Our Directors

Lisa Cisneros, LGBT Program Director

Lisa Cisneros

LGBT Program Director

This month Lisa Cisneros rejoined CRLA as the LGBT Program Director. She will be based in Watsonville, California, overseeing a statewide program that increases access to justice and supports civic engagement opportunities on behalf of rural, low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Lisa has been practicing law for seven years. She received her J.D. from the University of CA, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2007. After graduation, Lisa led the launch of CRLA’s LGBT program when it began as a fellowship project with assistance from the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Pride Law Fund. She worked tirelessly to provide in-house trainings and assist CRLA attorneys and staff in increasing the provision of legal services and advocacy on behalf of LGBT people and their families. Lisa grew the program for three years, until 2010, when she transitioned to a position as a judicial law clerk in the Northern District of California, and later became an associate at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP– one of the nation’s premier plaintiff side law firms.

Lisa’s past accomplishments include representing employees and injured consumers in large scale class actions and mass tort litigation, and representing civil and constitutional law professors as part of an amicus brief filed in connection with Hollingsworth v. Perry, (the Proposition 8 case), as it was appealed before the Supreme Court. In 2010, Lisa published “Recognizing and Responding to the Needs of Low-Income Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clients,” in the Clearinghouse Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. She has also received the Chicana Latina Foundation's Emerging Leader award in recognition of her advocacy efforts.

“Since I left CRLA in the summer of 2010, the legal landscape for LGBT civil and human rights has improved tremendously. From a cultural perspective, we are also gaining greater understanding and acceptance from people from all walks of life, regardless of politics and religion. With that, LGBT people, even in the small cities and towns in the Central Valley, the Central Coast, and in Coachella and Imperial Valleys, more than ever have high hopes, dreams, and even an expectation, that we will be treated with respect and as equals in all aspects of life. Dan Torres and CRLA attorneys and staffers have done an incredible job in the last four years continuing the organization’s position as a leading voice on LGBT issues in rural communities. They have provided, in many instances, life-changing legal assistance to people who have suffered egregious discrimination. I could not resist the opportunity to return help with this effort.”



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