Brenda Star Adams

Senior Counsel, Education Equity and Litigation

Area of expertise: Title IX & higher education; Sexual and domestic violence; Trauma-informed and culturally-sensitive legal services; Complex litigation and systemic advocacy

You want to get to know her because:

  • Brenda has committed her 12 years of practice 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.
  • After joining ERA in January 2018, Brenda leads ERA’s Title IX litigation, oversees our Advice & Counseling program, and engages with our partners to end sexual violence at work and in school.
  • Brenda has spent her career at nonprofit organizations, including 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, and at the Eviction Defense Center, where she defended tenants facing eviction and organized tenants in bringing impact litigation.
  • Her appellate advocacy work has 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.

Alumna of:

  • UC San Diego (2002) and received her law degree from New England Law School (2006), where she was named to the Dean’s List each semester and received the 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.

Outside of work:

  • Brenda is proud to be a native of San Francisco, daughter of lesbian parents, mom to 7-year-old Olive and 3-legged Lucy, and wife to central Pennsylvanian Matt.
  • She loves the beach, the Giants, baking, and binging Netflix shows.


More about Brenda

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Come to our Virtual Gala

Join us online Nov. 13 for a virtual gathering of gender justice supporters nationwide! Featured speakers include Megan Rapinoe, Dolores Huerta, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

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Legal Advice & Resources / Consejos y Recursos legales

Know Your Rights

Learn what your rights are so you can navigate your situation and make the best decision for you.

Your Rights at Work
Your Rights at School

Contact Us

Due to our current caseload, we are unfortunately not able to offer appointments for employment-related issues right now. Please see our Know Your Rights guides for information about your rights at work.

For issues at school, temporarily we can only help with (1) sexual harassment or sexual assault in higher education, and (2) gender-based harassment or discrimination (including sexual harassment or assault) of LGBTQI+ individuals at all grade levels.

Apply for Legal Help

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We have trained legal advocates and lawyers on staff to guide you through your legal issue. (Education only.)

We're helping women, families, workers & students navigate COVID-19

Conozca Sus Derechos

Aprende sus derechos para que puedas navegar su situación y tomar la mejor decisión para ti.

Sus Derechos en el Trabajo


Por el volumen de nuestros casos, desafortunadamente no podemos ofrecer citas nuevas por cualquier problema relacionada a empleo en este momento. Favor de leer nuestro Guia de Conocer Sus Derechos para información sobre sus derechos en el trabajo.

Para problemas a su escuela, temporalmente, solo podemos ayudar con:
- Acoso sexual o agresión sexual en la universidad
- Acoso o discriminación basado en el género (incluyendo acoso sexual o agresión sexual) de personas que son LGBTQI+ de cualquier nivel de grado


Nuestro servicio de asesoramiento por teléfono está cerrado por ahora

En este momento, no estamos recibiendo solicitudes dejadas por un recado de teléfono. Sin embargo, usted puede someter una solicitud para una consulta por la manera de hacer clic en el link "Explíquenos Sobre Su Situacion."