California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. Awarded Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellowship

Social justice attorney Stephen Zollman to join CRLA’s Santa Rosa office

Santa Rosa, CA – Shartsis Friese LLP has awarded its 2021 Public Interest Fellowship to California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA). The Fellowship subsidizes a staff attorney position for two years at an organization providing legal services to San Francisco Bay Area community members who cannot afford private legal services.

CRLA has selected social justice attorney and community advocate Stephen Zollman to join its Santa Rosa office as a staff attorney for the 2021-2023 fellowship term. Mr. Zollman brings extensive experience representing low-income youth and families, and clients with mental health and developmental disabilities, both in private practice and with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.

“Thanks to the Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellowship and Mr. Zollman’s hire we will be able to provide much needed legal services at no cost to more low-income Sonoma County residents. This support could not come at a better time,” noted CRLA Santa Rosa Directing Attorney Jeffery Hoffman.

Like CRLA’s other offices across the state, the Santa Rosa office has seen increased need for legal services among low-income residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and poor air quality, and the recent expiration of some state eviction protections.

“The firm’s lawyers and staff are very happy to have this opportunity to partner with CRLA to assist in its critical, ongoing work in the community,” said Shartsis Friese Partner Christina Hamilton, who is also chair of the firm’s Pro Bono/Charitable Contributions Committee.

The firm established the Shartsis Friese LLP Public Interest Fellowship in 2004. Previous awardees include Sword to Plowshares, Open Door Legal, East Bay Community Law Center, Bay Area Legal Aid, Centro Legal de la Raza, Legal Aid at Work, and the Family Violence Law Center. Shartsis Friese lawyers and staff support numerous organizations throughout the Bay Area with their contributions of time and money, and the firm is proud to have been listed among the Top Corporate Philanthropists in the Greater Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times each year since 2007.


About Shartsis Friese LLP

Shartsis Friese was founded in 1975. Our goal was to offer clients an alternative to large national law firms. We are client-focused and solution-driven by design. We specialize in high-quality practice areas that serve the needs of businesses and sophisticated individuals. Our careful growth, minimal turnover and low partner/non-partner ratio are all designed to provide efficient and cost-effective legal services of the highest caliber. Learn more at

About California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA)

California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) was founded in 1966 to be a world-class nonprofit law firm for those who cannot afford to pay a private attorney. Through 17 offices statewide, we provide free legal services and education to tens of thousands of low-income California residents and litigate cases that benefit even more people. Our vision is a rural California where all people are treated with dignity and respect and guaranteed their fundamental rights. Learn more at

Contact: Mia Murrietta
Director of Communications,
California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.
(510) 267-0762 ext. 1011