Lesley Mendoza, Executive Director
Lesley Mendoza is the Executive Director of the CABA Pro Bono Project. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and received a Bachelor of Arts in 1998 from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the CABA Pro Bono Project, Mrs. Mendoza worked as an attorney for White & Case LLP in their New York office. She was a member of the firm’s litigation department and worked primarily on complex commercial litigation cases. While at White & Case, Mrs. Mendoza also worked on several pro bono matters, including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum and parental rights cases.
Yesenia Arocha, Staff Attorney
Yesenia received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Political Science from Florida International University in 2003. She received her Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in May 2007. While at St. Thomas, Yesenia was a member of the Intercultural Human Rights Law Review and served as President of the St. Thomas Student Chapter of Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL). As former President of FAWL, Yesenia Co-Chaired the Domestic Violence Symposium and was the Co-Creator of the Sexuality and the Law Symposium at St. Thomas University School of Law. Prior to joining the CABA Pro Bono, Yesenia worked as an Assistant Director for the Kids Learning About Safety Program at Florida International University. While there, she worked primarily on co-developing and supervising community outreach programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse.
Silvia graduated from St. Thomas School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in May of 2001. She was hired by Legal Aid Society to establish a satellite office in Florida City at the Everglades Community Association providing assistance to the migrant farm workers in the South Dade Community. The following year, she became the Project Attorney of the Homestead satellite office Domestic Violence Project where she fully dedicated herself to the community and in representing survivors of domestic violence. Silvia Perez worked as Project Attorney for Legal Aid Society until December of 2010. For the past three years she has been in private practice handling cases in the area of family law, including domestic violence, sexual assault, dependency/juvenile, as well as immigration and arguing cases and handling appeals before the Third District Court of Appeal.
Silvia Perez’ dedication and passion to serve the public is evident both professionally and personally. Among the numerous notable outreach activities and honors, Silvia authored an article “Alternatives in Fighting Street Gangs,” which was published in the Winter 2001, St. Thomas Law Review. In October 2002, Silvia Perez was awarded a Community Service Award from the City of Homestead and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In September 2004, she was a Faculty Presenter at the 27th National Children’s Law Conference sponsored by the National Association of Counsel for Children in Las Vegas, Nevada (Topic: Representing Children in Civil Cases involving Domestic Violence). Silvia was a solo guest at “The Voice of Women” radio program sponsored by FIAC at Radio Station ‘Union’ 1450 AM in December of 2005. She was a co-presenter in March of 2008 at the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) training for the South Florida Clerk of Courts. In February of 2009, Silvia received The Arête Award for distinguished alumni in public service from St. Thomas University, School of Law.
Maria Jacqueline Rodriguez,
Maria Jacqueline Rodriguez has been working with CABA Pro Bono Project since September 19th 2006 as Intake Specialist and helping clients with Immigration Applications. Prior to working at CABA Pro Bono Project, she worked in her native country of Cuba as an attorney in the area of Family Law for 15 years.
Rosalba Penaherrera has been working for CABA Pro Bono Project since March 2008. She is the legal assistant to the Executive Director and Staff Attorney of the program. Additionally she helps Pro Se clients completing simple dissolution of marriage packages from the Family Court’s Self Help Center. Prior to working at CABA Pro Bono Project, she worked as a title processor for Manuel L. Crespo, P.A.