OUR STAFF ATTORNEYS
M. Stacey Hawver
M. Stacey Hawver is Legal Aid's Executive Director and has been a public interest lawyer for more than 20 years. A well known advocate on behalf of low-income residents of San Mateo County, Ms. Hawver has received the San Mateo County Women Lawyers Sectionís Elinor Falvey Award for service to low income families and seniors. Ms. Hawver joined Legal Aid as a staff attorney in 1990 and became Executive Director in 2002. She stepped down as Executive Director in 2009 to pursue interests in the technology area, and then returned to Legal Aid in June 2011 as Interim Executive Director to help the organization through a transitional period. In October 2011, Ms. Hawver once again assumed the role of Executive Director. Stacey graduated first in her class from Stanford Law School and also has a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics.
Shirley Gibson supervises the HomeSavers Project. She is a graduate of New College of California, School of Public Interest Law and Reed College. Before coming to Legal Aid, she was a staff attorney at Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco for five years, and an associate with the Law Offices of Tim A. Pori for one year.
Hope Nakamura is Directing Attorney for the Senior Advocates program and considered a county-wide expert on government benefits and elder abuse. Hope graduated from the UCLA School of Law. In her 21 years at Legal Aid, she has developed programs and partnerships that are successful at educating and aiding her clients. She brings together community organizations and advocates in San Mateo County in identifying and addressing senior problems. Hope chairs the Senior Advisory Committee in San Mateo County.
Tricia Berke Vinson
Tricia Berke Vinson is Directing Attorney for the Health Consumer Center. After attending Stanford Law School, she worked at Legal Aid for 10 years as Directing Attorney for Senior Advocates and as Supervising Attorney for the Administrative Law Unit. Upon the birth of her third child, she took a break from practicing law but returned to Legal Aid in 2008. In addition to representing individual clients who are encountering legal barriers to health care, Tricia advocates on the local and state level for policies that improve access to health care for low income county residents.
Larisa Bowman works on the HomeSavers Project at Legal Aid. Through a two-year fellowship sponsored by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Larisa represents limited English proficient tenants who are facing eviction due to foreclosure. Larisa graduated from
Stanford Law School in 2009. Prior to joining Legal Aid Larisa completed two judicial clerkships in Boston, Massachusetts.
Lynda Burton is part of the New Beginnings Program. She represents low-income clients from initial intake through trial in a variety of areas, including: family law and domestic violence, landlord/tenant, and consumer defense. Lynda graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law and has worked at Legal Aid for 28 years. She is fluent in Spanish and has received numerous honors and awards such as San Mateo County Women Lawyers Sections Elinor Falvey Award and has been inducted into the San Mateo County Womens Hall of Fame.
Director of Litigation
David Carducci works on cases for the HomeSavers Project at Legal Aid and has over 20 years of civil litigation experience. He is also responsible for the oversight of affirmative litigation at Legal Aid. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and has since worked at private firms like Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and at public interest law firms like Bay Area Legal Aid. David is passionate about traveling and published his first book 21 Days in India in 2002.
Brooke Heymach is a Supervising Attorney and Legal Director of the Peninsula Family Advocacy Program (FAP). Brooke came to Legal Aid as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2003 after graduating from Hastings College of the Law. In addition to FAP, Brooke partners with Intel Corporation and Baker & McKenzie on Legal Aids Special Education Pro Bono Project. Her other work includes collaborating on the Preemie Project with Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital at Stanford and participating in the San Mateo Countys Childrens Health Initiative Collaborative (CHI) for which she received CHIs Toby J. Douglas Advocacy Award.
Jenny Horne works on the Teen Parent Project and New Beginnings program. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and founded the Teen Parents Project at Legal Aid in 1994. In recognition of her excellent work, Jenny was inducted into the San Mateo County Womens Hall of Fame; received the Silver Award from the Peninsula Partnership Councils first biannual Childrens Report Initiative in 2002; and in 1999, received a Commendation from the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the San Mateo County Perinatal Council for services provided to San Mateo County school-age parents.
Erica Pun works with the Health Consumer Center and the Kids in Crisis Project. Erica joined Legal Aid as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2008 after graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law. Through the Kids in Crisis Project, Erica provides legal services to children with disabilities and their families in the areas of government benefits and special education and she works with Legal Aid’s Special Education Pro Bono Project, a partnership with Intel Corporation and Baker & McKenzie LLP. In her work with the Health Consumer Center, Erica helps families stay connected to health coverage and access health care. She speaks basic Spanish and Cantonese.
Claire Ramsey works with the Senior Advocates program. Claire joined Legal Aid in 2012 and is a graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law. She provides legal services to seniors in a variety of areas including government benefits and elder abuse. Before coming to Legal Aid, Claire was an Equal Justice Fellow and a staff attorney at the Child Care Law Center.
Bettina Rodriguez Schlegel
Bettina Schlegel works with the LIBRE (Linking Immigrants to Benefits, Resources & Education) and Single Stop Projects at Legal Aid. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Bettina provides legal services in the area of government benefits to immigrant individuals and families in East Palo Alto/East Menlo Park, Redwood City and the Coast side through the multi-agency LIBRE Project and through the Single Stop Project site located in East Menlo Park, she provides legal services in the areas of government benefits and family law. Bettina is fluent in Spanish.
Pro Bono Director
Janet Seldon, Legal Aids Pro Bono Director, is a graduate of New College of California School of Public Interest Law. She has 23 years experience initiating and administering pro bono legal programs and special projects and recruits, trains and supervises pro bono attorneys at Legal Aid.
After a thirty-three year career as a commercial airline pilot and aviation attorney, Jay White is now a volunteer at Legal Aid, helping consumers resolve their legal troubles. The consumer issues that Jay has become expert at range from contractor scams, credit card debts, and elder financial abuse. He also consults with clients about how to use the small claims court process and what to do if they have a judgment against them which they cannot pay. Jay was recognized for his volunteerism and dedication by the Legal Aid Association of California in 2006 and by Legal Aid in 2006.