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Meet The Team

Group image of the SCLS team.

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 information sent to us through our contact form 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.

Portrait photo of Tanya Ridino.

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 staff attorney prior since 2015. She brings almost 20 years of legal experience to the organization having has 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 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 providing information and education about the legal system.

Ms. Ridino was raised in Corralitos and graduated from Harbor High School, then left for 15 years returning in 2014 to raise her 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.

Portrait photo of Melia Powell.

Melia Powell, Esq.

Managing Attorney, Bilingual in English & Spanish

Melia Powell is a Managing Attorney at Senior Legal Services. Melia was born and raised in the mountains of Santa Cruz county. She obtained a B.A. in global studies at California State University Monterey Bay before obtaining her jurist doctorate from University of California, Hastings College of Law. Prior to joining SLS, Melia worked for a private attorney, ACLU, California Rural Legal Assistance and ran her own bankruptcy firm. Melia enjoys hiking, reading science fiction and dancing.

Portrait photo of Jenneen Hill.

Jenneen Hill, Esq.

Mobile Home Specialist & Staff Attorney

Jenneen has worked with seniors for many years, preventing elder abuse, homelessness and providing access to justice for the underrepresented community. She had her first post-bar internship at Senior Legal and left to provide assistance to seniors at Senior Adults Legal Assistance for almost 5 years. Previously, Jenneen has worked at the Coastal Commission, the California Department of Justice Natural Resources Section, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University and used to manage the At-Store Recycling Program: Plastic Carryout Bags for CalRecycle at California State Agency.

She is a proud graduate of UCSC (BA), San Jose State University (MBA), and Golden Gate University School of Law (JD). In law school, she was an Environmental Law Scholar, founder of the Water Law Society, and was elected to several student government positions. She enjoys serving the community where she lives and has many fond memories of her grandparents.

Portrait photo of Karin McGuire.

Karin McGuire

Temporary Staff Attorney, Provisionally Licensed Lawyer

Karin McGuire if 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 is a native Californian who loves spending time outdoors, sharpening her archery and martial arts skills, and volunteering for animal rescue organizations.

Portrait photo of Claudia Abasto Revilla.

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.

Portrait photo of Buffy Almendares.

Buffy Almendares

​Office Manager and Court Partnership Assistant, ​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…

Photo of a statue.

Open Position

Court Partnership Housing Law Attorney

Court Partnership Housing Law Attorney

Portrait photo of Robert Hernandez.

Robert Hernandez

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.

Portrait photo of Rebbie Higgins.

Rebbie Higgins

Grant Manager & Bookkeeper

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.

Portrait photo of Teri Adams.

Teri Adams


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.

Portrait photo of Johannah Woodhams.

Johannah Woodhams


Bio coming soon…