Alex is a staff attorney who litigates wage and hour and employment discrimination cases. Before he joined NWJP, Alex was a staff attorney at Legal Aid Services of Oregon, where he represented farmworkers in employment cases. He graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School and is a member of the Oregon bar.
Bonnie Allen-Sailer, Staff Attorney
Bonnie practices employment and occasionally immigration law. She is a passionate advocate for immigrant workers and is working to combat the particular barriers faced by those workers in building power and accessing justice. She moved to Oregon 20 years ago from the east coast to attend Reed College and never looked back. After several years of working in direct service in various anti-poverty contexts, her frustration with the upstream factors causing people to struggle led her to attend law school. She was drawn to NWJP for the opportunity to connect direct legal services with policy work. Bonnie is a member of the Oregon bar.
Chris Ferlazzo, Program Administrator
Chris comes to us from Portland Jobs with Justice, where he worked as an organizer and fundraiser for 14 years. Before that, he worked in the Central America solidarity movement. Chris is charged with the general administration of the organization, including fundraising, communications, and operations.
Corinna Spencer-Scheurich, Director
Corinna was Deputy Director at NWJP for seven years before becoming Executive Director in July 2020. Corinna helps lead NWJP’s various efforts to support workers in building power to dismantle structural racism, income inequality, and oppression. Corinna is an experienced litigator of state and federal wage and hour and employment discrimination cases. She has worked with unions on external organizing campaigns and advised workers organizing in the workplace without traditional union support.
Before joining NWJP, Corinna was the South Texas Regional Director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, where she practiced employment, disability, and civil rights law on behalf of low-income families living on the Texas-Mexico border. She is a member of the Oregon, Washington, Texas, and California bars.
Cynthia Carvajal, Paralegal
Born and raised in Central Oregon, Cynthia is the daughter of immigrant farmworker parents. Having received a Bachelors in Political Science at Oregon State University, she continues to learn and understand the power imbalances and injustices her family and her communities continue to face. Her legislative work experience, and work within the labor movement continue to inspire her to make a greater impact within the community. She hopes her work within NWJP will allow her to evolve, and help garner a greater understanding of the law to empower and identify workers rights and issues as an agent of change.
Michael (he, him, his) is the founder of NWJP, and is now our Senior Attorney. An experienced litigator, he won seminal cases involving minimum-wage law, immigration rights, wrongful discharge and workers’ compensation in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and in the Oregon appellate courts. Michael worked for 25 years as an Oregon legal services attorney. He was Regional Director of the Ontario office for ten years, directed the statewide farm worker program for eighteen years and was Director of Litigation for Oregon Legal Services and the Oregon Law Center. In 1995 he helped establish the Oregon Law Center. Since 2002 Michael has acted "of counsel" to Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid's migrant program.
He has been admitted to the California, Connecticut and Oregon bars. Michael’s work has been recognized by the Ohtli award from the Government of Mexico, the Hans Linde Award from the American Constitution Society and the Kutak-Dodd Prize from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.
Kate is an attorney who handles employment and civil rights cases, and advises emerging labor unions. She also coordinates NWJP’s Coalition to Stop Wage Theft and our project to improve worker safety, Safe Jobs Oregon. Before joining us, she worked to fight wage theft within the day labor community at the Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project in Portland. Kate was also a law clerk in a state trial court in Manhattan, and a staffer for the New York City Council.
Kate has a BA in Spanish Literature from Reed College and a JD from the City University of New York’s Public Interest Law School. She is a member of the New York and Oregon bars.
Mayra is a lifelong Oregonian from Hood River. As the daughter of migrant parents, Mayra learned at a very young age the injustices that many low-income workers face. She developed a strong interest in the legal aspect of workers' rights, ultimately paving her path to attend law school. She graduated from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago and previously attended Willamette University where she received her BA in Economics and Spanish. Mayra is a member of the Oregon bar.
Nancy Oropeza Leon, Bilingual Administrative Assistant
Nancy is a Mexican-American, born and raised in Oregon. She comes from a family of immigrants and is passionate about the need for work in voicing immigrant rights. Nancy assists NWJP in different areas as needed to help make sure everyone is ready to fight for justice. She enjoys working for her community in hopes of making a difference for immigrants and low- income families.
Patricia Laguna, Legal Assistant
Patricia assists with casework and is the main contact for all of our Spanish-speaking clients. She has long advocated for the rights of working people, working as a family service worker and a parent involvement coordinator at the Oregon Child Development Coalition’s Migrant Seasonal Head Start program. Before moving to the U.S., Pati worked for a radio station in her native Mexico, and as a producer of educational programming in Mexico City.
Rodrigo grew up in Chile and moved to the US as a teenager. As an immigrant who did not speak the language, he is keenly aware of some of the obstacles and subtle biases that many immigrant and low-wage workers face. He is also convinced that meaningful change comes only through working with others—especially those who have been oppressed or marginalized—since that is the best hope anyone has for recognizing the ways in which one may be complicit in sustaining oppressive systems.
Before moving to Oregon, he attended Northern Illinois University, where he received a BA and MA in Philosophy. Rodrigo passed the Oregon Bar Exam in February 2021 and is finishing the last of his graduation requirements at Lewis and Clark Law School. Outside of work, he likes devouring books, beating friends at ping pong, and hanging out with his two cats.