FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: After 11 Years, Tirien Steinbach to Step Down as East Bay Community Law Center's Executive Director

December 4, 2018
Contact: Lemlem Rijio, Director of Development & Communications / 510-269-6627  


Steinbach says, “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served my community through my time as a staff member at EBCLC. I do not see this as goodbye, but as a transition to a new role in supporting the mission, vision and values of EBCLC.” 

Berkeley – Today, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) announced that after more than eleven years, Tirien Steinbach will be stepping down from her role as executive director at the beginning of 2019.  She will join the EBCLC Board of Directors as a member once her tenure as ED concludes.  EBCLC comprises a unique hybrid model: it is the largest direct legal services provider in Alameda County, and it simultaneously houses the largest clinical education program at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Steinbach took the helm as Executive Director in 2007 after serving as a staff attorney and then as Director of Clinics and Programs for six years. It has been under her ambitious direction that EBCLC has become one of the most highly regarded community law clinics in the nation. In 2011, Steinbach incubated EBCLC’s Clean Slate Clinic, and since then has guided the revitalization and growth of EBCLC’s Community Economic Justice Clinic, Consumer Justice Clinic, Education Advocacy Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and the Youth Defender Clinic.

During Steinbach’s tenure, EBCLC’s annual budget has grown from $2 million to more than $8 million and the number of staff has grown to 70, including 36 clinical supervising attorneys. Today, EBCLC’s social justice clinical education program trains over 150 law students annually to become skilled and principled advocates.

Steinbach will join ACLU of Northern California as Chief Program Officer in 2019.

Statement from Tirien Steinbach

“My seventeen years at EBCLC have taught me everything I know about being a community lawyer, educator and leader.  In my role as director for the past eleven years, I have endeavored to reflect the incredible hard work, brilliance, creativity, bravery and hope of the people that make up this organization – the clients, staff, students, board, partners and supporters. I hella love EBCLC, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served my community through my time as a staff member at EBCLC. I do not see this as goodbye, but as a transition to a new role in supporting the mission, vision and values of EBCLC.  I hope to always be part of the EBCLC, Berkeley Law and East Bay communities that helped shape my life and work. ”

Statement from Board Chair Michael Ng

“In her eleven years as Executive Director, Tirien led EBCLC through a tremendous period of growth and transformation. While deepening the organization’s service in the East Bay community and greatly expanding its clinical education, she oversaw EBCLC’s emergence as a national leader in the development of holistic service delivery and a model for innovative programs. Like so many others, I have been inspired by Tirien, her vision, and her tireless work in the fight for justice, and I look forward to our work together on the EBCLC Board.”

Statement from Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Berkeley Law School

“Tirien Steinbach has done a superb job as Executive Director of EBCLC, significantly expanding its programs and services. She has strengthened the bonds between EBCLC and Berkeley Law, creating a wonderful, unique clinical program for our students.”

Statement from EBCLC Clinical Director Seema Patel

"What EBCLC has become under Tirien Steinbach's visionary leadership is beyond what anybody could have imagined--that goes for faculty, community, and students alike. Her infectious spirit, commitment to community, and ability to skillfully balance passion and patience in building this organization have set the East Bay Community Law Center up for continued unbridled impact on so many peoples' lives!"


East Bay Community Law Center promotes justice and builds a community that is more healthy, secure, productive and hopeful through legal services and policy advocacy that are responsive to the needs of low-income communities, and law training that prepares future attorneys to be skilled and principled advocates committed to addressing the causes and conditions of racial and economic injustice and poverty.