Denise Hunter (pronouns: she/her/ella) is a white, queer bisexual, neurodivergent, cisgender woman living in California’s San Joaquin Valley with her dog Yoda. Denise is the LGBTQ+ Program Legal Director of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) based in the Modesto Office. CRLA’s LGBTQ+ Program supports low-income LGBTQ+ communities in rural CA through community collaborations and free civil legal services in the areas of immigration, healthcare, employment, education, housing, and name and gender marker corrections. Denise also serves on the Board of AsylumWorks, a DC-area nonprofit providing holistic social and community services support to asylum-seekers. Prior to joining CRLA in 2021, Denise spent more than a decade in nonprofit immigration legal services in the Washington, DC area. Denise was Senior Staff Attorney and for several years led the immigration practice at Whitman-Walker Health’s Legal Services program, a community health center and medical-legal partnership in DC specializing in HIV and LGBTQ+ care. Prior to that, Denise was an immigration Staff Attorney at Ayuda and at Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington – Hogar Immigrant Services. Denise received her JD from The George Washington University Law School and studied International Human Rights Law at Oxford University, with internships at Amnesty International of Poland, World Organization for Human Rights USA, Hogar Immigrant Services, and GW’s International Human Rights Clinic. Denise enjoys softball, hiking, flamenco, and learning other languages, with fluency in Spanish and some basic knowledge of ASL, Signing Exact English, Polish, French, Italian, and Arabic.
Trauma-Informed Practice: A Holistic Approach to Working with Vulnerable Communities and Meeting the Individual Needs of the Client