ADL Mountain States Summer Associate Research Program Celebrates its 16th Year; Honors Memo Competition Winners

  • August 30, 2023

2023 Summer Associate Research Program memo competition winners L-R: Zach Dube, Kristen Kennedy, Pete Lusk, Gisselle Eve Moreno, Clark Seaman, Tiana Wilson-Blindman

This year marked the ADL Mountain States Region’s 16th annual Summer Associate Research Program. 25 summer associates from five prominent law firms – Ballard Spahr, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, Greenspoon Marder and WilmerHale – participated in this year’s program. Under the direction of a supervising attorney, participants provide ADL’s regional and national staff with legal research on cutting-edge civil rights issues which this summer included book bans, extremist groups, rally permits and more. The memos are then entered into a competition and are evaluated according to a rigorous rubric by a panel of judges. This year’s winners will be honored at ADL’s Civil Rights Awards Reception on September 13 at 5:30 pm at the Cable Center at the University of Denver; click here for more information.


The 2023 winners are Zach Dube, Kristen Kennedy, Gisselle Eve Moreno and Clark D. Seaman from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and Peter Lusk and Tiana L. Wilson-Blindman from WilmerHale. You can read more about them below. The winning teams both wrote about the intersection of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, especially in recent years. This is the third year in a row that the team from Bryan Cave has won, and the second consecutive win for summer associate Kristen Kennedy.


ADL thanks co-chairs Andrew Rubin of Greenberg Traurig and Jennifer Shloss of Empower for leading the 2023 Summer Associate Research Program. We also thank our panel of judges, each of whom read multiple memos, and of course all the summer associates, supervising attorneys and firms for their participation and support of the program.


To learn more about the program or to sign up for next year, please email


Read more about the 2023 winners here: 


Zach Dube is a second-year law student at the University of Colorado, where he is a member of the Silicon Flatirons Student Group and the University of Colorado Law Review. Zach’s primary interest is in litigation and privacy law, and after law graduating he plans to enter a career in commercial litigation.


Kristen Kennedy is a third-year law student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. She will graduate in May 2024 with a focus on Corporate and Commercial law as well as Intellectual Property and Technology Law. Kristen serves as senior staff editor on the University of Denver Water Law Review. Kristen has also served as a peer mentor to first-year students. She will be joining Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in their Denver office in the fall of 2024.


Peter Lusk is a third-year law student at Harvard Law School and is planning to begin his career as an associate attorney at WilmerHale’s Denver office upon graduation. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and served seven years in the Air Force. Pete is passionate about the First Amendment and hopes to continue serving the people of this country by ensuring that everyone is protected equally under the law. He is also is avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking Colorado 14ers in the summer, and snowboarding the slopes in the winter.


Gisselle Eve Moreno is beyond proud to be a first-generation Latina law student representing Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, an amazing firm. Her second year of law school will include working as a student attorney in the Immigration Law and Policy Clinic and serving as 2L Senator for the Student Bar Association and Diversity Chair for DU’s Women’s Legal Coalition.


Clark D. Seaman, a student at the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law at the University of Montana, is a fifth generation Montanan. Clark believes that it is a privilege to practice the law and looks forward to long career of providing excellent service to those who need it.


Tiana L. Wilson-Blindman (she/her/wíŋyaŋ) is a third year student at Berkeley Law. Tiana is from Pine Ridge, SD, but comfortably calls Wyoming and Colorado home as well, as her family is spread all across the Intermountain West. She is focused on the intersection of Environmental Law and Federal Indian Law and has been working in the environmental justice movement for nearly a decade. Prior to Berkeley, Tiana received her Masters of Environmental Management from Yale School of the Environment, where she focused on natural resource co-management, namely between Tribal and non-Tribal governments.