Marcela Ruiz named Deputy Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

January 09, 2013


Dolores Garay, CRLA Communications Officer


Marcela Ruiz named Deputy Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

Statewide advocate for the rights of the rural poor excited to advance the leadership of the next generation of social justice lawyers

San Francisco CA,   Jose R. Padilla, Executive  Director, California Rural Legal Assistance is pleased to  announce the appointment of Marcela Ruiz as CRLA’s new Deputy Director effective January 2, 2013.  “The Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Ms. Ruiz’s experience made her the right leader for CRLA,”  said Padilla. “She has a strong grasp of the issues facing our clients due to her years representing low-income rural residents.  Her legal acumen combined with her management skills make her the ideal deputy director for our august organization.  She is continuing the legacy of early CRLA leaders like Cruz Reynoso.

Ms. Ruiz was previously a CRLA Regional Director, overseeing the Modesto and Stockton offices. She joined CRLA in 2006 as a Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow and launched the Low-Wage Workers’ Project in CRLA’s Stockton office. Through this project, Ms. Ruiz established wage and hour clinics for low-wage workers in San Joaquin County and expanded basic services and representation of non-agricultural workers.  She became the Stockton office’s Directing Attorney in 2009.   The Stockton, California native received her law degree from Berkeley Law School and her undergraduate degree from Columbia University.

“I am honored to serve CRLA, and provide leadership to our 18 field offices.  I was born and raised in Stockton. It is where my parents live and where I have chosen to raise my children. My profound connection to this rural community makes my work at CRLA personal.   CRLA’s clients are my neighbors, my friends, and at the end of the day, my family. I have a vested interest to improve conditions for my community and to avoid the perpetuation of inequality. I am thrilled to carry out CRLA’s strategic vision for 2013 and beyond, working in concert with our amazing staff.”

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Ruiz was a union organizer with HERE, Local 6 in New York where she organized hundreds of hotel workers. Ms. Ruiz also co-founded Casa México in New York, a non-profit community center that provides services and leads advocacy efforts for undocumented Mexican workers.


California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.

Founded in 1966, CRLA’s mission is to fight for justice and individual rights alongside the most exploited communities of our society.  Through a network of regional offices and cross-cutting programs, CRLA provides legal services to over 40,000 low-income people annually.  Our work impacts farmworkers, individuals with disabilities, immigrant populations, LGBT communities, women, children and families in rural areas. For more information on CRLA, please visit:


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