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Salena Copeland, Executive Director

Pronouns: She/ her / hers

A fair skin toned woman with long red hair smiles at the camera. She is wearing gold hoop earrings, and a formal black top or perhaps dress. The background is the interior of a building with low glowing lighting.

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 increase the Equal Access Fund, a fund that supports nearly 100 California legal nonprofits.

In 2016, the efforts resulted in a one-time $5 million increase in the funds at the same time LAAC and others successfully pushed for a repeal of a sunset on a separate $7-9 million/year fund. The following year, LAAC led a coalition to increase the funds with an additional $20 million ($10 million over two years) and short-term set-aside of millions of dollars of class action residual funds to increase legal services for low-income Californians. The set-aside was replaced in 2018 with ongoing additional state funds of $10 million annually for legal aid.

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, a former member of the State Bar of California Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, a co-chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice Rural Task Force, a member of the Amicus Committee of the Access Commission, an active member of the Bench Bar Coalition, and the 2010 recipient of the Bench Bar Coalition Legal Services Provider of the Year Award. She also serves on a number of statewide planning committees dedicated to improving access to justice for low and moderate-income Californians, including the Campaign for Justice. She lives in the East Bay with her partner, a fellow nonprofit attorney, and their children.

Please contact Salena at SCopeland@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 106.

Lorin Kline, Directing Attorney

Pronouns: She/ her /hers

A fair skin toned woman with brown hair just past her shoulders smiles at the camera. She is wearing a silver necklace with teal and silver beads. She is wearing a fancy black top. There are trees in the background with sunshine streaming through them.

Lorin joined LAAC in early 2014. Before joining LAAC, Lorin practiced civil litigation at large and small Bay Area law firms where she handled numerous pro bono matters.

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, spearheaded pro bono efforts of the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, and participated in the school’s Civil Rights Clinic. Lorin currently co-chairs the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Barristers Pro Bono and Community Service Committee.

Please contact Lorin at LKline@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 105

 

Lauren Lofton, Program Attorney

Pronouns: They/ them/ theirs

A warm olive skin toned person with dark round glasses and short dark brown curly hair smiles at the camera. They are wearing a short sleeve dark blue button down shirt with small white rabbits printed on it. In the background is a macrolens color photo of a succulent plant.

Before joining LAAC, Lauren served as the Senior Subsidized Housing Policy Analyst at Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco a small non-profit organization. During that time, Lauren also provided pro bono services for San Francisco tenants facing eviction. Lauren provides anti-bias and interpersonal communication training for universities, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies throughout the Bay Area. Lauren also serves as a volunteer mediator for a local non-profit community-based organization.

Lauren was born and raised in San Francisco and developed a commitment for public service through community service as a young adult. Lauren pursued a degree in Public Interest Law, and is a 2009 graduate of University of California, Davis School of Law. While at UC Davis, Lauren served as an editor for the Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy, led a student organization, coordinated annual holiday toy and food drives, clerked in both governmental and non-profit sectors, and served on the Admissions Committee. Lauren lives in the East Bay with their cat, enjoys swimming at local pools in their free time, and is a part of the East Bay Meditation Center community.

Please contact Lauren at LLofton@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 107.

Zach Newman, Research Attorney

Pronouns: He/ him / his

A fair skin toned man with dark square glasses smiles at the camera. He is wearing a long sleeve button down shirt in a light gray color. In the background is a small japanese maple tree with large gray stone tiles on the wall behind the tree which is planted in the ground with grass around the base of where the tree is planted.

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, which he continues to do. He is currently training for the San Francisco marathon, loves to cook new veggie-based recipes, and is always trying to find his next favorite fantasy book.

Please contact Zach at ZNewman@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 108

 

Harmony King, Development Associate

Pronouns: She/ Her/ Hers

A fair skin toned woman with dark brown hair past her shoulders smiles at the camera. She is wearing gold hoop earrings and a necklace. She is wearing a gray top. The background is blue.

Harmony joined the LAAC team in 2017 and supports development and membership efforts. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Masters degree in International Relations in 2015 where she focused her studies on irregular forms of migration, namely human trafficking, and how they intersect with the law.

Harmony has worked in the non-profit sector her entire career and is a passionate birth justice advocate and a former birth doula. She has had the honor of working internationally in Haiti, Indonesia, China and Mexico, experiences that have informed her sense of social justice and her personal value system. In her down time, Harmony plays and snuggles with her son and their two rescue dogs.

Please Contact Harmony at HKing@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 103

 

 

Safia Kartoum, Program Associate

Pronouns: She/ her/ hers

A fair skinned woman smiles at the camera. She is wearing a gray hijab/head covering. She is wearing a graduation robe with black, blue, and gold colors. The background is a cream color large tile wall.

Safia joined LAAC in 2018 as a Program Associate. In this position, she is responsible for maintaining the functionality of LawHelpCA.org as well as conducting research to keep resources databases current, relevant, and useful.  She is passionate about education equity as well as increasing access to justice for marginalized communities.

Safia graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a degree in Political Science. During college, Safia volunteered and worked with Mentors for Academic and Peer Support as a Site Coordinator at an underserved high school in Downtown Los Angeles. She has also interned at the Council on American Islamic Relations and the California Department of Education.

Please Contact Safia at skartoum@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext 102.

Theo Ser-Ramin, Program and Technology Assistant

Pronouns: They/them/theirs

A fair skinned person smiles cheerfully at the camera. They are wearing a floral button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a bolo tie. They have long curly brown hair, cut in a distinctly queer style. The bolo tie has a small picture of a tall ship on it. In the background is an ornate column.

Theo joined LAAC in 2019 as a Program and Technology Assistant. They are responsible for supporting web functionality and outreach work for LawHelpCA.org, as well as general support for other LAAC staff. Theo graduated from Oberlin College in 2018, with a Bachelor of the Arts in Comparative American Studies, and Environmental Studies.

While at Oberlin, Theo was deeply involved in many community organizing efforts. They co-founded the Oberlin Transformative Justice Collective, supporting community-based responses to gender-based and sexualized violence.  They served terms as an Accessibility and Housing Coordinator for the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. They care deeply about justice and equity, and spend their time thinking about how to better center intersectional frameworks in the ways we pursue social change.  In their free time they enjoy gardening, cooking, and reading speculative fiction.  

Please Contact Theo at tser-ramin@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 x 102

Jenna Mowat, Training Associate

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Warm olive skin woman with medium-length straight brown hair smiling at the camera against a dark background with hints of green. She is wearing a white t-shirt and a black blazer.

Jenna joined LAAC in 2019 as a Training Associate. She is deeply committed to expanding equal access to justice and advocating for basic rights. Prior to joining LAAC, Jenna managed public advocacy campaigns and worked alongside impacted people to fight for new and expanded access to paid family leave. Jenna has also worked as a field organizer for state and national campaigns where she mobilized people to get out the vote. During her free time you can find Jenna hiking the hills of Berkeley, cooking new recipes with friends, and spending time with family. 

Please contact Jenna at jmowat@laaconline.org or at 510-893-3000 ext. 101

If you wish to add trainings to our calendar, or would like to participate in our Arm Chair webinar series, please submit a request here.