Salena Copeland, Executive Director
Salena Copeland is the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California. She spends much of her time coordinating statewide legislative and administrative advocacy, while also supervising a small staff who work to support the entire IOLTA legal aid community through trainings, online coordination and resource-sharing, and member discounts. Her biggest recent successes are as a major organizer in the effort to more than double the Equal Access Fund, a fund that supports 100 California legal nonprofits.
Salena, a Texan by birth, but Californian by choice, is a 2007 graduate of Stanford Law School, the 2016 recipient of the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award, and the 2010 recipient of the Bench Bar Coalition Legal Services Provider of the Year Award. Because of her family’s roots in rural Texas and Arkansas, Salena is committed to working towards geographic equity for Californians, and was the co-chair of the California Access to Justice Commission Rural Access Committee for several years. She also previously served on the State Bar of California Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and the Amicus Committee of the Access Commission. She is an active member of the Bench Bar Coalition, as well as other statewide committees dedicated to improving access to justice for Californians.
Please contact Salena at SCopeland@LAAConline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 106 for questions concerning Media requests, or Volunteer and employment inquiries (other than LawHelpCA volunteering).
Hannah Davidman, Operations Manager
Hannah joined LAAC in November 2020 as the Operations Coordinator, bringing organizational and administrative skills from her previous work at East Bay nonprofits and small businesses. Hannah is deeply passionate about equitable access to services, and prior to joining LAAC worked at an education nonprofit, providing resources and training to the out-of-school time (OST) field.
Hannah is also passionate about climate justice and is a longtime volunteer with Bike East Bay, advocating for sustainable communities and biking accessibility. In her free time, Hannah enjoys reading, good television, playing music, and spending time with her 5-year-old twin sisters.
Please contact Hannah at HDavidman@LAACOnline.org.
Linda Fernandez, Technology and Program Senior Associate
Linda joined LAAC in February of 2020 as the technology and program assistant. She received her AA Degree from Cabrillo College and is a current undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, where she is studying to receive her B.A. in Legal Studies. Linda has a heartfelt passion for advocating for equal rights, especially in marginalized communities, and is also passionate about promoting women’s rights. In her free time, Linda enjoys going to the gym, watching movies, reading, and hanging out with her dogs, Toby and Jet.
Please contact Linda at LFernandez@LAAConline.org.
Erika Howard, Development and Communications Coordinator
Erika joined LAAC in 2019. Erika specializes in strategic communications and using emerging technologies and workflows to optimize LAAC’s outreach. Before she joined LAAC, Erika helped elevate the debate surrounding technology policy issues at Silicon Flatirons. Erika received her B.A. in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley.
Please contact Erika at EHoward@LAAConline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 101.
Nyah Johnson, Communications, Equity & Inclusion Assistant
Nyah joined LAAC in January 2022 as the Communications, Equity & Inclusion Assistant. She is responsible for supporting LAAC’s Racial Justice and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work, as well as outreach for LawHelpCA.org. She also works with Development and Communications to maximize LAAC outreach using emerging technologies and workflows. Nyah is currently studying Legal Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.
Nyah is passionate about conserving natural resources, leading her to volunteer with the Student Conservation Association. She is also enthusiastic about community service, having worked as an assistant teacher in Oakland for many years. In her free time, Nyah enjoys hiking in and around California, reading, creative writing, and spending time with her friends and family.
Please contact Nyah at Njohnson@laaconline.org
Lorin Kline, Director of Advocacy
Lorin is the Directing Attorney of the Legal Aid Association of California and has been with LAAC since early 2014. Lorin works closely with LAAC’s Executive Director on LAAC’s Advocacy Program, including engaging in statewide legislative, administrative, and amicus work. Lorin also oversees other aspects of LAAC’s work, such as statewide coordination of legal aid programs and staff. Before joining LAAC, Lorin practiced private civil litigation in the Bay Area, handling numerous pro bono matters, co-chairing the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Barristers Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, and serving on the Advisory Board of a San Francisco legal services organization.
Lorin is a 2010 graduate of the University of California, Davis School of Law. During her time at UC Davis, Lorin led a legal aid student volunteer organization, coordinating and attending legal volunteer trips in Gulfport, Mississippi, East St. Louis, Illinois, and Cleveland, Ohio. She also spearheaded pro bono efforts of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, participated in the school’s Civil Rights Clinic, and was a nominee for the Martin Luther King Award for Public Service. Prior to law school, Lorin received her Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a native of Lake Tahoe, still her favorite place on earth, and is a lifelong lover of the mountains. She lives in San Francisco with her partner and her rescue dog, Oliver.
Please contact Lorin at LKline@LAAConline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 105 for questions concerning Amicus work, Justice in Government Project, lobbying information, or ways to connect with other legal aid leaders.
Zach Newman, Directing Attorney
Zach joined LAAC in May 2018 as a Research Attorney. Zach graduated cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2016, with a concentration in Social Justice Lawyering. During law school, Zach interned with a number of nonprofits, including the ACLU of Northern California, Bay Area Legal Aid, and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center. He was the Executive Supervising Editor for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and the Senior Notes Editor on the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal.
After law school, Zach was a Bridge Fellow with Root & Rebound and, continuing a project with a mentor that began in a CRT course at Hastings, Zach started writing about police violence and constitutional law as a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society.
Please contact Zach at ZNewman@LAAConline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 108 for questions concerning policy papers, disaster coordination, or the recruitment and retention report.
Reann Pacheco, Advocacy Coordinator
Reann joined LAAC in February 2020 as an Advocacy Associate. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies; B.A. in Legal Studies. In undergrad, Reann interned with a number of nonprofits, including LAAC. She is passionate about environmental justice and how it impacts marginalized communities. In her free time, you can find Reann reading in a cozy spot under the sun or in a cafe, and riding her bike around town with friends.
Please contact Reann at RPacheco@LAAConline.org for questions concerning Legal Aid Day in Sacramento.
Ella Paningbatan, Advocacy Assistant
Ella joined LAAC in November 2023 as the Advocacy Assistant. She works closely with LAAC’s Advocacy Director in planning and supporting various projects that aim to increase state funding for legal aid, build connections between legislators and legal aid organizations within their networks, and more.
Ella is currently a fourth-year student majoring in Political Economy with a concentration on Global Inequalities at the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about combating economic inequality, especially in formerly-colonized nations, and learning about the intersection of law and economics in global development. During her free time, you can find Ella reading books of different genres under her bed covers or in a local coffee shop, listening to Taylor Swift, and painting with her friends.
Please contact Ella at EPaningbatan@LAAConline.org for any questions.
Theo Ser-Ramin, Senior Equity and Community Programs Coordinator
Theo joined LAAC in 2019 as a Program and Technology Assistant. They are responsible for web functionality and outreach work for LawHelpCA.org, supporting LawHelpCA’s Legal Access Corps volunteer program, and supporting LAAC’s coordination and communication work across the broader legal aid community. They serve as staff support for the IDEAL committee and its efforts to support equity, accountability and accessibility in legal services. Theo graduated from Oberlin College in 2018, with a Bachelor of the Arts in Comparative American Studies, and Environmental Studies.
Theo cares deeply about justice and equity and is always thinking about how to better center intersectional frameworks in the ways we pursue transformative social change and liberation. In their free time they enjoy gardening, cooking, community organizing, and reading speculative fiction.
Please contact Theo at TSer-Ramin@LAAConline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 104 for questions concerning technology best practices in our community or LAAC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the legal aid community.