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Northern Nevada Legal Aid Welcomes Lisa Evans as New Executive Director

Past Life. Lisa is a bilingual attorney who brings to her leadership over eighteen years’ experience representing legal aid clients in every substantive area served by NNLA. Before law school, Lisa drafted declarations for Chilean torture survivors to support Pinochet’s extradition and she represented Central American asylum seekers fleeing civil war. During law school, Lisa prepared an amicus brief for the Canadian War Crimes Tribunal to support the exercise of universal jurisdiction to prosecute a former Hutu government official residing in Canada accused of inciting genocide in Rwanda.

Latest Inspiration. Lisa is captivated by the city of Houston’s success in reducing homelessness by sixty percent. Houston makes its 100 nonprofits work in concert to great effect: https://www.thewayhomehouston.org/. In keeping with this example, Lisa has partnered with Nevada Legal Services (NLS) to jointly serve clients every weekday at the Civil Law Self-Help Center located in the Reno Justice Court. As NLS Executive Director, Peter Wetherall rightly noted, “our clients don’t care what our organizations are called.” It just matters that we help them.

Lisa Evans, Executive Director

Lisa Evans

Executive Director

Past Life. In her current role, Krissta has now served four legal aid organization. She started at Nevada Legal Services in Las Vegas, then Micronesian Legal Services in Saipan, and during the pandemic, Legal Services of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. At NLS, Krissta was promoted to Statewide Pro Bono Director, where she spearheaded important projects like creating family law self-help forms for the Fifth Judicial District Court in Nye County.   

Latest Inspiration. Krissta recently initiated a new collaboration with the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy that finds pro bono representation for unaccompanied minors and other child immigrant cases. https://cilacademy.org/pro-bono-matters/.

Krissta Kirschenheiter, Executive Team Attorney.

Krissta Kirschenheiter

Executive Team Attorney

Past life. Jill has been licensed since 1993 and actively practicing for 30 years in a diverse spectrum of legal matters:  Insurance Defense, Collections, Personal Injury, Mass Torts, Bankruptcy, the entire spectrum of Family Law, with even a bit of criminal defense, administrative law, and general civil litigation. 

Latest Inspiration. In her new role, Jill has committed herself to streamlining NNLA intake procedures across our service locations so that “no matter where or how a potential client comes to us they will receive the same service.” Jill has also just launched a new Custody Basics Class this summer presented every two weeks to the public and partner agencies. She expects to offer it in Spanish in the new year.

Jill Whitbeck, Director of Intake Programs.

Jill Whitbeck

Director of Intake Programs

Past life. Jennifer most recently served as the Chief Rights Attorney for Nevada. Jennifer oversaw COVID legal response, worked on innovative projects, and filed briefing before the Nevada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals on litigation matters impacting older adults and persons with disabilities. Jennifer also authored legislation to create the Vulnerable Adult Fatality Review Team in Nevada and provide protections for persons living in long term care settings.      

Latest Inspiration. Jennifer is excited to try to bring The Legal Risk Detector Tool to Northern Nevada. This online referral process technology helps legal and social service providers work together to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents. https://www.probono.net/programs/risk-detector/. Jennifer is also eager to take our Medical Legal Partnership to the next level and increase caseload capacity of our Senior Legal Center by expanding its pro bono program.

Jennifer Richards, Supervisor, Senior Law Center.

Jennifer Richards

Supervisor, Senior Law Center

Past Life. Elena is a five-year veteran of our Senior Law Center, where she assisted senior citizens with civil legal matters. Prior to this, she worked for Volunteer Attorney’s for Rural Nevadans, (VARN) and assisting clients in family law matters.

Latest Inspiration. Elena was recently promoted to supervisor of the Civil Law Self-Help Center, now located on the first floor of the Reno Justice Court. In conjunction with NLS, Elena ensures that self-represented litigants access the correct court forms by working with court staff and connects visitors to social safety net resources provided by community partners. Elena will expand self-help services as demand increases both in and outside Washoe County.

Elena Butko, Supervisor, Civil Law Self-Help Center.

Elena Butko

Supervisor, Civil Law Self-Help Center

Past Life. Lee was a public defender in Nevada for ten years. He served as a Criminal Court and Family Court judge in New York City for 17 years. He wrote a book on the law of domestic violence in New York. Lee also served on the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and is a graduate of the National Judicial College’s permanency planning institute.

Enduring Inspiration. Lee has always been concerned about the imbalance of power between those with and without resources. Coming of age as a lawyer during the Warren Court years, Lee studied the Court’s efforts to balance the scales of equity by the application of law. In his new role, Lee will strive to partner with the local legal community to improve the lives of our fellow Washoe County residents by assisting with their legal challenges. He greatly appreciates the dedication of the local bar to justice for everyone. Reach Lee at impactlit@nnlegalaid.org.

Lee Elkins, Director of Strategic Advocacy and Impact Litigation.

Lee Elkins

Director of Strategic Advocacy and Impact Litigation

COME WORK/VOLUNTEER FOR NNLA!  

We offer meaningful life’s work and a healthy work-life balanced 35-hour work-week. Email careers@nnlegalaid.org or view our job openings. Or start by volunteering on a case: probono@nnlegalaid.org.

NNLA Icon

COME WORK/VOLUNTEER FOR NNLA!  

We offer meaningful life’s work and a healthy work-life balanced 35-hour work-week. Email careers@nnlegalaid.org or visit our job openings page. Or start by volunteering on a case by emailing probono@nnlegalaid.org.

Lisa Evans, Northern Nevada Legal Aid Executive Director Headshot

RENO, Nev. – Northern Nevada Legal Aid (NNLA) is happy to announce the appointment of Lisa Evans as the organization’s new Executive Director.

Lisa is a long-standing Legal Aid attorney who has represented Legal Aid clients in every substantive legal area served by Northern Nevada Legal Aid, including five years in our Child Advocacy & Guardianship programs.

Immediately prior to first joining this office in 2016, Lisa served 10+ years as a Legal Aid attorney in Portland, Oregon. This program employed a “holistic lawyering” model designed to serve all the legal needs of every accepted client. Lisa hopes to adapt this model to service delivery at Northern Nevada Legal Aid.

Lisa returns to our office from the State of Nevada Attorney General’s office where she represented the state in labor relations. “I am excited to lead NNLA as we continue to provide vital legal services to our community, and as we seek to make a greater positive impact through necessary litigations.” said Lisa.

 

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