Keynote Address (10:00 am - 11:30 am)

Background materials: Saru Jayaraman, “Restaurants and Race,” Race, Poverty & the Environment: A Journal for Social & Environmental Justice, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2011); Saru Jayaraman, “Why Tipping is Wrong,” New York Times, October 15, 2015


First Block of Panels (11:45 am - 1:00 pm)

Stuck in the ‘70s: Demographics of California Prosecutors
Room 280B
Recent events have renewed longstanding concerns about the treatment of racial minorities by the criminal justice system in California and throughout the United States. Part of that attention has focused on prosecutors, the gatekeepers to the criminal justice system and, in many ways, the system’s most powerful officials. Recent reports have highlighted the lack of diversity among elected District Attorneys, but there has been virtually no publicly available information about the prosecutors they supervise:  the line attorneys, mid-level supervisors, and unelected office managers who carry out the day-to-day work of prosecution and typically are vested with enormous discretion. This panel will focus will focus on how staff diversity affects decision-making and operations of justice in California prosecutors’ offices. Panelists include:

  • Tori Verber Salazar, San Joaquin District Attorney's Office

Background materials: Katherine J. Bies, Isaiah M. Deporto, Darryl G. Long, Megan S. McKoy, Debbie A. Mukamal, and David Alan Sklansky, Stanford Criminal Justice Center, “Stuck in the ‘70s: Demographics of California Prosecutors” (2015)

Housing Activism in the Bay Area: Tactics and Strategies for Addressing Gentrification and Demanding Affordable Housing
Room 180
This workshop will address the current housing problems in the Bay Area, and the work that lawyers and activists are doing to effect change at the local level. During the workshop, we hope that participants will learn about and discuss how gentrification is reshaping San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area, strategies that activists and community members are using to maintain and expand affordable housing options around the Bay Area, and the roles that lawyers can play to participate in and support Bay Area communities coping with increased housing prices and rapidly changing neighborhoods. Panelists include:

  • Aracely Mondragon, Community Organizer, San Francisco Organizing Project
  • Leticia Arce, Causa Justa :: Just Cause
  • Jeanne Merino, Consulting Supervising Attorney, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto
  • Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director, Tenants Together

Background materials: Causa Justa :: Just Cause, “Developing Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area” (2015)


Second Block of Panels (2:30 pm -3:45 pm)

Black Lives Matter Workshop
Room 180
The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired the nation with its organized, sustained, and creative responses to police brutality and the criminal court’s system failure to hold accountable those who enact violence on Black and brown bodies.  This workshop will bring together organizers of the movement for a workshop on creative, direct action-based responses and facilitate a discussion about how attorneys can most helpfully and ethically engage in the movement. Attendees should come prepared to discuss strategies with the panelists and with ideas for action. Panelists include:

  • Walter Riley, Attorney for Black Friday 14
  • Celeste Faison, Organizer, Blackout Collective
  • Seema Rupani, Law Student and Organizer, Asians 4 Black Lives
  • Ellen Choy, Organizer, Asians 4 Black Lives

Background materials: Dani McClain, “The Bitter ‘Black Lives Matter’ Fight You Should Know About” (2015)

Tackling Student Debt and For-Profit College Abuses: A Discussion with Legal Practitioners
Room 280B
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 40 million Americans are working to repay more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. This panel will focus on two interrelated and critical consumer protection issues: the student debt crisis and lawsuits against for-profit colleges for predatory practices that targeted vulnerable individuals. In addition to providing a legal context for the news surrounding Corinthian Colleges, the panel will bring together lawyers working in a wide variety of areas - including government, direct legal services, advocacy, and academia - to explore the important and varied work being done to address these issues. Panelists include:

  • Juliana Fredman, Staff Attorney, Debtors' Rights Clinic, Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Jonathan Glater, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
  • Angela Munoz, Deputy Attorney General, Consumer Law Section, California DOJ
  • Angela Perry, Law Fellow, Public Advocates 

Background materials: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “CFPB Sues For-Profit Corinthian Colleges for Predatory Lending Scheme” (2014)

The California Drought: Addressing Environmental Injustice
Room 280A
This panel will focus on how the drought is impacting low income and minority communities in California. We hope attendees will come away empowered to get involved with environmental justice issues in California and with a greater understanding of the drought. The panel will shed light on the many different venues through which practicing and aspiring lawyers can get involved – from public policy and education to NGO work and private practice. Panelists include:

  • Laurel Firestone, Community Water Center
  • Catherine J.K. Sandoval, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Johanna Dyer, Natural Resources Defense Council

Background materials: Rose Francis & Laurel Firestone, “Implementing the Human Right to Water in California’s Central Valley: Building a Democratic Voice Through Community Engagement in Water Policy Decision Making,” 47 Willamette Law Review 495 (2011)


Third Block of Panels (4:00 pm - 5:15 pm)

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Innovative Approaches to Reducing Juvenile Delinquency and Recidivism
Room 180
This panel will address creative approaches to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. It features a group of practitioners working at various stages in the pipeline--from combating harsh discipline policies in schools, to providing educational services to children who are currently confined in the juvenile system, to reducing recidivism among juveniles who have been released. Representatives from Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, and The Reset Foundation will share innovative models from their respective organizations. This panel will be moderated by Professor Joan Petersilia, a national expert on juvenile justice, and we hope it will be an informative and thought-provoking conversation. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Fania Davis, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth
  • Jane Mitchell, The Reset Foundation
  • Vamsey Palagummi, Fresh Lifelines for Youth

Background materials: About Fresh Lifelines for Youth; David Wallis, “Why Prisons of the Future May Look Like College Campuses”; Kathleen Daly and Russ Immarigeon, “The Past, Present, and Future of Restorative Justice: Some Critical Reflections”

Immigration and Asylum Advocacy
Room 280B
This workshop will focus on two significant populations of asylum seekers in the Bay Area, individuals fleeing violence stemming from the drug war in Mexico, and individuals fleeing gang violence in Central America. The workshop will feature both social scientists and practicing asylum attorneys. It will discuss the conditions that have led to such high levels of migration from these regions, as well as challenges and successes in advocating for these populations in immigration court. In the case of Mexico, the workshop will focus on asylum claims related to the increasingly blurred line between the State and organized crime. Regarding Central America, it will emphasize the conditions of gang impunity and gender violence that cause so many to flee their home countries. Panelists include:

  • Kaitlyn Kalna Darwal, Attorney, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
  • Eunice Lee, Co-Legal Director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (UC Hastings)
  • Elizabeth Kennedy, PhD Candidate, Broom Center for Geography (UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State University)

Background materials: Jayashri Srikantiah, “The Immigration ‘Rocket Docket’: Understanding the Due Process Implications,” Stanford Lawyer (2014)

Current Legal Issues Affecting Low Wage Workers
Room 280A
Since the recession, low-wage workers continue to be in a position where any financial setback could be the difference between scraping by and falling into poverty or homelessness. In addition to inadequate compensation, many low-wage workers face unique challenges that make it difficult to maintain basic job security, such as lack of paid leave and dangerous working conditions. This panel will address how the law has both contributed to and alleviated challenges facing workers in recent years. How have mandatory arbitration clauses, class action waivers, and covenants not to compete, for example, weakened workers’ ability to advocate for themselves? How can the law protect and improve workers' conditions when public policy solutions like increasing the minimum wage and strengthening overtime protections are not politically possible? Is it the law's role to do so? Panelists include:

  • Michael Rubin, Partner, Altshuler Berzon
  • Christopher Ho, Senior Staff Attorney, Employment Law Center
  • Joanna Shalleck-Klein, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of Marin

Background materials: Sameer Ashar, Fernando Flores and Sara Feldman, “Advancing Low-Wage Worker Organizing Through Legal Representation”; Janelle Orsi, “Think Outside the Boss”


Fourth Block of Panels (5:30 pm - 6:45 pm)

Protecting LGBTQ Prisoners’ Rights
Room 180
LGBTQ inmates face unique problems in prison, and the carceral system has a shameful record of failing to protect this vulnerable population's rights.  This panel brings together advocates and legal practitioners to discuss legal and policy strategies for addressing three challenges: sexual assault against LGBTQ inmates, segregation of LGBTQ inmates from the general prison population, and access to healthcare for trans* inmates. Panelists include:

  • Michela Bowman, Senior Program Specialist, PREA Resource Center
  • Tasha Hill, Law Fellow, LGBTQ, Gender and Reproductive Justice Project, ACLU
  • Amy Whelan, Senior Staff Attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Background materials: National Center for Transgender Equality, “Standing with LGBT Prisoners: An Advocate’s Guide to Ending Abuse and Combating Imprisonment”; ACLU and NCLR, “Know Your Rights: Laws, Court Decisions, and Advocacy Tips to Protect Transgender Prisoners”

Bridging the Civil Justice Gap
Room 280A
Over the last eight years, the largest source of funding for legal services has declined by thirty percent, while the number of low-income people in need of those services continues to grow. By some estimates, approximately eighty percent of low-income civil legal needs go unmet. The civil justice gap is marked by insufficient funding for legal aid programs, restrictions on services that these programs provide, and the paucity of attorneys in rural areas. This panel will explore creative approaches to closing the justice gap in California. Panelists will share their experiences utilizing innovative funding streams and partnerships to expand and improve their services. Jory Steele, Director of Pro Bono and Externship Programs at the Levin Center, will moderate. Panelists include:

  • Ana Maria Garcia, Director of Access to Justice Initiatives, Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
  • Adrian Tirtanadi, Executive Director/Co-Founder, Bayview/Hunters Point Community Legal
  • Renee Schomp, Equal Justice Works Fellow, OneJustice

Background materials: Deborah L. Rhode, “Access to Justice”

Translating Native Values into Legal Terms: Working with and through NAGPRA 
Room 280B
This panel brings together advocates and legal practitioners to discuss the difficulty of translating Native values into legal terms, specifically focusing on repatriation and sacred sites. The panel will provide a general background on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the difficulty Natives have faced in using it as a tool to assert their rights and cultural identity. Each panelist’s work is at a different stage in the process, facing different conflicts and tension. The panel will also speak more generally to the work Native communities have done to reframe histories and experiences through Native eyes. Panelists include:

  • Brian Wolfman, Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
  • Val Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
  • Myra Masiel-Zamora, Pechanga Cultural Resources, Assistant Curator

Background materials: