Joanna has been the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project since 2015. She attended law school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Before becoming Executive Director, she practiced as a supervising attorney in landlord and tenant disputes, consumer debt defense, foreclosure prevention, bankruptcy, unemployment insurance, and more.
April Jones graduated from Johnson & Wales in 2000 with a B.S. in Accounting. She specializes in nonprofit accounting and enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with her family. April came to VLP in 2021 as our Director of Finance and Operations.
Cindy is the Volunteer Lawyers Project Managing Director and has been with the organization since 2014. Before joining VLP, Cindy was a solo practitioner with a small private practice representing clients in family law matters, including domestic violence. Cindy enjoys mentoring and is a Family Law Steering Committee member at the Boston Bar Association.
Barbara is the Volunteer Lawyers Project Compliance and Technology Director and Senior Partners for Justice Project Manager. Barbara graduated from Brown University (B.A. 1982) and Boston College Law School (J.D. 1989). Her legal career began in 1989 with a clerkship in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and an associate position in a law firm. In 1992, she entered legal aid and had yet to look back. Before joining VLP, she served as a senior staff attorney at the Disability Law Center and as Assistant Legal Director at the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center.
Lou Aloise (He/Him/Él) graduated from Granite State College in 2022 with a B.A. in History with a concentration in Gender and Sexuality studies. He has a background in real estate operations, higher education, and supporting JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion). Lou joined VLP in April 2023 as the Administrative Assistant. He enjoys reading, spending time with his cat, and playing cornhole in his free time.
Emelia joined VLP in March of 2021. She is originally from Kansas City, MO, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Wingate University in NC. Before VLP, Emelia served two years with AmeriCorps NCCC in Baltimore, MD, and AmeriCorps State and National here in Boston, serving at a youth mentoring organization. Most recently, Emelia worked as a Senior Partnerships Manager at Boston Partners in Education, an academic mentoring organization that supports students in Boston Public Schools. Emelia is excited to continue supporting volunteers as they provide access to justice for clients.
Grace is a Staff Attorney at VLP, where she practices in the Bankruptcy and Consumer Law Units. Since 2020, Grace has volunteered with VLP as a Pro Bono Attorney. Grace graduated from Northeastern University School of Law and has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Political Science from Gordon College. Grace has experience working in the public and private sector of law practice, including with Project Citizenship, Conn Kavanaugh, The Gillette Company, The United States Attorney’s Office, and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Grace has mentored and advised law students, legal professionals at Suffolk University Law School, and law students at Boston University School of Law.
Amari Bruno joined VLP in November 2023 as the Pro Bono Assistant. They graduated from Eastern University in 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology with Pre-Law and Political Science minors. Amari has a history of public service legal support. They have worked at FreeFrom in their Systems Change Initiative, A Breeze of Hope Foundation’s legal advocacy team, and The Boston Project Ministries’ Sisterhood program. Amari is very passionate about economic justice and its role in the fight against gender-based violence.
Gloria graduated from Salem State University with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2022. She will be receiving her M.S. in Criminal Justice in Spring 2023. Before joining VLP, Gloria interned at the Boston Court Service Center, where she mainly helped Spanish-speaking litigants fill out court documents.
Jennifer feels privileged to be a part of the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s paralegal team. She was born and raised in the neighborhoods of South Boston and attended Boston Architectural, MassArt and Lesley University. She values every aspect of the capital of her residence as it is steeped in U.S. history. Jennifer feels blessed for the opportunity to assist Massachusetts residents.
Yesenia started at VLP in November 2020. Yesenia is a lifelong Bostonian. She received an Associate Degree in criminal justice from Bay State College. She recently graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Laura joined VLP in 2022. She started as a Bilingual Paralegal in the Eviction Legal Aid team before becoming the Housing and Appeals paralegal. Laura graduated from Pine Manor College with a B.S. in Social & Political Sciences and a minor in Criminal Justice. Laura worked at the Somerville District Court as an Administrative Assistant to the Probation Department. She has also worked for an immigration firm, serving as an interpreter and Legal Assistant. Laura enjoys playing soccer, riding motorcycles, and shopping in her spare time.
Olivia Cella joined VLP as a Bilingual Paralegal in the Family Law and Guardianship Unit shortly after graduating from Colby College in 2023. Before completing her bachelor’s degree, Olivia worked as a Legal Intern at Northeast Legal Aid and the Medical-Legal Partnership of Boston. She worked at Vinfen Corporation, Bay Cove Human Services, and Colby College’s Title IX Office. Olivia is passionate about working with diverse, underrepresented populations. She also enjoys long runs, cooking, and surfing.
Edo joined VLP’s COVID Eviction Legal Help Project in March 2021 on a contract basis. She transitioned into the position of Marketing & Outreach Manager. Edo graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology and co-founded a jewelry brand that focuses on preserving her native Khmer arts and culture. Edo is looking to give back, make a difference for underserved communities, and help those most affected by the pandemic.
Maya joined VLP in Fall 2021 as the Multi-Unit Paralegal. She graduated from Bates College in 2020 and worked as a Tutor Advocate with the New York State Migrant Education Department. In this position, she supported low-income migrant families in navigating the public education system. Maya enjoys baking, going for walks, and trying out new restaurants in her spare time.
Sovannseila (Seila) came to VLP in 2022, as the Eviction Legal Aid Paralegal. Seila graduated from the George Washington University Law School in 2018. She specializes in General Law and has a strong passion for justice. She commits her spare time to work for seniors and members of underserved communities.
Adrianne joined VLP in 2022 as an Intake Specialist. She graduated from Suffolk University in the Spring of 2020 with a B.S. in Law, minoring in Psychology and Philosophy. Before joining VLP, Adrianne was a paralegal for a small estate planning firm in Western Massachusetts. She is passionate about helping our local underserved communities and is eager to continue doing so at VLP.
Adrian is an Arizona State University and University of New Hampshire Law School graduate. Before law school, Adrian was VLP’s pro bono coordinator. He received a graduate award at UNH Law for his dedication to social justice and public service. Most recently, he served as a Law Clerk for a criminal trial judge in St. Paul, Minnesota. Outside of VLP, Adrian enjoys literature, anime, comics, video games, history, and spoiling his dog Sammi (a VLP office favorite).
Timothy joined VLP in February 2023 as a Staff Attorney in the Landlord Division of the Housing unit. Before that, in January 2022, Timothy was an intern in the Tenant Division of the Housing Unit. Timothy earned his J.D. in 2022 from New England Law | Boston, where he received a CALI award in Housing Discrimination. Timothy earned his B.A. in History and Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is excited to continue his work providing representation to underserved communities.
Caitlyn joined VLP in October 2021 as a CELHP Housing Attorney and transitioned to a HILA Housing Attorney in January 2022. In May 2022, Caitlyn was hired as the VLP Housing and Appeals Staff Attorney. In June 2023, Caitlyn transitioned from the Housing Unit to the Consumer Unit and is now the VLP Consumer and Appeals Staff Attorney. Caitlyn earned her J.D. in 2021 from Suffolk University Law School. She was a member of Suffolk’s Accelerator to Practice Program Housing Clinic, focusing her work on housing discrimination in the Greater Boston Area. Caitlyn earned her B.A. in Public and Community Service from Providence College, and she is excited to continue her work in public service as a Consumer and Appeals advocate with VLP.
Geraldine is the Supervising Attorney for the Family Law and Guardianship Unit at VLP. She has been a legal services attorney for seven years, focusing on family law matters. Geraldine is also the Language Chairperson at VLP and represents the agency at the statewide Language Access Coalition and the Race and Equity Coalition. Before VLP, in addition to her work with family law and victims of domestic violence, Geraldine worked in immigration law, housing, and disability law.
Rochelle works in VLP’s Housing Unit as a Staff Attorney. She graduated from New England Law | Boston. Rochelle has years of experience working with low-income individuals and families, particularly in the housing and family law arena. She has also gained experience as a civil litigation associate handling complex insurance defense cases. Rochelle has a passion for fitness and enjoys traveling in her spare time.
Camille graduated from Middlebury College in Spring 2021 with a B.A. in International and Global Studies. She started at VLP in Fall 2021 as the paralegal for the DotHouse and Wills Unit. Before VLP, Camille interned at the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and worked as an Arabic tutor. She is from Greater Boston, where she loves hiking nearby trails and visiting cafes.
Ilene earned a J.D. from Cleveland State University’s Marshall School of Law and a Bachelor’s degree from Queens College in New York. She was a Clinical Law Professor at New England Law | Boston for 31 years, teaching and mentoring law students in their in-house civil litigation clinic. Ilene has extensive experience in public interest law, family law, social security disability law, and health law. She has volunteered with her students at the Lawyer for the Day Program, the Court Service Center, VLP, and Saheli Boston. She has also mentored new attorneys through the Women’s Bar Foundation. At New England Law | Boston, Ilene developed a course in Elder Law and taught an Elder Law Seminar for over 20 years.
Natasha is the Call Center Supervising Attorney and has been with VLP since 2016. Natasha graduated from Fitchburg State College, magna cum laude, with a major in political science and a minor in criminal justice. She earned a J.D. from New England Law | Boston in 2016. Natasha has been a legal services attorney for five years, focusing on bankruptcy and unemployment insurance. She has also enjoyed working in various other areas within VLP, including our Family Law and Guardianship Clinics and our 209A Abuse Prevention Project. Natasha is VLP’s delegate on the Statewide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council through MLAC. Natasha was born and raised in Massachusetts. She finds her work doubly rewarding because she gets to educate herself and her clients in availing themselves of their rights.
Rafael joined VLP as a Bilingual Intake Specialist. He graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor’s in Women’s and Gender Studies. Rafael has experience working with underserved communities, assisting individuals to overcome health barriers. He has a strong passion for LGBTQIA+ rights, particularly trans youth rights.
Elizabeth joined VLP as a Staff Attorney in the Unemployment and Wage & Hour Units. She earned her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oberlin College in Ohio. Elizabeth has many years of experience representing clients and working on employment and wage and hour cases as an attorney in the Law Offices of Paul Murray and her law practice, Mason Law.
Chris joined VLP as a Legal Advocate in 2017 and manages the Eastern Regional Legal Intake program in concert with our Call Center Supervising Attorney. Chris graduated from the Catholic University of America with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Psychology. He also holds a certificate in Paralegal Studies from Boston University. He considers it a privilege to work with the ERLI team to provide our clients with high-quality legal services. Outside of VLP, Chris enjoys spending his free time playing basketball, maintaining his outdoor garden, and spending time with his family.
Alexandra joined VLP in 2018 as a law school intern, in 2021 as a volunteer for the Landlord program, and in 2023 as a Part-time Staff Attorney for the Landlord program. Alexandra got her B.A. in History from UMass Dartmouth in 2017 and her J.D. from New England Law | Boston in 2020. She works part-time for VLP and part-time running her own office, doing child welfare and delinquency work in the Fitchburg/Leominster area.
Steve is a VLP Staff Attorney in the DotHouse and Wills Unit. He has over 19 years of experience delivering intake, advice, and referral services to legal services programs and over 21 years of experience as a legal services and private practice attorney. Steve has been a panelist on several continuing legal education and community training and has also served as a moderator for the CORI section of Masslegalservices.org. His prior experience includes immigration, family, and criminal records sealing. Steve is also fluent in Spanish. Steve is also an SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Services member.
Aidelena worked as a case manager/housing specialist for eight years at Pine Street Inn and Vinfen Corps, where she helped clients navigate housing issues. She is excited to work with VLP, mainly because the pandemic has disenfranchised many people, and Aidelena wants to provide as much support as possible to those in need.
Yewellyn graduated from Suffolk University with a B.S. in Communications and Journalism. She comes to VLP from MIRA Coalition, where she served as an AmeriCorps member. In this position, Yewellyn assisted clients with naturalization forms, green card renewals, and other immigration forms, conducting outreach, preparing materials, and registering clients for the clinic. She has also worked as a Spanish interpreter and has a certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages. She is eager to continue learning about the intersectionality of journalism and the legal field.
Aubrey graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2021. She began her career as a public defender in Louisville, KY, before transitioning into housing law at the Legal Aid Society. Aubrey has experience in criminal and civil litigation and representing individuals in administrative proceedings against disqualification for public benefits. She enjoys exploring Boston and trying out new restaurants.
Shaiprice is a part of the Volunteer Lawyers Project’s Paralegal team. He started as a legal intern in January 2023 and became a Paralegal in April 2023. He was born and raised in the neighborhoods of Worcester. He completed his Associate degree at Quinsigamond Community College and his Bachelor of Science in Law at Suffolk University. He enjoys every aspect of being able to assist Massachusetts residents and is planning on continuing his career in law school to become an attorney.
Lurenne joined VLP as a Bilingual Intake Specialist, seeking to gain experience in different areas of law to aid underserved communities. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Political Science. Before joining VLP, Lurenne worked at the Boston Court Service Center, where she helped individuals complete documents for their cases and navigate the court system. Lurenne is also passionate about teaching, previously working as a tutor for Ringle and working part-time as a Course Teacher for Elite Open School. Lurenne enjoys reading in quiet cafes and traveling with family and close friends in her spare time.
Aisling (pronounced Ash-LEEN) is a Paralegal in VLP’s Housing Unit. In May 2023, Aisling graduated summa cum Laude from Boston College with a B.A. in Criminal and Social Justice. Prior to her time at VLP, Aisling worked at the Massachusetts Department of Correction in the Victim Services Unit and as a Per-Diem Legal Assistant in a family law firm. In her free time, Aisling enjoys spending time with her dogs Booboo and Biscuit, reading, and hiking.
Kevin joined the VLP in 2022 as a Temporary Staff Attorney. He earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 and his J.D. from the Notre Dame Law School in 1982. He practiced law in a few law firms for nearly forty years, handling civil litigation matters such as landlord/tenant cases, business disputes, and contract claims.
Gabby graduated from Boston University in May of 2023 with a BA in Political Science. Gabby was an intern in the Bankruptcy Unit and is excited to have returned to VLP in the summer of 2023 as an Employment and Consumer paralegal. During her free time, Gabby loves to exercise and picnic with her friends, and in the winter months, she spends many weekends skiing in her favorite East Coast mountains.
Ilana joined Volunteer Lawyers Project in April 2019. Ilana earned a B.S. in Business Management and an M.B.A. from the University of Hartford. Before joining VLP, Ilana spent six years working in higher education.