WLAC had a terrific turnout and a fantastic time at Laurel Bookstore in downtown Oakland giving out scholarships to deserving law students on May 16, 2018. WLAC established the Margaret A. Gannon legal education stipend fund to provide financial assistance to help offset some of the costs of a bar review course for law students and graduates who are preparing to take the July 2018 California Bar Exam. The stipends are funded by the generosity of WLAC members and the attendees of the annual Judges’ dinner so please come on October 4, 2018, to help support our next set of stipend recipients.

Historically, WLAC has been able to give $500 to their scholarship recipients, however, we’re pleased to announce that this year we were able to increase that amount to $1,000, thank you to the generosity of our 2017 Judge’s dinner attendees.

We had fantastic applicants that turned in their resume and a one-page personal statement  describing their professional goals, and particularly their involvement with civic and community activities — among great writing ability and good grades we were looking for applicants that demonstrated a commitment to advancing women’s causes and demonstrated a connection to Alameda County.

It was a difficult choice but this year the board decided that to award Four $1000 Stipends to the following women. Each of these women will graduate law school this month—May 2018. Below is information as to which law school they will graduate from, their professional goal and a little something about their background:

Faride Perez-Aucar

-University of San Francisco

-She is the first in her family to attend college and she is of Guatemalan, Lebanese, and Jamaican heritage. She learned at a young age that she needed to be an advocate for her immigrant family as they struggled to find stable work, deal with unstable housing situations, and work through language barriers.

-During law school she has helped organize panels on reproductive justice and worked as a legal extern representing low income workers with wage and hour disputes before the California Labor Commission. She also worked as an employment law clerk at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

-Her dream job is to write legislation that will resolve the biggest needs of the community in particular issues related to poverty and racism.

Alexis Debose

-Golden Gate University

-She is an active member of WLAC and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom –the oldest and largest bar association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex attorneys and legal professionals in the United States.

-She has served as a law student representative for the Labor and Employment  Law Association (LELA) and Pride Law

– She currently works for Levy, Vinick, Burrel, & Hyams-an employment law firm right here in Oakland as a law clerk

– Her dream job would be to work as in-house counsel for a professional women’s sport team or league –and she is continuously working toward that goal so she can work in obtaining equality for professional women’s sports in society.

Lisa Pinelli

-University of San Francisco

-Before law school she worked at Yolo County Superior Court and during law school she worked at  Bay View Hunters Point Community Legal helping low income and disadvantaged people with their legal problems.

-She also worked at the SF DA’s Office as well as most recently at the Family Violence Law Center in Oakland where she assisted domestic violence survivors file requests to obtain restraining orders

-In her future legal career she plans to help lower the high domestic violence statistics involving women and the crimes women currently face.

Mia Akers

University of California Berkeley

-she is a law clerk at East Bay Community Law Center: Education Advocacy Clinic

-she is a member of Berkeley Law’s Foster Education Project, where she represented Alameda County foster youth in all of his educational proceedings–and her help helped secure his graduation this May.

-She is a member of Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California.

-She will be working at Morrison Foerster after law school–where she is excited to carry her identity as a black woman into Big Law, which is predominantly white and male–she intends to create paths for women of color when she one day hopes to become a law firm partner.