Public Law Center is a dedicated team of legal professionals that has provided pro-bono legal services to low-income residents of Orange County since 1981, providing legal assistance and coordinating the pro-bono services of over 1,500 attorneys throughout Orange County.

Attorneys

Kenneth W. Babcock, Of Counsel

Kenneth W. Babcock

In his 22 years as head of the Public Law Center, Ken has significantly expanded PLC to provide pro bono legal assistance to more Orange County low-income residents. Ken is responsible for PLC’s overall leadership, direction and financial health. In addition to his role with PLC, Ken is heavily involved in bench and bar activities. As a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice from 2006 to 2012, he served as vice-chair of the Commission (2009-11) and co-chair of the Commission’s Funding Committee (2007-12).

Ken has received numerous awards for his work, including the Dorsey Award from the American Bar Association’s Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division (2010); Attorney of the Year Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (2009), and the Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award from the Judicial Council of California (2008). In 2003 and again in 2008, he was named by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California.

Prior to joining PLC in September 2000, Ken was the Director of Litigation & Advocacy at Public Counsel in Los Angeles and the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Consumer Law Project. Before joining Public Counsel, he was a litigator in a large law firm and then a small law firm. Ken is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of California, Davis School of Law.

 Jean Bak, Staff Attorney

Jean Bak

Practice Area: Health Law Unit

Jean is a staff attorney in Public Law Center’s Health Law Unit. As part of the Health Law Unit, Jean assists clients in a variety of health-related matters and provides support to PLC’s multiple medical-legal partnerships. Prior to joining PLC, Jean worked at private law firms, primarily focused on insurance coverage and medical malpractice. Jean earned her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School and B.A. from Binghamton University.

Jonathan D. Bremen, Staff Attorney

Jonathan Bremen

Practice Area: Impact Litigation

Kevin Camino, Staff Attorney

Kevin Camino

Practice Area: Family Law Unit

Kevin is a staff attorney in the Family Law Unit. Kevin works both within the office, as well as at several pro-bono clinics across Orange County to provide advice and representation to clients with a variety of Family Law Issues. His diverse career spans a number of fields including family law, personal injury, and criminal defense. During law school, Kevin worked with the Spokane County Public Defender to represent at-risk children in juvenile court. Kevin earned his degree in psychology at Colorado State University, and his J.D. at Gonzaga University School of Law.

Morgan Cienfuegos Padgett, Staff Attorney

Morgan Padgett

Practice Area: Consumer Law Unit

Morgan is a staff attorney in the Consumer Law Unit, where she works closely with older adults who have faced hardships such as financial abuse and home equity scams. Additionally, she focuses on consumer cases including identify theft, student loans, bankruptcy and debt collection defense. She also supports the Consumer Law Unit’s Federal Pro Se Clinic and the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Clinic. Morgan earned her J.D. from Western State College of Law and her B.A. in English Literature from Cal State Long Beach.

Sarah Efthymiou, Directing Attorney

Sarah Efthymiou

Practice Area: Community Organizations Legal Assistance Project (COLAP)

Sarah provides pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations and groups that want to form new charitable organizations. She helps build the capacity of organizations that serve PLC’s clients and Orange County’s low-income and underrepresented communities in general. Additionally, she teaches seminars on how to start a nonprofit organization and collaborates with community nonprofit technical assistance providers to hold a number of other legal education seminars. Sarah is a graduate of University of Redlands and Syracuse University College of Law. Prior to joining PLC, she was in private practice, with a focus on business and corporate law.

Monica Eav Glicken, Executive Director and General Counsel

Monica Glicken

Monica Eav Glicken is the Executive Director and General Counsel of PLC. Monica served as the Directing Attorney of PLC’s Immigration Unit from 2018 to 2022 and is a State Bar-certified Immigration Law expert. After graduating magna cum laude in Literature from Harvard University, Monica served as a Fulbright Fellow in the Philippines and a Corps Member and Service Team Leader with City Year Greater Philadelphia, an non-profit organization focused on youth education and development. Monica then graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Monica began her career in Immigration Law as an Attorney Advisor at the Immigration Court in Chicago, Illinois. A decade-long tenure in private practice followed in both Chicago and Seal Beach, California. Prior to joining PLC, Monica served as a Counseling Attorney and Adjunct Lecturer in UC Irvine School of Law’s Immigration Rights Clinic. As the child of immigrants from Cambodia and the Philippines, Monica is a long-time advocate for those who must fight to be heard, working tirelessly to promote greater access to justice and community empowerment, particularly for the most vulnerable.

 Suzanne Iazzetta, Supervising Attorney

Suzanne Iazzetta

Practice Area: Consumer Law Unit

Suzanne Iazzetta is the Supervising Attorney for the Consumer Law Unit. Suzanne comes to Public Law Center from the east coast, where she has been practicing since 2005. Suzanne is licensed to practice law in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, and California, and previously clerked for Judge Katharine S. Hayden of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. Suzanne practiced civil litigation and bankruptcy at Lowenstein Sandler PC in New Jersey for many years. While at Lowenstein Sandler, Suzanne was granted a fellowship to work at Legal Services of New Jersey at the Newark, NJ office. While at LSNJ, Suzanne worked in the housing unit, assisting low-income clients obtain section 8 vouchers and defending voucher holders against HUD’s attempts to terminate the vouchers. Suzanne continued that pro bono work when she returned to Lowenstein, and was given a pro-bono attorney award every year that she remained at Lowenstein Sandler. She continually volunteered her services to assist people who needed legal help but could not afford traditional legal help.

Some of the areas of law that Suzanne has worked on in her career are consumer law, bankruptcy (business and personal), housing/eviction matters, foreclosure defense, and FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, and UDAAP claims, and debt collection defense. Suzanne also spent time as a staff attorney for a chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in New Jersey, and has had her own solo practice for the last ten years.

Working as a supervising attorney at Public Law Center represents a life-long dream for Suzanne, as it was always her intention to provide legal services for people in need and to lead a staff of like-minded people who are dedicated to making the world a better place, one act of kindness at a time.

Tuzuk Koul, Staff Attorney

Tuzuk Koul

Practice Area: Consumer Law Unit

Tuzuk serves as a Staff Attorney in the Consumer Law Unit with Public Law Center. While a student at the University of Virginia School of Law, she was selected as an Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Technology. Furthermore, her passionate advocacy in environmental justice and animal ethics has led her to work as a Litigation Fellow with the Humane Society of the United States, in the Washington, D.C. office. Tuzuk holds a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara, where she graduated with Highest Honors as an Arnhold Research Fellow.

Michelle Larios, Staff Attorney

Larios, Michelle

Practice Area: Health Law Unit

Michelle is the staff attorney for the Health Law Unit focusing on its Dulce project. In partnership with local hospitals, the Dulce project assists low-income families of children under six months on various legal issues, such as immigration and family law. Prior to joining PLC, Michelle worked at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), overseeing their Self-Help Legal Access Center, which assists self-represented litigants in various civil matters. In law school, Michelle law clerked at LAFLA and the Orange County Public Defender. Michelle received her Bachelor’s in History from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and her law degree from Western State College of Law.

María Mañón Winger, Staff Attorney

María Mañón Winger

Practice Area: Immigration Unit

María Mañón Winger is a staff attorney in the immigration unit. Maria is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and a fierce advocate for all causes and people dear to her heart. Prior to joining PLC, Maria was an AP Government and US History charter high school teacher in Santa Ana, California and former KIPP Teacher and Teach For America corps member. Maria has three years of immigration law experience working at a private law firm in Washington, D.C. She graduated from American University, Washington College of Law and speaks Spanish fluently.

Angela Mestre, Pro Bono Coordinator

Angela is the Pro Bono Coordinator at the Public Law Center. Through volunteer recruitment and management, she inspires volunteers to help our clients find access to justice.

Angela received her B.A. in Psychology from Chapman University, and her J.D. from Whittier Law School, which is where her public service interest began. While in law school, she helped to found the Children’s Rights Clinic at Whittier Law School, worked as a law clerk here at the Public Law Center, and volunteered at the Share Our Selves legal clinic to provide legal assistance to indigent residents of Orange County. After law school, Angela worked as a criminal defense attorney and appellate attorney, where the appellate cases taken were from California Appellate Project who assisted in finding attorneys for those that could not afford one. She later headed the bankruptcy department at a Bankruptcy and Consumer Rights law firm, before starting her own Bankruptcy practice. Aside from working as an attorney, Angela has also taught various law courses as both a paralegal instructor and law school professor. Angela has always made it a point to volunteer throughout her legal career, including assisting the Public Law Center’s Bankruptcy and Guardianship clinics as a volunteer attorney, and accepting pro bono Bankruptcy cases from both the Public Law Center and the Veteran’s Legal Institute.

Alexis Mondares, Staff Attorney

Alexis Mondares

Practice Area: Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit

Alexis is a Staff Attorney in the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit and works on the Housing Element compliance of Orange County cities to encourage the construction of affordable housing. She received a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and a law degree from the UC Irvine School of Law. During law school, Alexis worked with PLC on community land trusts and Housing Element research.

Adam Morton, Staff Attorney

Adam Morton

Practice Area: Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit

Adam is a Registered Legal Aid Attorney with the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit at PLC. Before joining PLC, Adam worked as a staff attorney with Lakeshore Legal Aid in Michigan representing tenants facing eviction. Adam was also the head of Lakeshore’s Housing Workgroup, where he began organizing public outreach efforts to tenants in Detroit. Adam earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Wayne State Law School in Detroit, Michigan.

Trang P. Nguyen, Staff Attorney

Trang Nguyen

Practice Area: Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit

Trang is a Staff Attorney in the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit and works on the Mobilehome Advocacy Team to handle a diverse caseload on behalf of mobilehome owners, including unlawful detainer, harassment, fair housing, and disability rights. She received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in English Literature and a law degree from Trinity Law School. During law school, Trang worked at the Trinity Law School Bankruptcy Clinic to assist Village of Hope (Tustin, CA) residents with their Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings while serving as Treasurer for Trinity Law School’s International Law Society. While in law school, she also interned for an NGO in Cambodia, researching food safety regulations – including the availability and affordability of safe food, agricultural products, and drinking water for the local people – and presenting her findings and suggested solutions to the NGO’s director and staff.

Ayami Nieves, Senior Staff Attorney

Ayami Nieves

Practice Area: Family Law Unit

Ayami works in the PLC’s Family Law Unit. A large part of her work is devoted to four legal clinics: Domestic Violence Assistance Program (DVAP), Guardianship, La Habra’s Family Resource Center, and the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living. During law school, Ayami worked in Whittier Law School’s Children’s Rights Clinic, gaining experience on guardianships, limited conservatorships, and immigration cases. After law school, Ayami was a volunteer and fellow with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. A Santa Ana native, Ayami received her JD degree in from Whittier Law School and a BA from the UC San Diego.

Precious Odum, Co-Supervising Attorney

Precious Odum

Practice Area: Immigration Unit

Precious is a Co-Supervising Attorney in the Immigration Unit where she works with human trafficking victims in providing them immigration relief. During law school, Precious interned with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast) and the Human Trafficking Unit at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. In addition, she volunteered in the Street Law Clinic where she provided “Know Your Rights” classes to troubled youth in the Los Angeles Community. Precious earned her B.A. from UC Riverside and J.D. from Southwestern Law School.

Iraida L. Oliva, Senior Staff Attorney

Iraida L. Oliva

Practice Area:  Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit

Iraida is a Staff Attorney for the Housing and Homelessness Prevention Unit at Public Law Center where she represents tenants in housing-related matters and administrative hearings.

Before joining Public Law Center, Iraida practiced family law for 15 years in the County of Orange and surrounding counties. Iraida attended the University of California, Irvine and earned a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Spanish Literature. She graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law. While in law school, she interned at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, the Federal Defenders of San Diego and was part of the first class to participate in the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project in Jackson, Mississippi.

During her professional career, she has represented members of the low-income and Spanish speaking community. She is a current member of the OC Hispanic Bar Association and is bilingual.

Evan Phoenix, Staff Attorney

Evan Phoenix

Practice Area: Tax Law

Evan Phoenix is a Staff Attorney and Director of the Federal Tax Clinic at Public Law Center (PLC). Prior to joining PLC, Evan directed his project as the ABA Section of Taxation’s 2019-2021 Brunswick Public Service Tax Fellow at Bet Tzedek Legal Services in Los Angeles. Evan’s project entailed providing tax law education; advocacy regarding systemic tax issues; and direct representation of low and moderate-income taxpayers in administrative cases before the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board, as well as federal litigation before the United States Tax Court. The project focused on expanding the Tax Clinic to include military taxpayers and reduce barriers for Limited English Proficiency taxpayers. Also, Evan served as the Manager of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program with Koreatown Youth & Community Center (KYCC), training and supervising 250 IRS-certified volunteers. He returned to KYCC after completing his fellowship at Bet Tzedek to serve as the Interim Managing Attorney of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. Evan earned his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Saint Thomas University College of Law, and his LL.M. in Taxation degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Josie Roberto, Co-Supervising Attorney

Josie Roberto

Practice Area: Immigration Unit

Josie leads the Immigration Unit where she assists low-income immigrants in filing for various forms of immigration relief, with a focus on assisting victims of domestic violence, serious crimes and human trafficking, unaccompanied minors, and immigrants who wish to apply for citizenship. Prior to joining PLC as a Staff Attorney, Josie practiced Elder Abuse litigation. During law school, Josie interned at PLC, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Law Firm of Higbee & Associates. Josie was also a clinical student at the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic for two years. Josie earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School and her B.A. from Cal State Fullerton.

 Allyssa M.G. Scheyer, Staff Attorney

Allyssa Scheyer

Practice Area: Immigration Unit

Allyssa Scheyer works in the Immigration Unit and is committed to serving the needs, and protecting the rights, of immigrant populations, who are often underrepresented politically. In law school, Allyssa worked at Loyola Law School’s Immigrant Justice Clinic and ran University of California Irvine, School of Law’s Clean Slate Expungement Clinic at Community Legal Aid of SoCal in Santa Ana, CA. In her last year of law school, Allyssa participated in UCI’s Appellate Litigation Clinic, where she successfully argued an immigration appeals case in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, CA. Prior to working at PLC, Allyssa worked at Immigrant Defenders Law Center, where she represented immigrant youth under the age of 21 in removal proceedings.

Violeta S. Schultz, Staff Attorney

Violeta Schultz

Practice Area: Community Organizations Legal Assistance Project

Violeta Schultz is a Staff Attorney for the Community Organizations Legal Assistance Project. She received her law degree from the University of Guadalajara, and International Business and Economics Law master’s degree (LLM) from the University of Southern California (USC). At USC she was the LLM representative for the Women’s Law Association, member of the Business Society and to the Latinx Chicanx Center for Advocacy and Student Affairs (La CASA). She also founded the USC International Professionals and LLMs Association.

Before joining Public Law Center, Violeta worked at the Orange County Superior Court’s Self-Help Center for over eight years. During her time in the Court, Violeta’s professional Spanish quickly earned her a critical role with the monolingual Spanish speaking community. After her time in the Court, Violeta was a trial attorney for two years in the private sector. She believes that everyone deserves equal access to knowledge and justice regardless of their language, race, and economic means.

The second oldest sibling of six, her favorite pastime is traveling to Guadalajara and spending time with her family. She also enjoys doing yoga and hiking.

Manohar Sukumar, Supervising Attorney

Manohar Sukumar

Practice Area: Health Law Unit

Manohar is the Supervising Attorney for the Health Unit at PLC. Before PLC, he worked more than four years as a Staff Attorney at the Health Consumer Action Center of Legal Aid Society of Orange County. There, Manohar worked on a Blue Shield Foundation grant project to make policy recommendations to the Orange County Health Care Agency regarding the Low Income Health Project (Medical Services Initiative). He also conducted outreach to educate community stakeholders about the Affordable Care Act. At PLC, Manohar continues to do consumer advocacy on health care benefits eligibility and service-related issues for indigent clients, and also works extensively with AIDS patients and with medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) through various hospitals. He holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA, a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from Cal State Long Beach, and a law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School.

Diamond B. Tran, Staff Attorney

Diamond B. Tran

Practice Area: Family Law Unit

Diamond Tran works in PLC’s Family Law unit.  She staffs the De Facto Parent Pro Bono Program at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. Diamond returned to PLC in 2020 to start up this new program serving foster parents, relatives, caregivers and prospective adoptive parents who seek legal assistance with a dependency case in the OC Juvenile Court.  She also works with litigants at several other PLC clinics, primarily helping victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders and assisting caregivers in guardianship proceedings.

Prior to rejoining PLC, Diamond’s practice also focused on matters directly affecting children, such as guardianships and limited conservatorships. She previously served as PLC’s Interim Pro Bono Director and COLAP Lead Attorney, and held staff attorney positions at Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County; Legal Advocates for Children & Youth (LACY); and the San Jose City Attorney’s Office.  Diamond was an Adjunct Professor at the UC Irvine School of Law and an Instructor for Cal State Fullerton’s Nonprofit Management program.  She also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children and as Vice President of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California.  Diamond earned her degrees from UC Berkeley (1996) and UC Hastings College of the Law (1999).

Lydia Tse, Staff Attorney

Lydia Tse

Practice Area: Consumer Law Unit

Lydia is a Staff Attorney in the Consumer Law Unit where she focuses on debt collection defense, bankruptcy, and other consumer law related matters. She also staffs the Federal Pro Se and Bankruptcy self-help clinics where those without an attorney can seek legal assistance. Prior to joining the Public Law Center, Lydia was a dedicated volunteer at the Bankruptcy clinic and was awarded the William J. Lasarow Award. Before her career change to the legal field, Lydia was a software engineer. Lydia earned her B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her J.D. from Chapman University School of Law.

Ryan Ueda, Supervising Attorney

Ueda, Ryan

Practice Area: Operation Veterans Re-Entry

Ryan is a supervising attorney assisting veterans with civil legal issues in the Veterans Unit. During law school, Ryan volunteered with PLC in the Bankruptcy Clinic. Prior to joining PLC, Ryan worked as a Civil Rights Fellow in the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Ryan has undergraduate degrees from the UC Irvine and Cal State LA, and is a graduate of the UC Irvine School of Law.

Gina Verraster, Staff Attorney

Verraster, Gina

Practice Area: Operation Veterans Re-Entry

Gina is a Staff Attorney for Operation Veterans Re-Entry at Public Law Center where she assists veterans with civil legal issues. During law school, Gina interned at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (now Giffords Law Center) and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee with the office of Senator Feinstein. Prior to joining Public Law Center, Gina practiced employment law representing teachers. Gina received a B.A. from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law.

Richard Walker, Supervising Attorney

Walker,Richard

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