2013 Recipient

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Where presented : 
NLADA Annual Conference
Recipient(s) name: 
Ramon Arias
Recipient title: 
Executive Director
Recipient organization: 
Bay Area Legal Aid
Recipient organization city: 
Recipient organization state: 
Reason for selection of recipient(s): 

Ramón Arias is Executive Director of Bay Area Legal Aid and a leader in the national civil justice community.

He began his legal aid career in 1978 with California Rural Legal Assistance. During his ten years with CRLA, Ramón served as a staff attorney, managing attorney, Director of CRLA's Migrant Farm Worker Project, and as a regional counsel. In 1988, Ramón became the Executive Director of the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, a position he held for the next 12 years.

In 2000, Ramón became the Executive Director of Bay Area Legal Aid, an organization he helped to create by merger of four legal aid programs.  Bay Area Legal Aid is the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest law firm for the poor and is nationally recognized for its innovation, effectiveness, and quality.

Named one of the top 100 attorneys in California twice by the Daily Journal, Ramón has served as Chair of the Board of the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association, member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent Defendants, a member of the ABA Committee on Loan Repayment and Forgiveness, and Chair of the Board of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation.

Ramón was recently appointed by the President of the Legal Services Corporation to an LSC Advisory Group committed to exploring ways legal aid providers can better demonstrate the effectiveness of the legal assistance they provide. 

Consistent with his national leadership on the need to cultivate a new generation of public interest lawyers, Ramón currently serves on the Board of Equal Justice Works, which operates the largest fellowship program in the United States.