Kimberly Thomas Rapp, Esq.
Kimberly Thomas Rapp joins the Lawyers' Committee with a proven commitment to advancing and defending the civil rights of our Bay Area communities. Prior to her appointment as Executive Director, she served as Lead Deputy Counsel for the Office of the County Counsel, County of Santa Clara. Kimberly was responsible for providing legal representation and counsel to the County’s Equal Opportunity Division, Social Services Agency, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and other departments on a broad range of civil rights, employment, labor, healthcare and other matters. She also served as legal counsel to the Santa Clara County Office of Education and various school districts.
Before her public service, Kimberly was the Director of Law and Public Policy for the Equal Justice Society. She was responsible for developing and implementing the organization's programmatic initiatives to restore constitutional safeguards against discrimination. Her work included coordinating U.S. Supreme Court litigation strategies among legal practitioners, professors, communications professionals and social scientists around the country. She worked in collaboration with the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association on initiatives to explore and address the impact of implicit bias in the classroom and narrow the achievement gap. Kimberly also conducted workplace investigations and trainings on issues of discrimination and harassment in the private sector. She served as an advocate on behalf of children with special needs and an education law practitioner.
An accomplished speaker, Kimberly has been a keynote speaker, facilitator and panelist on diverse civil rights issues for the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, California Teachers Association, and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, among others. She has authored numerous articles, including several which have been published in the California Lawyer, Connecticut Law Review and the San Francisco Chronicle. Kimberly earned her J.D. from Stanford Law School and her B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley.
Oren Sellstrom, Esq.
Oren Sellstrom is the Legal Director at the Lawyers' Committee. During his tenure at Lawyers' Committee, Oren has litigated numerous federal and state court cases seeking to promote racial and economic justice. He has worked extensively to open up government contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, through litigation and policy advocacy. Other areas of work include education, public benefits, and health care access. Oren is a 1992 graduate of Harvard Law School. Before coming to Lawyers' Committee in 1997, Oren clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California and worked as a staff attorney at Legal Services of Northern California.
Paul R. Chavez, Esq.
Senior Attorney & Pro Bono Coordinator
Paul Chavez joined the Lawyers' Committee as the Senior Attorney & Pro Bono Coordinator in May 2010. Paul previously worked for Centro Legal de la Raza where he litigated worker's rights cases, representing low wage workers primarily in the areas of wage and hour law, unlawful termination, and discrimination. Paul recruited pro bono representation for Centro Legal's clients and managed the organization's co-counsel relationships. Previously, Paul was a litigation associate at Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP where he was a member of the firm's commercial litigation and employment law groups. A Colorado native, Paul was a fire fighter in the United States Navy prior to receiving his BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado. Paul earned his JD from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of law. He currently serves as co-chair of the Board of Directors of Centro Legal de la Raza, and secretary of the Board of Directors of the East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association.
Cecilia Chen, Esq.
Thurgood Marshall Fellow
Cecilia Chen is the Lawyers’ Committee’s 2011-2013 Thurgood Marshall Fellow. Cecilia’s work focuses on education equity issues, working collaboratively with Bay Area communities to establish justice in our schools. Prior to joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Cecilia worked at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) in New York City as a staff attorney with the Educational Equity and Youth Rights Project, working closely on education issues affecting Asian American students in Boston and Philadelphia. While at AALDEF, Cecilia was the lead attorney in the nationally-publicized South Philadelphia High School anti-harassment case. Cecilia also worked at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, Public Advocates in San Francisco, and the Youth Advocacy Project in Boston. Cecilia is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School.
Miya Saika Chen, Esq.
Miya Saika Chen is staff attorney for the Community Empowerment/Economic Justice Project. Miya works to promote the economic empowerment of underserved communities through policy advocacy, community-based education, and litigation. She manages Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, which provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses and those committed to investing in economically distressed communities. Prior to joining LCCR, Miya was a law fellow at the public interest law firm, Justice First. Previously, she was a senior advisor in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) where she developed and implemented the Obama Administration’s national community engagement strategy to increase underserved AAPI communities' access to programs across 23 federal agencies and led a series of summits on entrepreneurship and small business growth. Miya received her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law.
Silvia Contreras is the Legal Assistant at Lawyers' Committee, and has been with the organization since January 2000. She works in the Administrative Department, providing support to Lawyers' Committee attorneys. Silvia is also a part of the Asylum Program team, conducting phone intake calls with clients, scheduling client interviews, and conducting asylum interviews for our Spanish speaking clients. Additionally, she helps coordinate asylum seminars and workshops for our volunteers and our Immigration Clinic, which is co-sponsored by La Raza Centro Legal. Originally from Mexico, Silvia graduated as a bilingual secretary in 1980 and worked in the private sector before joining Lawyers' Committee.
Audrey Daniel, Esq.
Americorps VISTA Fellow
Audrey Daniel currently serves as a legal fellow for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, focusing on immigration and asylum issues. Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, she gained legal experience interning at various public interest organizations, including: Equal Justice Society, ACLU, Bay Area Legal Aid, and California Appellate Project. While working with Equal Justice Society, she authored “The Intent Doctrine and CERD: How the United States Fails to Meet Its International Obligations in Racial Discrimination Jurisprudence” which was published in the DePaul Journal for Social Justice. Audrey attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she studied mathematics and philosophy. She then continued her education at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, earning a certificate in public interest studies. Audrey plans to build her career around pursuing social justice through legal avenues.
Meredith Desautels, Esq.
Meredith Desautels joined the Lawyers' Committee in 2010 as a Skadden Fellow and currently serves as a staff attorney in the Racial Justice program. With a focus on advancing racial justice and civil rights in the criminal justice system, Meredith directs the Second Chance Legal Clinic and also engages in community outreach and education, policy advocacy, and impact litigation to promote reentry and criminal justice reform. Before joining Lawyers' Committee, Meredith clerked for Judge Noonan on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and worked as a supervising attorney in the Clean Slate Practice at the East Bay Community Law Center. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall.
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Angela Dickson joined the Lawyers’ Committee as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director in June 2012. Prior to transitioning into the legal and social justice realm, Angela was employed for several years in the proprietary education industry. Angela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Arts degree in Education from Strayer University. Angela is passionate about the mission of LCCR and will ensure that her work is reflective of the vision LCCR holds for social justice.
AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow
Roxanne Dominguez-Shell is an Americorps VISTA Fellow and the Second Chance Legal Clinic Coordinator at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Roxanne graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a major in Sociology in May 2011. She plans to attend law school in the near future and is interested in public interest work. Roxanne is a native to the Bay Area and grew up in Hayward, California.
Candice Francis joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in June 2012 as their first Communications Director. Prior to joining LCCR, her consulting practice, Consummate Communications, provided strategic communications services for firms and individuals to support social justice and health equity endeavors. In addition, she has held communications and media positions at The Public Health Institute, Kaiser Permanente, Martin & Glantz LLC, KRON-TV, KQED-FM and KQED-TV. Candice is also a writing coach who enjoys assisting others to bring their writing projects to fruition. She has taught literature and writing, critical thinking, public speaking, and parenting communications at UC Berkeley and Peralta and Contra Costa Community Colleges. Candice is a graduate of Brown University and received a Masters degree in Communications from Ohio University where she was a recipient of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) fellowship.
Zoe Garvin joined the Lawyers’ Committee as the Development Associate in July 2012. She brings over ten years of experience to this key position in organizational and fund development with expertise in fundraising and grants management, strategic planning, nonprofit accounting, program planning and evaluation, and board development. She has served as a grants manager with the City and County of San Francisco where she was responsible for administering $3 million in juvenile justice and criminal justice funding to twenty-five plus community based grantee organizations. Her nonprofit experience includes work as the Development Director at Friendship House Association of American Indians, Inc., a local residential behavioral health treatment facility for Native Americans; Senior Grant Manager at Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc., a community based safety net clinic; and Executive Director at CELLspace, a community arts and youth violence prevention center. Zoe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education from San Francisco State University.
ROBIN GOLDFADEN, ESQ.
Robin Goldfaden joined Lawyers’ Committee in July 2012 as the senior attorney for the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. Previously, Robin worked at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she co-taught and supervised students in the Refugee & Human Rights Clinic. She also served as a senior staff attorney with Hastings’ Center for Gender & Refugee Studies. At the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, she was as a senior staff attorney focused on challenging unlawful immigration detention and unconstitutional conditions of confinement, post-9/11 national security policies and practices, racial profiling and other forms of discrimination, unlawful immigration arrests, due process deprivations, and limitations on judicial review of agency decisions. Prior to the ACLU, Robin was a NAPIL (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow at Disability Rights Advocates and a judicial clerk for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Fortunato P. Benavides of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Robin is a graduate of Brown University and received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law.
Joanna Cuevas Ingram, Esq.
Equal Justice Works Fellow
Joanna Cuevas Ingram is the Lawyers’ Committee 2012-2014 Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow. As an EJW fellow, Joanna works in partnership with individuals and communities to develop innovative strategies to enforce, clarify, strengthen, and increase state and federal voting rights protections through community outreach and education, policy advocacy, impact litigation and legal education for those that have experienced continued voter discrimination, suppression, dilution, and felon disenfranchisement. Joanna is originally from Oakland, California and received her JD in May 2012 from U.C. Davis School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy (Volume 18). As a second year law student, Joanna authored an independent Comment, "The Color of Change: Voting Rights in the 21st Century and the California Voting Rights Act," (Harvard Latino Law Review, Vol. 15, 2012).
Dave Rorick is the Legal Assistant for the Lawyers' Committee's Pro Bono Asylum Program. He came to the program as a volunteer at its start-up in 1983 after listening to a Spanish-language Catholic radio PSA: "There is no peace without justice, get involved!" At that time the government was deporting hundreds of Salvadorans and Guatemalans fleeing death squads and massacres without giving these refugees a chance to apply for asylum. Dave was completing his History masters' thesis and had his Masters in ESL. He taught with the Peace Corps in Somalia and on the California-Mexico border, but Lawyers' Committee meant a radical career change. Dave has interviewed asylum seekers from around the world and placed their cases with several generations of pro bono lawyers in supporting law firms, matching lawyers with mentors from Northern California's activist immigration bar and with equally activist interpreter volunteers. Dave also coordinates the immigration advice clinic at La Raza Centro Legal, staffed by volunteer immigration attorneys, paralegals and law students.
Cora Lea Rose, Esq.
Cora Lea Rose, Esq. is the Americorps Attorney for the Legal Services for Entrepreneurs, a project of the Community Empowerment/Economic Justice program. Through her work for LSE, she provides access to free legal assistance for low-income individuals who want to start or develop businesses and those committed to investing in economically distressed communities. Prior to joining LCCR, she served as an attorney fellow at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a law student she found avenues to serve the community through various public interest organizations, including: Bay Area Legal Aid, Equal Rights Advocates, Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center, and student-run Workers Rights Clinics. Cora Lea received her J.D. from University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).