Yvonne Mariajimenez was raised in East Los Angeles and was an advocate and interpreter for her mother in a government-funded mental health system ill equipped to treat poor immigrants. The experience instilled in her a passion for advocacy, and she began her career at NLSLA as a paralegal in 1978. She became Executive Director after 41 years at the organization, having served in various roles as a Staff, Managing, and Senior Attorney and Deputy Director.
She has led policy advocacy related to immigration, domestic violence, and elderly housing discrimination. Following the 2008 financial crisis, Mariajimenez’s efforts in collaboration with homeowners, community-based organizations and faith-based institutions to address the tsunami of foreclosures impacting poor neighborhoods in Southern California resulted in the passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights. Most recently, she has led NLSLA’s MLCP effort alongside NLSLA staff and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and Department Directors.
Mariajimenez is a member of the Management Information Exchange (MIE) Board of Directors providing high-quality training to new legal services executive directors, administrators, attorneys, and key financial staff across the United States. She served on the Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) Performance Criteria Advisory Committee evaluating and ensuring the highest standard of legal services by all LSC organizations. Mariajimenez sits on the Board of the Heart of Los Angeles, which equips underserved youth to reach their potential, pursue their education, and strengthen their communities. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.