Our Attorneys

M. Stacey Hawver

M. Stacey Hawver

M. Stacey Hawver
Executive Director
Stanford Law School, 1987

M. Stacey Hawver is Legal Aid's Executive Director and has been a public interest lawyer for more than 25 years. A well-known advocate on behalf of low-income residents of San Mateo County, Stacey has received the San Mateo County Women Lawyers Section’s Elinor Falvey Award for service to low-income families and seniors. Stacey joined Legal Aid as a staff attorney in 1990 and became Executive Director in 2002. Stacey graduated first in her class from Stanford Law School. She has a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University.

 

Shirley Gibson
Directing Attorney
New College of California School of Public Interest Law, 1999

Shirley Gibson is Directing Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. Shirley came to LASSMC in 2007 to develop the housing practice and eviction defense program, which has grown over the past decade to provide direct legal services to over 1,200 tenant households each year. Before coming to Legal Aid, Shirley was a staff attorney at Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco for five years, where she helped pilot San Francisco’s day-of-court representation program for pro per tenants in settlement conferences and the Family Eviction Prevention Consortium rental assistance program. As an associate with the Law Offices of Tim A. Pori, Shirley represented plaintiffs in civil rights and bad faith actions. She has a B.A. from Reed College and a J.D. from New College of California School of Public Interest Law.

 

Hope Nakamura
Directing Attorney
UCLA School of Law, 1986

Directing Attorney Hope Nakamura runs Legal Aid’s Senior Advocates program, Government Benefits Unit, and LIBRE program. She is considered a state-wide expert on government benefits. Hope graduated with an A.B. in Economics from Stanford University before attending the UCLA School of Law, and came to Legal Aid after working at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C. In her 29 years at Legal Aid, she has developed programs and worked in partnerships that educate and assist low-income families and individual residents who need safety net benefits.

 

David Carducci
Director of Litigation
University of San Diego School of Law, 1991

David Carducci practices housing law 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 and professional development of young attorneys. He is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and San Diego State University.  He previously worked at Bay Area Legal Aid and Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, and served on the board of the ACLU of Northern California, after moving back to the Bay Area from San Diego in 1998. David is involved in his sons' youth sports and was the President of Foster City Little League from 2015-2017.

 

Michelle de Blank
Staff Attorney
Hastings College of the Law, 1997

Michelle de Blank is Legal Aid's attorney specializing in education and access to healthcare for children with autism. She represents individual clients and also works extensively on systemic issues in both education and health. Michelle’s work has resulted in increased access to autism services for low income children in San Mateo County. Michelle is a graduate of Barnard College and received her law degree from Hastings College of the Law. Prior to coming to Legal Aid, Michelle worked at the Self-Service Center of the Santa Clara Superior Court and worked with individuals with mental health disabilities at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

 

Jonathan Garcia
Staff Attorney
Ventura College of Law, 2012

Jonathan Garcia is a bilingual attorney with a passion for immigration law. After graduating UC Santa Barbara with degrees in sociology and history, Jonathan worked his way through the Ventura College of Law as a graveyard shift supervisor at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. After graduating law school, Jonathan went into private practice, primarily focusing on immigration law. Jonathan also spoke on local Spanish radio broadcasts, presented Know Your Rights seminars in conjunction with the Oxnard Mexican Consulate, participated in free legal clinics at the Simi Valley Clinic, and was a volunteer coach for Oxnard High School’s mock trial competitions team.

 

Joshua Grossman-Swenson
Staff Attorney
University of Oregon School of Law, 2014

Joshua Grossman-Swenson is an attorney in the Senior Advocates Program. After graduating with a degree in communication from the University of California, San Diego, Josh moved back home to Davis. There he spent five years as a paraeducator, working with children with disabilities in public schools. Josh then attended law school at the University of Oregon. As a law student, Josh completed a judicial externship at the Superior Court of Humboldt County and served on the Oregon Review of International Law. Building on his previous experience in special education, Josh gravitated to public interest law. He volunteered with Legal Services of Northern California before coming to Legal Aid.

 

Jenny Horne
Senior Attorney
Stanford Law School, 1993

Jenny Horne works on the Teen Parent Project and Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence Project. She is a graduate of Stanford Law School and founded the Teen Parents Project as a Skadden fellow at Legal Aid in 1994. Prior to her fellowship, Jenny clerked for Judge Alfred Goodwin in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In recognition of her excellent work, she was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame; received the Silver Award from the Peninsula Partnership Council’s first biannual Children’s 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.

 

Sasha Martinez
Staff Attorney
University of San Francisco School of Law, 2015

Sasha Martinez is an attorney in the Health Consumer Center (HCC), who knew as far back as the 7th grade that she wanted to be a lawyer. After graduating from San Jose State University, she went to law school at the University of San Francisco, where she found the environment to be very social-justice oriented; and, in her experience, the most interesting classes were those that stressed the benefits of practicing public interest law. After law school, she worked at various nonprofits, in such areas as legal assistance for seniors and the AIDS Legal Referral Panel. 

 

Scott Maurer
Consulting Attorney
Santa Clara University School of Law, 1995

Scott Maurer has been representing low-income consumers since 1996. As a consulting attorney at Legal Aid, Scott is helping consumers resolve their legal issues. He is considered an expert in fair debt collection, auto fraud, and consumer privacy. Scott teaches Consumer Protection and Civil Procedure at Santa Clara Law. He also supervises students who represent consumers at Santa Clara’s civil clinic. Scott received the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA's) Legal Services/Clinical Attorney of the Year in 2003.

 

Adrienne Mendle
Staff Attorney
Harvard Law School, 2015

Adrienne Mendle is staff attorney at Legal Aid’s Health Consumer Center. Adrienne earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from UCLA in 2011, and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2015. Before joining Legal Aid, Adrienne worked as Staff Attorney at PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center), where she helped low-income, HIV+ San Franciscans navigate the bureaucratic maze of health benefits to access affordable insurance and medical care. Adrienne is passionate about addressing social disparities in health, and overcoming structural barriers to universal high-quality care.

 

Danilyn Nguyen
Supervising Attorney
Santa Clara University School of Law, 2009

Danilyn Nguyen obtained her law degree from Santa Clara University after receiving her BA from UC Berkeley. Danilyn has been involved in health education and advocacy since 2011 and held various roles at different Health Consumer Centers all over California. She began as a Health Staff Attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Diego and transitioned to the role of Health Hotline Coordinator for Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County before assuming her current role as Supervising Attorney for the Health Consumer Center of Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.

 

Janet B. Seldon
Legal Aid's Director of Pro Bono,
New College of California School of Public Interest Law, 1984

Janet Seldon, Legal Aid's Pro Bono Director, graduated from New College of California School of Public Interest Law with a commitment to engage private attorneys in public interest work. She has over 31 years of experience initiating and administering pro bono legal programs and special projects, and recruits, trains, and supervises pro bono attorneys. In 2016 Janet received the San Mateo County Women Lawyers Section’s Elinor Falvey Award for outstanding service to women lawyers and the San Mateo County legal community.

 

Kate Stanford
Supervising Attorney and Legal Director, Peninsula Family Advocacy Program
NYU School of Law, 2011

Kate Stanford, JD, is a Supervising Attorney at the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. She is also the Legal Director of the Peninsula Family Advocacy Project (FAP), a medical-legal partnership, and runs the Kids in Crisis Project (KIC). Kate joined Legal Aid in 2016. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Kate worked as a Senior Attorney with the Children's Law Center in Washington, D.C. where she advocated for children in foster care and ensured that her child clients received the services and supports they needed to thrive. Before joining Children's Law Center, Kate served as a law clerk to the Honorable Theodore Katz in the Southern District of New York. Kate earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from the NYU School of Law.

 

Jay C. White
Emeritus Attorney
LaSalle University, 1965

Jay White is a Seniors Advocate attorney who came to Legal Aid after a career as an airline 747 captain and attorney. He began volunteering at Legal Aid helping seniors address their many legal issues. He has helped with issues such as homeowner scams, credit card debt collections abuses, elder financial abuse, insurance coverage, and wage garnishments, to name just a few. Jay was recognized for his volunteerism and dedication by the Legal Aid Association of California and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County in 2006.

 

Trevor Yan
Staff Attorney
Georgetown University Law Center, 2014

Trevor Yan is a San Francisco native who graduated from UCLA in 2010, with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in English. From there, he went to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., getting his law degree in 2014, where he was named a Lane Evans Housing Fellow for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Following his graduation, he worked as a research assistant for renowned Georgetown Law professor Jane Stromseth, designing the curriculum for a seminar on mass atrocities and human rights. In 2015, he returned to the Bay Area, seeking an opportunity to explore his passion for public interest law. Since 2016, he has been deeply involved with housing issues at the Legal Aid Society.


Our Staff

Lacei Amodei
Project Coordinator

Mari Chatterjee
Senior Project Coordinator

Francisca Guzman
Senior Project Coordinator

Vanessa Hearne
Project Coordinator

Andreina Leon
Project Coordinator

Loreli Lopez
Office Manager

Allison Marseille
Director of Grants & Contracts

Larisa Mialik
Development Assistant

Ruby Mora
Project Coordinator

Liliya Mukha
Bookkeeper

Vianca Napoles
Administrative Assistant

Ruby Romero
Project Coordinator

Elsie Sanchez
Receptionist

Susan Stortini
Accountant

Marcie Storch
Director of Development

Sophia Vargo
Administrative Assistant