Faces of BayLegal: Mary Lara

Categories: News

What better way to start our series of staff profiles than with the woman who has been the face of BayLegal for thousands of clients? Mary Lara’s career supporting legal services began in 1976, and has included 20 years as our Alameda County Office Manager. “I like being around people,” she says of the client side of her work. “This has always been a good opportunity to learn about people’s lives, and whether they have a safe place to go. And to make sure they get some comfort from us. Everyone has the right to seek fairness and justice, and I love helping people with that.”

Asked about the biggest challenge facing legal services, Mary says, “We need more help. If anything, there’s a higher demand for us now than when I started in 1976.” What we do have on our side is the tremendous dedication of our staff: “I’ve seen a lot come and go—but then I’ll hear about someone who left and is still helping others. That’s something, knowing that they took a piece of us with them. The key is how you treat people. We show them understanding and compassion, and we’re pretty good at that!”