Category Archives: Officers

Justina Rivera

Justina is an experienced trial attorney who focuses her practice in the areas of complex torts and toxic tort litigation, products liability, medical malpractice and general commercial litigation. She serves as outside counsel to the City of New York Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel, where she served as an Assistant Borough Chief, Senior Counsel, and trial attorney in the Tort Division prior to joining Harris Beach. During her time at the Law Department Justina successfully defended the City of New York, its composite agencies and employees in civil litigation and trials in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Tort Units. During her tenure, she was also an active member of The Law Department's Committee on Diversity Recruitment and Retention. Prior to joining the Law Department, Justina began her career at the NYC administration for Children’s Services, where she prosecuted parents who were alleged to abuse and neglect their children.

Conway Ekpo

Conway Ekpo is in-house counsel at Morgan Stanley where he is an Executive Director covering the firm's international Wealth Management business which has over $2.2 trillion in assets under management. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was in-house counsel at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was part of the legal team tasked with advising the bank's Global Wealth & Investment Management line of business. Conway is also an adjunct professor of law at Rutgers School of Law, where he teaches a course on New York civil procedure. Prior to transitioning in-house, Conway practiced financial services litigation as an associate at Hogan Lovells US LLP, Riker Danzig LLP and the New York office of Heller Ehrman LLP.

Conway was the recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award, the Garden State Bar Association's 2016 Young Lawyer Award, and the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s 2016 Rising Star Award all in recognition for his efforts as a founding member of 1844. 1844 is a group of black male lawyers practicing in New York City in large law firms and in-house legal departments for Fortune 500 companies; the group’s name "1844" is in reference to the year that the first black person, Macon Bolling Allen, was admitted to practice law in America.

Conway was selected as a 2016 Fellow in the Council of Urban Professionals. He currently serves on the National and Northeast Advisory Boards as well as the National Moot Court Board of Advisors for the National Black Law Students Association and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge.

Conway earned his B.S. in architectural engineering at the University of Kansas and his J.D. at Rutgers School of Law where he was Managing Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.

Areal Allen-Stewart

areal-allen-stewartAreal Allen-Stewart is the Vice President of Global Credit Cards at Citibank. In her current role, she advises on global legal and regulatory requirements and develops programming and policy for her regional partners. In addition to her service on the MBBA Board, Areal remains active in the community. She is the Chair of co-sponsored events of The Association for Black Women Attorneys, a member of the Junior League of Brooklyn, a member of the Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee at the New York City Bar, and she sits on the Board of Directors for New York Law School’s Alumni Association. Additionally, Areal is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Areal is a 2014 graduate of New York Law School. Prior to law school, she attended the University of Connecticut, where she received degrees in Economics, African American Studies, and Business. In her spare time, Areal enjoys reading, exercising, and the arts.

Keiyana Fordham

KeiyanaFordhamKeiyana Fordham is a litigation attorney and is currently focusing her practice in the area of labor and employment litigation with a law firm in New York City.  There, Keiyana manages employment litigations, counsels management-side clients on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, and reviews collective bargaining agreements for labor negotiations on behalf of the employer.  Keiyana is a graduate of Princeton University and Fordham University School of Law.  Keiyana is currently the Recording Secretary for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

Anta Cisse-Green

Anta Cissé-Green is Associate General Counsel at NYU Langone Medical Center with primary responsibility for advising the development department with respect to agreements for gifts and bequests, trust and estate administration, not-for-profit legal and taxation issues and general contracting for activities of the development department at the Medical Center and the NYU School of Medicine.

Anta received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, summa cum laude, and her L.L.M. in Tax from NYU School of Law. Immediately prior to joining NYU Langone Medical Center in 2016, Anta was Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the firm’s private client services section of the tax group where she advised wealthy individuals on the development of tax efficient vehicles for the transfer of wealth, complex estate and trust administration issues, charitable planning strategies and the formation and governance of tax exempt organizations. Previously, Anta was an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and law clerk to the Honorable Lois Bloom, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
In 2016, Anta was named to the National Black Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys and a member of the Executive Committee for The National Advocates. In 2015, Anta was honored by the New York Law Journal as a “Lawyer Who Leads By Example” in recognition of her years of commitment to providing pro bono legal services to underrepresented New Yorkers. Anta was also named as a New York Metro Area Rising Star by Superlawyers in the area of tax and estate planning.

Anta is an active member of her community in her roles as Vice President of Programs for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association; member of the attorney advisory panel for the Planning and Estates Law Project for the City Bar Justice Center of the New York City Bar Association; member of the Advisory Council for the Foundation for Letters, Inc., a New York nonprofit organization that promotes improved college access through engagement with writing by providing urban schools with a range of literary-focused academic and enrichment programs; and member of the board of trustees for the Urban Resource Institute, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive, holistic, and supportive human services programs to empower individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area.

Luwick Francois

luwick-francois-250Luwick is a Senior Attorney in the Prosecutions Unit at the New York State Division of Human Rights. His practice includes employment discrimination cases, housing discrimination matters and discrimination in public accommodations. In addition to serving as Treasurer of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Luwick is also active in various local, state and nationwide legal organizations.

Kersuze Morancy

Kersuze Morancy is the Director of the CP Legal Research Group at Counsel Press, the nation’s largest appellate service provider.  Kersuze focuses on appeals (federal and state), specifically drafting appellate briefs and motions for clients from coast to coast. Kersuze is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law – Camden.

Asha Smith

Asha Smith is a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society. Beginning her career in 2007, Asha represented indigent defendants as a Public Defender in the Criminal Defense Practice. Currently she represents New York City’s most vulnerable citizens as a Staff Attorney in the Housing Unit in the Civil Practice.

Asha received her law degree from New York Law School in 2007. She was  a member of the school’s Justice Action Center where she focused on Social Justice advocacy, with concentrations in Trial Advocacy, Criminal Justice, Immigration, and clinical studies in Mediation. Prior to attending law school, Asha simultaneously received a Master of Arts in Media Studies and a Master of Science of Teaching at the New School for Social Research.

A member of MBBA for a number of years, Asha is currently Chair of MBBA’s Judiciary Committee and Co-Chair of MBBA’s Legislation Committee. She looks forward to continued involvement with MBBA, its members and the community at large.

Dweynie Paul
Travelers Indemnity Co.
George Washington Law School