About Pennie Shapiro

Pennie Shapiro Articles written 4

Articles written by Pennie Shapiro

Chief Executive Optimist

Janice Brown took an uncommon approach to the law and built an uncommon firm  

Janice P. Brown never wandered very far from her Great Falls, Mont., home until college at the University of Montana, where she became involved with the United Service Organizations. Suddenly she was being whisked by helicopter from one exotic locale to another as she traveled to military bases in Korea, Guam, Okinawa and the Philippines as a singer with the USO. Her specialty was rhythm and blues, and the Emotions' "Best of My Love" and Dan Hartman's "Instant Replay" were her signature songs. …

Espirit de Corps

The Marines made Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr. the attorney he is today

Some attorneys can trace their skills back to a revered law school professor or a high school debate coach. Vincent J. Bartolotta Jr. gives credit to the Marines. In 1968, he enlisted in a Marine Corps program that allowed him to go through boot camp, complete his education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and train for the U.S. Olympic soccer team, for which he was selected as an alternate.   Bartolotta’s first USMC assignment was as a defense lawyer at Camp Pendleton, …

Protecting Indian Pass

Courtney Ann Coyle helps the Quechan Indian Tribe save its sacred land and cultural heritage

A sense of place is important to Courtney Ann Coyle. As a child, her family divided their time between the Jersey shore and Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. When Sanibel got too busy, they moved to nearby Useppa Island, “when it was still being redeveloped after many years of abandonment … a great and wild place to grow up.”   Trained as a biologist and focused on environmental law, Coyle realized her discipline could encompass cultural as well as natural riches after the …

The Flame of Justice

Lilia Velasquez speaks out for refugees, immigrants and the oppressed

A red car speeds along, bearing a license plate that reads “Flama” and a driver dressed head-to-toe in red. Lilia Velasquez—the “Flame of Justice”—is rushing to federal court to champion human rights. Velasquez got her nickname from her fellow teachers, while working in Latin America with a program developed by the California Western School of Law to teach the American adversarial system. The Flame’s heat for justice is fed by a constant stream of immigration horror …

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