Tenant Lawyers Convene Statewide for Housing Justice

Friday, February 1, 2019

In 2011, Tenants Together organized a network of tenants’ rights lawyers from across California. Today, the Tenant Lawyer Network (TLN) consists of over 150 attorneys statewide, who pledge to represent tenants, not landlords, in residential housing matters. Last week, over 70 tenant attorneys gathered in Berkeley for the seventh annual TLN Conference, hosted by Tenants Together.
The TLN has played a behind-the-scenes role in bolstering the power of the tenants’ rights movement. Our rent control committee consists of two dozen expert attorneys who assist organizers in cities across the state looking to pass local tenant protections. TLN members helped draft rent control ordinances in Richmond and Mountain View, the first new cities to pass rent control in California in over 30 years, and have fought Section 8 discrimination and exploitation by slumlords in courts across the state.


The TLN also serves as a space for activist attorneys to connect and share concerns, strategies, and results. A range of panels and panelists discussed urgent tenant rights issues such as:

  • Case and legislative updates
  • Panel on ethics considerations for community lawyers
  • Presentation on the growing Right to Counsel movement for tenants facing eviction
  • Fair housing strategies to combat mass displacement
  • Local rent control ballot measure primer



The TLN has played a key role in strengthening the trans-local and statewide tenant movement. Its members are movement lawyers who generally operate quietly, defending tenants’ rights behind the scenes while activists and organizers work out front. Our annual convening celebrates these attorneys and deepens their connection to the organizing movements they support, not just with their dedication to defending displaced tenants, but their commitment to drafting strong pro-tenant legislation locally and statewide.
Special thanks to the team without whom this convening wouldn’t be possible!
Planning Committee: Shirley Gibson, Daniel Saver, Madeline Howard, Cary Gold, Adolfo Echeverry
Panelists: Madeline Howard, Scott Chang, Tyler Anderson, Liza Cristol-Deman, Daniel Saver, Deepa Varma, Cary Gold, Shirley Gibson, Craig Castellanet, Juliet Brodie, Katie McKeon
TT Staff: Adolfo Echeverry, Sara Linck-Frenz, Eduardo Torres
Event Volunteers: Nereida Heller, Dylan Trainor, Laurel Hermes, Brandon Sullivan-Cheah, Jake Jimenez, Agnes Cho, Neal Donnelly
IF you are a California tenant attorney interested in joining the TLN, start by clicking here!

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