Staff

 

Tom Gordon, Executive Director

Tom Gordon is one of the nation's leading experts on access to the legal system, small claims courts, and the unauthorized practice of law. He has testified many times before state legislatures, federal administrative panels, and the American Bar Association. Tom has worked on behalf of consumers of legal services for over a decade, including several years as Senior Counsel and Policy Director at HALT. He also brings valuable business knowledge to the organization from his time as a management consultant with the Corporate Executive Board.

Tom received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1995 and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He is admitted to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

Board of Directors

 

Goldie Heidi Gider

Heidi is the Director of Advancement at the National Women’s Health Network, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. A seasoned resource development professional, Heidi previously worked at Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco, as well as the Society for Women’s Health Research and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. She is a co-founder in a DC-based firm, The Rainmakers Group, which provides development services to small-to-mid-size nonprofit organizations. She has presented to the Center for Nonprofit Success, Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and Merrill Lynch.

 

 

Richard S. Granat

Richard S. Granat is the Co-Chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section and Founder/CEO of DirectLaw, Inc., a virtual law firm platform provider to solos and small law firms, and SmartLegalForms, Inc Richard created the first virtual law firm in Maryland in 2003, which was the foundation for DirectLaw, Inc., and was the founder of The People’s Law Library of Maryland, a state-wide legal information resource for Maryland’s citizens. He also serves on the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management. Richard has been involved in developing innovative legal services delivery systems for over 30 years, first as part of the initial working group that created the National Legal Services Program, then as Director of the Center for Legal Studies at Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C., the nation's first clinical law school, and later as President and Dean of the Philadelphia Institute for Paralegal Training, the nation's first paralegal school. Richard was named a "Legal Rebel" by the American Bar Association Journal in 2009, and was awarded the Louis M. Brown Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation in the Delivery of Legal Services in 2010. In 2013, he received the American Bar Association’s James Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering.

 

 

Renee Knake

Renee Knake is a Professor of Law and the Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics at the University of Houston Law Center. A primary area of Professor Knake's scholarship addresses the intersection between the first amendment and the regulation of lawyers, and she is a co-author of the casebook Professional Responsibility: A Contemporary Approach (West Publishing 2013). Her work also focuses on expanding access to legal services through regulatory reform and public education. She served as the Reporter for the American Bar Association Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services from 2014-16. Professor Knake became a fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2016, “an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession, … limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.” In 2013, she was named an ABA Journal Legal Rebel and a member of the Fastcase 50, an annual award that “recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.”

 

Fritz Mulhauser

Fritz Mulhauser recently ended 22 years as staff attorney with the ACLU affiliate in Washington, DC, where he specialized in litigation and policy advocacy concerning police misconduct and law enforcement use of technology, as well as speech, assembly and due process rights of students.  With years of experience using public records access tools as part of advocacy and litigation, he serves on the board of the DC Open Government Coalition where he co-chairs the Legal Committee and blogs for their website on Freedom of Information, open meetings and open data issues in the government of Washington, DC.  As a board member of the DC Council for Court Excellence, he has begun a project to make DC a leader in online access to court records.  He has been active in advocating for access to justice reforms through the DC Bar Section on Courts, Lawyers & the Administration of Justice which he chaired for several terms. He earlier worked on a committee staff in the House of Representatives, led evaluation and policy research at the GAO and served on the founding staff of the U.S. National Institute of Education in the executive branch.  He holds a BA from Harvard and a J.D. from Georgetown.

 

Chas Rampenthal

Chas Rampenthal has served as General Counsel of online legal document provider LegalZoom since 2003. Before joining LegalZoom, he was a partner at Belanger and Rampenthal, LLC, and an associate at Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP of Boston, Massachusetts and the Los Angeles office of Thelen Reid & Priest LLP. Chas also served as an officer and aviator in the United States Navy. He is the former host of "Legally Bound," a weekly legal call-in advice talk show in Los Angeles. He received a B.S. in Economics and Math Studies from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.