After More than Two Years Leading Public Counsel, Ramírez Almadani Will Depart the Organization to Assume New Role
LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2023—Public Counsel, the nation’s largest provider of pro bono services, is pleased to announce that Mónica Ramírez Almadani, its President and CEO and holder of the Helen & Morgan Chu Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair, has been confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. With this appointment, Ramírez Almadani becomes the only Latina currently serving on this court and the third Latina judge in the court’s history, bringing crucial representation to the nation’s most populous federal district, where nearly half of its 19 million people identify as Hispanic or Latino/a. Ramírez Almadani will step down from Public Counsel to join the Court.
Ramírez Almadani joined Public Counsel in 2021 with nearly 20 years of experience advocating on behalf of underserved communities. In her impactful tenure as President and CEO of Public Counsel, Ramírez Almadani steered the organization through a series of groundbreaking initiatives, enhancing its mission to deliver comprehensive legal services and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems. Under her leadership, Public Counsel launched a visionary five-year strategic plan and established critical leadership positions – bolstering strategic litigation and policy advocacy efforts and ensuring a more collaborative and impactful approach to providing legal services. Further cementing the organization’s innovative legacy, Ramírez Almadani promoted the integration of social work within legal practice, establishing the inaugural Director of Social Work to promote a trauma-informed, client-centric culture, while also guiding the organization to secure numerous critical legal victories and confronting some of the nation’s most complex civil rights issues head on.
“Mónica came to Public Counsel with a clear vision for expanding and deepening our impact in the communities we serve, and under her bold leadership, this organization has grown stronger and changed countless lives for the better,” said Tanya Acker, Chair of Public Counsel’s Board of Directors. “During her exceptional stewardship, Mónica spearheaded the creation of a new strategic plan and oversaw the establishment of several key leadership positions, ensuring a more innovative and impactful approach to justice. Her remarkable tenure and confirmation to the federal court add yet another chapter to Public Counsel’s proud legacy, and we know that she will be an outstanding member of the bench. I’m honored to have had the chance to work alongside her.”
Under her skillful guidance, Ramírez Almadani helped the organization emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. She oversaw crucial safety enhancements within the workplace, which were instrumental in facilitating the safe reopening of Public Counsel’s headquarters. The return to in-person operations was a critical step in advancing Public Counsel’s core mission — broadening the accessibility of services to diverse Los Angeles communities and fostering the ability to connect on a more personal and human level.
“It has been a profound honor to serve as President and CEO of Public Counsel during such a pivotal time,” said Mónica Ramírez Almadani. “Our organization navigated the uncertainties of the pandemic, strengthened our connections as a community, and deepened our commitment to the clients and populations we serve. I am immensely proud of our resilience and the impact we’ve made together.”
Ms. Ramírez Almadani oversaw a period of extraordinary fundraising for Public Counsel, securing the largest single gift in the organization’s history. Her efforts not only bolstered the fiscal stability of the organization but also expanded its capacity to serve the community and advance its mission.
Ramírez Almadani’s extensive and diverse law career has included serving as a civil rights litigator at the American Civil Liberties Union, a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, and a clinical law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Ramírez Almadani’s previous experience in federal and state government also includes working for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, and at the California Department of Justice. She also worked in private practice at Covington & Burling LLP. Both her unique lived experiences as the daughter of Mexican immigrants growing up in the working-class immigrant community of Huntington Park in southeast Los Angeles and her professional expertise promise to enrich the judiciary, making a significant contribution to the diversity that is essential for the public trust and for the enhanced judicial decision-making that reflects the communities served by the Central District of California.
Ramírez Almadani is the second leader of Public Counsel to be confirmed as a federal judge, underscoring the organization’s legacy of leadership excellence and commitment to justice. Earlier this year, Hernán Vera, Public Counsel’s President and CEO from 2008-2014, was also confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. And immediately preceding Ramírez Almadani’s tenure, Margaret Morrow, a distinguished federal judge in the same district, stepped down from the bench to preside over Public Counsel, bringing invaluable legal insight and leadership to the nonprofit law firm.
About Public Counsel
Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles.