Who We Are

We believe that it’s possible to ensure that everyone can obtain legal representation, even if they have no money.

We don’t give up.

We’re a group of lawyers, paralegals, communication professionals, counselors, social workers, administrators, recruiters, and more passionate about justice. We are fortunate to benefit from the help of hundreds of volunteers.

I learned more in three months working with them than in three years of law school.

-Kimberly, volunteer

Our Executive Team

Adrian Tirtanadi

Adrian Tirtanadi

Executive Director

(415) 854-6392 adrian@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Anna Rudman Santos

Anna Rudman Santos

Acting Legal Services Director

(415) 854-6540 anna@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Onki Kwan

Onki Kwan

Community Development Director

(415) 854-6435 onki@bhpcommunitylegal.org

Our Staff Attorneys

Hilary Hammell

Hilary Hammell

Senior Staff Attorney

(415) 854-6577 hilary@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Zoe Brown

Zoe Brown

Housing Attorney

(415) 854-6448 zoe@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Alejandra Cruz

Alejandra Cruz

Consumer Attorney

(415) 741-0045 alejandra@bhpcommunitylegal.org

Our Engagement Team

Ivy Sjoholm

Ivy Sjoholm

Engagement Coordinator

(415) 741-0451 ivy@bhpcommunitylegal.org

Our Support Team

Ange Lowrey

Ange Lowrey

Senior Paralegal

(415) 854-6588 ange@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Mayvell Vallero

Mayvell Vallero

Investigator

(415) 851-1767 mayvell@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Eva Van Horn, MFTI

Eva Van Horn, MFTI

Client Support Specialist

(415) 805-6014 eva@bhpcommunitylegal.org
Briana Barnes

Briana Barnes

Frontline Coordinator

Our staff is at the core of our work to pioneer universal access to civil justice in the most marginalized parts of San Francisco.

We believe that

We're generating a 21x return on investment

Our data shows that for every one dollar we spent on services and overhead, we generated about $6.63 in direct financial benefits for our clients and deterred up to $14.75 in illegal activity.

Learn More

I didn’t understand that I was being abused. I thought domestic violence required a closed fist, not an open palm. They saved my life – twice they saved my life!

-Monica*, client

Our board makes sure we keep moving in the right direction

Our Board of Directors

We are proud to have a diverse board featuring local residents and professionals from a variety of different industries. Our bylaws authorize a board of 9 people, but two seats are currently vacant. The board is in charge of implementing the member-approved strategic plan and overseeing our staff.

Johanna Hartwig, President

Bernal Heights

Attorney and Director of Career Planning at USF Law

Willie Ratcliff

Bayview Hunters Point

Publisher, Bay View Newspaper & Local Builder

Claire Hunsaker, Secretary

Bernal Heights

VP of Marketing & Business Development at Stormpath

Chi-Ming Chien

Bayview Hunters Point

Technology CEO

Liz Shedden

Bayview Hunters Point

Accountant

Kevin Cunningham

Bernal Heights

Family Lawyer & Mediator

Tyra Fennell

Bayview

Executive Director of Imprint.City

David Zeigler

Bernal Heights

Finance professional

Kristine Shiraki

Potrero Hill

Non-Profit Executive

We believe in the power of

Stories about open cases and what losing will mean.

Stories that show the resiliency of our clients against incredible odds.

Stories about the people, volunteers, and clients involved in legal aid.

Before I met BHPCL, I had no idea people couldn’t get legal help. They have really opened my eyes to the importance of legal aid.

-Erika, supporter

Our Story

Our organization started when we realized that it was in fact possible to ensure universal access to civil representation for everyone. For years, we had watched existing legal aid nonprofits turn away more people than they helped. We had seen the government grossly underfund legal aid and attach ever-more restrictions on who could be helped. We had witnessed the private sector invest atrociously little of its accumulated wealth into legal aid. The result of this is predictable: legal aid has become the least resourced social need in the United States. Most low and moderate income Americans can’t get help, and as a result can’t properly enforce their rights. We realized that by combining program innovations, new strategies for generating earned income, and a focus on fundraising from the general public we could create a system that solved this massive problem and guaranteed access to legal representation for everyone in a community, on every issue. We decided to prototype this system in Bayview/Hunters Point because it was the only high-need neighborhood of San Francisco without a legal aid office in the neighborhood. In late 2012 we raised about $8,000 in seed funding from some generous private donors and decided to put our theories to the test. We opened our doors on January 7th, 2013. In our first year our core staff worked tirelessly on minimum wage to deliver services to dozens of clients. The heating in the office didn’t work, the furniture was rotten, and we couldn’t afford a receptionist. We had a scrounge office supplies and equipment from people we knew. But we proved that our model could work. We never turned away someone for services who lived in the local community, and by rigorously tracking our outcomes we were able to get more and more support from people that hadn’t funded legal aid before. We tripled our budget between our first and second year, and tripled it again in our third year. We’ve come a long way since the days when we had to hand shred everything because we couldn’t afford a shredder. We’re excited by what the future can bring and look forward to growing our model out to encompass more and more people.

We started with nothing but a dream. No money, no experience, and no connections. We’ve been able to triple our operating budget every year thanks to the power of one very simple idea: that everyone should have access to the law.

Financial Supporters

Major support from Google.org
Van Loben Sels/RembeRock Foundation
Reality Church San Francisco
City Church San Francisco
The Veen Firm, P.C.
Boston Private Bank and Trust
Dayspring Technologies
Chavez & Gertler, LLP
Metropolitan Capital
Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe, LLP
Shartsis Friese, LLP
First National Bank of Northern California
Law Offices of Ruben Guerra, PC
Ad Astra Law Group, LLP
Littler Mendelson
Hirschfeld Kraemer, LLP
Chao Law, LLP

Community Supporters

The Salvation Army - office space
Stripe
Dropbox
Google for Nonprofits
Salesforce.org
Ebsta
Bayview Footprints
Quesada Gardens Initiative
Ichi Ni Bar
All Good Pizza
Radio Africa
Broken Seal
SF Candy Bar
Big City Design & Print
Signs.com
Rickshaw Bagworks
Flora Grubb Gardens
Dogpatch Wineworks
53B
Credo Restaurant
Laughing Monk Brewery

More About Us

We’re proud to be supported by hundreds of individuals, companies, law firms, and foundations who believe in our dream of universal access to civil representation.

We’re Innovative

We were named by Google as one of the 10 most innovative nonprofits in the Bay Area, in 2015.

We Believe in Partnership

We think the only way to truly transform individual lives is through a constellation of professional high-touch services.

We Love Data

We test our work through systematic data collection and analysis.

We’re Growing

We’ve been able to triple our operational budget every year, year after year, since 2013.

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