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avatar for Salena Copeland

Salena Copeland

Legal Aid Assoc of California
Executive Director
Oakland, CA
Salena is the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Association of California and spends much of her time coordinating statewide legislative and administrative advocacy, while also supervising a small staff who work to support the entire IOLTA legal aid community through trainings, online coordination, resource-sharing, and member discounts. Her biggest recent successes are as a major organizer in the effort to increase the Equal Access Fund, a fund that supports over 100 California legal non-profits. In 2016, the efforts resulted in a one-time $5 million increase in the funds - the first state general fund increase since 1999. After that, she worked with others on nudging the amount up each year, ultimately securing $50 million in NEW funding in 2021 for EAF while LAAC also worked with a collaboration to secure $80 million in one-time federal funding for homelessness prevention work in CA. (Salena loves to talk about budget advocacy strategy.)

Salena is a 2007 graduate of Stanford Law School, the 2016 recipient of the Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award, a former member of the State Bar of California Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, a former co-chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice Rural Access Committee, an active member of the Bench Bar Coalition, and the 2010 recipient of the Bench Bar Coalition Legal Services Provider of the Year Award. She also serves on a number of statewide planning committees dedicated to improving access to justice for low and moderate-income Californians, including the Campaign for Justice. Salena may be reached at scopeland@laaconline.org.