The Compass Team

Scott Gast

Chief Counsel

Scott Gast has practiced political law for nearly twenty years. He most recently spent four years in the Trump Administration’s White House Counsel’s Office, overseeing the ethics and compliance portfolio as Deputy Counsel to the President. Prior to that, he served as investigative counsel at the Office of Congressional Ethics, where he conducted ethics investigations into Members of Congress and congressional staff. He spent several years in private practice, focusing on political law and white-collar defense and investigations, at the Washington, DC firm of Covington and Burling LLC. In addition to his legal experience, he has held senior positions on Capitol Hill and in congressional campaigns. Scott is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia School of Law, and clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

William M. Klimon

Senior Counsel

William Klimon has advised over 700 nonprofit organizations on a complete range of issues from formation to dissolution. He has worked with many of the nation's most prominent private foundations, public charities, political campaigns, schools, and churches. For more than 20 years he was a member of the tax-exempt-organizations group at the Washington, D.C. law firm Caplin & Drysdale. He also chaired the American Bar Association’s Nonprofit Organizations Committee (2018-20). Mr. Klimon served in the U.S. Army from 1987-90, during which time he was assigned to the U.S. Army Field Station in Berlin. Later, he was a Claude R. Lambe Fellow and a Philip Merrill Fellow in the history department of the graduate school at Cornell University. He has degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland School of Law, and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Cameron Seward

Of Counsel

Cameron Seward brings over ten years of experience in various capacities in the nonprofit sector and public service. He started his career at the Heritage Foundation, where he ultimately served as Chief of Staff to Heritage’s then-president, Senator Jim DeMint. Mr. Seward went on to be Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement at the United States Trade Representative’s Office during the Trump Administration. Most recently, he was General Counsel and Director of Operations at the Conservative Partnership Institute, where he joined the organization in its infancy and played a key role in navigating the legal landscape during the organization’s rapid growth and expansion. Mr. Seward is a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio (B.S., 2008) and the University of Illinois Chicago Law School (J.D., 2011).

Patrick Sternal

Counsel

Patrick Sternal has extensive experience in tax-exempt and nonprofit organization law. For nearly ten years he worked in the federal government as a Tax Law Specialist in the IRS Office of Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Rulings and Agreements, where he focused on exempt organization determinations and compliance, and as an Attorney Advisor at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Exempt Organizations, where he worked on drafting guidance and advising the IRS operating division. Before entering the IRS, he practiced law in Los Angeles, working primarily with exempt organization and nonprofit clients. He is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, Ave Maria School of Law, and Loyola Law School.

Alexander Lee

Associate

Alexander Lee advises clients on matters relating to campaign finance, ethics, lobbying compliance, and tax-exempt issues. Before joining Compass Legal Group, Alexander worked at an oil and gas trade association. He also served as an aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and on several state and federal campaigns.

Alexander graduated with distinction from both the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Alex is a member of the Federalist Society and the Republican National Lawyers Association.

Teresita Rios

Law Clerk

Teresita serves in Compass Legal’s tax-exempt and nonprofit organization practice group, where she advises clients in all areas of tax-exempt and nonprofit law, with an emphasis in religious organizations. Before joining Compass Legal Group, Teresita was a Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and interned for the Honorable Damon R. Leichty at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

She graduated from Notre Dame Law School, where she was a senior editor of Notre Dame's Journal of Legislation and served as the president of Jus Vitae (Right to Life). Teresita graduated cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Spanish.

Teresita is honored to be included in the current 2024 Napa Legal Good Counselor Project Fellowship Cohort.

Member of the PA Bar practicing under the supervision of D.C. licensed attorneys while pending admission to the D.C. Bar. Disclaimer required by D.C. App. R. 49