Erikson Albrecht joined Bet Tzedek in 2006. He became directing attorney for the Kinship Care, Caregiver, and the Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic teams in June, 2017.
Erikson received his A.B. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. His career began on the Southside of Chicago, working with disadvantaged youth and helping create an innovative small public school in one of the most underserved communities of the city. Upon relocating to California, he served as a defense attorney and Deputy Public Defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff in Santa Cruz County. He began working at Bet Tzedek as the Kinship Attorney, focusing on the legal issues of children in Southern California who live with nonparent caregivers. He also led Bet Tzedek’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Project, representing undocumented youth, training and mentoring attorneys throughout California regarding SIJS matters and probate legal guardianships, and providing educational outreach to the community regarding immigration enforcement and its impact on families.
Director, Institutional Giving
April Caires has over ten years of experience securing and managing grants for Los Angeles area nonprofit organizations. She joined Bet Tzedek as a Grants Officer in 2016 and was promoted to Director of Institutional living in May 2018. April has a MA in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and was an instructor in the undergraduate writing program. She also has a MA in Communications, with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Public Affairs, from Texas A & M University.
Cynthia Chagolla joins Bet Tzedek as a directing attorney for the Homeless Prevention Project. Previously, she worked at Bay Area Legal Aid in San Francisco and Oakland focusing on public benefits. At California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. she worked on a wide range of poverty and racial justice issues ranging from education to landlord tenant issues. In 2012, she completed a fellowship at Georgia Legal Services, Farmworker Division in Atlanta. While in law school Cynthia interned at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is admitted to practice law in California and New York.
Cynthia is a board member of the Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Inc. She is also a dedicated runner and training for her next big race.
Dana Hadl joins Bet Tzedek as directing attorney for the Employment Rights and Holocaust teams. Most recently, Dana was counsel with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where her practice focused on employment discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment litigation.
Dana received her J.D. from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in 2001. While in law school, Dana held an externship with Judge Joan Dempsey Klein, Presiding Justice of Division Three of California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.
A native Los Angeleno, Dana is the grand-daughter of Holocaust survivors. Dana is an active member of Valley Beth Shalom, where she serves on the Homelessness Task Force Advocacy Team, which worked closely with community organizers to pass both Measure HHH and Measure H.
She resides in Sherman Oaks, with her husband, Dan, and their two spirited daughters, Lilah and Ari.
Karen McAulay has been a CPA for over thirty years. Earlier in her career, she worked in public account at Grant Thornton, LLP. Karen’s background is primarily in banking and she was the CFO and Controller of various banks in the Los Angeles area.
Karen is a native to Los Angeles and graduated from Cal State Los Angeles. Karen resides in Pasadena with her husband Peter and has two grown children: Scott and Laura.
Director, Pro Bono Programs
Molly Meltzer joins Bet Tzedek as Director of Pro Bono Programs. Molly received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law in 2006 and was an Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Fellow upon graduating from law school at One Justice in San Francisco, California. She then moved to New York City where she worked at The Legal Aid Society in the Juvenile Rights Practice representing children in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Following her tenure there, she worked with Brooklyn Defender Services in the Family Defense Practice representing adults in Family Court. Most recently, Molly was Pro Bono Counsel at Brooklyn Defender Services.
Jenna Miara joins Bet Tzedek as directing attorney for the Impact Litigation and Policy team. Jenna’s career has been dedicated to public interest law and social justice. Most recently, Jenna was an attorney at Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, where her practice focused on constitutional, environmental, and employment law.
Prior to relocating to Los Angeles with her family, Jenna was a partner at Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd in Chicago, where she represented plaintiffs in complex employment and civil rights litigation. Before that, she was a senior attorney at LAF, the largest legal aid organization in Chicago, where she handled housing, employment, public benefits, and family law matters.
Jenna received her J.D. with distinction from Stanford Law School, and graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College of Columbia University. After law school, Jenna clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Gettleman at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Jenna is admitted to practice before the courts of California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
Joyce Riley has had a long career in public service with Los Angeles County, and more recently as an attorney for Orange County Counsel. She represented the Public Administrator and the Public Guardian in matters involving decedent estates, trusts, conservatorships, guardianships and mental health (LPS), with an emphasis on probate administration and elder abuse litigation. As a member of the Orange County Elder Abuse Forensic Center, Joyce worked with many community partners to protect dependent adults and the elderly. Joyce also advised Orange County Adult Protective Services in matters involving litigation, and represented Social Services Agency in juvenile dependency trials and appeals. Prior to working for Orange County, Joyce worked as an associate attorney for Olincy & Karpel, a tax and estate planning firm. Before practicing law, Joyce, who is also licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, began her professional career as a Revenue Agent for the Internal Revenue Service, and subsequently worked as a tax associate for Arthur Andersen and Company. Joyce received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from USC, her juris doctor from UCLA, and her Master of Laws in Taxation from Golden Gate University.