NDLA 2015-16 New Members

The Notre Dame Law Association Board is pleased to introduce the new 2015-16 NDLA members.

REGION 1 (AK, HI, North CA, ID, North NV, OR, WA)
Larry Ward, ’98 BA, ’00 M.Ed., ’03 J.D.


As a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, I focus my practice on U.S. national security law, international trade compliance and licensing. I am currently serving a two-year appointment to the Defense Trade Advisory Group, an advisory group to the U.S. State Department. I began my legal career at very small firms in Philadelphia and in San Diego. I serve on the School Commission at my children’s Catholic grade school and on the Board of Treehouse, a local non-profit dedicated to serving foster youth. I’d be honored if selected to serve on the NDLA.
REGION 16 (Cook County IL)
John V. Smith, II ’79 AB, ’82 J.D.


John graduated from Notre Dame with an AB in 1979. He is now an equity partner with the Chicago firm of Pretzel & Stouffer where he has practiced, primarily as a trial lawyer, for the past 34 years since graduating from Notre Dame Law School in 1982. While at the Law School he was a member of the Notre Dame trial team. John has practiced trial law including medical malpractice litigation and commercial litigation and has served regularly as a member of his firm’s executive committee. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of The Society of Trial lawyers. John has also participated as a visiting faculty member for many years at the Notre Dame Intensive Trial Law class taught by Professor Seckinger. John also lectures at the Trinity Law School in Dublin, Ireland. He has assisted with the establishment of an exchange program for law students between Notre Dame Law School and Trinity School of Law. As a Pro bono Trial lawyer, John has represented Debra’s Place, a center for homeless women in Chicago. John is also the author of several articles and book chapters in publications both in the United States and Ireland.

REGION 18 (North NY, Toronto)
Joseph J. Karaszewski, ’88 J.D.


I have been an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York since 1992, and have been Chief of my office’s Appellate Division since 2006. Prior to that, I clerked for United States District Judge William M. Skretny in Buffalo, New York and was in private practice at Phillips Lytle in Buffalo from 1988 to 1990.

I have served on the Notre Dame Attorney Alumni Group of the Notre Dame Club of Buffalo/Western New York. This group has sponsored social gatherings and more formal career mentoring sessions at which area Notre Dame lawyers have met with and shared their knowledge and experiences with current law students and recent law graduates. The Attorney Alumni Group also co-hosted the 2014 and 2015 Hesburgh Lectures in Buffalo.

I also am active at my parish, St. Mary Church, Swormville, New York, and serve on the parish’s School Advisory Council. I have been an adjunct faculty member at Canisius College in Buffalo, my undergraduate alma mater.

Affinity Representative Black Alumni
Cristal Brisco, ’06 J.D.


Cristal is Corporate Counsel for the City of South Bend. She serves as chief legal counsel for the City of South Bend’s Executive Branch, Departments, Boards, and Commissions. She oversees a department of seven other attorneys and four staff members. Prior to joining the City in 2013, Cristal had worked for seven years as an attorney in the Litigation and Labor and Employment departments at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, a firm of 750 legal professionals and thirteen offices. Cristal is a native of northern Indiana where she graduated cum laude from Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in History in 2002. She received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2006.