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How to Become a Culturally Competent Attorney


Speaker(s): Tiela Chalmers
Recorded on: Oct. 26, 2016
PLI Program #: 196794

Tiela Chalmers is the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of the Alameda County Bar Association and Legal Access Alameda. She has been a leader in the fields of free legal services for low income communities for 20 years. After working for years in a downtown law firm, she moved to the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, where she worked for 15 years, ultimately as its Executive Director.

In 2011, Tiela left VLSP and became a consultant, working with legal aid programs, law firms, other non-profits, and national organizations focusing on legal services for low-income communities. In 2014, she was named as the Chief Executive Officer of the ACBA and VLSC, where she is working on several projects, including building a Legal Incubator to address the needs of modest means clients.

Tiela has been presenting the Poverty Workshop to law firms, schools, social workers, medical professionals and government offices for 12 years, and is particularly passionate about working with those groups to increase awareness of poverty issues, and facilitate discussions about ways that individuals and organizations can make changes in how they respond to poverty.