William N. Hebert, President
Bill joined PILP’s Board in 2009 and the following year he was elected President of the State Bar of California for the 2010-2011 term. During his legal career, he devoted substantial time to pro bono activities on behalf of the working poor. He co-counseled with Legal Aid at Work to represent Black shipyard workers in a race discrimination case against a shipbuilder in Mississippi and more recently he has been working to protect the rights of noncitizens from civil arrest by ICE in California courthouses. Bill received his J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law in 1988 and an A.B. from Stanford University in 1983.
Irma Herrera, Vice-Chair
Irma Herrera joined PILP’s Board in 2010. A Bay Area civil rights lawyer for more than three decades, she is now a playwright and solo performer. Her one-woman show, Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? was described by a reviewer as “creative, clever, and critical . . . addresses themes of identity, courage, and prejudice in ways that are relevant to America today.” Her play has been used as a component of DEI training at law firms and law schools. Prior to becoming a playwright, Irma worked as a journalist covering legal and social justice issues at San Francisco based New America Media. As a civil rights lawyer, she served as the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates advancing the rights of women and girls for 15 years. She represented farmworkers in Washington Yakima Valley and was an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). She is the recipient of various awards including the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award, awarded to women lawyers of distinction. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the van Löben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation which funds legal advocacy organizations. She is a member of the East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association.
Maeve Elise Brown, Treasurer/Secretary
Maeve Elise Brown joined PILP’s Board in 2018. She is the Executive Director and a founder of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), a unique, California statewide non-profit law office with a broad, economic justice/anti-discrimination mission. She applies her creative, outside-the-box thinking to her management and guidance of HERA’s operations and growth. A graduate of UCLA Law School, Ms. Brown’s experience as a public interest attorney includes litigation and administrative advocacy on behalf of tenants and homeowners, public benefits advocacy, community organizing, fair housing advocacy, community workshops, and trainings and technical assistance for professionals across a range of topics. Ms. Brown has organized and opened a community development credit union, and has designed and taught a course on mortgage lending and homeownership at UC Berkeley School of Law. For 5 years, she served on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) which she chaired in her final year. She has worked on local, state and federal policy initiatives and has driven critically important policy forward, including most recently, the Survivors’ Bill of Rights legislation for which she was the primary drafter. She has published various articles on affordable housing issues, authored a chapter in the American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Affordable Housing Development (first edition and updated), is bilingual in Spanish and conversant in Japanese, Farsi, French, Italian and German.
Elizabeth S. Bluestein
Elizabeth Bluestein joined PILP’s Board in 2013 and was elected as President in 2016. She is the Vice President and General Counsel of Public Counsel. She oversees and coordinates the work of Public Counsel’s legal programs and oversees Public Counsel’s legal and ethics compliance. Prior to 2009, Elizabeth was the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Community Development Project, which builds strong foundations for healthy, vibrant and economically stable communities by supporting nonprofits that assist lower income people and neighborhoods and incorporating policy, litigation and land use tools to support the development and preservation of affordable housing for lower income persons. Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School where she teaches a non-profit tax and transaction clinic. She is also currently serving as the Chair of the California State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services. She received her J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. from Harvard University.
Dan Pearlman is one of the original PILP Board Members and served as Chair from 2011 until 2016. After working in Mississippi in the summer of 1964 with the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee, Dan devoted his volunteer work and career as a public interest attorney, advocate and consultant to Civil Rights work and to helping low income people and their advocates in their pursuit of social and economic justice. He was a legal services attorney from 1968 to 1995 including 22 years with the National Housing Law Project where his work focused on developing and preserving housing for very low and low income households.
Miye Goishi is one of the original PILP Board Members. She joined the Hastings faculty in 1992 after 11 years of practice in the San Francisco Bay Area public interest community. She specialized in housing work at both Legal Aid of Marin and Contra Costa Legal Services Foundation. In 2008 she became the Director of the Civil Justice Clinic. She serves on the Board of Directors of two public interest organizations, the Child Care Law Center and the Public Interest Law Project. She grew up in the East Bay community of Livermore and always knew she would return to the Bay Area after school to take advantage of its temperate climate and progressive politics.
Tim Iglesias joined PILP’s Board in 2015. He is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law where he teaches Property Law, Land Use Law, Housing Discrimination, Eviction Lawyering, Community Property and Contemplative Lawyering. Prior to teaching, he worked for six years at the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California assisting non-profit developers obtain local government approvals for affordable housing developments in the face of community opposition. His scholarship focuses on land use law and housing law and policy, especially affordable housing and fair housing. He is currently working on a book applying social constructionism to housing law and policy. In 2015, Governor Brown appointed him to serve on California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/fehcouncil/). He was reappointed by Governor Newsom in 2019. He has served on the Council’s housing subcommittee drafting regulations to implement California’s anti-discrimination laws. Tim is a former member of the Jesuit order. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University (magna cum laude), another bachelor’s degree and an honorary master’s from Oxford University, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School with distinction.
Armen Nercessian joined PILP’s Board in 2019. Armen is a senior litigation associate at Fenwick & West LLP. He regularly counsels and represents technology and gaming clients on a variety of copyright, trademark, and trade secret suits, as well as complex consumer class actions. Armen also maintains an active pro bono docket. In 2017, together with Stanford Community Law Clinic, the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and PILP, he defeated an attempt by the California Apartment Association and institutional landlords to block implementation of the City of Mountain View’s ballot measure on rent stabilization. He has also participated in Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative and helped a veteran receive benefits from the VA in partnership with Swords to Plowshares. He received a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2012 (Order of Barristers) and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Drama from Tufts University in 2005 (Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu). While in law school, he was a member of the Moot Court Board and served as a law clerk for the Orleans Public Defenders office.
Shashi Hanuman joined PILP’s Board in 2020. She is the Directing Attorney of Public Counsel’s Community Development Project, which builds strong foundations for healthy, vibrant, economically stable communities in Los Angeles by assisting neighborhood nonprofits and small businesses; supporting early care and education providers; strengthening the health care safety net; building foundations for financial independence; advancing affordable housing and tenant protections; and championing community-led efforts to advance racial and economic justice. Shashi has over 19 years’ experience in housing and community development. Over the years, she has overseen the development and growth of direct services programs for nonprofits and small businesses, as well as advocacy and litigation campaigns in housing, inclusive development, and anti-displacement practice areas. She has represented nonprofit affordable housing developers, health care clinics, tenants, and organizing and advocacy groups on a range of matters geared towards building healthy communities, including developing supportive housing, enforcing tenant protections, and supporting the legal health of small businesses. Shashi has served on the boards of the Coalition for Responsible Community Development, the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, the Union Bank Community Advisory Board, and the Little Tokyo Service Center, and is a former commissioner for the Los Angeles City Affordable Housing Commission.