Who We Are

We are extremely passionate, quixotic, energetic, love tackling tough problems, and believe in continuous personal growth.

A world where everyone who needs legal help gets it

Open Door Legal is pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation. Our goal is to show that when everyone has access to the law, poverty will be dramatically reduced.

Our model of universal access is scalable, sustainable, and the most cost-effective way to address poverty. 

Over the next few years we plan to expand citywide, making San Francisco the first city in the country with universal access.  We also hope to become a model for national replication, and want to have a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for the poor.

Our Board of Directors

Kathy Chao, Board President

Partner, Olivier Schreiber & Chao

Amy Chiu, Development

Product Lead, Clarify Health Solutions

Michelle Carrington

Construction Foreman, Former ODL Client

Bart Volkmer

General Counsel, Dropbox

Mira Park Kim

Senior Portfolio Manager, Wells Fargo

David Lisson

Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell

Amanda Hundt

Vice President, Health Catalyst

Gary Whitehouse

Freelance Management Consultant

Menaka Fernando

Partner, Outten & Golden

Ieeshea Romero

Community Leader

Meet Our Staff

 

Executive Team

Adrian Tirtanadi

Executive Director/Founder

adrian@opendoorlegal.org

Charmaine Lacsina

Director of Innovation and Technology

charmaine@opendoorlegal.org

Rachel Mellby

Director of Finance

rachel@opendoorlegal.org

Virginia Taylor

General Counsel
Director of Legal Services/Founder

virginia@opendoorlegal.org

Whitney Tu

Director of Talent and Culture

whitney@opendoorlegal.org

Frontline Team

Camille Frausto

Frontline Attorney

camille@opendoorlegal.org

Emi Nakamura

Frontline Partner – Bayview

emi@opendoorlegal.org

Hakika Drisker

Frontline Partner – Western Addition

hakika@opendoorlegal.org

Herlinda Aguirre

Client Support Specialist

herlinda@opendoorlegal.org

Geneva Hale

Frontline Partner – Remote

genevah@opendoorlegal.org

Leslie Pang

Frontline Partner – Excelsior

leslie@opendoorlegal.org

Legal Team

Alexis Collentine

Lead Family Law Attorney

alexis@opendoorlegal.org

Belinda Liu

Lead Immigration Attorney

belinda@opendoorlegal.org

Brenda Falcon

Employment & Civil Litigation Paralegal

brenda@opendoorlegal.org

Cynthia Hernandez

Immigration Paralegal

cynthia@opendoorlegal.org

Devin Fathi

Housing Law Attorney

devinf@opendoorlegal.org

Dyne
Dyne Biancardi

Housing Law Attorney

dyne@opendoorlegal.org

Emilia Cortez

Family Law Paralegal

emilia@opendoorlegal.org

Gio Garcia

Tenant Resource Specialist

gio@opendoorlegal.org

Gwen Wu

Lead Elder Law Attorney

gwen@opendoorlegal.org

Jennifer Wang

Civil Litigation Attorney

jennifer@opendoorlegal.org

Kelsey Merrick

Housing Law Attorney

kelsey@opendoorlegal.org

Kevin Buggy

Elder Law Attorney

kevinb@opendoorlegal.org

Lindsey Pace

Lead Employment Attorney

lindsey@opendoorlegal.org

Marianne Armenta

Employment Litigation Attorney

marianne@opendoorlegal.org

Mesha Phillips

Family Law Attorney

mesha@opendoorlegal.org

Nikki Love

Managing Housing Attorney

nikki@opendoorlegal.org

Patricia Moon

Senior Family Law Attorney

patricia@opendoorlegal.org

Philip Green

Civil Litigation Attorney

philip@opendoorlegal.org

Tara Macomber

Senior Civil Litigation Attorney

tara@opendoorlegal.org

Administration & Development Team

Giovanni Herrera

Office Administrator

giovanni@opendoorlegal.org

Jessica Arita

Engagement Coordinator

jess@opendoorlegal.org

Kelsey Renz

Volunteer Coordinator

kelseyr@opendoorlegal.org

Lai Ho

Staff Accountant

lai@opendoorlegal.org

Laura Turner

Manager of Strategic Growth

laurat@opendoorlegal.org

Michele
Michele Petros

Grants & Data Manager

michele@opendoorlegal.org

Noreen Cortez

Recruiting Coordinator

noreen@opendoorlegal.org

Wendy Liu

Senior Software Developer

wendy@opendoorlegal.org

Fellows

Ali
Ali Tofigh

Elder Law Fellow

alit@opendoorlegal.org

Rob
Eli Love

Housing Fellow

elil@opendoorlegal.org

Hannah
Hannah Deetz

Development Fellow

hannahd@opendoorlegal.org

Nick Kline

Legal Fellow

nickk@opendoorlegal.org

Rachel Llarenas

Fellow

rachell@opendoorlegal.org

Rob
Rob Underwood

Employment Fellow

robertu@opendoorlegal.org

Vivian
Vivian Cho

Civil Litigation Fellow

vivianc@opendoorlegal.org

Want to get involved? Join our team as a volunteer!

CITATIONS

1. American University, Key Studies and Data About How Legal Aid Improves Housing Outcomes https://www.american.edu/spa/jpo/toolkit/upload/housing-7-30-19.pdf

2. George Washington Law School, In Pursuit of Justice? Case Outcomes and the Delivery of Unbundled Legal Services https://scholarship.law.gwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi

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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.

Please make checks payable to Open Door Legal and mail them to:

Open Door Legal
60 Ocean Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112

We also accept donations via:

Cryptocurrency

Donor-Advised Fund

Stock

You can view all of the ways to give at https://opendoorlegal.org/donation-information

Please contact laurat@opendoorlegal.org if you have any questions or need any additional information.  Thank you so much for the support!