Staff Reps Election 2017

Kentucky Equal Justice Center seeks a legal services Attorney, Paralegal and Support Staff Representative to our Board to help oversee our operation and development as a civil legal advocacy center for low-income Kentuckians.

Who may vote: Staff Reps are elected by their fellow employees of Kentucky's Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal services programs to represent them for two-year terms on the Board. All employees except program directors may vote for all Staff Rep positions.

Deadline for voting: We will post an electronic ballot on the statewide Kentucky Legal Services listserv no later than Wednesday, November 15, 2015. The deadline for voting is Thursday, November 30 at 6:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. CT.

Nominees: Nominees who wish to run are listed below in alphabetical order by position and last name. Several candidates have chosen to provide additional info, which appears below the nominee list.

Attorney Candidates

Laurel King-Davis, Kentucky Legal Aid (Hopkinsville)
Spencer Mancillas, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (Lexington and Ashland)
Nick Maraman, Legal Aid Society (Louisville
Cynthia Millay, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (Covington)

Paralegal Candidates

Bobbi Bragg, Kentucky Legal Aid (Bowling Green)
Vivian Gordon, AppalReD Legal Aid (Prestonsburg)
Angela Zeek, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (Lexington)

Support Staff Candidates

Brenda Combs, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

Candidate Information

Several candidates submitted supporting information in response to a questionnaire. They are listed in alphabetical order by board position and last name.

Attorney Candidates

Laurel King-Davis

Program: Kentucky Legal Aid
Office: Hopkinsville
Job title: Attorney in charge of satellite office
How long have you been at your program? 17 years

Job responsibilities: Manage Hopkinsville office, handle all cases in tri-county area and all community outreach, liaison with local community and Ft. Campbell military base, local United Way Legal Aid representative.

Past or other current relevant experience: 10 years plus Fortune 500 senior in house counsel, 5 plus years private practice, Federal District Court/6th Circuit Appellate experience, constitutional law issue litigation experience, MA degree and JD, adjunct community college staff, grant writing and management experience, non-profit management and mediator training.

Candidate’s statement: I believe that my 30 plus year background in a broad range of legal profession areas would be of significant benefit to the Board. I have successfully pursued constitutional Section 1983 litigation, as well as District and 6th Circuit complex Hague litigation. Coupled with non-profit operation training, grant management and community relations experience, this background provides important tools for successful Board membership. In addition, my MA decree focused on law and justice in society, relevant to the mission of the KEJC, and to Board member responsibilities.

Spencer Mancillas

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
Office: Lexington / Ashland
Job title: Staff Attorney
How long have you been at your program? 1 year

Job responsibilities: Poverty law practice, including family, housing, consumer, and elder law. Give presentations on various legal topics related to practice areas. Prepare pleadings, memoranda, appear in court, assist and meet with clients.

Past or other current relevant experience: Former KEJC AmeriCorps Service Member, serving at both KEJC and Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, helped run Wage Claim clinics, former DPA intern, GAL, interned for Ohio Justice & Policy Center, volunteer ESL instructor.

Candidate’s statement: The Kentucky Equal Justice Center/Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, its employees and its mission have been a consistent source of hope and inspiration, and it has remained a model of steadfastness in the face of ever-changing issues. As an Attorney Staff Representative, I would try to continue to foster those characteristics as the organization moves forward in this time of political and legal uncertainty. KEJC has served the people of Kentucky fastidiously, its work is invaluable to the lives of everyday Kentuckians. I’m not a lifelong Kentuckian, but in my short time here I have done a “deep dive” into many regions where Kentuckians need help the most. I feel I would bring a familiar face, a unique perspective, and a whole lot of passion to the KEJC board. Thank you.

Nick Maraman

Program: Legal Aid Society
Office: Louisville
Job title: Staff Attorney
How long have you been at your program? 4 years

Job responsibilities: I represent clients in bankruptcy cases and also represent taxpayers before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court through Legal Aid’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Past or other current relevant experience: Throughout law school, I worked at LABG in Covington, primarily in Intake. I also worked an internship in DC at AARP. After law school, I was hired by Legal Aid Society to do health outreach when kynect launched. I then worked as an EJW Fellow, removing legal barriers to employment.

Candidate’s statement: KEJC does exceptionally important work. Many immigrants have nowhere else to turn except the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic. KEJC’s work on health outreach is crucial given dwindling state and federal support for healthcare enrollment assistance and education. The political makeup at the state and federal levels means that more attacks will likely continue on workers and low-income families. But these political realities make KEJC’s work ever more important. I believe that my (relative) youth — and the fact that I have worked for three different legal aid organizations in several subject areas — will help me provide a new voice and different perspective on the board. I am excited for what the future holds for the organization and what we can do, together, for our low-income neighbors and friends.

Cynthia (Cindy) Millay

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
Office: Covington
Job title: Staff Attorney
How long have you been at your program? 18+ years

Job responsibilities: I primarily provide direct client representation and advice in divorce, custody, juvenile, domestic violence, interpersonal violence, housing, unemployment, and expungement cases.

Past or other current relevant experience: I served on the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission (NKCAC) Board of Directors for over 6 years. I currently serve on the Lincoln Grant Scholar House Advisory Board.

Paralegal Candidates

Bobbi Bragg

Program: Kentucky Legal Aid
Office: Bowling Green
Job Title: Paralegal
How long have you been at your program: 16 years

Job responsibilities: I case manage for three full-time attorneys and one part-time attorney.

Past or other current relevant experience:
I’ve been in the legal field for 27 years, with the past 19 years focusing on areas of family law.

Vivian Gordon

Program: AppalReD Legal Aid
Office: Prestonsburg
Job title: Intake Paralegal
How long have you been at your program? 8 years in January 2018

Job responsibilities: Screen applicants for services. Review intakes opened and closed for accuracy. Other tasks as assigned by Central Intake Attorney.

Angela Zeek

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
Office: Lexington
Job title: Paralegal/Public Benefits & Ombudsman Unit Manager
How long have you been at your program? 19 years

Job responsibilities: Coordinate and manage services provided through LABG's 3 SHIP and 2 Long Term Care Ombudsmen Programs.

Past or other current relevant experience: Throughout the 21 years that I have been employed by a legal services provider including, Northeast, Central and LABG, I have held several different positions including Administrative Assistant, Legal Secretary, LTC Ombudsman, Pro Bono Program Assistant Director and SHIP Coordinator.

Candidate’s statement: I consider the decision to have a career at legal services as one of the best that I have made in my lifetime. As a child, I did not relish the fact that I lived in poverty. However, as an adult I can see that those obstacles faced by my family created the person that I am today. It was because of the life sustaining benefits that we didn't go hungry or without medical care. Later, I was able to be the first in my family to attend and graduate from college due to financial aid. For these reasons, public benefits, in particular, is an area of extreme importance to me. My experiences growing up instilled the desire to help others and to ease the suffering caused by poverty. Every day I am reminded of our mission and strive to accomplish it. I consider myself very fortunate to work with the legal services community. Fighting for fairness, ensuring equality and giving a voice to the voiceless. That is truly super hero work. I'm proud to say that I get to play a part, albeit small, in making a difference in the lives of others.

Support Staff Candidate

Brenda L. Combs

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
Office: Morehead
Job title: Business Director
How long have you been at your program? 27 years

Job responsibilities: Oversee and perform Human Resources, financial and administrative grants functions.

Candidate’s statement: An MBA with 27 years’ experience in non-profit management, grants and financial administration, I enjoy my work life every day. I am always looking for new ways of handling old duties to increase our efficiency. I believe in our mission and am honored every day to support our advocates in serving clients. Teamwork divides the task and multiplies success. For the past two years, I have served as the legal services programs’ Staff Representative to the KEJC board and am currently a member of the Investment Committee. In serving, my goal has been to promote good board policy to ensure that KEJC can fulfil its mission of promoting equal justice by advocating for those in poverty while working together with our four legal services programs. In working together, I believe we can ensure fairness, protect families and change lives.