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The Justice & Diversity Center

Immigrant Legal Defense Program

Meet Our Team

Mario Castillo Martinez
is the Immigration Case Coordinator for the NCCIJ and helps administer the pro bono Attorney of the Day Program for the detained dockets at the San Francisco Immigration Court. He also assists in coordinating the AILA Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project, which helps recently arrived asylum-seekers find a pro bono attorney for their cases. Mario completed graduate internships abroad focused on international human rights issues, international development, employment equality, and refugee issues in the European Union. Mario recently completed his M.A. in Social Sciences from Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin.

Carole Conn
is the Director of the Public Service Programs for The Bar Association of San Francisco directing the activities of BASF’s San Francisco-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service, Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, the Community Law Practice Incubator, and the Immigration Legal Defense Program. She has led the development of the ILDP since its inception in 2015 to include leadership and coordination of three major collaboratives to provide legal representation for immigrants in removal proceedings. Carole also oversees the long-standing Attorney of the Day Program and the Northern California Rapid Response Network. Carole currently serves as the staff lead for the Immigration Task Force, created in 2017 by BASF President Merri Baldwin.

Adina Hemley-Bronstein
is the ILDP’s Attorney of the Day Program Coordinator. She supports the Attorney of the Day Program at the San Francisco Immigration Court for both detained and non-detained dockets, with a particular focus on the needs of Santa Clara County residents. Adina focuses on the recruitment and training of new AODs, provides Spanish interpretation for AODs, and coordinates the referral and placement of removal defense cases for full-scope representation. Adina previously worked with BASF from 2014-2015 in the role of AOD Program Coordinator for the expedited dockets of families and unaccompanied minors and immigration case coordinator for the SFILDC. She also worked as the Communications Associate at Mission Asset Fund where she contributed to a financial preparedness resource for families at risk of detention or deportation. Adina graduated from Yale University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies.

Stephany Martinez Tiffer
is the ILDP Data Coordinator. She is responsible for gathering data for the Vera Institute’s SAFE Cities Network and Data Study to showcase the impact of public and private funding to provide legal representation to detained immigrants. JDC’s participation in the study is particularly critical at this time when the immigrant community is under attack. Measuring the impact of these programs on detained clients, their children, the community, and the local economy will provide the evidence needed to help these programs thrive. Stephany also supports the AOD Program and the NCCIJ. Her previous experience includes positions as a paralegal at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale, LLP and as an intern at Centro de Mujeres IXCHEN, a nonprofit in Nicaragua that provides mental, legal, and medical services to women across Nicaragua, her parents’ home country. Stephany graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. Throughout college, she worked as a Peer Writing Tutor at the Cesar Chavez Student Learning Center helping students find their academic voices.

Carlos Pinzon-Hamilton
is the Senior Immigration Coordinator for the SFILDC. Carlos supports the SFILDC by developing brief banks, websites, and other informational materials, and coordinating emergency response systems for immigrants as part of the San Francisco Rapid Response Network. Carlos also oversees the AOD Program for the non-detained and juvenile dockets. His responsibilities include liaising with Court administrators, creating resources for respondents, coordinating volunteer attorneys and interpreters, organizing trainings and events, and managing data and reporting. Carlos received a LLM in US Legal Studies in 2013 and a Masters in Law in Mexico in 2015. He is a licensed attorney in Mexico. Before joining JDC in 2015, Carlos was the coordinator of the Immigrant Children Project at a nonprofit organization in Palo Alto.

Roxana Quintero
is the Immigration Case Coordinator for the SFILDC. She coordinates intakes and referrals for the SFILDC and supports the AOD Program for the non-detained and juvenile dockets. Her previous experience includes positions as Bilingual Youth Case Manager for Alameda County’s at-risk youth who were on probation, Paralegal and Mental Health Coordinator at an immigration law firm, and Lead Bilingual Case Management Counselor for the Teenage Pregnancy & Parenting Program at San Francisco’s Felton Institute. Roxana received her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology with a Minor in Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Davis and studied abroad at Associação Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos in Bahia da Salvador, Brazil. She is the daughter of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico, and she is passionate about immigrant rights, alternative options to juvenile incarceration, and mental health awareness among underserved populations.

Hamid Yazdan Panah
is the Attorney Coordinator for the NCRRIDN. He has also led his own solo immigration practice since 2013. As NCRRIDN’s Attorney Coordinator, he is primarily responsible for building the Network’s legal resources and working closely with grass root organizations, legal aid services, and private attorneys to ensure due process for all immigrants in Northern California. As an Iranian refugee, Hamid is committed to advocating on issues related to due process and human rights for immigrants and vulnerable populations. He is a graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Avantika Shastri
is the Senior Supervising Attorney of the Immigrant Legal Defense Program at JDC and the Legal Director for the SFILDC. She oversees and coordinates the removal defense representation provided by the 15 partner organizations in the SFILDC, including legal strategy, collective advocacy, intakes and referrals, rapid response services, and legal training. Avantika also supervises and supports the legal programs of JDC’s Immigrant Legal Defense Program, especially the non-detained Attorney of the Day Program and regional rapid response efforts. Prior to her position at JDC, Avantika was in private practice for 11 years at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP in San Francisco, where she represented immigrants before the immigration agencies and federal courts. She specialized in removal defense, appellate litigation, family-based immigration, naturalization, and the immigration consequences of crimes. Avantika received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley.

Valerie Anne Zukin
is the Lead Attorney Coordinator for the NCCIJ. She coordinates with NCCIJ member organizations to provide pro bono removal defense for detained immigrants in Northern California and collaborates with regional and national partners to participate in a large-scale data study on direct representation of detained individuals and to advocate for systemic reform to increase detained immigrants’ access to legal services. In addition, Valerie serves as the lead coordinator for the AILA Pro Bono Project for recent-arrival asylum seekers, and she also administers the pro bono Attorney of the Day Program for the detained dockets at the San Francisco Immigration Court. She previously worked as an Associate Attorney at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP from 2011 to 2017, where she represented clients in complex immigration matters before the immigration agencies and federal courts. From 2007 through 2011, Valerie was a Staff Attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where she provided a wide array of legal services to immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center. Valerie received her B.A. in Spanish, Latin American and Iberian Studies concentration from Haverford College and her J.D. from Tulane University Law School.