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Representing the Pro Bono Client: Advocacy Skills for Administrative Hearings 2016


Speaker(s): Adam Poe, Carole Vigne, Lauren Hansen, Steven Weiss
Recorded on: Sep. 22, 2016
PLI Program #: 150626

Carole Vigne is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid at Work (the organization formerly known as Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center).  She currently directs the Wage Protection Program, which represents low-wage workers through litigation in state and federal court and administrative advocacy before the California Labor Commissioner, San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board; provides advice and brief services to workers through a semi-monthly Wage Claim Clinic hosted at the California Labor Commissioner’s San Francisco and Oakland offices; conducts trainings for workers and provides technical assistance to worker advocates; and engages in legislative advocacy and amicus briefing to expand protections for workers.  In her prior role, Carole oversaw Legal Aid’s Wage and Unemployment Claims Project, training and supervising scores of volunteer legal advocates to represent hundreds of clients at wage claim conferences and hearings before the California Labor Commissioner and unemployment insurance appeal hearings before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

Carole was previously a Skadden Fellow with Legal Aid’s National Origin, Immigration, and Language Rights Program, working to expand the rights of immigrant workers and serving San Francisco’s immigrant, limited-English-proficient, Latino workers through a workers’ rights clinic.  In that capacity, Carole also litigated discrimination and wage and hour cases on behalf of immigrant workers.  She also litigated employment law cases, primarily wage and hour class actions, at Rukin, Hyland, Doria & Tindall, LLP.

Carole is a graduate of Brown University and University of California, Berkeley School of Law (the law school formerly known as Boalt Hall).


Steven Weiss is a Regional Managing Attorney in the Alameda County office of Bay Area Legal Aid, and their Social Security & SSI Advocacy Regional Coordinator, specializing in administrative advocacy with the Social Security Administration. Prior to working at Bay Area Legal Aid, Mr. Weiss was a staff attorney at the Homeless Action Center in Berkeley, California. He is a 1998 graduate of the Golden Gate University School of Law, and received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Urban Public Policy Administration.


Adam joined Bay Area Legal Aid in 2008 as a housing attorney in the Contra Costa Office and has been managing attorney in that office since May 2018. Adam became the first dedicated reentry attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid in 2012 and took on the role of regional project coordinator for the growing reentry unit shortly thereafter.

In his housing practice Adam has represented hundreds of low-income and disabled clients in Unlawful Detainers and administrative hearings in Contra Costa. He maintains a case load of housing and reentry cases and is involved in efforts to support individuals with criminal records achieve stability through housing and employment advocacy.

Adam serves on several regional task forces and steering committees, including the Reentry Community Advisory Board (CAB), the Reentry Success Center, the Youth Justice Initiative and the Alliance to End Abuse. He has trained hundreds of attorneys, advocates and service providers on Fair Housing issues and the housing rights of individuals with criminal records.

Education: DePaul College of Law (2006); Michigan State University, B.S. Pol. Sci (1999)

Practice Area: Housing, Reentry

Bar Admission: California, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California


After joining PILP as a fellow in 2012, Lauren is now a staff attorney in the public benefit unit. Prior to joining PILP, Lauren worked at Legal Services of Northern California for in its Ukiah office doing housing, public benefits, and health law. Lauren graduated from UCLA and went to law school at the University of Iowa College of Law.

At PILP, Lauren has worked on a variety of cases on issues including redevelopment, housing element, General Assistance/Relief, CalFresh (SNAP), and CalWORKs (TANF). She started and currently leads PILP’s Rural General Assistance Project (Rural GAP), a project dedicated to increasing access to General Assistance/Relief benefits in rural areas. She is admitted to practice in California and Washington D.C.