Our Team

Salena Copeland (she/her)

Salena Copeland (she/her)

Executive Director

Salena Copeland joined LAAC in 2009 and became the Executive Director in 2013. 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, resource-sharing, and member discounts. Her biggest recent successes are as a major organizer in efforts to increase the Equal Access Fund, a fund that supports 100 California legal nonprofits. EAF started as a one-time allocation of $10 million in 1999 and is now $40 million a year. She has also worked with legislators to make critical changes to improve the way that legal aid organizations can meet the needs of their clients.

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. She is an active member of the Bench Bar Coalition, as well as other statewide committees dedicated to improving access to justice for Californians.

Salena also serves on the board of the Herd & Flock Animal Sanctuary, a farmed animal sanctuary in Northern California started by a public interest attorney and her wife, and fosters rescue dogs with her family.

Hannah Davidman (she/her)

Hannah Davidman (she/her)

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.

Outside of work, Hannah volunteers with local climate justice organizations such as Bike East Bay and serves as a mentor to first-gen college students through Berkeley Community Scholars. In her free time, Hannah also enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her dog and kid sisters.

Linda Fernandez (she/her)

Linda Fernandez (she/her)

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.

Lorin Kline (she/her)

Lorin Kline (she/her)

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.

Zach Newman (he/him)

Zach Newman (he/him)

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.

Reann Pacheco (she/her)

Reann Pacheco (she/her)

Senior 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.

Ella Paningbatan (she/her)

Ella Paningbatan (she/her)

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.

Theo Ser-Ramin (they/them)

Theo Ser-Ramin (they/them)

Equity and Community Programs Manager

Theo joined LAAC in 2019 as a Program and Technology Assistant. As Equity and Community Programs Manager they are responsible for coordinating LAAC’s statewide work to further DEI, racial justice and accessibility in legal services. They serve as staff support for the IDEAL committee, coordinate LAAC’s Affinity group project and steward the LawHelpCA.org LiveChat volunteer program. 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.

Kasia Markham (she/her)

Kasia Markham (she/her)

Senior Attorney

Kasia is the Senior Attorney supervising the Trainings and LawHelp Teams at LAAC. She joined the organization in 2023 after practicing at Watsonville Law Center, a legal aid office in her home county. She’s committed to addressing the shortcomings and inequities of the justice system and cares deeply for the folks who choose to serve their communities by working in legal aid. When she’s not at work, you can find Kasia outdoors – hiking, horseback riding, and taking pictures of mushrooms.

Yoselyne Cerros (she/her)

Yoselyne Cerros (she/her)

Training and Outreach Coordinator

Yoselyne joined LAAC in May 2024 as the Training and Outreach Coordinator. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2022 with a B.A. in Politics/Latin American and Latino Studies. Prior to joining LAAC she worked at Watsonville Law Center, where she provided tenant, employment, and consumer resources to folks in the Central Coast. Yoselyne is a passionate advocate for immigrant rights and is interested in the intersection of OSINT and the legal field. During her free time, you can find Yoselyne in the gym, at a concert, or spending time with her family and friends.

Katy Burnett (she/her)

Katy Burnett (she/her)

Communications and Development Coordinator

Katy joined LAAC in May 2024 as Communications and Development Coordinator. Prior to her work at LAAC, Katy built her career in the Bay Area nonprofit sector and food justice world. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago and a Marketing Certificate from UC Berkeley Extension. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and organizing with her local tenants union.