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The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago

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The SABA Chicago Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing financial support and promoting pro bono work and volunteerism through: (i) our affiliation with the Indo American Center neighborhood legal clinic; (ii) our relationships with other public interest organizations; and (iii) other activities consistent with our mission, including our funding of summer fellowships for qualifying law students who wish to work with public interest or non profit organizations serving the South Asian community at large.

We welcome support from law firms, corporations, and individuals, and encourage individuals to participate in our activities and fundraisers.

SABA Chicago Foundation Executive Board

Debjani Desai, President

Debjani D. Desai is the General Counsel for the Illinois Office of Comptroller. She leads a team of lawyers in Chicago and Springfield to provide legal counsel on state comptroller mandates, such as ordering payments through the treasury, managing the state’s fiscal accounts, and conducting audits and reports on the state’s fiscal health. She advises the office on litigation, legislation, finance, operations, compliance, and labor and employment matters. In prior roles, she served as an Administrative Law Judge, presiding over Medicaid and child support appeals. She also managed state and federal litigation for the state Medicaid agency, serving elderly, disabled, and indigent populations. In addition, she formerly advocated for victims as a prosecutor of financial crimes and public corruption, juvenile justice, and civil actions.

Debjani sits in leadership positions for various bar associations and community organizations that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity. She is a past President of SABA Chicago, a SABA Advisory Council member, a SABA North America Leadership Institute fellow, and on the Honorary Board of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago. She is the incoming Financial Secretary for the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois and a chair of their Diversity Committee. She is also a junior board member of the Chicago Lighthouse.

Outside of her role as General Counsel, Debjani serves as a Special Prosecutor in child protection cases in juvenile court. She is an adjunct professor teaching Counseling and Negotiations at UIC Law, and she frequently assists as a mock trial coach for high schools and colleges.

Aon Hussain

Aon is a litigator in the Complex Commercial Disputes practice group in the Chicago office of Nixon Peabody, LLP. He represents individuals and companies in state and federal courts across the country.

His broad experience includes representing businesses of all sizes in a variety of business disputes. This includes representing businesses in lawsuits relating to fraud, statutory claims, breach of fiduciary duty, and business torts. He also represents businesses in trade secret litigation involving breach of non-compete, non-solicitation, or non-disclosure clauses. Aon also counsels clients in health care litigation matters related to breach of contract, fraud and abuse, prompt pay, and payer-provider disputes. He also defends medical device manufacturers against product liability lawsuits.

Lynn Preshad

Lynn is a Staff Attorney in the Dallas office of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, working on U.S. employment-based immigration matters. She has experience in immigrant and nonimmigrant matters including: TN, H, and L visas, PERM-based and EB-1 multinational manager immigrant visa petitions, and adjustment of status applications.

Prior to joining BAL, Lynn worked as an attorney at a full-service law firm in Chicago, Illinois, where she handled cases in the practice areas of immigration, civil litigation, family law, real estate, and contracts. Additionally, Lynn is an officer on the foundation board of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and a volunteer attorney at the SABA Chicago “Cyriac Kappil” Indo‚ÄźAmerican Center pro bono legal clinic affiliated with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, where Lynn contributes to efforts to provide equal access to justice to underprivileged people.

While attending law school, Lynn externed at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office; served in the ABA mentor-mentee program, Mock Trial Board, Amnesty International and American Civil Liberties Union; and competed in Client Counseling, Moot Court, and Mock Trial. Lynn continues to remain dedicated to pro bono work. Her personal interests include spending free time with her family, working out, learning about nutrition, health, and wellness with her personal trainer, traveling for hiking trips or for fun when she has some free time, and spending lots of quality time with her two precious cats, Oliver and Zelda. Lynn speaks Hindi and Urdu.

Saurish Applyby-Bhattacharjee, Treasurer 

Saurish Appleby-Bhattacharjee is an experienced federal prosecutor who has spent most of his legal career at the United States Attorney’s Office, first in the Central District of California (Los Angeles), and currently in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). Having tried multiple cases to verdict before federal juries and argued numerous appeals before the Seventh and Ninth Circuits, Saurish’s diverse practice spans cases involving violent crimes, financial crimes and cyber-fraud, drug- and firearms-trafficking offenses, and public corruption and civil-rights violations.

Currently, Saurish serves as a Deputy Chief in the General Crimes Section, where he is responsible for training and supervising new prosecutors. He also taught four semesters of the Government Externships seminar as an Adjunct Professor in the DePaul University College of Law’s Experiential Learning program. Saurish is an alumnus of the SABA Leadership Institute and participated as a 2022 Fellow in the program.

Loveleen Ahuja

Loveleen Ahuja has worked as a Cook County Public Defender for nearly 16 years.  She has spent her entire legal career representing a diverse background of the indigent community accused of various crimes, making sure their rights are protected and that their voices are heard.  Loveleen is currently assigned to the Homicide Task Force Unit and represents people that are accused of first-degree murder.

Loveleen has argued countless motions and hearings and has litigated hundreds of bench and jury trials.  She has argued cases ranging from DUI, domestic and armed robbery cases to a wide variety of complex litigation, including predatory criminal sexual assault and murder cases. 

Loveleen is involved in several charitable organizations including being a mentor for the Diversity Scholarship Foundation and Lawyers in the classroom, which teaches constitutional law to various grade school students around the city.  Loveleen has also been a guest lecturer for UIC/John Marshall school of law as well as a judge for several mock trial competitions for DePaul, Loyola and Kent Law Schools. 

Sheni Djurisic

Sheni Djurisic has accumulated a wide range of litigation experience including first chairing jury trials and bench trials.  Ms. Djurisic’s trial practice is complemented by her appellate experience which includes successfully submitting briefs and arguing before the Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.  Currently, her practice focuses in the areas of probate, elder law, estate planning and corporate matters.  Ms. Djurisic handles contested probate matters, has represented a variety of healthcare providers and has counseled business clients regarding corporate issues including employment law throughout her career.  Ms. Djurisic serves as court appointed counsel and as guardian ad litem in guardianship matters pending in the probate division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two children.

Tanvi Patel

Tanvi Patel is an intellectual property attorney at Neal Gerber & Eisenberg in Chicago, IL, where she assists clients in protecting their innovations through all aspects of development and commercialization. Tanvi’s practice includes understanding clients’ and competitive intellectual property, procuring and developing clients’ intellectual property portfolios, and enforcing and/or defending against allegations of infringement.

Tanvi obtained her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign (2005), and her J.D. from DePaul University (2011).  Tanvi first became involved with SABA Chicago Foundation in 2018 as a Board Member.   

Shiva Koorgayala

Shiva is an associate at Massey & Gail LLP, a litigation boutique that specializes in complex litigation and appellate advocacy. Shiva maintains a robust pro bono practice, representing clients on a range of issues including asylum, housing law, and civil rights. Prior to becoming an attorney, Shiva was a research associate at the Urban Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. where he managed a portfolio of research on poverty, affordable housing, food insecurity, and refugee resettlement. Shiva earned his B.A. in Sociology and Political Science from Emory University, his Masters in City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Housing, Community, and Economic Development from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  At Northwestern, he served as the Editor in Chief of the Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy.  Shiva also serves on the Young Associates Board of Ascend Justice, a Chicago-based non-profit with a mission of empowering individuals and families affected by gender-based violence and the child welfare system.

Parag Bhosale

For the past 20 years, Parag has fought for the rights of those wrongfully injured at work and by the negligence of others. He has successfully tried over 30 cases to verdict during his career.

Parag has also successfully argued cases in Federal Court as well as the 1st and 2nd District Appellate Courts of Illinois. He handles cases in Cook, Lake, Will, DuPage, and Kane Counties.

He has lectured before other attorneys, physicians, nurses, and union members at continuing education seminars and meetings. He also volunteers his time teaching inner-city youths through the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago. He is a past SABA Chicago VP of Membership and has served as a panelist at SABA National Conventions.

Oishika Gupta

Oishika practices corporate immigration law, and currently represents leading corporations in a variety of industries, including information technology, consulting and manufacturing. Her areas of practice include corporate U.S. immigration, particularly nonimmigrant visas, with a focus on helping leading IT firms comply with end-to-end nonimmigrant requirements. Oishika has had the experience of working with client from various industries, including but not limited to healthcare, management consulting and bio-pharma.

Oishika has been a core part of Fragomen’s Foreign Consular Practice (FCP) team, assisting in the development of mock interview scripts and helping clients to understand consular trends in India. While working for Fragomen in India, she was integral to the ISO Quality Certification process for the firm’s India offices.

Oishika has been involved with various pro bono activities, including working with Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has also assisted the senior attorney on the Supreme Court of India in high-profile litigation cases. Oishika has been an active volunteer with Child Rights and You (CRY)—a nonprofit international human rights organization—where she spearheaded an anti-child labor campaign, liaising with government officials and the civil society at large. Oishika has also assisted with individual pro bono casework through Fragomen, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and asylum matters.

Oishika speaks English, Bengali and Hindi.

Avani Patel

Avani is a Director of Business Development at KLDiscovery (KLD). Her responsibilities include maintaining new and existing relationships for clients that require eDiscovery, cybersecurity, and forensic vendor services. She practiced law for nine years, most of which was at Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS). Here, she was a Supervising Attorney for the Economic Issues Program and was responsible for litigating bankruptcy, eviction, family law, probate, tort defense, and contract dispute matters. Avani also has experience as a legal recruiter and still enjoys helping attorneys with their resumes, interview prep, and negotiating salaries. Her most proud moment in her career thus far was spearheading and managing a formal pro bono program for an eDiscovery company.

Avani served four years on the SABA-DC board and is the immediate past Director of Women in eDiscovery Washington, DC chapter.  She received her JD from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and is passionate about promoting the professional development of women and minorities in the legal community, pro bono, and community service.

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