Meet The Team
Senior Legal Services strives for diversity and quality in our workforce. Our team is deeply committed to our mission of empowering the seniors of our community and protecting their rights. We promote an inclusive workplace and our staff empower each other and work collaboratively on client solutions through open dialogue and communication.
**Please note that SLS can only accept requests for assistance by telephone. Information sent to us by email or through this website will not create an attorney-client relationship between us nor will it be treated as privileged or confidential unless a current attorney-client relationship already exists.
Claudia Abasto Revilla
Legal and Executive Assistant, Bilingual in English & Spanish
Claudia Abasto Revilla is a human rights and immigration advocate. She was a criminal lawyer in Bolivia for seven years before moving to the United States in 2012. Claudia founded LATINAN in 2014 in Washington D.C. after finishing her master’s in law at American University-Washington College of Law. In 2016, Claudia launched LATINAN’s immigration project in San Francisco and Central California, which provides affordable immigration services to low-income immigrants.
Claudia’s passion for defending immigrants’ rights leads her to focus her love on human rights and immigration law for senior immigrants at SLS since November 2021.
Claudia enjoys indoor climbing, loves to play African drums, and enjoys nature by camping very frequently in California and other states.
Paralegal Legal Advocate
Teri Adams grew up in the Gilroy/Morgan Hill/Hollister area. Teri has a BS in History from UC Santa Cruz and an AA in Paralegal Studies from De Anza. Teri has worked for a few law firms in the area and is happy to now return to work in the non-profit legal sector, especially for SLS. Teri enjoys fantasy/sci-fi books and movies but is truly passionate about knitting.
Courthouse Partnership Legal Advocate
Bilingual in English & Spanish
Buffy Almendares-Novoa joined SLS in February of 2022. She is our Office Manager, Courthouse Partnership Assistant and Legal Advocate. She comes with a diverse background in social equitable advocacy, both through media storytelling and as a case manager.
Buffy has a Political Science degree from CSUMB and is currently pursuing a dual degree in Political Economy and a Paralegal degree from West Valley College.
In her free time, Buffy enjoys hiking and beach days with her pup, Chai, who you may also see around the office from time to time…
Legal Intake & Communications Specialist
Bilingual in English & Spanish
Jolene is Senior Legal Services’ Intake and Communication specialist. She was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California and is very passionate about her community. In 2022, Jolene received her BA in Communication from the University of California Santa Barbara. As of now, Jolene is enrolled in West Valley College with the goal of receiving a certificate in Paralegal Studies. In her free time, Jolene enjoys doing CrossFit, walking her dogs, and listening to true crime podcasts. She is very grateful to call Santa Cruz her home and loves that she gets to give back to her community through her work.
Staff Legal Advocate
After many years working for a large computer/technology company, my being laid off led to the exciting decision to attend college for the first time in my life. I had always had interest in being a paralegal, especially in the areas of helping families and immigrants. So, in the spring of 2021, I began paralegal courses at West Valley College. This led me to SLS, where I began my internship in February 2022, and ended up being offered to stay on as a legal advocate. I have really enjoyed my time here assisting some of the most vulnerable people in our society, the elderly. We often hear the saying that the ‘children are the future’, and that is so true. Yet, where would we be without the accomplishments of the elderly, many of whom came before me. I am grateful for organizations like SLS that provide legal services to the elderly. When not working I enjoy spending time with my cats, Chuco and Lil Vato, and my nieces and nephews (I have at least 54, not counting those I that I have not met yet). I also like to watch sports and used to play lots of basketball. (Favorite teams: Raiders, A’s, Sharks, Warriors and Celtics, and whatever team Messi plays for). I recently began camping again, as I had done a lot when I was younger, and found that I really enjoyed it, along with fishing. It is lots of work. But keeping it simple and just enjoying nature is awesome.
Rebbie is all about the numbers at Senior Legal Services. Raised in Santa Cruz by a lawyering family, she pursued everything but law – including biology, database development, web programming, farmers market management and bookkeeping. Rebbie enjoys backpacking, reading adventure novels and Sea Scouts.
Volunteer Managing Legal Advocate
Reggie has lived in the Northern California area for over 30 years. She holds a BA in English from Trinity University, San Antonio, and an AA in Paralegal Studies from West Valley College. In January 2021, Reggie began as a volunteer Legal Advocate and is now using her expertise as our Managing Legal Advocate, focusing on welcoming and training new intern Legal Advocates to the SLS family. Reggie is passionate about the vital services that SLS provides, and she is proud to be a part of such a caring and committed group. In her spare hours, Reggie enjoys reading, sewing and knitting.
Meredith J. Lintott
Meredith J. Lintott is an experienced attorney with a broad background including public service in supporting victims of crime during her years as a criminal attorney and supporting seniors through her commitment as a trustee for the Redwood Coast Senior Center (Fort Bragg) and the Ukiah Senior Center. In recent years, her practice has focused on estate planning and administration. Meredith seeks to assist her clients by providing support and direction through difficult times.
Meredith is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and California Western University of Law, J.D. Cum Laude. Meredith’s legal career has been primarily in Mendocino County, as well as practicing throughout Northern California. Originally from San Diego, Meredith attended Boulder Creek Elementary School and San Lorenzo Middle School during the years her mother worked for UCSC. Now that her daughter and family reside in Santa Cruz, she is excited to be living and working near family coming full circle.
Staff Attorney, Provisionally Licensed Lawyer
Karin is driven by a passion for justice and excellence. Her professional and personal philosophy includes giving back in ways that make a meaningful difference to her clients within her local communities to which she dedicates her practice. Before joining Senior Legal Services as a provisional lawyer in May 2021, she worked as a volunteer legal advocate during law school. She also worked in the tech industry as a project manager and as a publicist, helping clients to shape their story and build their brands. She loves spending time outdoors with her pup, Athena, and volunteering for animal rescue organizations.
Rosalina Nunez Esq.
Supervising Attorney, Bilingual in English & Spanish
Rosalina is an attorney with over 10 years of experience in Bankruptcy and Social Security Disability matters. Most recently she has focused on family law, helping folks through the process of divorce, child custody and support matters.
Rosalina recently joined the Senior Legal Services team after being a solo practitioner for over 10 years in the Central Valley. She is a graduate of San Joaquin College of Law, and prior to that earned her bachelor’s degree in English from California State University Fresno.
In her off time, she likes to go for runs with her dog Rocky, relax, and enjoy the beautiful beach.
Intake & Referral Specialist, Bilingual in English & Spanish
Meet Michelle, a vibrant individual born and raised in the coastal town of Santa Cruz. She is currently pursuing her educational journey at Cabrillo College. Her passion for assisting the elderly was sparked during her time as a caregiver, where she discovered the fulfillment that comes with making a positive impact in people’s lives. Michelle finds joy in the company of loved ones, playing beautiful melodies on the piano, exploring the town’s hidden gems, and getting lost in the enchanting world of books. With a heart full of empathy and a mind eager to learn, Michelle is poised to make a positive impact on the world around her.
Tanya Harmony Ridino, Esq.
Executive Director, Bilingual in English & Spanish
Attorney Tanya Harmony Ridino has served as Executive Director of Senior Legal Services since September 2020 and was a part-time staff attorney prior since 2015. She brings almost 20 years of legal experience to the organization having had a diverse practice since graduating from UCLA School of Law in 2000, including large firm, government and non-profit work. She is the Founder and Principal of Community Law and Mediation Services of Northern California and was Independent General Counsel for the domestic violence non-profit organization Monarch Services for five years. A trained mediator and specializing in Family Law, Ms. Ridino is skilled at facilitating communication regarding disputes. She considers herself a community activist and is dedicated to improving access to justice by offering sliding scale and limited scope services, and providing information and education about the legal system.
Ms. Ridino was raised in Corralitos and graduated from Harbor High School, then left and has lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, Mendocino County, Costa Rica and Mendocino County. She returned to Santa Cruz in 2014 to raise her newborn son near her large family in the area. She strives for a consistent yoga and meditation practice, enjoys volleyball, dancing and being in the great outdoors.
Bilingual Personnel Experience Manager
Llesenia is a critical part of our admin team.
Program Manager Attorney
Becky is a critical part of our case team.
Social Security Disability Senior Attorney
Robert Ellis Taren is one of the steadfast foundations of Senior Legal Services, and after several decades on our board, we are proud to once again have him on staff as a Social Security Disability Senior Attorney. Bob is a product of Omaha, Nebraska, graduating from Creighton University School of Law in 1974, where he was awarded a Reginal Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship with Vermont Legal Aid. He came to California in 1977, passing the Bar and began his employment with Senior Legal Services in the early 1980’s. Leaving SLS, he began a private practice for over 40 years centered on representing injured workers and disabled individuals applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. Bob has always committed part of his legal career to either working with SLS or being on the Board based on his belief that attorneys have an obligation to assist those in our community who are the most vulnerable.
Bob has also litigated cases on behalf of the ACLU, served on the Santa Cruz County Mobile Home Commission and the County Civil Service Commission. In his spare time, he is devoted to being with his grandchildren as much as he can.
Consumer Debt Case Manager
Sophie is an integral part of our team.