New Pro Bono Director, COO Join Lawyers’ Committee


News from LCCR – SF Bay

August 27, 2019

Contact: Matt Kovac,, (415) 510-9601

New Pro Bono Director, COO Join Lawyers’ Committee

SAN FRANCISCO – Two nonprofit leaders joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) management team this week: Elica Vafaie as Director of Pro Bono and Strategic Partnerships and Nancy Shaw as Chief Operating Officer.

“Elica and Nancy each bring extensive expertise to maximize our impact as we scale our work to meet growing community needs,” said Monika Kalra Varma, LCCR executive director. “They will play a crucial role as we work to preserve civil rights and lay the foundations for a more just and equitable society.”

Vafaie joins LCCR from Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, where she led the National Security & Civil Rights Program where she worked with a variety of law firms, attorneys, and students on pro bono cases to advance the programs’ work. She also established the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center and has also worked with the California Community Foundation in LA.

Vafaie received her BA from UC Irvine and Sciences Po and her JD from UC Davis School of Law. She is Chapter President and former Pro Bono Chair of the Iranian American Bar Association Northern California.

“Now more than ever, lawyers have an opportunity and obligation to stand with those whose rights are under attack,” said Elica Vafaie, director of pro bono and strategic partnerships. “I look forward to connecting our pro bono partners with more opportunities to do this crucial work. We need all hands on deck.”

Nancy Shaw joins LCCR from Wilderness Torah, where she oversaw finance, operations, and development as Managing Director. She previously served as Executive Director of the Craigslist Foundation and launched the environmental responsibility program at Blue Shield of California. She also worked at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, which funded the early marriage equality cases that paved the way for the historic Supreme Court decision in 2015.

Shaw holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Presidio Graduate School focusing on socially-responsible business.

“This is a pivotal moment for the Lawyers’ Committee and the social justice community at large,” said Nancy Shaw, chief operating officer. “I’m excited to bring my skills to bear as we double down on our commitment to racial, economic, and immigrant justice in California.”


The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) protects and promotes the dignity and self-determination of people of color, immigrants, and low-income people in California. Formed in 1968 to provide legal support to the Civil Rights Movement, our attorney network provides free legal representation to communities on the front lines of social justice struggles, including asylum seekers, unhoused people, and Californians impacted by predatory bail industry contracts. These direct legal services inform the broader impact litigation and policy advocacy we undertake on our core issue areas: Immigrant, Racial, and Economic Justice. For more information, visit