AWA Board Biographies
Meagan Jones is the President of the Association for Women Attorneys for the 2023 calendar year. Meagan, originally from Marion, Arkansas, obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in Memphis, Tennessee.
Meagan is an Associate at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., where her practice primarily involves assisting corporate and business clients in handling matters related to mergers and acquisitions, corporate formation and governance, contract review, securities offerings, and federal and state regulatory filings. Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Meagan clerked for the Honorable David S. Kennedy, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tenssee and also the Honorable Robert S. Weiss at the Shelby County Circuit Court. Meagan currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she is the head coach of the Duberstein Moot Court Travel Team.
President-Elect & Annual Banquet Co-Chair
Born in D.C., raised in Clarksville, and Memphian by choice. Ashley obtained her B.A. in Psychology, and minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, and she currently serves as a Trial Attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Prior to her work in this role, she served as a prosecutor in the Domestic Violence Unit here in Shelby County. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated since the fall of 2011, and long standing member of the Association for Women Attorneys since the fall of 2014. Ashley maintains being actively engaged in both the legal community and Memphis through organizations such as Inns of Courts, the membership committee for the Dixon Gallery & Garden, and the Urban Art Commission.
Vice President & Annual Banquet Co-Chair
Noor Obaji is the Vice President of AWA. She is an associate at Lewis Thomason, PC, where she focuses her practice area on healthcare liability defense.
Noor graduated from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2018. She served as the President of the AWA Student Chapter during her 3L year. Noor is excited to serve the Memphis legal community this year.
Linda Seely is a licensed Tennessee lawyer and Mediator. She served as the Director of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section in Washington, DC until May of 2021 when she assumed her position at Butler Snow as Pro Bono Counsel. For 20 years, she served as Pro Bono Director, first for West Tennessee Legal Services, and then from 2004-2016 for Memphis Area Legal Services.
Linda has served on many nonprofit boards, and as President of several organizations including as President of the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women, the Memphis Bar Association and on the board of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators as well as serving on both the Board of Governors and in the House of Delegates for the Tennessee Bar Association. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Women Attorneys in Memphis (2023) and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the MidSouth Community Justice and Mediation Center. She is a member of the Leo J. Berman Inns of Court and has Emeritus status.
She was appointed to the Tennessee Bar Association Access to Justice Committee in June of 2021 by President Elect Jim Barry and to the Advisory Committee of the Tennessee Administrative Offices of the Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission in January of 2022.
Linda has been married for nearly 30 years to her husband and retired attorney, Carl E. Seely.
Anita serves as the Treasurer for AWA. Anita is a member at Farris Bobango PLC. Her practice concentrates in the areas of financial institutions regulatory compliance, commercial finance transactions, real estate transactions, and general corporate law.
She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and her Juris Doctor degree from Boston University.
Originally from Chattanooga, Laura Deakins, a shareholder at Lewis Thomason. Her practice is focused in civil litigation, primarily on the defense of corporations and insurance companies, as well as doctors and hospitals in healthcare liability matters. She also has extensive appellate experience.
Prior to joining Lewis Thomason, Ms. Deakins served four years as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Holly Kirby on both the Tennessee Supreme Court and Tennessee Court of Appeals where she worked on over 100 appellate opinions in a wide variety of legal fields. Ms. Deakins has achieved successful results for her clients through defense jury verdicts, summary judgments, mediations, and on appeal.
Elizabeth is an associate at Reifers, Holmes & Peters LLC. Elizabeth focuses her practice in the defense of claims filed against Class I railroads, including Federal Employers' Liability Act, occupational exposure, and common carrier liability.
Elizabeth earned her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Golf Tournament Co-Chair
Rachel is a 2021 graduate of the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee. While in law school, she was a member of the Moot Court Board and competed with the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court travel team. During her final year of law school, Rachel served as a law clerk for the former Honorable Robert Weiss, Division Eight of the Shelby County Circuit Court.
As an Arkansas native, Rachel obtained her undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Arkansas State University in 2018 and is a former chapter president and alumna of the Alpha Omicron Pi Women’s Fraternity.
Rachel focuses her practice in the areas of family law and estate planning. She is a Board Member for the Association for Women Attorneys, serving as Co-Chair of the Annual Golf Tournament. Rachel also serves as a Board Member for Hannah’s Hope. When she is not practicing law, Rachel enjoys spending time outdoors and hunting with her Husband, Alex and their fur-child, Bodhi.
Historian/Marketing/Social Media Chair
Rachel is a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Holly Kirby on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Rachel is a native of Benton, Arkansas and obtained her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Arkansas State University. She is a 2022 graduate of the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is newly licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Faith Watson is a native of Nashville, Tennessee but has been in Memphis since 2013. She graduated Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2016 and was selected to be a clerk for Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins in Chancery Court Part III in Shelby County. She was also a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable William Campbell, Jr. for the United States District court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
After completing her clerkships, Faith practiced Family Law with the Rice Law Firm and then became an Assistant District Attorney for Shelby County. She is currently an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Memphis and is involved with the Memphis Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and is the Social Chair for the Association of Women Attorneys.
Fredricka Brown serves as the Historian for the NBPA Memphis chapter. She is an Assistant District Attorney at the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office. Fredricka is a native of Greenville, MS, but now calls Memphis her home. Fredricka received her Bachelor’s Degree from Mississippi State University, and her Juris Doctorate from The University of Mississippi School of Law.
While in college and law school, Fredricka served in various capacities in numerous organizations. Fredricka has always enjoyed helping others and giving back. In her free time she enjoys working out, cooking, and spending time with friends.
Licensed in Tennessee and Arkansas, Suzanne represents her clients compassionately and efficiently in the areas of divorce, orders of protection, child custody disputes, prenuptial agreements, child support matters, adoptions, and criminal defense matters. She realizes that each person who steps foot in her office is going through an incredibly stressful and harrowing time (except for her prenup clients!), so she makes sure to actively listen to her clients’ priorities, to stay in communication with them, and to zealously represent them. Before private practice, Suzanne was an attorney at the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office where she handled over 1,000 misdemeanor and felony cases.
When she is not sending emails or preparing for trial, Suzanne loves spending time at home cooking, cleaning, and watching her favorite TV show, “Love After Lockup.” She lives with her husband, her baby boy, and her cat, Kiki.
Golf Tournament Co-Chair
Laura is a corporate attorney at Baker Donelson, focusing on franchise and hospitality industries. With a background in media and entertainment, she brings a unique perspective to business clients.
Laura earned her bachelor’s degree at Vanderbilt University and her law degree at Georgetown University Law Center. She is new to Memphis and is excited to explore all it has to offer, especially connecting with other AWA members.
Law School Liaison
Jodi Wilson currently serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Jodi first joined the Memphis Law Faculty in 2009, serving as the Director of the first-year legal research and writing program.
Before joining the Memphis Law Faculty, Jodi was a litigator with a national civil litigation and arbitration practice, focusing on class actions, business disputes, and securities industry arbitrations. Jodi earned her J.D. from the Washington University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.
Kelly Hagy is the CLE co-chair of AWA Memphis. She is an associate in Baker Donelson's Advocacy Department, where she focuses her practice on commercial and business litigation.
Judicial Reception Chair
Regan S. Steepleton
Regan S. Steepleton is an attorney who focuses her practice on construction, commercial litigation, probate and estate, and business law. Regan is a 2018 graduate of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she received the Dean's Award for Excellence, the Cecil C. Humphreys Fellowship Award, and the CALI Excellence Award. She also served as a member of the Moot Court Board.
Regan was recently selected by her peers for inclusion in the 2023 Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Trusts and Estates for the third year. She has also been elected as an associate member in the Leo Bearman, Sr. Chapter of the American Inn of Court. Regan is a member of the American, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Memphis bar associations.
Community Outreach Chair
Amy is a graduate of the University of Louisville, BA, and William and Mary School of Law, JD. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer at A Step Ahead Foundation, a Memphis nonprofit that empowers women to plan their lives, their babies, and their futures, through long-acting, reversible, contraception and education. She has been working there for 10 years.
Prior to that, she worked at home raising a family along with her husband, Steve Mulroy. She was highly involved with the parent organizations at the schools attended by their children; and continues to be active in local politics through the Democratic Women of Shelby County, and the Germantown Democrats.
Student Chapter President
Annika Rush serves as the President of the Memphis Law School’s student AWA chapter. In addition to her service to AWA, Mrs. Rush serves on the Student Bar Association and is a member of the National Mock Trial Travel Team.
Honorable Valerie Smith
Judge Valerie Smith serves as the Judicial Liaison for AWA.
Belle serves as the TBA representative.
Karlyn serves as the MBA representative for AWA.
Regina serves as a CLE Co-Chair for AWA.
Louise serves as the CLC representative for AWA.