Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty


Your success is important to us at Empire College. Read more about the instructors in the Legal department that are here to help you succeed.

Monica Lehre
A.A., B.A., MLS, ACP, Legal Department Head
Read more about Monica

Education: In 2006, Ms. Lehre became a Certified Paralegal by passing the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) Examination given by the National Association of Legal Assistants and in 2012 she became an Advanced Certified Paralegal (ACP) with her emphasis in Discovery. She is a graduate of Sonoma State University's Paralegal program. She completed two years of graduate work at the Graduate Theological Union studying Ancient Near East History. She received her Master of Legal Studies from Empire College School of Law, Bachelor of Arts in History from Sonoma State University, and Associate of Arts Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Professional Experience: After working as a law Librarian in various law firms and as a contract paralegal in personal injury and real property law firms, Ms. Lehre worked for seven years as a senior paralegal at McOmber Law in Santa Rosa specializing in real property litigation. Ms. Lehre works as a contract paralegal for law firms in order to keep her skills current and as time permits.

Memberships: Redwood Empire Association of Paralegals (REAP), Board Member - Primary to CAPA (California Alliance of Paralegal Associations), NALA (National Association of Legal Assistants), Sonoma County Women in Law, Sonoma County Bar Association (Legal Support Membership)

History at Empire College: Ms. Lehre started working as an instructor at Empire College in the evening school Legal Department in May 2007. In September of 2008, she became the head of the Legal Department in charge of the paralegal, law office administrator, and legal secretary programs. She has taught all legal courses offered in the Business School but specializes in teaching Civil Litigation, Real Property/Unlawful Detainer, Family Law, Probate/Estate Planning, Discovery I & II, Technology for Paralegals I & II, Legal Research, Legal Writing I & II, and Advanced Legal Research & Writing.

Deborah Cain
A.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., CLA
Read more about Deborah

Education: Ms. Cain is a certified paralegal through the National Association of Legal Assistants. She received her Specialized Associate’s Degree from Empire College in Santa Rosa, California. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a Master’s Degree in Education.

Professional Experience: Ms. Cain works as a legal assistant/office administrator for a local attorney.

Memberships: Ms. Cain is past president of the Redwood Empire Association of Paralegals (REAP) and is currently on the education committee for REAP.

History at Empire College: Ms. Cain began teaching at Empire College in 2014 as an evening instructor. She teaches a variety of legal courses including Law Office Management, Calendaring for the Law Office, Technology in the Law Office, and Discovery.

Rene Casilli, Esq.
B.A., JD
Read more about Renee

Education: In 1997 Ms. Casilli graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and earned her teaching credential in 2002. In 2008 Ms. Casilli graduated from Empire College School of Law with her Juris Doctorate and was admitted to practice law in California.

Professional Experience: Ms. Casilli was a teacher in the Santa Rosa City Schools for five years teaching at-risk students. While attending Empire College School of Law, Ms. Casilli interned in the Elder Law Clinic and Self-Help Access Center. Since being admitted to the California Bar Ms. Casilli has worked in the areas of personal injury, family law, and bankruptcy. Since 2014 Ms. Casilli has worked in Worker’s Compensation defense representing the interests of employers, carriers, and TPA’s. Ms. Casilli currently works for Hanna Brophy.

Memberships:California Bar Association; Secretary, Board of Directors of North Bay Worker’s Compensation Association.

History at Empire College: Ms. Casilli started working at Empire College in 2016 team teaching the legal writing classes with Laura Rosenthal, BA, JD.

Laura Krieg
B.A., CP
Read more about Laura

Education: Ms. Krieg has a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Sonoma State University. In 2005, Ms. Krieg graduated from Sonoma State University's Paralegal Program. She became a certified paralegal in 2012 by passing the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) Examination given by the National Association of Legal Assistants.

Professional Experience: After working in various law firms as a paralegal, Ms. Krieg opened her own contract paralegal business. She works with many attorneys in our legal community in this capacity. As a paralegal, Ms. Krieg has assisted attorneys in the areas of criminal law, personal injury law, civil litigation, medical lien reduction, and family law.

Memberships: Sonoma County Women in Law and Sonoma County Bar Association (Legal Support Membership)

History at Empire College: Ms. Krieg started working as an adjunct instructor at Empire College in the evening school Legal Department in June of 2010. She has taught multiple subjects pertaining to legal research, legal writing, law office management, and paralegal studies.

Laura Rosenthal, Esq.
B.A., J.D.
Read more about Laura

Education: Ms. Rosenthal graduated from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver with a juris doctorate and from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Professional Experience: Ms. Rosenthal is an attorney with the Law Office of Richard J. Meechan. She joined the firm in 2013. Ms. Rosenthal represents injured workers before the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. She appears in civil court on employment discrimination matters with Benjamin Karpilow. Both Mr. Meechan and Mr. Karpilow are Empire Law School alumni. She is pleased to be working with three of her former students, graduates of the paralegal program. Ms. Rosenthal has more than 20 years' experience working in a variety of legal positions in Colorado and Sonoma County.

Memberships: California Bar Association, Sonoma County Bar Association, Sonoma County Women in Law, and California Applicants' Attorneys Association.

History at Empire College: Ms. Rosenthal teaches Business Law, Legal Research and Legal Writing, Advanced Legal Research and Writing Legal Transcription, Law Office Management, and general education courses. In August 2011, she was recognized by the community for her exceptional teaching ability, receiving the Excellence in Education Award (two-year college category) sponsored by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. In addition to teaching in Empire's paralegal program, Ms. Rosenthal is an adjunct professor of law at Empire Law School and San Francisco Law School.

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