About Us

About Us

The Oakland Law Collaborative is a group of attorneys, organizers and legal workers supporting each other and sharing resources in doing social justice legal work.

Our work is focused on the defense of civil and human rights, with the intention of supporting transformative social movements in Oakland and the greater Bay Area.

While we are seven separate, small law firms, we join forces to bring challenges to State power and other forms of repression, on an individual, systemic, and community level.

Our practice areas include Workers’ Rights and Employment Litigation;  Police Misconduct and Civil Rights;  Deportation Defense and Immigration, including asylum, U-Visas, deferred action and family petitions;  Criminal Defense including post-conviction relief;  Personal Injury including bike and car accidents;  Community Business Transactions for cooperatives and other small businesses;  Housing Rights including affirmative tenants’ rights litigation on housing conditions and discrimination;  Estate Planning and Estate Administration;  Family Law, including LGBTQIA and other traditional and nontraditional families;  and Bankruptcy.

We seek to provide compassionate and relevant legal representation to members of marginalized community groups, including undocumented residents of Oakland, low-income workers, people in detention and custody, and survivors of State violence.

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Background

Oakland has a long history of social, economic, and racial upheaval and organizing. In the past 15 years, Oakland and the world have been shaken by grassroots led rebellions against unjust wars, police brutality, and institutional oppression. Legal support for movements has been central to sustain and create meaningful change. Our involvement in such movements as activists, and as members of the National Lawyers Guild, is critical to our work as legal advocates.

While offering quality legal services, we aspire to create a collaborative workspace that is connected to the communities to which we belong, and supports our individual and collective development as activists and organizers working within the legal system.

In our workplace, and in our work, we want to recognize and dismantle forms of institutional and interpersonal oppression. To this end, we strive to address racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and transphobia, ableism and Islamophobia within our collaborative, as well as our broader communities, and society at large.

Aliya Karmali

Law Office of Aliya Karmali: Aliya Karmali provides thorough and compassionate immigration services to the Bay Area community, particularly those who are undocumented, low-income, or mono-lingual Spanish speakers. Her goal is to zealously defend people in deportation proceedings, affirmative relief petitions, and related appellate representation.

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Hasmik Geghamyan

Geghamyan Law Office: Hasmik Geghamyan provides quality and affordable legal assistance and advocacy in the areas of civil rights and community business transactions. She believes that a cross-functional, integrated model of policy, organizing and law can be effectively used to bring about social and economic justice.

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Gaby

The Community Law Office: Gabriela Lopez is an Oakland based immigration and criminal defense attorney who practices deportation defense for immigrants with criminal histories and criminal defense for immigrants and activists. In 2014 she founded The Community Law Office to provide low-income immigrant communities with competent legal representation and advocacy. Gabriela is being honored as the National Lawyers Guild’s 2016 Unsung Hero.

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R. Michael Flynn

Flynn Law Office: R. Michael Flynn is an attorney with many years of experience representing workers who have suffered from wage theft or other illegal employer practices, immigrants facing deportation or applying for visas, individuals harmed by police misconduct, and other people who need quality and honest legal representation.

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Rachel Lederman

Alexsis Beach and Rachel Lederman, Attorneys: Rachel and Alexsis have been fighting for the rights of low and moderate income tenants, persons whose civil rights are violated by the police, accident victims, LGBTQ families and prisoners for 29 years. Rachel’s work has changed Oakland Police practices to uphold the right to demonstrate for social change, and secured more than $7 million in compensation for demonstrators abused by OPD.

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Arabelle

Arabelle Malinis is an estate planning attorney whose practice is rooted in social and economic justice. She has years of experience in housing and consumer rights, advocating for and representing the 99%. Now she applies her wealth of experience and knowledge in providing high-quality, comprehensive estate planning services tailored to the goals and needs of her clients.

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Rob

Yanagida Law Offices: Rob Yanagida advises cooperatives, non-profits and businesses in navigating legal issues, such as in formation, business transactions, funding and self-governance. He has decades of experience in law and finance, from a tiny urban garden to a global technology behemoth. Rob now applies his skills and dedication to assist community-centered efforts to build sustainable enterprises with socially-conscious practices.

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Eduardo

Eduardo Figueroa joined the Oakland Law Collaborative as a paralegal in October of 2015. Eduardo was born and raised in East Oakland and recently graduated from CSU, Chico. While in college, Eduardo worked with inmates at the Butte County Jail and was Co-Director at the Community Legal Information Center (CLIC)—a student-run legal clinic in Chico. Eduardo works with the Flynn Law Office, Community Law Office and Law Office of Aliya Karmali.

Elisabeth Pellegrin is an immigration attorney with extensive experience working with immigrants.  She is a Bay Area native that lived abroad for years and even went through the immigration process with her spouse.  She believes in a different world and a different way to practice law.  With these key values, she is devoted to her clients and passionate about working with them to tackle their immigration related issues.  She provides unique services to her clients with her complete oral and written fluency in Spanish, her training working with survivors of trauma, her intellectual drive, and her personal approach with clients and the law.

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