Cassandra grew up in a small, agricultural town in Oregon. Early on, she developed a passion for using her intelligence, grace, and ingenuity to help others. As a young child, she would ride her three wheeler around looking for worms who had become stranded on the sidewalk in the rain. She would “ambulance” them to the hospital she constructed out of dirt and popsicle sticks. Thankfully, even then, most of her patients recovered, and were able to return to work.

Ms. Dawn’s first career was as a third grade Brooklyn public school teacher serving children from all over the world. She applied her hard work and dedication to understanding each child, to meeting each individual’s needs, and to cultivating a community that supported and genuinely cared for one another; skills she still uses today. As “master” teacher, Cassandra performed model lessons, as well as classroom interventions, for student teachers, colleagues, and superintendents alike. She served on the Leadership Team, and developed the gradewide curriculum to meet state and national standards and exceed testing expectations. During her tenure, Cassandra also earned her Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from Columbia University, graduating with honors and distinction on her thesis, “Be like et. all: How the Valley Girls are Taking Over.”

Having mastered her pedagogical craft, and having lived in NYC for ten years, Cassandra desired challenge and change. She missed the west. She returned to Oregon to attend the Northwestern School of Law (Lewis & Clark Law School), on the Trillium Grant. She was elected representative of her 1L class, she served as student representative on the faculty committee, as President of the Entertainment Law Society and the Women’s Law Caucus. Cassandra also externed at Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and for federal magistrate judge, Stacie F. Beckerman, at the United States District Court of Oregon.

In 2020, COVID brought Cassandra to Utah, the best place to be when you can be anywhere. She is licensed in state and federal court in both California and Utah. She is a proud graduate of the Trial Lawyer’s College and proponent of TLC methods. She maintains a client centered practice.

Cassandra works in Swenson & Shelley’s Salt Lake City office. In Utah, she is a member of Women Lawyers of Utah (WLU), and the Utah Association of Justice (UAJ) where she serves as Vice-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, and on the Amicus Committee. Though early in her career, Cassandra has co-authored briefs in Luna v. Luna, 2019 UT App 57, 442 P.3d 1155; Luna v. Luna, 474 P.3d 966 (Utah 2020), and Zazzetti v. Prestige Senior Living Ctr. LLC, 509 P.3d 776 (Utah App. 2022). In California, Cassandra is a member of  the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

When not seeking justice, Cassandra can be found hiking, skiing, swimming, or traveling with friends and family. Cassandra also contributes to her community by volunteering with a local domestic violence shelter, a community aid group that feeds the unhoused, and as a member of Save Our Great Salt Lake. Cassandra cannot right every wrong, but she certainly keeps trying.