Brenda Star Adams

Directing Attorney
Portrait photograph of Brenda Star

Brenda Star Adams (she/her) is a bilingual attorney on the Legal Advocacy Team, focused on developing and leading new and existing impact litigation across NCYL’s issue areas. Adams began her career at the Eviction Defense Center where she spent four years defending undocumented families from eviction and organizing plaintiffs to sue slumlords. She then spent seven years at Bay Area Legal Aid representing low-income immigrant survivors of domestic violence in family law and immigration cases, successfully bringing an appeal to establish child abuse constitutes domestic violence. While there, Adams focused on child abuse, sexual violence, and the interplay between family court and the juvenile dependency system.

Prior to joining NCYL, Adams spent four years at Equal Rights Advocates, where she led the organization’s impact litigation to combat gender discrimination at work and at school. While at ERA, Adams directed the organization’s Education Equity work, including impact litigation, policy reform, community engagement, and direct services. Adams has extensive experience working on behalf of survivors of sexual violence, LGBTQI+ individuals, and youth of color. Adams received her J.D. from New England Law in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served on the Law Review, founded the National Lawyers Guild chapter, and was awarded the Public Service Award upon graduation. Adams is also the 2021 recipient of the Fay Stender Award from the California Women Lawyers, an award “given to a feminist attorney, who, like Fay Stender, is committed to the representation of women, disadvantaged groups and unpopular causes, and whose courage, zest for life and demonstrated ability to effect change as a single individual makes her a role model for women attorneys.”