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.