Our team and partners
The PCC Legal Resource Center team includes the folks listed below, and is also staffed by dedicated and indispensable PCC Paralegal student interns, law student externs, volunteer attorneys, and other legal workers.
- Leni Tupper (she/her/hers): Leni is the Director of the PCC Legal Resource Center, and former Faculty Department Co-Chair of the PCC Paralegal Program. Leni founded and developed the PCC Legal Resource Center to provide legal services strategically targeted at reducing barriers to success. She has collaborated with a wide variety of college and community stakeholders to provide a thoughtful, community-centered vision for the Center. Leni still teaches paralegal classes and is committed to teaching the practical skills needed to succeed in the legal field, while working toward increasing access to justice for our communities. Leni tries to use her privilege to walk with community members in the struggle toward liberation.
- Maritza Ceja (she/her/ella): Maritza is the Community Resource Specialist for all the PCC Legal Resource Center’s projects. Previously, she worked full time on our eviction defense project, and before that as a youth and family advocate with Salem Keizer School District, eliminating barriers for families and youth experiencing houselessness. Maritza is bilingual/bicultural, and experienced in establishing community partnerships and assisting with basic needs. Maritza is a firm believer that housing and legal support are basic needs, and that having a strong community presence/involvement will help us thrive!
Criminal Record Relief
- J.J. Caufield (he/him/his): J.J. is the prospective staff attorney for the PCC Legal Resource Center, focusing on criminal record relief and other issues related to contact with the criminal legal system. He is awaiting the results of the attorney certification (Oregon State Bar) examination. He has two years’ experience with the PCC Legal Resource Center, working both on behalf of tenants in eviction proceedings, and on criminal record relief. Before that he worked in the food service industry as a dishwasher, busser, and waiter. He is passionate about second chances for all people and feels strongly that the needs of underserved communities should drive all legal work.
- Emilie Junge (she/her/hers): Emilie is an attorney in Portland, Oregon who works with the PCC Legal Resource Center, specializing in criminal record expungement and the collateral consequences of contact with the criminal legal system. Before coming to Portland, Emilie volunteered in Chicago with Cabrini-Green Legal Aid, doing expungement work for four years. She has also worked as a labor lawyer and represented health care workers for over 15 years. Emilie worked to pass Measure 110 in Oregon and believes in repairing the damage done by the drug war, and taking people out of the criminal justice system, one at a time.
- Daniel Sims (he/him): Dan is the Program Specialist for the CLEAR Clinic’s Criminal Record Relief project and he also works on the clinic’s Eviction Legal Defense program a graduate of PCC’s Paralegal Program. Dan grew up in Northeast Portland and has been working at the Clinic helping community members clear their criminal and eviction records, avoid eviction, and reduce barriers to safe and secure housing, employment, education, and well-being. Dan feels strongly that both expungement and eviction defense services are critical to promote the health of our community. Dan is also the Clinic’s number one expert fingerprinter.
- Cody Winger (he/him/él): Cody is the Community Resource Specialist for the PCC Legal Resource Center’s immigration and criminal record expungement programs. He is an alumnus of the Paralegal Program with a focus on immigration, criminal indigent defense, and employment law. Since graduation, Cody has worked for several law firms in several different areas of the law. During that time, he has always remembered that increasing access to justice for those who need it most is what drove him to enter the program in the first place.
- Whitney Phelps (she/her/hers): Whitney is the managing immigration attorney for the PCC Legal Resource Center’s limited scope deportation defense/immigration program. Whitney began her career in private practice representing immigrants in removal proceedings and in affirmative applications for lawful status before USCIS. After leaving private practice, she joined Metropolitan Public Defender as their Padilla Attorney where she provided advice to immigrants whose interactions with the criminal justice system could impact their ability to obtain or retain lawful status. Whitney has returned to Portland after living in York, Pennsylvania where she managed an immigration program dedicated to serving immigrant survivors and started a medical legal partnership with a local health system.
- Lina Lopez Rodriguez (she/her/ella): Lina is the immigration staff attorney for the PCC Legal Resource Center’s limited scope deportation defense/immigration program. Lina is a Colombian immigrant with first-hand experience of the US immigration process and related challenges. She interned at the PCC Legal Resource Center during her last year of law school at Lewis & Clark Law before starting her career as a family and immigration law attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon. Lina is dedicated to providing quality legal services to clients while maintaining a trauma-informed approach to mitigate the traumatizing nature of the legal system.
- Isabel Lara-Hernandez (she/her/ella): Isabel is a Program Specialist for the ECO limited scope deportation defense/immigration project at the CLEAR Clinic. Isabel was a student of the Paralegal Program with a focus on immigration law. She has worked in the immigration law field for over 2 years. Isabel is passionate about helping immigrant and indigenous communities navigate the complex immigration process. Isabel is also on the Board of Directors at Pueblo Unido PDX.
- Isaac Alley
- Vivien Lyon (they/them/theirs): Vivien is the co-managing attorney for the PCC Legal Resource Center’s eviction legal defense program. Vivien is committed to working to address the growing problem of inequity in access to justice. Their goal is to make legal representation available to everyone, not just a few. Vivien has been a nonprofit manager, small business owner, and an advocate for underserved communities. They have spent the last six years representing tenants in evictions and in litigation to ensure landlord compliance with state and local laws, among other things.
- Kelsyn Bevins (she/her/hers): Kelsyn is the co-managing attorney of the Eviction Legal Defense project at the Clinic. She has been practicing law in Oregon since 2012 and has worked in both criminal defense as a public defender and in civil litigation on Landlord and Tenant issues. Kelsyn formed her own law firm in 2018, The Bridge Law Firm, and has been representing clients in court matters in Multnomah and Washington counties. She brings first-hand knowledge of Oregon courthouses and trials to the PCC Legal Resource Center. Kelsyn works to help her clients understand step-by-step the legal system they find themselves in so they can be empowered in the process of resolving their case. Kelsyn’s believes that our courts require much greater transparency, and that gate-keeping legal knowledge for only a select and privileged few is to the detriment of our community.
- Victor Pierce Jr. (he/him/his) Victor is a homegrown Portlander who advocates for equity, holistic health, and social justice. Along the way to becoming a paralegal, he held research positions with PSU’s Black Studies and Sociology departments and earned his Bachelors of Science from the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health Education. Victor then was selected as an intern with the prestigious OHSU Equity Research Program where he garnered his interest in the intersectionality of law and the social determinants of health, eventually leading him to tenant defense.
- Sean Ferraro
- The PCC Paralegal Program and PCC Access and Reentry: The Directors of the PCC Legal Resource Center are the Faculty Department Co-Chair of the PCC Paralegal Program and the Director of Access and Reentry at PCC. The Paralegal Program is indispensable to the PCC Legal Resource Center, providing dedicated student and alumni volunteers and interns. Prior Paralegal Program legal clinic events laid the groundwork to obtain a grant from the City of Portland to institutionalize the PCC Legal Resource Center. The work of other Access and Reentry projects like “Opening Doors” has informed both the need in the PCC community for this work, and the direction that the Center takes to most holistically support participants.
- PCC Dreamers Resource Center: The Dreamers Resource Center (DRC) refers PCC students and community members to the PCC Legal Resource Center for DACA legal assistance, “Know Your Rights” presentations, legal advice, limited immigration court forms assistance, and navigation to free deportation defense through Equity Corps attorneys. The DRC also has limited funding to provide financial assistance to PCC students for DACA filing fees.
- PCC ABE/GED and PCC ESOL: The PCC Legal Resource Center partners with these and many other credit and non-credit academic programs to ensure that all Center participants know of the PCC educational resources available to help them meet their academic goals. Representatives from these programs provide materials about their programs to share with Center participants, and the PCC Legal Resource Center has a cross-referral system with these programs to provide holistic advocacy.
- PCC Opportunity Center and PCC Career Pathways: The PCC Legal Resource Center partners with PCC’s career training programs to ensure that participants have access to the workforce education and skills training available through PCC to help them advance their careers and obtain living wage jobs. PCC’s career training programs can also refer PCC students to the Center for legal services.
- Record Sponge: The PCC Legal Resource Center uses Record Sponge, a volunteer-built web application that helps providers quickly analyze an individual’s criminal history to determine if they qualify to have their Oregon criminal records sealed, or expunged. Record Sponge is a collaboration between Code for PDX and Qiu-Qiu Law.
- Innovation Law Lab/Equity Corps of Oregon: The PCC Legal Resource Center partners with Innovation Law Lab and Equity Corps of Oregon to ensure that all Center participants who are at risk of deportation are navigated to Equity Corps’ free legal defense resources. The PCC Legal Resource Center also helps provide pro se forms assistance to Center participants who are eligible for Equity Corps deportation defense services.
- Lewis & Clark Law School Criminal Justice Reform Clinic: The PCC Legal Resource Center partners with Lewis & Clark Law School to place law students in the Center to assist with all Center participants’ legal needs, and to help us expand the types of advocacy we are able to offer.
- Metropolitan Public Defender Community Law Division: The PCC Legal Resource Center partners with MPD Community Law to host Legal Services day at least twice a year, waiving participants’ Multnomah County Court fines and fees in exchange for community service hours. MPD Community Law also helped the PCC Paralegal Program host its first expungement clinics, and helped Center workers learn Oregon expungement legal analysis.
- North by Northeast Community Health Center: the PCC Legal Resource Center partners with North by Northeast Community Health Center to provide holistic support to Center participants. North by Northeast is the only medical clinic in Oregon devoted to Black health. They improve health outcomes and advance health equity by offering free primary care services and health education to the Black community in Portland.
- Youth Rights and Justice Juvenile Expungement Clinic: The PCC Legal Resource Center assists with adult criminal record expungements, and we partner with Youth Rights and Justice’s juvenile expunction clinic, who can assist with expunging juvenile records. Fill out their intake form, and feel free to let us know if you have any questions about juvenile versus adult records.