On this page you can find descriptions of each Shaking the Foundations panel and workshop, as well a list of panelists and speakers. Click on a panelist's name to see a more detailed bio, or click here to see all panelists' bios in alphabetical order.


Advocating for LGBTQ Workplace Equality

Employment discrimination has become one of the most talked-about arenas for LGBTQ rights advocacy, particularly through the passage of state laws and local anti-discrimination ordinances, President Obama’s issuance of an order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the continuation of efforts to pass the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Panelists will share their experiences in advancing LGBTQ workplace equality, through litigation challenging exclusions of transition-related care in employer-sponsored health insurance, community-oriented advocacy on behalf of low-income Californians, and legislative reform efforts. Sponsored by SLS OutLaw.


•    Lisa Cisneros, LGBT Program Director, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.
•    Jacob Richards, Associate Attorney, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson
•    Ilona Turner, Legal Director, Transgender Law Center
•    Shin-Ming Wong, Supervising Helpline Attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights
•    Moderated by: Alison Morantz, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

Best Practices for Litigating the Alien Tort Statute after Kiobel

Since the 1980s, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) has provided a unique avenue for U.S. courts to hold individuals and corporations accountable for international human rights abuses. However, the US Supreme Court’s 2013 Kiobel v. Shell decision has cast doubt on the ATS’s continued effectiveness as a tool to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights abuses abroad. Many feel that Kiobel undermined the ATS’s jurisdiction over foreign entities, but some subsequent circuit court decisions have interpreted it differently. What does Kiobel mean for future litigators who use the ATS to address multinational corporate accountability in U.S. courts?


•    Paul Hoffman, Partner, Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman
•    Kristin Linsley Myles, Litigation Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson
•    Kathy Roberts, Legal Director, Center for Justice and Accountability
•    Jeena Shah, International Human Rights Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
•    Moderated by: Jenny Martinez, Professor of Law and Warren Christopher Professor in the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy, Stanford Law School

Current Issues in Disability Rights Advocacy

California’s Bay Area is known to be the symbolic founding place of the disability rights and independent living movements. More than 40 years after the springtime of that social awakening, people with disabilities still face a great deal of stigmatization and discrimination in areas of life such as accessibility, education, employment, the right to live independently in the community, raising a family, etc. This panel brings together leading advocates and academics to discuss the latest developments, achievements and barriers regarding the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities in the U.S. and Canada.

•    Arlene B. Mayerson, Directing Attorney, Disability Rights, Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
•    Stephen Rosenbaum, John and Elizabeth Boalt Lecturer at Berkeley Law and Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School
•    Laverne Jacobs, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, 2013-14 Canada and Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Canadian Studies at UC Berkeley
•    Tom Burke, Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley
•    Moderated by: Doron Dorfman, JSD Candidate, Stanford Law School

For All Victims: Visibility, Rights, and Services for Underserved Victims

Notwithstanding groundbreaking legislative and legal victories since the 1980s—including the passage of Marsy’s Law in 2008, which established a California victim’s bill of rights—many victims of crime still do not experience the dignified response, rights, and services intended for them. This includes never being made aware of their rights, especially for those victims who for many reasons may not feel comfortable participating in the criminal justice process or even reporting crime. This panel will bring together researchers, policy advocates, students, and service providers to explore the major implementation challenges and current innovations in victims’ rights in California. Particular emphasis will be placed on the intersection of the experience of victims with other social justice issues including immigration, economic inequality, community violence, and historic criminal justice reforms currently taking place.


•        John Torres, Deputy Director, Youth Alive!
•        Natasha Haney, Founder, Parallel Justice Project
•        Heather Warnken, Legal Policy Associate, Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law
•        Carla Richmond, LCSW, UCSF Trauma Recovery Center
•        Moderated by: Morgan Lewis, Policy Associate, Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law

Is “Big Food” the New “Big Tobacco”? Litigation in the Food Industry

In the past few years, many plaintiffs’ lawyers who used to fight big tobacco have filed multi-plaintiff and class action lawsuits against major food producers and manufacturers. The panelists will explore aspects of the "broken" food system and whether food litigation is a long-term solution to improve public health.


•     Pierce Gore, Of Counsel, Pratt & Associates
•    Dr. Robert Lustig, Pediatric Endocrinologist, UC San Francisco
•    Leslie Brueckner, Senior Attorney, Public Justice
•    Danny Chou, Assistant County Counsel, Santa Clara County Counsel's Office
•    Moderated by: David Watnick, Law Student, Stanford Law School County Counsel's Office

Immigration Law: Working beyond Unfavorable Policy

Amidst the stifling politics surrounding Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Washington D.C., lawyers across the nation work day in and day out to secure the rights of immigrants.  Advocating for the rights of immigrants presents many challenges because the body of law in immigration matters is distinct from criminal and civil law.  Additionally, it is highly deferential to administrative processes. These lawyers devise innovative ways to make an unfavorable law work for their clients.  From using the media to organizing communities, come learn how these lawyers advance immigrant rights and test the limits of our current immigration policy.


•    Gloria Curiel, Partner, Curiel & Parker; Broadcaster, Univision
•    Chris Newman, Legal Strategist and Policy Advisor, National Day Labor Organizing Network
•    Anoop Prasad, Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus Immigrant Rights Program
•    Jayashri Srikantiah, Professor of Law, Stanford Law School; Director, Immigrants’ Rights Clinic

Not Just Clients: Community Partnerships Against Mass Incarceration

Now is a hopeful time for people seeking to reform the criminal justice system, as progressive and conservative reformers call for an end to some of the most destructive enforcement and sentencing policies. Yet reducing the rate of imprisonment won’t solve underlying problems that produced mass incarceration or ameliorate the harms it has inflicted on communities of color. This panel will explore grassroots, community-based efforts to address mass incarceration and its consequences. It will also consider what it might take to build a larger movement, why such a movement is needed, and how lawyers committed to social justice can play a role.


•    Glenn E. Martin, Founder and Chief Risk Taker, JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA)
•    Maurice Emsellem, Program Director, National Employment Law Project
•    Raj Jayadev, Organizer, Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project (ACJP); Founder, Silicon Valley De-Bug
•    Ramon Vasquez, Wrongly Convicted
•    Debbie Mukamal, Executive Director, Stanford Criminal Justice Center

Reentry Legal Services: Overcoming Legal Barriers after Incarceration

Root & Rebound will host a panel discussion about legal barriers and tools of legal advocacy in reentry. The panel will address various collateral consequences that individuals confront upon returning to the community from prison or jail—employment discrimination, denial of public benefits, exclusion from private and public housing, restrictive voting laws, probation and parole issues, difficulty obtaining identification and records, problems with credit and debt, and more—and panelists will further explore legal advocacy tools with the power to offer people a meaningful second chance in society.


•    Elie Miller, Senior Advisor, Root & Rebound; Volunteer Attorney, Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic
•    Katherine Katcher, Found and Executive Director, Root & Rebound
•    Eric Borchert, Youth Program Director, Salvation Army and Kroc Center
•    Moderated by: Sonja Tonnesen, Deputy Director, Root & Rebound

State Constitutions as Civil Rights Battlegrounds

While students spend much of law school parsing the United States Constitution, the constitutions of the 50 states often get short shrift. Yet state constitutions are a crucial feature of the legal landscape that many social justice practitioners reckon with on a daily basis. And with both progressives and conservatives turning to constitutional amendments to advance their policy agendas, constitutional processes at the state level are likely to remain an important civil rights battleground for years to come.  Panelists will describe major efforts to advance civil rights and environmental protections through state constitution provisions and amendments.


•    John C. Dernbach, Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener University School of Law
•    David Sapp, Director of Education Advocacy/Legal Counsel, ACLU of Southern California
•    Ilona Turner, Legal Director, Transgender Law Center

Women Leaders in Environmental Justice

This panel is designed to explore the role women have played in the California environmental justice movement. Panelists will discuss their work in environmental litigation and community organizing. Their work has focused on groups being disproportionately affected by environmental problems: impoverished communities, minority groups and women. The panelists will shed light on why they chose the work they do, what value women have in the environmental justice movement and what challenges they have faced (generally, and as women).


•    Nancy Buermeyer, Senior Policy Strategist, Breast Cancer Fund
•    Dr. Beth Rose Middleton, Associate Professor of Native American Studies, UC Davis
•    Ingrid Brostrom, Senior Attorney, Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment
•    Jessica Guadalupe Tovar, Independent Contractor and Consultant
•    Moderated by: Michelle Wilde Anderson, Professor, Stanford Law School


Access to Justice Innovations

We in law have twin crises: 1) too many lawyers and law grads but too few jobs for them and 2) no access to justice—people cannot find legal help for their problems. How might we design products and services that allow for better delivery of legal services to more people in society? Are there ways to do it using technology and DIY measures?  This workshop considers what interventions have been tried before, how they have fared, and gives you a chance to come up with your own!


•    Margaret Hagan, Fellow, Stanford d.school

Bringing Human Rights Home

U.S. social justice lawyers are increasingly integrating international human rights law and strategies to advance their domestically-focused advocacy efforts. They are engaging with international and regional human rights mechanisms, using international and comparative foreign law in U.S. courts, and engaging in broader activism such as documentation, organizing and education.  They are finding that the human rights framework offers an arsenal of cross-cutting strategies and highlights the interdependence and indivisibility of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. This session explores the utility and challenges of human rights based advocacy strategies for U.S. social justice lawyers.


•    Risa E. Kaufman, Executive Director, Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute; Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School

Bringing Our Cases into the Court of Public Opinion

As public interest lawyers, we serve our clients - but we also work on issues. In this workshop, we'll explore whether it's important to engage the public on those issues, and if so, when and how we can do that most effectively. We'll discuss strategies for sharing compelling stories, highlight pitfalls, and prepare ourselves for practicing law in age when information about our legal system is abundant, but not always accessible.


•    Umbreen Bhatti, John S. Knight Fellow, Stanford University; Founder, briefly.tv and islawmix.org
•    Kat Aaron, Print and Radio Journalist

Implicit Bias and Cultural Competency

This workshop is about implicit biases and developing cultural competency in our day-to-day lives and legal practices. Given that many us will work either directly with or on behalf of clients from very different backgrounds, it is important for us to be conscious of how we interact with these communities. The first part of this workshop is designed to help attendees identify and understand their own subconscious biases, while the second aims to promote dialogue around how these issues impact the legal system and provide concrete tools for attendees to address their own biases.


•    Jennifer Eberhardt, Associate Professor, Stanford Department of Pyschology
•    Christopher Bridges, Butler Koshland Fellow, Equal Justice Society

Indigenous Perspectives

This workshop will provide an introduction to how we can understand social justice through indigenous movement and perspectives.


•    Daniel Arizmendi, Owner, The Dance Zone Studio; Member, Dancing Earth 2011

Singing My Song: Using Hip Hop as a Tool for Self Expression in the Classroom

How can hip hop be harnessed as a tool in the classroom to promote students interest in American history and literature? How can hip-hop be used as a tool to encourage a students’ development of his or her voice? How is hip hop a tool for our individual expression? Join us as we walk through with members of the Music Mural and Arts Program, and high school participants themselves, as we understand how hip hop can not only be a pedagogical tool for greater understanding of high school curriculum, but also a tool for developing individual self expression and singing one’s own song.


•    Sonya Clark-Herrera, Executive Director, Mural Music and Arts Project

You Should Run: Advancing Social Justice by Running for Office and Engaging in Movement Politics

Have you ever thought about running for office? Or managing a political campaign? Or working in government? This workshop will examine movement politics as a way to advance your passion for public interest law and social justice. Plato once pondered what the world would be like if all the poets became politicians. Running for office is a decision that would take you outside the box, literally. We will go over the practical nuts and bolts of being a public interest lawyer who runs for office. We will also explore the larger theoretical questions of the types of social change you could effect through electoral politics and the important niche you could fill in electoral politics as a social justice lawyer in this post Citizens United era.


•    Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar, District Leader, Lower Manhattan; Civil Rights Attorney, Sanford Heisler, LLP.