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avatar for Salena Copeland

Salena Copeland

Legal Aid Association 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 and 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 nearly 100 California legal non-profits. In 2016, the efforts resulted in a one-time $5 million increase in the funds at the same time LAAC and others successfully pushed for a repeal of a sunset on a separate $7-9 million/year fund. The following year, LAAC led a coalition to increase the funds with an additional $20 million ($10 million over two years) and short-term set-aside of millions of dollars of class action residual funds to increase legal services for low-income Californians. The set-aside was replaced in 2018 with *ongoing* additional state general funds of $10 million annually for legal aid. 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 co-chair of the California Commission on Access to Justice Rural Task Force, a member of the Amicus Committee of the Access Commission, 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.