Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. Fastcase honors “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders.”
Pro Bono Net’s Program Director, Liz Keith, has made this year’s Fastcase 50! Liz has played a key role in Pro Bono Net’s program strategy for more than a decade. She joined Pro Bono Net as a LawHelp Circuit Rider, working with legal aid programs in 25 states to build online resources to increase access to legal help for low income communities. As Program Director, Liz now manages strategic initiatives and programs at Pro Bono Net that equip individuals and communities with new tools to tackle civil justice problems. Previously, Liz managed outreach and education efforts at the Maine Women’s Policy Center on legislation impacting women’s health, civil rights, economic security and freedom from violence, and worked to increase the number of women running for office. She holds a master’s degree in community informatics from the University of Michigan, and has served as a consultant to digital inclusion initiatives in Haiti and Chile. In 2015, she was selected to participate in the inaugural Legal Empowerment Leadership program at Central European University’s School of Public Policy.
Pro Bono Net former Board member and CEO and General Counsel of Alameda County Bar Association, Tiela Chalmers, has also made this year’s Fastcase 50! She has been a leader in the fields of legal services and pro bono for almost 20 years. Tiela began her career doing business litigation (and pro bono) at the firm of Farella, Braun + Martel in San Francisco. She then moved to the Volunteer Legal Services Program of the Bar Association of San Francisco (VLSP), where she went from housing work to becoming the Executive Director, and had the privilege of working closely with Tanya Neiman before her untimely death. She worked for three years as a consultant for legal aid programs, law firms, other non-profits, and national organizations focusing on legal services for low-income communities. One of her larger projects involved building and coordinating the Shriver Housing Project in Los Angeles, the largest of the “civil Gideon” pilot projects in California. She also brings the Poverty Simulation (a 3-hour experiential training for pro bono attorneys and others, giving the participants a visceral understanding of our clients) to law firms, legal aid offices, law schools, and other venues. In 2014, she was named as the Chief Executive Officer of the ACBA and VLSC, where she is working on several projects, including building a Legal Incubator to address the needs of modest means clients, and creating a joint pilot mediation project in unlawful detainer cases with the Alameda County Superior Court. Tiela has served as the chair of the State Bar of California Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and currently is the Chair of the statewide Pro Bono Coordinating Committee. She is a frequent speaker at local, statewide and national conferences, and has published on legal aid issues.
Pro Bono Net Board Member, Vice Chair and CEO of Fastcase, Ed Walters, Esq. said, “Every part of the legal market is changing right now – from law school through every part of the practice. That change can be daunting or discouraging to many people. And that’s one reason that our team enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of the Fastcase 50. These are people who inspire us by their intelligence, creativity, and leadership. We hope they will inspire others as well, especially during a time of great change for the profession.”
Congratulations to Liz, Tiela and all of the other 2020 Fastcase 50 honorees. Check out the full list at: https://www.fastcase.com/fastcase50/