South Asian Bar
Association of Chicago


Serving Chicagoland's South Asian Community

Foundation Board

Jyoti Raval, President

Jyoti-bwJyoti Raval has shown a commitment to helping people with disabilities for several years. After completing a degree in Applied Science with concentration in Biological Science and Kinesiology, Ms. Raval went on to graduate from Quinnipiac University School of Law with cum laude distinction. Additionally, she also received a Certificate of Health Law with Honors. She was awarded the James R. DeFonce Scholarship for Outstanding Advocacy of Persons with Disabilities and the Margaret E. Ryder Memorial Award for Excellence in Health Law during her second year of law school for her work in the health law clinic. Upon graduation, she received the American Bar Association and Bureau of National Affairs award for Excellence in the Study of Health Law. After working as a research assistant and certified legal intern for the QUSL Health Law Clinic, she authored a manual to help future students navigate through Social Security Disability claims. Since joining the firm, Ms. Raval has been providing initial consultations, advocating at the administrative hearings, and representing clients at the Appeals Council and United States District Court levels.

Hon. Rena Marie Van Tine, Vice President

Judge Rena Marie Van Tine became the first female Indian American judge in the nation to serve on a state court on June 12, 2001, when she was appointed Associate Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She is currently assigned to the Child Protection Division of the Juvenile Court located in Chicago, Illinois. Judge Van Tine serves on the board of the Illinois Judges Association and the Advisory board of the South Asian American Bar Association. She is also a member of the Asian American Bar Association, the Illinois Judicial Council, the American Bar Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She is an Illinois Supreme Court appointee to the Oversight of Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee. Judge Van Tine is a past President of the Asian American Bar Association (1999-2000) and she also served on its Advisory Board in from August 2013 through August 2014. She was a founding member of the Chicago chapter of the Indian-American Bar Association and served on it first board of directors.

Shama Patari, Treasurer

Shama Patari is a partner at Barnes/Richardson’s Chicago office where she advises foreign and domestic companies on all aspects of international trade regulation, planning and compliance, including customs, export controls, economic sanctions, embargoes, international trade agreements and preference programs. Shama represents clients across various industries, including automotive, agricultural commodities, plastics, textile and apparel, electrical goods, chemicals, and other consumer products.

Shama's practice in customs law includes issues of tariff classification, valuation, country of origin marking, preferential duty programs, customs audits and verifications, seizures, penalties and prior disclosures. Her practice in export issues focuses on compliance and enforcement of the U.S. export control regulations and economic sanctions regimes. Shama has assisted clients in completing the relevant documentation related to the export or transfer of their products, software, technology and services.

Shama has represented both foreign and domestic clients before U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Industry and Security, Canada Border Services Agency, as well as the Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Shama is actively involved with the the Customs Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association.

Lynn Preshad, Secretary

Lynn-bwLynn Preshad practices mortgage foreclosure defense and immigration law at Dreyfus Law Group. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in May 2009 and was admitted to the Illinois State Bar in November 2009. While attending law school, Ms. Preshad concentrated in litigation, immigration law, criminal law, and constitutional law, and dedicated her extracurricular time to externing at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, the ABA mentor-mentee program, Mock Trial Board, Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union, and participating in Client Counseling, Moot Court, and Mock Trial competitions. During and after law school, she volunteered for, CARPLS, CVLS, and SABA Chicago’s “Cyriac Kappil” Indo‐American Center Pro bono Clinic, where she continues to volunteer. In 2014, Ms. Preshad received an award from CVLS in recognition of her commitment to pro bono and her efforts to further Chicago Volunteer Legal Services’ mission to provide equal access to justice. Ms. Preshad is currently a member of the ISBA, the CBA, AILA, and SABA Chicago. She is fluent in Hindi/Urdu and understands some Punjabi, Gujarati, and Spanish.


Priya Harjani

Priya-bw Priya Harjani is the Deputy General Counsel at Northwestern University. She first joined Northwestern University 2004 and has held the roles of Assistant General Counsel, Associate General Counsel, and Senior Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Ms. Harjani was an attorney with a large law firm in Chicago, where she concentrated in commercial litigation. Ms. Harjani’s principal areas of responsibility in the Office of General Counsel are labor and employment counseling and litigation. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and frequently speaks at NACUA Conferences on a variety of topics. She also teaches a graduate level course entitled “Law and Ethics of Higher Education” in Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy. Ms. Harjani received her undergraduate degree from University of Illinois graduating summa cum laude and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

Bina Joshi

Bina is an attorney in the Environmental Group at Schiff Hardin LLP. Bina's experience includes helping clients with all aspects of environmental litigation matters including issues arising under the Clean Air Act, CERCLA and related state laws. She regularly helps clients with compliance matters, both in dealing with compliance issues as they arise, and helping to develop compliance programs and engage in future compliance planning. Her experience also includes representing clients in remediation matters under state and federal remediation programs. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.

Monica Khetarpal

Monica_H_Khetarpal_bwMonica H. Khetarpal is a Shareholder in the Chicago office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She has significant experience litigating cases involving claims for discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, FMLA violations, disability discrimination and requests for accommodation, and ERISA matters. She has represented both public entities and private corporations at all phases of litigation. She has significant experience before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and IDHR, as well as both federal and state trial and appellate courts. Prior to joining Jackson Lewis P.C., she was a labor & employment associate at a law firm in Washington D.C., as well as a firm in Urbana, Illinois. Ms. Khetarpal authored “Jurors’ Perceptions of Gender-Based Linguistic Differences,” published in the William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law (Fall 2003). She also co-authored “Survey of Illinois Law: Employment Law,” published in the Southern Illinois University Law Journal. Ms. Khetarpal was named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers for every year, 2010-2015.

Radhika Lohia

radhika-bwRadhika Lohia is an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office since graduating from Michigan State University School of Law and her admission into the Illinois bar in 2012. Currently she works in the Juvenile Justice Division, where she handles a wide array of juvenile delinquency cases. Ms. Lohia has extensive trial experience having tried both criminal and civil cases. Ms. Lohia is currently the treasurer for the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago and the President of the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association of Chicago and serves as the secretary of the national board. She is passionate about mentoring and participates in a number of mentorship programs through AABA and her law school. During her free time Ms. Lohia enjoys volunteering at the local pantries and old age homes in Chicago.

Tara Raghavan

Tara M. Raghavan is a partner at Rakoczy Molino Mazzochi Siwik LLP. Her practice focuses on complex patent litigation, counseling, and opinion work, particularly relating to the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. In October 2013, Ms. Raghavan was named a Top Woman Attorney – Outstanding Young Attorneys in Illinois, for Intellectual Property Law by Chicago Magazine. She has also been named an Illinois Rising Star for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Super Lawyers. Tara has served on the Board of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago (formerly Indian American Bar Association of Chicago) in numerous capacities including as President in 2008 and is currently a member of the Advisory Council. Tara is also currently on the Board of Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam, an organization devoted to propagating Indian classical music, dance and other arts.

Bhavani Raveendran

Bhavani Raveendran is an associate at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a leading civil trial practice law firm in Chicago specializing in personal injury matters, wrongful death and workers’ compensation cases both locally and nationally. Ms. Raveendran centers her work on helping individuals and their families involved in civil rights, police misconduct, and hazing/bullying matters. In her position, she is able to focus on cases which not only strive to bring justice to her individual clients, but also bring attention to issues of consequence.
Previously, Ms. Raveendran worked as a municipal prosecutor and general civil attorney with McHenry, Illinois firm Diamond & LeSueur, P.C.

Ms. Raveendran graduated from American University Washington College of Law and has since focused on civil litigation and civil rights. Immediately after graduating, Ms. Raveendran completed a human rights litigation fellowship at DC-based International Rights Advocates. During law school, she served as a student attorney for the International Human Rights Clinic, as a legal intern at Torture Abolition and Survivor Coalition International, and as a civil rights law clerk at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago. Ms. Raveendran has always been actively engaged in the Chicagoland South Asian community and continues to volunteer frequently in whatever capacity she can.

Alpita Shah

Alpita Shah has spent the majority of her career in the public sector at the local, national and international levels. For over a decade, she focused on international finance and economic development as a lawyer and policy advisor in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the World Bank. After returning to Chicago in 2011, she joined Mayer Brown as Counsel in the Finance practice, while also serving as pro-bono counsel for non-profits lending to small businesses in Illinois. Alpita has served as special advisor to the CEO of World Business Chicago, a public-private partnership to promote economic development in the region. Currently, she is Senior Counsel at the City of Chicago, Department of Law. Her practice focuses on transactional matters in municipal finance, aviation/airport law, government procurement and public health. She also works on international initiatives for the Mayor’s office.

Alpita clerked for U.S. federal district Judge Robert W. Gettleman in the Northern District of Illinois. She received her undergraduate from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (B.A., Economics, summa cum laude) and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Alpita is passionate about yoga (certified teacher), mindfulness practice (former board member of Zen Life and Meditation Center in Oak Park) and activism for social/economic justice.

Hrishikesh Shah

Hrishi Shah is an associate at Franczek Radelet, P.C., where his practice focuses primarily on employee benefits. Mr. Shah counsels clients on a wide variety of retirement and welfare plan issues, including compliance with ERISA, Affordable Care Act, and other federal laws, operational issues, tax qualification matters, and fiduciary duty issues. He has experience with multiemployer, single-employer, governmental, and deferred compensation plans, and has represented clients before the Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Taxation Section and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). Mr. Shah is admitted to practice law in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with distinction from Pennsylvania State University, and his Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. Mr. Shah is proficient in Gujarati and Hindi (written and spoken). His hobbies include travel, politics, cricket, and baseball.

Sufyan Sohel, Ex Officio

Sufyan currently serves as the Deputy Director and General Counsel of CAIR-Chicago, a non- profit civil rights organization focused on combatting discrimination and promoting tolerance. Sufyan earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and holds a Masters of Science in Finance (M.S.) and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from DePaul University. Sufyan frequently lectures and trains on diversity and social justice issues throughout the greater Chicagoland area. Sufyan also sits on the boards of the New Leaders Council Chicago, the Civil Leadership Council of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and his Homeowners Association, and serves on the Local School Council of South Loop Elementary School.