law Department at Shah & Associates, P.C. His practice is focused on advising small business owners on the purchase, sale, and financing of their businesses and commercial real estate.

Mr. Desai has closed on a variety of business enterprises and commercial real estate, such as restaurants, retail stores, and liquor stores, and multi-unit franchise purchases.

Mr. Desai is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. He is the President-Elect of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey, as well as a member of the Diversity Council Committee for the MID Jersey Chamber of Commerce. 

Lunch will be served.

Seating is limited.

Reservations required by contacting Professor Sudha Setty at

For more information, contact Professor Setty or Professor Bridgette Baldwin at

Spring 2015

Edward Pichardo
Of Counsel to the Government Relations and Labor practices of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C.

January 8, 2015

Edward Pichardo is an experienced labor attorney and government affairs and public contracting specialist. The son of two immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Pichardo grew up in New York City and graduated from Norman Thomas High School. He attended Binghamton University and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Afro-American/African Studies. Pichardo later attended Marquette University Law School.

Pichardo has extensive experience as a union-side labor attorney. As a former legislative director, he is available to represent both public and private sector clients in Albany and New York City concerning legislative, regulatory, and public contracting matters.

Fall 2014

Hector Zavala '12
Assistant District Attorney, Hampden County District Attorney's Office
Springfield District Court

November 10

Hector Zavala is a Springfield native and graduated from Springfield Central High School. He then attended Westfield State University, and interned at the Hampden County District Attorney’s office with the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. Zavala graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Multicultural and Ethnic Studies in 2005.

In January of 2005, Zavala was hired as an ongoing social worker with the Department of Social Services (now Department of Children and Families). A year and a half later, he was hired as a Victim/Witness Advocate with the Hampden County District Attorney’s office.

In August of 2008, Zavala began his studies at Western New England University School of Law, as part of their part-time evening program. After graduating in 2012, Zavala became an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), and recently started work with the Special Victims Unit.

Spring 2014

Bernardo G. Cuadra ’10
Associate, Shipman & Goodwin LLP

March 13

Bernardo Cuadra practices in the area of estate planning, estate settlement and trust administration. Bernardo assists clients with the full range of planning techniques for tax-effective intergenerational and charitable transfers. He also prepares, and advises those preparing, probate documents, estate taxreturns and fiduciary income tax returns as well as represents estates before the IRS and DRS on audit.

Prior to joining Shipman & Goodwin, Bernardo was a law clerk for the Honorable Flemming L. Norcot Jr. of the Connecticut Supreme Court. In law school, Bernardo participated in the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, externed for the Honorable U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth P. Neiman of the U.S. Federal District Court District of Massachusetts, served as President of the Family Law Association, and was Managing Editor of the Western New England Law Review.

Admitted to the Bar in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Bernardo earned his JD magna cum laude from Western New England in 2010 and a BS from Boston College in 2000. 

Fall 2013

Sarala Nagala
Assistant United States Attorney
District of Connecticut

October 9

Sarala V. Nagala is an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut, where she is assigned to the Major Crimes and National Security unit.  She prosecutes cases in the areas of child exploitation, identity theft, tax fraud, intellectual property, and national security, among others. She also serves as cochair of the office's diversity committee. Prior to joining the United States Attorney's Office, Ms. Nagala practiced at the firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson in San Francisco, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan P. Graber on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland, OR.  Ms. Nagala is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). 

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