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Welcome Our New Staff!

In the past few months we have been joined by a number of fantastic new staff members! Meet the staff who have started with us since July:

Emily Smith (she/her) – Attorney, Economic Justice Program

Emily joined LAJC in June 2022. Prior to working at LAJC, she worked for the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia for three years. There, she represented low income clients in a variety of areas, including housing, family, and consumer matters. She was named the Newport News Human Rights Commission Citizen on the Year in 2019 for her work related to eviction defense. She attended William and Mary Law School.

Kateland Woodcock – Attorney, Economic Justice Program

Kateland joined the Richmond office of the Legal Aid Justice Center in the summer of 2022.  Previously, Kateland worked with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society in the Tri-Cities for three years as an Equal Justice Works Fellow then Staff Attorney.  Her dedication to housing work was recognized in 2021 when the Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness invited her to their Board of Directors. Kateland is a native of Chesterfield, VA. She earned her B.A. in Philosophy and B.S. in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University and her J.D. from the University of Richmond.

Fallon Speaker – Legal Director, Youth Justice Program

Prior to joining LAJC as Legal Director of our Youth Justice Program, Fallon served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of The Jeanette Lipman Family Law Clinic at The University of Richmond School of Law where she taught students in a holistic legal clinic dedicated to working with communities affected by domestic relations, child welfare and dependency proceedings and intersectional areas of the law such as substance use, mental health, housing, immigration and social services.  

Before moving to Richmond, Fallon served as a Staff Attorney and Team Leader in the Family Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders where she represented parents in child protective proceedings who were accused of abuse or neglect. During her time in that role, Fallon became very active in policy, lobbying, community organizing, and movement lawyering.  

Fallon also served as an Adjunct Professor at Cardozo School of Law and Director of the Mainzer Family Defense Clinic, where she taught and supervised students in child protective hearings. Fallon received her undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

John Cano (he/him) – Senior Supervising Organizer

John Cano is a Ferrum College graduate, holding a BA in Political Science and Spanish, who joined LAJC in August 2022. John has over 6 years of experience organizing in immigrant, linguistic and workers’ rights. Including coordinating statewide and local response to driver privilege cards, eliminating 287(G) in Prince William County and working alongside impacted members to analyze the impact of wage theft in Northern Virginia. During his free time John enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and their puppy alongside playing soccer, basketball, tennis and watching his favorite sports teams Manchester City, Barcelona and the Cowboys.

Caro Campos (she/her) – Client Advocate

Caro is an organizer, artist, and researcher who joined LAJC in August 2022. As the Charlottesville Client Advocate, she serves as a connective tissue between departments and works to bolster the support clients receive on a holistic level. Caro is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she studied Political & Social Thought with a minor in Urban & Environmental Planning. As a student, she organized with undocUVA, where she was part of campaigns that expanded access to enrollment at UVA, in-state tuition, and state financial aid for undocumented students. She wrote her thesis on the forced sterilizations and medical abuse in the Irwin County Detention Center to discuss larger questions about citizenship, justice, and historical contextualization. At LAJC, she is dedicated to participating in capacity building and ensuring our work is done with integrity and follow through.

Kim Tolliver (she/her) – Office Manager and Paralegal

Kim joined LAJC in August 2022 as the Office Manager and Paralegal for the Charlottesville office. She is a lifetime resident of the Charlottesville area & has a passion for the community. She brings with her over 20 years of management experience in the customer service areas of both retail & finance. Other work includes volunteer activism to reduce gun violence in our country by way of community connections & legislation. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, hiking, and going to the beach. Kim is dedicated to supporting the mission of LAJC to bring justice for ALL!

Emily Croston (she/her) – Fellow, Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program

Emily Croston is a Kennedy Fellow working for the Civil Rights and Racial Justice Program. She is one of four children and originally from Richmond, Virginia. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from James Madison University where she also studied economics and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She then attended the University of Virginia School of Law where she participated in the Civil Rights Clinic, working primarily on police accountability and the Scott v. Clarke case. She now lives in Arlington, Virginia with her boyfriend, her small, bouncy dog, and way too many plants.

Majesta-Dore Legnini (she/her) – Equal Justice Works Fellow

Majesta-Doré joined LAJC in 2022 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Economic Justice Program, focusing on health justice in Richmond and Petersburg. She works in a Medical-Legal Partnership in the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Emergency Department, as well as other health justice projects in the community. She received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Health and Exercise Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her law degree from William & Mary Law School, where she received the National Association of Women Lawyers Award.

Emily Lopynski (she/her) – Attorney, Immigrant Justice Program

Emily joined the Immigrant Justice Program in Fall 2022. Before joining the LAJC team, Emily clerked for the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Arlington Circuit Court. In law school, Emily was heavily involved in pro bono case work and immigrant’s rights initiatives.  Emily was recognized with the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award in 2020. She was also awarded the Nina R. Kestin Service Award in 2020.  Emily is the author of “Restorative Lawyering: A Toolbox That Will Change the Profession” (University of Richmond Law Review, Online, January 2021) and coauthor of  “Reckoning with Structural Racism: A Restorative Jurisprudence of Equal Protection” (Richmond Public Interest Law Review, Symposium Edition 2020).  Before law school, Emily established a DOJ-recognized immigration legal assistance program at a nonprofit in El Paso, Texas.  Emily is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the University of Richmond School of Law.  

Zainab Mohsini (she/her) – Technology Support Specialist

Zainab Mohsini has most recently worked as a Legal Coordinator at an abortion access organization and as an IT Help Desk Technician at as a government contractor. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and from Georgetown University with a Certificate in Cybersecurity in 2021. She currently holds the COMPTIA Security+ certification. Zainab has held a variety of jobs throughout her life, ranging from being a server, retail employee, AmeriCorps service member, political canvasser, and Dari interpreter. Throughout all her employment experiences and volunteer work, Zainab has strived to advocate for social justice and center marginalized voices. She is excited about being at LAJC, where she can bring together her passions for equitable technological access and legal justice.

Leidiana Delgado (she/her) – Client Advocate

Leidiana joined LAJC as the Client Advocate for the Richmond Team during October 2022. She interned in the Fairfax County Court under the department of Juvenile and Domestic Services where she provided English to Spanish translation. Leidiana is passionate about working with grassroot movements and local nonprofits. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and two minors in Communication and Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution from Mary Baldwin University. Leidiana is currently working towards a Master’s in Political Management from The George Washington University.

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