For more than two decades, the Law Center has worked to reduce the toll that gun violence has on the United States. In that time, our dedicated, dynamic staff has become the nation’s premier resource on firearms policy, educating legislators and the public on the smart gun laws that save lives.
Robyn Thomas joined the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence as executive director in 2006. Under her leadership, the Law Center has experienced a dramatic expansion, widening its operations at the federal, state, and local levels, growing its staff and budget, and greatly increasing its influence. This growth culminated in the Law Center’s 2016 merger with Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Robyn oversees the development of the Law Center’s policy priorities and has testified in Congress and before state and local lawmakers as an expert witness on gun laws and the American gun violence epidemic. An attorney herself, Robyn supervises the legal team’s tracking and analysis of Second Amendment litigation and firearms legislation nationwide. Additionally, she manages partnerships with other organizations, particularly pro bono partner law firms and community groups, amplifying the Law Center’s reach beyond the gun violence prevention movement. Most recently, Robyn spearheaded the creation of the Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce, a joint venture between top law firms and the gun violence prevention movement to hold the gun lobby accountable in the courts, and the Law Center’s Urban Gun Violence Initiative, which aims to help save lives through a combination of community intervention strategies and smart gun laws.
Robyn serves as a spokesperson for the organization and has written numerous op-eds for publications such as the New York Times, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and the Daily Dot. She regularly appears on television as a leading authority on America’s gun laws, having been featured on Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, CBS News, ABC News, PBS NewsHour, NBC, CNN, and more. Robyn has also been quoted widely in the media, offering her expertise to the Washington Post, USA Today, Vanity Fair, the Guardian, and NPR, among many others, and was featured in Katie Couric’s 2016 documentary on gun violence, Under the Gun.
Prior to her work at the Law Center, Robyn served as the executive director of the Tikkun Community and Tikkun Magazine. Before entering the nonprofit space, Robyn practiced law at Lord Bissell & Brook and Milberg Weiss Bershad & Shulman in New York. She is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Miami School of Law.
Allison Anderman became the Law Center’s managing attorney in April 2017, after joining the organization as a staff attorney in January 2014. One of her primary focuses is partnering with cities and counties around the country to improve local gun laws.
A leading expert on firearms policy and legislation, Allison frequently speaks at conferences and events around the country and has analyzed and debated gun laws on CNN, HuffPost Live, and other news programs. Allison’s radio appearances include national NPR, KQED in San Francisco, KCRW in Los Angeles, and many other regional stations. She has been quoted extensively in the press, including by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, and many others.
Prior to joining the Law Center, Allison defended low-income individuals sued by debt collectors at two San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit organizations. She also practiced employment law at a Marin County firm. Allison served as an extern to Northern District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel and as a research attorney to Alameda Superior Court Judge Gail Brewster Bereola.
Allison attended the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she was a member of the USF Law Review. She holds a BA, awarded with distinction, from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, where she graduated cum laude with research honors.
Laura Cutilletta joined the Law Center in May 2003, serving as staff attorney, senior staff attorney, managing attorney, and now the organization’s legal director. She is a prominent expert on gun laws and policy nationwide, and, in 2009, established programs to track, analyze, and report on firearms legislation and trends in all 50 states. This project has made the organization the primary resource on state gun laws for media, activists, lawmakers, and the public. Laura has worked for more than a decade with activists across the country and legislators at all levels of government, providing legal expertise and advice on legislative solutions to gun violence.
Laura is frequently invited to speak at conferences around the country and has been quoted in major publications such as the Economist, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and the Atlantic.
Previously Laura served as the legal services manager at STAND! Against Domestic Violence and staff attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. She has been admitted to the bar in both California and Illinois, and earned her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Public Health Research Associate
Kelly Drane joined the Law Center in 2017 as a public health research associate. She provides public health data expertise to support the organization’s policy-making, litigation, and educational work. Kelly helps to research best practices for community-based gun violence prevention as part of the Urban Gun Violence Initiative, and she maintains an ongoing database of studies and reports related to firearm violence prevention.
Kelly received her MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where her master’s thesis focused on media coverage of gun violence, and her BA from Rhodes College.
Prior to working at the Law Center, Natalie assisted with event management at United Way and with client services at the YWCA. A graduate of the University of Utah, she has a background in consumer and social welfare policy. She moved from Salt Lake City to San Francisco in 2014.
To learn more about how you can support the Law Center’s work, contact Natalie at [email protected].
Staff Attorney & California Legislative Affairs Director
An expert on mental health policy and state legislation, Ari has discussed and debated issues related to gun violence in TV, radio, and print publications and has been quoted in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, USA Today, the Atlantic, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, CNN, NPR, and many other outlets.
Prior to joining the Law Center, Ari was an AMVETS Veterans’ Advocacy Legal Fellow, where he focused on litigation and policy work surrounding the military justice system’s treatment of mental health and suicide. He also published multiple law review articles on these topics. Ari earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his law degree from Stanford Law School.
Chief Operating Officer
Previously, Ellen provided financial services in both a staffing and consulting capacity to nonprofit organizations in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sacramento, and the East Bay. She has also served as a national fiscal reviewer for Head Start. Ellen serves on several San Francisco nonprofit boards and holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco.
Lauren Greenberg joined the Law Center in 2016 as the organization’s Development Assistant. Lauren supports fundraising and gift management, coordinates the Anniversary Dinner, and manages the Law Center’s data systems.
Prior to joining the Law Center, Lauren assisted the marketing and development teams at Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay. She previously spent nearly a decade as an educator and mentor, developing programs and generating resources for public high school students. Lauren graduated from UC Santa Cruz cum laude with a BA in community studies, where she focused on the intersection of public health with drug policy, the criminalization of youth of color, and the prison industrial complex.
Director of Marketing & Communications
To arrange an interview with one of the Law Center’s legal experts, email Garrett at [email protected].
Before working at the Law Center, Marie was a journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting and previously worked in textbook publishing. She moved from Boston to San Francisco in 2009.
Reach out via Twitter @smartgunlaws.
Senior Staff Attorney & Urban Gun Violence Initiative Director
Mike McLively joined the Law Center in 2013 and is now senior staff attorney and director of the Law Center’s Urban Gun Violence Initiative, where he oversees an effort to use policy mechanisms to support and promote evidence-based violence intervention strategies aimed at preventing gun violence in America’s most impacted communities.
An expert on gun policy and urban gun violence, Mike authored the Law Center’s groundbreaking 2016 report Healing Communities in Crisis and regularly speaks to state and local leaders on the need to address the day-to-day shootings that fuel America’s gun violence epidemic. He has discussed and debated gun laws on national television, including CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, and has appeared on a variety of radio programs, including KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle and WBEZ Chicago’s Morning Shift. Mike has also been quoted extensively by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, VICE, Mother Jones, and many others.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @mrmclively, where he regularly tweets about issues related to urban gun violence, the economic cost of gun violence, and more.
Prior to joining the Law Center, Mike was a litigation associate at Jones Day, where he worked on matters involving criminal law and immigration law. He received his JD from the University of Virginia, where he served as an editor of the Virginia Law Review, and his BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Federal Policy Director
Lindsay Nichols joined the Law Center in June 2006 as a staff attorney and later senior staff attorney, and is now the organization’s federal policy director. As a leading advocate for gun violence prevention for over a decade, Lindsay has played an essential role in drafting many of the new state laws addressing the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. Bills she has drafted have become laws in Delaware and New Jersey, and particular provisions have been incorporated into laws enacted in California, Illinois, and Washington State. She has also provided organizations and advocates with skilled research and comparative analysis regarding gun laws and legislation on myriad topics, including background checks, domestic violence, concealed carry, and the intersection of mental illness and guns.
In her role as federal policy director, Lindsay provides legal and policy analysis regarding how the gun lobby’s federal agenda would impact state and local communities across the country and helps craft stronger proposals to address gun violence in America. She has testified before Congress and numerous state and local governmental bodies as a gun law expert. Her commentary on firearm policy has been quoted in the Washington Post, the Associated Press, Newsweek, the New York Times, USA Today, Mother Jones, CNN, and many other outlets.
Prior to joining the Law Center, Lindsay was a litigation associate at Severson & Werson, APC, in San Francisco. She earned her BA with Honors from Wesleyan University, an MA from UCLA, and her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she was a member of the California Law Review.
Research Associate & Operations Manager
An advocate for underserved communities, she has engaged in a number of progressive causes from the affordability of higher education to marriage equality. Before coming to the Law Center, Brittany worked at Sandstrom and Associates as a marketing and administrative assistant, and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a BA in Politics.
Sejal H. Patel
Sejal began her career in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice in the Attorney General’s Honors Program. She also worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia and an associate at Pillsbury in San Francisco. She has since run a solo public interest law practice, first in Boston and now in San Francisco, focusing on indigent criminal defense, Title IX adjudication, and dispute resolution. Her cases have been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, and other outlets, and she has written and spoken about her work extensively. She earned her BA from Trinity University, her JD at Northwestern Law School, and her MTS at Harvard Divinity School. She also volunteers at 826 Valencia, is on the board of the Take 5 Foundation, and is a member of the Harvard Divinity School Alumni/Alumnae Council.
Previously, Shoshana was a graphic designer with Kalamazoo College’s development department from 2010 to 2013. Before joining the Law Center and ARS, she worked in nonprofit design and communications after moving to the Bay Area from Michigan in 2014.
Staff Attorney & Second Amendment Litigation Director
Hannah Shearer joined the Law Center as a staff attorney and Second Amendment specialist in June 2016. Hannah tracks and analyzes court cases involving the Second Amendment and manages the Law Center’s amicus brief program, in which our legal experts participate in crucial firearms litigation as “friends of the court.” Hannah also oversees the Law Center’s legislative work in nine states, drafting bills and providing gun policy expertise to legislators and advocates working to enact lifesaving smart gun laws.
Hannah is author of the Law Center’s Post-Heller Litigation Summary, a comprehensive survey of Second Amendment decisions issued by state and federal courts since 2008. She regularly provides information and commentary on the Second Amendment and state firearm laws to media outlets, and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, US News & World Report, and VICE, among many other publications.
Before joining the Law Center, Hannah worked as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in San Francisco and as a law clerk to Judge Paul J. Watford of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hannah received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her JD from Stanford Law School.
Adam previously served as senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, where he worked on issues related to money in politics, judicial independence, and voting rights. He was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York City and a law clerk to Judge Stanley Marcus of the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Chief Judge Edward Korman of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Adam’s political commentary has been published in the National Law Journal, the New Republic, Politico, the Atlantic, ACSBlog, and the New York Times, among other publications, and he has been widely quoted by media from the Wall Street Journal and Fox News to the New York Times and MSNBC. Adam graduated summa cum laude with a JD from Brooklyn Law School, where he was a member of the Brooklyn Law Review. He received an MS in Urban Affairs from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and holds a BA, awarded with distinction, from Swarthmore College.
Staff Attorney & Pro Bono Director
Christine is a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer from New York City. She worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as both a trial and appellate lawyer, then opened her own practice, representing criminal defendants who could not afford their own attorney.
After relocating to Singapore, Christine worked with the Law Society of Singapore’s Pro Bono Services, coordinating the compilation of a criminal law manual for civil law attorneys offering pro bono assistance to indigent defendants. She also taught Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Law. Christine earned her BA at Smith College and her JD at Fordham University School of Law.