Anna Rudman Santos joins our team with a passion for social justice for families most in need.

Anna has a diverse background in advocacy for low-income families and vulnerable groups, serving as a children’s Guardian ad Litem, promoting legislation that increases low-income families’ access to clean diapers, and doing policy research on animal welfare and the the inefficacy of citywide dog breed-specific bans.

Anna also brings firsthand experience working closely with different households in difficult situations, serving as a crisis line counselor for survivors of domestic and sexual violence and advocating for pit bull dogs in need of new homes.

In her free time, she enjoys attempting various crafting projects and exploring the Oakland hills with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. Anna holds a law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Anna’s enthusiasm to help Bayview’s families permeates our office and we’re honored to be working alongside of her!

 

Meet our entire team | Learn more about our work in family law 

Ever since childhood, our co-founder Adrian has been dedicated to reducing poverty.

He studied systemic poverty in college and went to work in the field for a few years. Eventually, he had a thesis that legal aid was the most cost-effective way to address poverty in America. He wrote up a business plan and used it to apply to law school. 

The idea was to create the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation that ensures everyone can obtain timely, competent legal help for any legal issue, regardless of ability to pay. That had never been done before in the history of the United States.

In law school, he met Virginia, our Programs Director. Together, they co-founded the organization, two weeks after Adrian passed the bar.

When we opened we put a sign in the window, and with just that marketing and almost no other outreach we were overwhelmed with requests for help from people with good cases who had been turned away everywhere else.

Our first year we had revenue of $35,000. We would hand shred documents because a shredder was too expensive. Despite the financial challenges, we were able to work on over 280 cases in everything from housing law to family law to consumer law in the first year alone.

The hours were extreme, the pay was low, and the learning curve was steep. Still, we persisted. We knew that almost everyone we helped was not able to receive services anywhere else. Eventually, we attracted the interest of funders. We tripled our revenue for several years in a row. In 2015, we won the Bay Area Google Impact Challenge, which enabled us to expand even more. In 2019, we secured additional funding from the city that allowed us to open two new centers in the Excelsior and Western Addition.

As of 2020, our staff has grown to 27 full-time employees. We’ve shown that universal access is possible. Now, we plan to scale city-wide, make San Francisco the first city in the country’s history to have universal access to legal help, and become a model for national replication.