Paul R. Chavez serves as the Executive Director of Centro Legal de la Raza, a comprehensive legal services agency protecting and advancing the rights of immigrant, low-income, and Latino communities through bilingual, culturally competent legal representation, education, and advocacy. By combining quality legal services with know-your-rights education and youth development, Centro Legal promotes access to justice for thousands of individuals and families each year throughout Northern and Central California. A widely recognized racial justice and immigrant rights advocate, Paul brings over 15 years of leadership experience in advancing and protecting the rights of communities of color and low-income communities.
Previously, Paul was a Senior Attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area where he maintained an active racial and immigrant justice impact litigation docket and supervised junior attorneys and pro bono volunteers engaged in both impact litigation and policy advocacy. Additionally, Paul managed the organization’s pro bono programs which included building, sustaining, and expanding pro bono relationships with law firms, corporations, law schools, and bar associations. Paul also directed the law clerk and fellowship programs at the Lawyers’ Committee.
A respected litigator, Paul has received several awards for his work, including a 2015 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award, recognizing extraordinary achievement in Immigrant Rights Impact Litigation. Formerly, Paul was a litigation associate at Donahue Fitzgerald LLP with an employment and commercial litigation practice. Paul was a fire fighter in the United States Navy prior to receiving his BA in Political Science from the University of Colorado. He earned his JD from Berkeley Law at the University of California.