Hundreds of Santa Clara Law alumni are working in public interest law jobs. Below is a small sample. This sample is designed primarily to give current Santa Clara Law students some idea about the range of possibilities. All of the alumni listed below have expressed their willingness to speak with current Santa Clara students about public interest career options. Current students may contact alumni via LinkedIn.
David Epps – Class of 1992, Alternate Defender Office
David is the Supervising Attorney for Santa Clara County’s Alternate Defender Office. The office provides legal representation for indigent individuals and juveniles charged with crimes where the Public Defender’s Office has a conflict of interest.
Tim McInerny – Class of 1996, Office of the District Attorney
Tim is a District Attorney for Santa Clara County. He prosecutes sexual assault, child molestation, and other felonies.
Kelley Kulick – Class of 1998, Public Defender Office
Kelley is a Deputy Public Defender for Santa Clara County. She is assigned to the homicide team.
Mairead O’Keefe – Class of 2000, Public Defender Office
Mairead is a Public Defender for Santa Clara County. She provides criminal defense for indigent clients.
Benjamin Galloway – Class of 2001, Office of the Federal Defender
Benjamin is a Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California. As Chief Assistant Federal Defender, he supervises attorneys providing legal representation and advice to individuals financially unable to employ counsel in federal criminal cases and related matters in the federal courts. The Federal Defender’s Office handles a wide range of cases including felonies, misdemeanors, appeals, non-capital habeas matters, and capital habeas matters.
Heather Harris – Class of 2004, Alternate Defender Office
Heather is an Alternate Defender for Santa Clara County. She represents indigent persons accused of a crime in state trial court, including all ranges of crimes and all phases of representation.
Stephanie Grogan Jones – Class of 2004, Public Defender Office
Stephanie is a Public Defender for Solano County. She represents indigent clients charged with crimes ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies, including murder and child molestation. Stephanie represents clients through all stages of criminal proceedings, including arraignments, preliminary hearings, motions, trials, and probation violations.
Evan Greenberg – Class of 2010, Public Defender Office
Evan is a Deputy Public Defender for Tulare County.
Jake Rhodes – Class of 2010, Public Defender Office
Jake is a Deputy Public Defender for Santa Clara County. The office provides legal representation to indigent defendants in Santa Clara County charged with committing misdemeanor and felony offenses. Public Defenders represent clients from arraignment through trial and also provide a wide variety of post-conviction services.
Conor McCormick – Class of 2013, Office of the District Attorney
Conor is currently assigned to the Sex Crimes Unit in the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office. He prosecutes criminal cases on behalf of the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office.
Nick Sympson – Class of 2013, Office of the District Attorney
Nick is a District Attorney for Santa Cruz County. As a prosecutor, he helps enforce criminal law. Nick is involved in all stages of prosecution from investigation, to charging, preliminary hearings, and motions all the way through jury trials.
Ethan Weiss – Class of 2013, Public Defender Office
Ethan is a Deputy Public Defender for the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office.
Sara Bannerman – Class of 2014, Public Defender Office
Sara is a trial attorney for the Sacramento County Public Defender Office where she represents indigent individuals who are charged with felonies. Her work includes meeting with clients, advising them of their rights and advocating for them by negotiating on their behalf, filing motions, and representing them at their court appearances, including preliminary hearings and trials. Sara has also worked in the collaborative courts, primarily representing people with mental health diagnoses. In the collaborative courts, clients follow a treatment plan, stay medication compliant and attend court regularly with the goal of having their case dismissed.
Katarina Pena – Class of 2014, Public Defender Office
Katarina is a Public Defender for Santa Clara County where she works as a criminal defense attorney representing indigent clients.
Government, Other than Criminal
Monica Davis – Class of 2008, City of Hayward
Monica undertakes policy work for local government. She manages the $300Million+ city-wide budget, drafts contracts, staff reports, ordinances, and resolutions, and advises commissions and committees.
Erik Ramakrishnan – Class of 2010, City of Fremont
Erik is a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Fremont. He provides general legal advice to municipal employees, drafts and reviews contracts, staff reports, ordinances, and resolutions, and advises commissions and committees.
Glenn Germany – Class of 2011, United States Air Force
Glenn handles legal matters for the Air Force including, but not limited to, courts martial proceedings, environmental law, procurement and contract law, administrative law, and legal aid for airmen.
Gabriel Rodriguez – Class of 2013, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Gabriel is an attorney at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. His work includes litigation, employment, personnel, labor, property, and administrative law, and programmatic litigation.
Catherine Nguyen Crochetiere – Class of 2015, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps
As a lawyer for the Navy, Catherine’s work involves many areas of law. Specific areas of practice include: military justice, legal assistance, international law, operational law, administrative law, environmental law, civil litigation, humanitarian assistance and refugee law, admiralty and maritime law, and legislative liaison.
Lani Lee Ho – Class of 2016, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
Lani Lee prepares documents in compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Rachel Smith – Class of 2007, Legal Aid of North Carolina
Rachel works at Legal Aid of North Carolina, a statewide nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people. Some of the civil matters include family law, housing, disability, government benefits, and Medicaid.
Marlene Bennett – Class of 2008, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
Marlene is a Supervising Attorney in the Foundation’s Health Law program, supervising the Economic Rights Unit, and the Intake Unit. The Health Law program serves clients living with HIV or AIDS or mental health disabilities. The Economic Rights Unit assists clients in matters relating to their public benefits. As a staff attorney, Marlene represented people living with HIV or AIDS in public benefits, housing, estate planning, employment, and consumer cases.
Marina Wiant – Class of 2010, California Housing Consortium
As VP of Government Affairs, Marina plans, directs, and coordinates all activities related to the development of California Housing Consortium’s (CHC) policy positions, including interacting with government officials, testifying in legislative hearings, planning policy-related events, and preparing materials to inform CHC members, the media, and the public on issues related to the affordable housing industry.
Malia Vella – Class of 2011, Teamsters 856
Malia provides in-house counsel and is the Director of Public Policy at Teamsters 856, a local union in Northern California. She is also a Professor of Practice at Mills College’s Lokey School of Business and Public Policy. Additionally, Malia is Vice Mayor of Alameda.
Madeline Feldon – Class of 2012, International Institute of the Bay Area
Madeline is the immigration attorney for the International Institute of the Bay Area’s (IIBA) Napa Office. IIBA provides high-quality immigration legal services, education, and civic engagement opportunities to immigrants, refugees, and their families as they join and contribute to the community. IIBA has eight offices throughout the Bay Area that provide legal immigration and other services, as well as through its collaborative efforts with local and regional service providers, IIBA effectively serves immigrants and their families. The Institute offers immigrants the information and assistance they need to understand and exercise their rights and responsibilities.
Samuel Jain – Class of 2013, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
Samuel works to protect and advance the civil rights of individuals with mental health disabilities. The Law Foundation provides direct services and conducts systemic policy work.
Shannon Robinson – Class of 2014, Dependency Advocacy Center
Shannon is an attorney for Dependency Advocacy Center, a nonprofit family defense organization. Attorneys at this center are court appointed to represent indigent parents in dependency proceedings throughout Santa Clara County. The ultimate goal is to help families reunify. Working at Dependency Advocacy Center involves extensive court and trial work.
Matt Warren – Class of 2015, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
Matt works as a member of the Public Interest and Fair Housing Law Program at the Law Foundation. The team’s areas of focus include fair housing, consumer protection, the rights of people in jail and other institutions, disability rights, voting rights, and education. They advance the rights of low-income or otherwise underrepresented residents of Silicon Valley through litigation, community education, and policy advocacy.
Amanda Gordon – Class of 2012, Gordon Family Law
Amanda is a family law attorney. She handles divorce, custody, domestic violence, and premarital agreements. Amanda often takes sliding scale cases for low income families to help with the dissolution process. Her work involves survivors of domestic violence as well as defending those who face allegations of perpetrating domestic violence. She has worked on multi-million dollar deals as well as helped people who are homeless. Family law deals with a range of human issues and having a firm understanding of ‘justice’ is key in Amanda’s work.
Dan Selmi – Class of 1975, Loyola Law School
Dan is a full-time environmental law professor specializing in environmental and land use law, as well as appellate advocacy. In addition to teaching, he writes in these areas. Dan also participates in a significant amount of litigation in these fields, much of it pro bono. Over his career he has argued over 35 environmental and land use cases in the California and federal appellate courts. Dan is also a board member of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Santa Ana Region.
Marjorie Cohn – Class of 1975, Retired
Marjorie is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught for 25 years. She currently writes books and articles, lectures, and does media commentary about human rights, U.S. foreign policy and the contradiction between the two.
Elizabeth Little – Class of 2005, International Criminal Court
Elizabeth Little is the Special Assistant to the Registrar of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC Registrar is responsible for the non-judicial administration and servicing of the Court and for the 500+ staff members working for the Court’s Registry in areas including court management, detention, witness protection and victim participation. Elizabeth serves as a member of the Registrar’s immediate office and strategy team, advising on special issues arising in connection with conducting proceedings at an international criminal tribunal, including: privileges and immunities, legal aid for indigent defendants, decisions relating to management of an international detention center, and cooperation and diplomatic relations with States Parties and United Nations organizations.