(LOS ANGELES), (August 5, 2009) — The Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, one of the largest and oldest public interest law firms in the nation, announced today the selection of Silvia R. Argueta to be its next Executive Director. Argueta has served as Interim Executive Director of the Foundation since October 2008. She joined LAFLA in 1999 and was promoted to senior attorney in its Government Benefits Unit, where she handled a range of legal issues involving access to health care, Medi-Cal, Medicare, Social Security and California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs).
"Silvia is a seasoned and compassionate attorney whose leadership and dedication to LAFLA’s mission will advance the Foundation’s legal work at a time when the demand for free legal services is enormous. She has a passion for litigation and effective policy changes that have a positive impact in the lives of poor and disadvantaged clients," says Harriet Posner, President of LAFLA’s Board of Directors and a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Argueta’s many accomplishments include serving as lead counsel in Harris, et al v. Board of Supervisors, et al, a federal court case that prevented the closure of Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and the closure of 100 beds at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
"For 80 years, LAFLA has been at the forefront in helping low-income and poor clients navigate the halls of justice, and now in these difficult economic times when many are losing their homes, jobs, benefits or suffering from domestic violence, we will continue to pursue the promise of equal access for those who have nowhere else to turn. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an outstanding staff and to work with such a dedicated board." said Argueta.
Argueta was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. at age 6 and has resided in Southern California since then. She received her law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from UCLA. Prior to joining LAFLA, Argueta was a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) handling education, employment and immigration issues, including all aspects of civil rights litigation. Earlier in her career, Argueta was employed at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation of Southern California and involved in civil rights litigation and policy matters She is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar, the American Bar Association, National Hispanic Bar Association, and an advisory board member with The Impact Fund.
The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is the frontline law firm for low-income people in the greater Los Angeles area. Since 1929, LAFLA has been committed to supporting families and the community through programs that ensure safe, affordable housing; maintain economic stability; promote safety, security and health; serving populations with special vulnerabilities; and fighting discrimination, and protect human and civil rights. For more information, please visit www.lafla.org.