Betty L. Nordwind
Betty Nordwind has devoted her legal career to social justice issues. Betty has been on the forefront of efforts championing the rights of the poor, disabled persons and women. Graduating from the University of Colorado Law School in 1971, Betty immediately signed up for a service corps program at Metro Denver Legal Aid, handling everyday problems of indigent residents of Colorado. In the vanguard of the disability rights movement, Betty founded and lead Denver Legal Aid’s first mental health law unit providing legal representation to civilly committed indigent individuals. Betty also helped initiate a path breaking lawsuit on behalf of poor, chronically mentally ill persons. Hired to manage the Harriett Buhai Center of Family Law in 1987 as its Executive Director, Betty has overseen its growth from a fledging office of 4 persons and less than 35 volunteers to a strong community institution of over 20 staff members and 300 volunteers providing in excess of 28,000 hours of legal service to more than 1,000 very low income persons in Los Angeles a year. Under Betty’s tutelage, the Center has trained hundreds of lawyers and law students, filed several significant lawsuits, engaged in other advocacy directed to eliminating barriers to the courts and undertaken legislative efforts to change child support laws and practices in California and Los Angeles. Under Betty’s direction the Center opened doors to the promise of family law and donated volunteer assistance to low-income community college students and incarcerated mothers.
Heidi K. Slater
Deputy Director of Operations
Senior Supervising Attorney
Senior Staff Attorney
Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Manager
Katherine Ojeda Stewart
Senior Client Assistant
Senior Client Assistant
Development & Communications Associate
Jessica Uzcategui (President)
Sacks, Glazier, Franklin & Lodise, LLP
Jessica Uzcategui is an attorney specializing in trust and estate litigation. She is a magna cum laude graduate from Duke University with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Jessica has served on committees for the American Bar Association and has been honored for her work aiding domestic violence victims by the LA County Bar Association. Jessica belongs to several professional groups including the Latina Lawyers Bar Association.
Louise Nixon (Vice President)
Law Offices of Louise Nixon
Louise Nixon is a solo practitioner specializing in the practice of pension law. Previously, Louise represented union multi-employer trust funds and was a legislative aid in Washington, D.C. and public relations director for a nonprofit agency. Louise is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and Whittier Law School. Louise provides substantial legal services for the Center’s clients in the area of her specialty, helping them preserve their rights to marital pensions often their only asset.
David P. Shebby (Secretary) (LACBA, Family Law Section Liasion)
Jacobson Scully Shebby LLP
David is a Certified Family Law Specialist and is a founding partner of Jacobson Scully Shebby, LLP. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and practices exclusively in the area of family law. David has extensive experience in both state and federal courts and has litigated scores of jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations to verdict. David currently serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Family Law Executive Committee.
William Scott Mowrey, Jr. (Treasurer)
William Scott Mowrey (Scott), a certified public accountant, is a founding partner of CMM, LLP which specializes in forensic accounting, litigation consulting and business valuation. Scott is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. Scott is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Susan Alker (WLALA Liaison)
Winston & Strawn LLP
Susan Alker is a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP in their corporate department and has extensive experience handling corporate lending transactions and representing major banks, financial institutions, private equity funds, and hedge funds. Susan received her B.A. from Ambassador University, her M.B.A. in International Business from California State University, and received her J.D. from UCLA. Susan is a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
Jaffe and Clemens
Stephanie M. Barnett is a family law attorney and an associate in the family law firm of Jaffe and Clemens. Stephanie is a graduate of University of California at Los Angeles and of Loyola Law School. Stephanie was a summer intern at the Harriett Buhai Center during law school and served as an attorney volunteer.
U.S. Trust Bank of America
Kalyani Chirra, a wealth strategies advisor, was an estate planning attorney before joining U.S. Trust Bank of America as a senior vice president. Kalyani is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and the New York University School of Law where she received an LL.M. in taxation.
Jorja Cirigliana (BWL Liaison)
Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP
Jorja is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, LLP. Jorja represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters in both state and federal court. Jorja is a graduate of Knox College and received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.
Carole H. Cohen
Retired Family Law Attorney
Carole H. Cohen, a volunteer attorney at the Center, is retired from a career in family law. Carole is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the Southwestern Law School and served as chair of the Family Law Advisory Commission and on the Family Law Committee for the State Bar of California.
Lorrina M. Duffy (LLBA Liaison)
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Horvitz & Levy
David Ettinger is a partner at the firm of Horvitz & Levy, which specializes in appellate law. David has worked on precedent-setting litigation for the Center to help its clients and other low income litigants gain access to the justice system. When the Los Angeles Superior Court created an obstacle to the Center’s clients’ cases by imposing a fee on mandatory child custody mediation, David successfully sued in the Court of Appeal to invalidate the fee. With David’s help, the Center took action when the Superior Court barred parents who could not afford lawyers from seeking to establish paternity and obtain child support. David aided the Center in filing amicus curiae briefs in establishing important precedents concerning the right to obtain custody orders under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act as well as litigation concerning the process for indigent persons to bring their cases without paying court fees and costs David is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and received his J.D. cum laude from Loyola Law School. David is First Vice President of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a member of the Appellate Advisory Committee for the Judicial Council of California.
William J. Glucksman
Kolodny & Anteau
William J. Glucksman (Bill), is a family law attorney and a partner in the law firm of Kolodny & Anteau. Bill is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and of Southwestern Law School. Bill serves as past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Southern California Chapter of the American academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). Bill’s firm provides volunteer legal services for the Center representing clients in court.
Jodi Bell Ticknor
Attorney, Writer/Producer, Entrepreneur
Jodi Ticknor is an attorney, screenwriter, producer and entrepreneur. In 2010 Jodi formed On Fire Applications, LLC, to create applications for mobile phones and the ipad. Previously Jodi worked for law firm of Freund and Brackey and as a development executive for Francis Ford Coppola. Jodi is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Loyola Law School. Jodi provides volunteer legal services at the Center for its clients.
Also members of the Advisory Council
Yolande Adelson *
Vera Brown-Curtis *
Mablean Ephriam, Co-founder
Larry A. Ginsberg
Fahi Takes Hallin
Susan R. Stockel
Beverly A. Williams
Judith R. Forman, Chair
Sheriff Lee Baca
Leah M. Bishop
Hon. Kenneth A. Black (Ret.)
Judge Aviva Bobb (Ret.)
Hon. Isabel R. Cohen (Ret.)
Emily Shappell Edelman
Tracy Farryl Katz
Stephen A. Kolodny
Hon. Veronica Simmons McBeth
Joan Patsy Ostroy, Co-founder
Hon. Robert Schnider (Ret.)
Judith Salkow Shapiro
Asst. Sheriff Paul Tanaka
Laura A. Wasser
Susan E. Wiesner