Brenda Star Adams has dedicated her legal career to representing the most marginalized communities of our society, with an emphasis on providing access to justice for immigrants, members of the LGBT+ community, and low-income communities of color. Joining ERA as a Senior Staff Attorney in January 2018, she helps to lead ERA’s impact litigation, oversee our Advice & Counseling program, and engage with our partners in efforts to end sexual violence at work and in school.
Prior to joining ERA, Brenda was the Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Unit at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she directed a team of attorneys, fellows, pro bono counsel, and law students in representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in family law and immigration cases. Brenda specialized in complex litigation and systemic advocacy and was responsible for training newer attorneys in litigation practice. She is especially proud of her appellate advocacy work, which resulted in a published Court of Appeal decision holding, for the first time, that child abuse perpetrated against the child of a victim of domestic violence could support renewal of her restraining order.
As a Litigation Attorney at the Eviction Defense Center, Brenda represented hundreds of low-income and Spanish-speaking tenants in unlawful detainer cases in jury trials. She also organized tenants in affirmative cases against slumlords, advocated for tenant-friendly ordinances before local legislative bodies, and worked with the Superior Court to promote systemic changes.
Brenda is a native of San Francisco and graduate of UC San Diego (2002). She received her law degree from New England Law School (2006), where she was named to the Dean’s List each semester and received the prestigious Public Service Award, an honor voted on by the faculty and given to the student with a demonstrated commitment to using their degree to advocate on behalf of those in need.