LAAC Board of Directors

Amanda Alvarado Ford, Co-Chair
La Raza Centro Legal

“All Californians deserve quality legal representation that is accessible to them, regardless of their income level.  LAAC leads the effort to secure more funding, so the valuable work of California’s nonprofit legal aid offices may expand, to try to better address the needs within our state.  I am honored to serve as a LAAC Board member since LAAC helps ensure that people have access to excellent legal services, especially vulnerable state residents such as senior citizens, immigrant youth and families, first-generation young people, and communities of color.”

Leon Dixson, Co-Chair
Legal Services of Northern California

“Serving on the LAAC board gives me the honor to contribute to the work this great organization does to support and empower other legal aid advocates as they serve the community. “

Yeison Soto Valdez, Vice Chair
Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

“I serve on the LAAC Board to ensure that legal services nonprofits continue to have access to the tools, trainings, and support that they need in order to provide quality legal services to low income Californians. Today, low income Californians are more vulnerable than ever and we must ensure that legal services nonprofits are properly equipped to serve those who otherwise would not have access to justice.” 

 

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Randi Sunshine, Secretary
Learning Rights Law Center

“I sit on the LAAC Board because access to legal support is necessary if those with minimal financial means are to access justice.  I strongly believe that equal legal access is the building block of a fair and humane legal system.”  

Pablo Ramirez, Treasurer
Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino

“I serve on the LAAC Board because I want to invest in my community, believe change is possible, and I am passionate about helping and legal aid work.”

Kate Marr, Immediate Past Chair
Community Legal Aid SoCal

“I serve on the LAAC Board because I value LAAC’s critical role in training the next generation of legal service attorneys that advocate on our behalf at the state legislature.”

Hannah Brady
Senior Advocacy Network

“Working at the intersection of legal services and social services has given me a singular perspective on how community players should be working together; how powerful it can be when that is done well and how detrimental it is when such work is siloed. Joining LAAC’s Board of Directors is an exciting next step on the continuum of my commitment to advocacy and community-building that ultimately aims to foster initiatives and programs that will best serve the needs of the clients.”

Nicole Perez
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

“LAAC is the bedrock for California’s legal services; it spearheads critical funding, leads innovative advocacy trainings, and is moving the needle forward on racial justice in civil legal aid. As a lifelong legal aid attorney, I am proud to serve on the LAAC board and amplify our shared mission to promote diversity and inclusion in legal services, while strengthening legal aid’s capacity to serve our low-income neighbors facing legal crises.”

 

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Laura McMahon
Legal Aid of Marin

“I serve on LAAC’s Board because LAAC undertakes advocacy, training, and community-building to support California legal aid organizations and, as a result, supports marginalized Californians. Additionally, my priorities align with LAAC’s commitment to racial justice, anti-racism, and social justice efforts directed at upending systems of oppression faced by marginalized communities. I am proud to support an organization that strengthens the legal services sector across California while empowering legal services providers to increase access to justice for the communities we serve.”

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Laura Chiera
Legal Assistance to the Elderly

“All Californians deserve quality legal representation that is accessible to them, regardless of their income level.  LAAC leads the effort to secure more funding, so the valuable work of California’s nonprofit legal aid offices may expand, to try to better address the needs within our state.  I am honored to serve as a LAAC Board member since LAAC helps ensure that people have access to excellent legal services, especially vulnerable state residents such as senior citizens, immigrant youth and families, first-generation young people, and communities of color.”

Sandra Chung 
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County

“I serve on the LAAC Board because I support LAAC’s work in improving and increasing access to justice through civil legal services for all Californians. I also support its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. I have personally benefited from LAAC’s trainings and have seen the impact of LAAC’s advocacy for funding to support legal aids in serving low-income communities. I am honored to serve on the Board and collaborate with other individuals who are also passionate about the work and eliminating poverty through civil legal services.”

Eric Harris
Disability Rights California

“I am proud to serve on the LAAC Board because I want to ensure that my community, especially people who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color have the legal aid services that they need and deserve.”

Lauren Carden
Justice in Aging

“I am proud to be on the LAAC board and contribute to the impactful work that LAAC does in advocating for and strengthening the legal aid community in California. I am particularly passionate about LAAC’s efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal aid sector.  I am excited to contribute to the crucial work that LAAC does to ensure that all low-income California have access to the critical legal services that they need

Carla Lopez
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

I serve on the LAAC Board of Directors to support legal aid organizations and their advocates make positive impacts in the community. Legal aids play a critical role in ensuring that marginalized and vulnerable communities have access to legal representation. They help level the playing field and ensure that all individuals have the resources needed to protect their rights, seek justice, and navigate the complex legal system. LAAC invests in legal aids and their strong and resilient advocates to foster a stronger, more just, and more equitable society for all individuals.

Jonathan Ota
Central California Legal Services

“My legal journey was born out of a desire to make a positive impact on the community that raised me, as well as to provide help and support to all communities in need.  My colleagues and I take great pride in being able to assist individuals that no one else wants to help and/or that have nowhere else to go.  Legal services is a societal function that often goes unappreciated, but I truly believe that the absence of legal aid would have a very real and profound effect on everyone. There will never be enough of us who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good, and that is one of the primary reasons that I am so honored and grateful to serve on the LAAC Board.  It is essential that we as legal service providers are bonded in this network through which we can learn, grow, and actively support each other.   “

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Shashi Hanuman
Public Interest Law Project

“LAAC is an essential capacity builder for legal services organizations across the state, particularly with respect to onboarding and training new leaders. Ultimately, as the unified voice of legal services, LAAC has a critical role to play in amplifying the voices of our clients and bolstering systems that challenge deep seated race inequities and injustices still prevalent in today’s society. I am honored to contribute my skills to this mission.”

Cori Racela
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL)

“LAAC is a unique and essential resource in the legal aid tapestry of California, and I am so proud to serve on its Board of Directors. Having worked in both direct services programs and support centers, I know how vital LAAC’s leadership is to promoting a more diverse and equitable civil legal aid and to connecting critical services to communities in need. It is an honor to support LAAC’s mission and its incredible staff. “

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Adam Murray

Inner City Law Center