Paralegal Studies: Faculty
Beth Allen is a graduate of the SF State Paralegal Studies program. While attending SF State, she interned as a paralegal in family-based immigration law and worked as a paralegal in family law. After graduation, she switched to employment-based immigration, beginning her career at Simmons & Ungar, LLP. She currently works as a paralegal in employment-based immigration law at Cornerstone Law Group. Prior to becoming an immigration paralegal, she was a print journalist with various newspapers throughout the US, a yoga instructor, and the mother of four. She has a working knowledge of written and spoken Spanish and French with an academic background in journalism and French literature.
Ruth Astle, JD, is an administrative law judge who presides over hearings and writes decisions involving state and municipal agencies. She serves as an arbitrator and has more than 18 years' experience in law practice. She has authored material on administrative law for Continuing Education of the Bar publications and has received many awards for her work as a lawyer and judge.
Vince Avellino, JD, provides court-ready accountings for attorneys and bookkeeping services for fiduciaries, as well as the usual bookkeeping and accounting services for small businesses and individuals.
Emily Bergfeld, MLIS, is a Reference Librarian at the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland. Prior to joining the Alameda County Law Library in 2008, she worked at several law firm libraries in the Bay Area. Emily has extensive experience providing instruction in the effective use of legal databases, at the point of need and in a classroom setting. She regularly presents MCLE programs on using legal databases at the law library, and is the Lexis trainer for SF State's Paralegal Studies program. She received a BA History from UC Berkeley, a Master's in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, and is a graduate of SF State's Paralegal Studies certificate program.
Diane Camacho has over 15 years of experience in legal management. Working her way up from a secretarial position, she has managed small firms and branches of large international firms. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of San Francisco in 2009 in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.
David Goldstein, JD, is an attorney in private practice in San Mateo County, specializing in criminal defense. He started his career in Public Defenders Office in Sacramento. In the last 17 years, David have concentrated on special circumstance and capital murder cases. He was the legislative representative for the California Public Defenders Association from 1970 - 1981. David has over 30 years of experience in the field, and has been teaching Criminal Law since 1981.
John Hanft, MBA, JD, is the director of the Witkin Legal Institute at Thomson Reuters West, a legal information company. He is the author of Legal Research in California, sixth edition, published by Thomson Reuters West and the co-author of Wills, Trusts, and Estates for Legal Assistants, third edition, published by Aspen. Professor Hanft earned his undergraduate degree from Reed College, his law degree from University of Oregon, and his MBA in tax from Golden Gate University. Faculty member since 1984.
Founding partner of Jenkins Goodman Neuman & Hamilton LLP, Charles Jenkins has litigated cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts all over California since 1984. With a broad base of experience including environmental, class action and intellectual property litigation, Mr. Jenkins has been recognized as one of the premier commercial litigators in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to practice law today. Since 2004, Mr. Jenkins has focused his professional pursuits on growing green businesses and advocating for public policies designed to limit human behaviors that contribute to climate change. Mr. Jenkins was a principal in FutureHouse USA, a collaborative green building project between the governments of the US and China integrating highly innovative green building systems into a demonstration residence located in Beijing. Mr. Jenkins is currently co-founder and Chief Executive of RenewedCurrent, Inc., a green start-up company that cultivates and harvests Renewable Energy Credits for individuals and businesses that generate their own clean electricity through photovoltaic solar and wind turbine generation systems. Mr. Jenkins is currently advising local, state and regional governmental interests about distributed clean electricity generation and related regulatory concerns.
William Jenkins is a Deputy Attorney General for the Office of Attorney General of State of California. He currently works in the Natural Resources Section representing state agency with responsibility for managing natural resources and environmental protection. Mr. Jenkins has been a member of the State Bar since 1989.
Mali Kigasari is a graduate of the SF State Paralegal Studies Program. She works as a Federal Investigator at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Mali joined the EEOC in January 2009. As a trilingual investigator, native Persian/Farsi speaker fluent in oral and written English and Spanish, Mali investigates allegations of illegal employment discrimination in the workplace. Prior to joining EEOC, Mali was an Immigration Paralegal at Elliot & Mayock LLP and prior to that, she was an entrepreneur for fifteen years. Mali graduated from University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology Department with High Honors. Mali has served as Persian and Spanish translator/interpreter for Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Workers Rights Clinic, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, and Catholic Relief Charities.
R. David Kirby, MBA obtained his Master's Degree with highest honors. David is a commissioned notary public, a Certified Loan Signing Agent and a member of the National Notary Association since 2007. As a career Safety and Security Director, he has many years of experience as a corporate trainer. David is also Founder and Co-owner of California Notary Training Center and has been teaching notary training courses at schools and colleges throughout northern California since 2009. He is a seasoned instructor having taught various training courses for 20 years. He has a passion for helping students succeed.
Mary Ann Koory, a UC Berkeley Extension Honored Instructor, earned her PhD from Berkeley in English Literature and lectured in literature (mostly Shakespeare) for Berkeley and SF State. She also teaches creative writing (the novel and poetry) for Berkeley Extension.
Adria-Ann McMurray, JD, is an attorney in private practice. She has specialized in immigration law since 1986. She holds a BA in Psychology and Journalism from UC Berkeley and a JD from New College School of Law. She has been teaching Paralegal courses at SF City College and SF State since 1991.
Pat Medina, BA, is the director of the Paralegal Studies program and has taught in the Paralegal Studies program since 1981. She is the author of Paralegal Discovery: Procedure and Forms. Ms. Medina has worked as a litigation paralegal for over 20 years, with experience at both plaintiff and defense law firms. Faculty member since 1981.
Kimberly Sharon has more than 20 years of management and tutorial experience spanning both corporate and start-up environments. Currently owns and teaches for California Notary Academy, she also serves as Director of Operations for JOBCOE, an organization specializing in market penetration strategies and business operations. Ms. Sharon is the principal of Notary On-The-Go, specializing in notary services in the state of California and tutorial services for independent Notaries, a business she founded and has been profitable at for seven years. She also develops notary educational content for California Notary Public and educational vendors.
Joseph Tobener is the managing attorney at the Tobener Law Center. An attorney for more than fifteen years, Mr. Tobener draws on his specialized tenant law expertise to provide caring, easy-to-understand, and aggressive assistance to a diverse clientele. He has represented thousands of Bay Area residents on tenant law issues and earned millions on behalf of his clients. He has appeared on KALW and KQED and was featured in the SF Bay Guardian, the Daily Journal, and California Lawyer. Cases he has successfully litigated have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, Reuters, and Wired. His clients have included countless lawyers, high-tech executives, mobile home residents, the San Francisco Tenants Union, and several art collectives. One of his passions is working to preserve artist live/work housing. He also worked for Home Base, a homelessness law nonprofit and has been an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University and UC Hastings. The firm is dedicated to employee activism, and sponsors each of its lawyers to volunteer weekly in the community at housing rights nonprofits, donating nearly 500 attorney hours each year.
Steve Weisberg, JD, operates a contract service for legal and sociologic services and is a partner in a continuing education lecture business. He has acted as both a small claims court advisor and mediator for Marin County and has over 20 years of experience in teaching and curriculum design in the legal field. Faculty member since 1991.
Andres L. Williams, Esq., is a skilled negotiator and talented trial attorney with diverse advocacy experience in corporate, contract, labor/employment, and insurance law. Prior to going to work for the federal government, Williams was a Senior Associate with Sellar Hazard Manning Ficenec & Lai. He clerked for the Honorable John S. Rhoades, United States District Court, Southern District of California. Williams received his BA degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his MS degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law. He has been an active member of the State Bar of California since 1988.
Pamela Wolpa, RP, began her career in the legal field in 1994 working on the plaintiff side of legal malpractice cases and is a graduate of the SF State Paralegal Studies Program. Pam is currently an employment litigation paralegal at Littler Mendelson, P.C. She has extensive computer hardware and software experience and has led multiple trainings on legal software and Adobe Acrobat Professional both on the job and at various events and seminars. Pam loves to help others with their computer questions/frustrations as well as help them understand how the various programs work, how and where to find additional helpful resources and feel more comfortable on the computer. She received her BA in Psychology from Long Beach State University.
Mitzi Wortman, RNC, CCM, LNC, is an independent Legal Nurse Consultant, practicing in San Francisco, California. Ms. Wortman obtained her ABA-approved Paralegal and Legal Nurse Consultant certificates from SF State Extended Learning. She works as a legal nurse consultant for defense cases involving medical malpractice, mesothelioma and personal injury with the San Francisco law offices of Gordon & Rees. She has over 30 years of experience in the medical profession as a Registered Nurse and is a Certified Nurse Case Manager who has practiced in hospital and private insurance/HMO settings. Ms. Wortman also is employed by Intracorp/Cigna, as a nurse consultant performing utilization review of workers' compensation cases at the State Compensation Fund of California (SCIF).
Louis Wu, JD, is a patent attorney specializing in the commercialization of technological innovation. His technical background includes a BS degree in materials science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MS degree in industrial engineering from Northeastern University, and years of experience as a research scientist for Duracell, Inc. Since graduating from the University of San Francisco School of Law, he has represented numerous technology-based start-ups, research institutions, and industry leaders. He is currently in private practice in Oakland.
Mark Yates, JD, is an attorney living and practicing in San Francisco. After graduating from Hastings College of the Law, he worked in San Francisco as a Litigation Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop, and eventually moved to Mendocino County to work as a Deputy Public Defender. Currently, besides teaching at San Francisco State University, he represents indigent criminal defendants on appeal and teaches at Golden Gate University School of Law.