Brenda is currently the Executive Director at The Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia (“PILC). PILC is a nonprofit public interest law firm of lawyers and advocates who fight to secure equal access to fundamental civil rights. PILC works with a variety of partners and uses high impact legal strategies consisting of litigation, community lawyering and organizing and policy advocacy in six practice areas that include housing, employment, education, healthcare, environmental justice, and voting rights. As Executive Director, Brenda oversees all program matters, including fundraising, strategic initiatives, legal work, operations and finance, development and communications and Board relations. Prior to this position Brenda was the Deputy Director of Operations and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia. In her role as Chief D&I Officer, the first role of its kind at CLS, Brenda worked with staff and management to develop, adopt and implement strategies and practices that promoted diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging while also strengthening CLS’s hiring and retention practices. Brenda worked collaboratively throughout the organization, and with peer legal services programs locally and nationally, to advance the principles of DEI in the legal services space. Previous to the Deputy Director position, Brenda was a Supervising Attorney in the Aging and Disabilities and SSI Units at CLS. Brenda focused her practice on representing low income seniors and disabled adults and children in long term care access, Medicare appeals, Medicaid, Social Security/SSI disability and non-disability matters, and nursing home discharge cases. Brenda has been a frequent trainer at national conferences and has also written articles for the journal of Management Information Exchange (MIE), a national training institute for legal services programs around the country. Brenda also recently joined the MIE Journal Committee. Brenda has trained legal services staff in areas around management, supervision, human resources, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Brenda is actively involved in the Philadelphia legal community. She is a current member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, where she was the 2019 Chair of the Public Interest Section and currently serves on the Chancellor’s Diversity Advisory Panel. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member of the Minority Bar Committee of the PA Bar Association, and Board Member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania. As for other Board service, Brenda is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of Pan American Academy Charter School, a K-8 dual language program school located in North Philadelphia that serves predominantly low income Latino youth. Brenda also serves on the Board of Directors of Justice at Work (formerly Friends of Farmworkers). Brenda was the 2021 recipient of the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award, given annually by the Philadelphia Bar Association. Brenda’s other awards include the 2021 recipient of the La Justicia Award from The Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Emerging Latino Lawyers Leader Award for Non-Profit Sector given by Al Día in 2018, and the “Unsung Hero” Award given by The Legal Intelligencer in 2010. Brenda is originally from Nicaragua. Her family immigrated to the U.S. and she grew up in Los Angeles where she completed her undergraduate studies at Mt. St. Mary’s College, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, cum laude. Brenda graduated from Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law in 2001. Brenda is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Brenda is also a member of The Forum of Executive Women, the Society of Human Resources Management and a member of the local chapter in Philadelphia.
Aug. 19, 2021 2:35 pm
By Brenda Marrero / guest