Page 16 - 2017 Washington State Access to Justice Conference
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Ishbel Dickens is an independent consultant working with manufactured homeowners on a range of policy, preservation, and organizing strategies to protect this affordable home ownership option for millions of families across the country. She was the Executive Director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA) from November, 2010 until May 31, 2016. Prior to this Ishbel was a staff attorney at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle. She went to law school speci cally to become an even stronger advocate for people who own their homes but not the land under them.
Alex Doolittle became Seattle Community Law Center’s (SCLC) Executive Director in July 2009 after representing hundreds of people in Social Security matters as directing attorney at SCLC. Alex graduated from Paci c Lutheran University with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Anthropology, and from the University of North Dakota School of Law. As a law student, Alex was the Student Director of the UND Law Clinical Education Program. Alex utilizes her law degree as a tool to give a voice to individuals and entities that traditionally do not have a voice in the law. She has worked
to help clients stand-up for their rights in state and federal court as well as in administrative venues to enforce the First Amendment, the ADA, WA Growth Management Act, WA Shoreline Management Act, and the Social Security Act.
Jay Doran is the Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington (LFW). Jay oversees messaging and communications for LFW and staffs the Equal Justice Coalition, working to increase public funding for legal aid. Previously, Jay has worked in a range of roles, including positions with Friends of Youth, the Washington United for Marriage Campaign, and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Jay holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy/Administration from the University of Washington. Committed to working collaboratively to create a more just and fair society, Jay is passionate about research and writing as ways to inform organizing efforts and policy changes that help marginalized communities secure justice.
Merf Ehman recently became the Executive Director of Columbia Legal Services, serving previously as its Deputy Director. Merf has deep experience with multi-disciplinary advocacy through partnerships with local universities, government agencies and national research groups to employ-cutting edge research in the quest for social justice. As a staff attorney with CLS’s Institutions Project, Merf focused on removing barriers to housing and employment for people with criminal records so they could successfully re-enter society. Throughout her career, Merf has trained numerous lawyers, students, and other advocates on working with clients from diverse backgrounds and clients with limited capacity. Merf’s work is informed by her past experiences as a legal aid client and a person living in poverty. Merf is currently participating as a Fellow in JustLead Washington’s Leadership Academy and also served as a Fellow of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s Racial Justice Training Institute.
Krista Elliott graduated from Gonzaga University School of law in 2004. Upon graduation, she was fortunate enough to become employed as a public defender at Counsel For Defense in Spokane Washington. She has specialized in juvenile indigent defense for her entire legal career. She strives to provide respectful legal representation that fully protects their rights and gives them the opportunity to become productive citizens in our communities.
Destinee Evers is a practice management advisor with the Washington State Bar Association, providing education and outreach to legal professionals across the state to help improve the quality and delivery of their legal services. In that role, she provides education and resources on business practices, marketing, and technology. She attends Seattle University School of Law, and has collaborated with the Access to Justice Board, the King County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Services, and ATJ Tech Fellows, a national program empowering law students to use technology to reduce the access to justice gap. Find her on Twitter @DestineeEvers.
Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst became a justice on the Washington Supreme Court in 2003. She became Chief Justice in 2017. As Chief
Justice, she is the court’s chief spokesperson, presides over Supreme Court hearings and conferences, and co-chairs the State’s Board for Judicial Administration (BJA). Currently she also chairs the Judicial Information System Committee and chairs the BJA’s Public Trust and Con dence Committee. Prior to her election to the court, she worked 16 plus years as a Washington State Assistant Attorney General and 2 years as a law clerk at the Washington Supreme Court. She served as President and on the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association and President and on the state board of Washington Women Lawyers. She graduated from Gonzaga University cum laude in 1979 and from its law school magna cum laude in 1984. She is very active in improving the justice system and her community. She has received numerous awards.
Anita Garcia was recently hired as the Executive Director for Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services in Yakima, WA. Anita gained valuable experience in her prior position with the Yakima County Superior Court Clerk’s Of ce where she worked for over 16 years. Her extensive experience in volunteering in the community and the leadership skills she gained in her prior position made her the ideal candidate to continue the mission of Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services. Anita continues to work on establishing more opportunities for low income individuals to gain access to the legal system and is building relationships with agencies in the community and with attorneys who are unfamiliar with what VAS does.

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