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It's Staff Reps election time!

Kentucky Equal Justice Center seeks legal services Staff Representatives to our Board to help oversee our operation and development as a civil legal advocacy center for low-income Kentuckians. Seven nominees who chose to provide a bio and statement are listed below in alphabetical order by position and last name with the information they provided. Scroll down to see them all!

Attorney Staff Representative Candidate Andrew Chandler

Program: Legal Aid Society

Office: Downtown Louisville

Job title: Staff Attorney, Equal Justice Works Fellow

How long have you been at your program? I arrived as a student in February 2020 and began practicing as an attorney in September 2022.

Job responsibilities: I represent low-income clients in civil and administrative proceedings concerning government benefits, including Social Security disability, food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, unemployment, childcare assistance, and other forms of economic assistance to which our clients are entitled.

Past or other current relevant experience: I previously worked in the Legal Aid Society’s Domestic Relations Advocacy Program as a VOCA research fellow focused on supporting our family law services for survivors of domestic violence. During my time in law school, I practiced under a student license with the Ackerson Law Clinic, litigating DVO proceedings in Jefferson Family Court.

Candidate’s statement: Our relationship with KEJC is vital to securing basic economic relief for our clients and all low-income Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. We are stronger together, and my hope is to advance the shared interests of the folks we serve through my role as a KEJC board staff representative, especially in the area of welfare rights.

Attorney Staff Representative Candidate Kimberly Iden

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

Office: Lexington

Job title: Staff Attorney

How long have you been at your program? 12 years

Job responsibilities: My practice at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass is focused on public benefits and immigration.  I represent clients in humanitarian-based immigration cases, and in various public benefits cases including SNAP, unemployment insurance, and social security.  I speak Spanish.

Past or other current relevant experience: I joined Legal Aid of the Bluegrass after 3 years practicing immigration law with a small private firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I graduated from American University Washington College of Law.  Before law school, I worked for three years in Washington, D.C., at a non-profit providing direct immigration legal services to mainly Central American non-citizens.

Candidate’s statement: I would welcome the opportunity to support KEJC’s ongoing mission to provide legal advocacy for vulnerable and low-income members of our communities.  All of our Legal Aid programs represent and advise non-citizens, LEP individuals, victims of crime, and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking across our practice areas.  My years of experience working with these individuals could bring a helpful perspective to the Board.  I also have been a participant in and a witness to the power of collaboration across our programs and with KEJC to advocate for and protect the rights of SNAP recipients.  These experiences would inform my participation on the Board, as we continue to work alongside KEJC to provide comprehensive legal advocacy to members of our communities through direct service and other dynamic forms of advocacy.

Attorney Staff Representative Candidate Margaret Sites

Program: AppalReD Legal Aid

Office: Richmond

Job title: Staff Attorney

How long have you been at your program? 4 years and 5 months

Job responsibilities: General practice poverty law with a primary focus on housing and eviction defense. Experience with other consumer law matters and public benefits.

Past or other current relevant experience: AppalReD Legal Aid (2019-present); Movement Law Lab / Right to the City Level UP Housing Justice Fellowship (2022-23); work with Madison County Tenants Union (2020-present); University of Louisville Law School (graduated 2019).

Candidate’s statement:  I appreciate the legal expertise and kind mentorship provided by Kentucky Equal Justice Center staff and attorneys to the LSC programs, and I am particularly excited about KEJC’s work in housing and tenants’ rights, including planning taskforces, building alliances with community organizations, and pursuing litigation. I look forward to sharing what I have learned representing hundreds of tenants, winning two eviction jury trials, and doing outreach with tenant groups in Madison County, Lexington, Louisville, and Morehead. I know that KEJC relies on the front-line expertise of LSC staff and attorneys to hone its advocacy and programming and I believe I am well-suited to represent the perspective of those of us in direct services. Serving on the KEJC board would be an honor and an opportunity to contribute to the cycle of mutual support that furthers the work of all our programs.

Paralegal Staff Representative Candidate Bobbie Esters

Program: Kentucky Legal Aid

Office: Bowling Green

Job title: Benefits Counseling Director

How long have you been at your program? 23 years

Job responsibilities: I assist clients with any public benefits-related issues concerning Medicare, Medicaid, SSDI, SSI, SNAP, WIC, CCAP as well as prepare and assist advance directives.

Past or other current relevant experience: I have been the Benefits Counseling Director for the past 7 years. My previous work with KLA involved family law and domestic violence advocacy work.

Paralegal Staff Representative Candidate La-Keisha Lewis

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

Office:  Lexington

Job title: Paralegal

How long have you been at your program? 11 years

Job responsibilities:  I am a paralegal with over ten years of experience in counseling low-income and vulnerable populations. In my current role, I perform paralegal and social work duties to include working with victims of domestic violence, often through phone and in-person meetings as well as providing support to the staff attorneys.

Paralegal Staff Representative Candidate Theresa J. Thomas

Program: Legal Aid Society

Office: Louisville - Housing Unit

Job title: Paralegal

How long have you been at your program? 6 months in the Housing Unit as an employee; 3 years as a Board Member prior to joining the staff.

Job responsibilities: My responsibilities include providing legal support to 2-3 lawyers in eviction and foreclosure court, drafting court documents, maintaining regular communication with clients, conducting thorough legal research, and ensuring the integrity and effectiveness of our legal staff in the courtroom.

Past or other current relevant experience: Prior to joining the staff, I served on Legal Aid Society Board of Directors for a total of three (3) years and led as Chair of the Strategic and Planning Committee for one (1) year. Directly influenced organizational priorities, ensuring alignment with community needs. Leveraged strategic collaboration to strengthen the Society's impact, effectively addressing economic challenges of people living in poverty.

Candidate’s statement: As a candidate for the Kentucky Equal Justice Center board, I bring a proven commitment to advocating for equal justice. With a background in strategic planning and community service, I aim to contribute effectively to KEJC's mission, ensuring fair representation and support for low-income and vulnerable members of our Commonwealth.

Support Staff Representative Candidate Angela Dailey

Program: Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG)

Office: Morehead

Job title: Grants Manager

How long have you been at your program? 19 years

Job responsibilities: Managing grant and funding sources for the program, including helping prepare funding applications, reporting to funders, monitoring program activities, ensuring compliance with the rules and regulations administered by the funder, managing the program database and extracting information for grants and reporting, serve as a liaison between staff and funders, and other grant-related functions.


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