Aidin Castillo and Fred Nakamura Win NLADA 2022 Kutak-Dodds Prizes

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Release Date: 
Friday, May 6, 2022

Aidin Castillo and Fred Nakamura Win NLADA 2022 Kutak-Dodds Prizes 

Washington, D.C. - The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce that Aidin Castillo, director of the Immigrants' Rights Practice at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, and Fred Nakamura, associate director of Litigation and Policy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), will be honored with 2022 Kutak-Dodds Prizes. 

"It is an honor to award the 2022 Kutak-Dodds Prize to two people who work tirelessly to provide legal services to our most vulnerable communities," said April Frazier Camara, NLADA President & CEO. "Aidin and Fred are an inspiration and represent the very essence and spirit of the two people in which the award was named." 

The Kutak-Dodds prizes recognize extraordinary contributions to advancing access to justice and racial equity in both civil legal aid and public defense.   

Castillo directs strategy and advocacy efforts and manages the provision of legal services, including representing clients in detained and non-detained removal defense. The removal defense practice at Centro Legal is one of the largest in California, serving individuals with complex immigration cases and criminal histories.  

"I am deeply touched to be recognized by colleagues and peers for such an extraordinary prize," said Castillo. "Fighting for immigrants' rights is a part of who I am. I am happy to have made this my life's work, and I hope to continue to make you all proud." 

Fred Nakamura, has been assisting the underrepresented and poor of Los Angeles County and has been involved in their community struggles since 1976. Through individual representation, high-impact litigation and public policy advocacy, NLSLA combats the immediate and long-lasting effects of poverty and expands access to health, opportunity, and justice in Los Angeles' diverse neighborhoods. 

"I very much appreciate receiving this award; however, it is humbling and embarrassing to be personally recognized when my work has been a product of the great mentorship, training and incredible support I have received from my co-workers and the communities that I have served," said Nakamura. 

Both winners will be honored at the NLADA Exemplar Award Gala on Thursday, June 9, in Washington, D.C., along with 2022 NLADA Exemplar Award Honorees: Deborah Goldstock Ringel, general counsel, secretary, and chief ethics & compliance officer at Accenture Federal Services, and Tony West, senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at Uber. 

Since 1989, the Kutak-Dodds Prizes have been awarded to attorneys who have significantly contributed to the human dignity and quality of life of individuals unable to afford legal representation. The prizes are jointly sponsored by The Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds.  

Each prize carries a cash award of $10,000. 


The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local levels, playing a leadership role in the creation of public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation. A leader in the development of national standards for civil legal aid and public defense, NLADA also provides advocacy, training and technical assistance for equal justice advocates across the country.