Protima Pandey has dedicated the last ten years to working with domestic violence survivors, both as a lawyer and an advocate for survivor issues. She has extensive experience counseling, advising and assisting families and survivors of domestic violence in the US and South East Asia.
Protima has been an advocate for gender justice and is the newly appointed Director for the Office of Women’s Policy at Santa Clara County. Working for the County Executive, her office works to bring a gender lens to policy decision-making, building a pipeline to leadership, and demand equity in governance. Prior to that, she was the Managing Attorney and Regional Counsel for Immigration at Bay Area Legal Aid, where she started as a staff attorney litigating on family law and immigration cases for survivors of domestic violence, as well as allied legal relief in areas of public benefits, housing preservation, and economic justice. Most recently she co-counseled on a precedent setting case in California, Kumar v. Kumar, a complex immigration and family law cross-over case.
Protima has provided training on issues relating to domestic violence, housing rights for domestic violence survivors and serving diverse communities. She has spoken at statewide conferences, law schools, community outreach events and on “Know your Legal Rights” public radio show. She received the Public Interest Attorney of the year award in 2012 from the South Asian Bar Association Northern California Foundation and was also featured in the August 2012 issue of the California Lawyer magazine which profiled the work Bay Area Legal Aid does for survivors of domestic violence.
She serves on the Advisory Board of the Family Violence Appellate Project, is a Board Member of the San Mateo County Bar Association Barristers Committee and in 2014 she was appointed by the County Bar Association to serve as Chair of the Diversity Committee. Prior to joining Bay Area Legal Aid, she was the Public Policy Specialist for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, California’s statewide domestic violence coalition, where she worked closely with legislators and policy makers on several keys laws impacting survivors of domestic violence, including providing legal analysis, testimony during senate and assembly hearings and serving on working committees crafting legislation.
In her spare time, she serves as a volunteer for Asha For Education, Silicon Valley, that raises funds to support education for underprivileged children in India. She holds a license to practice law in India and California and spent her early years working in the field of Intellectual Property. Protima holds a B.A.LL.B (Honors) from National Law School, Bangalore, India and an LL.M. in U.S. Laws from Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri.