Martina I. Cucullu Lim
Tenants’ Rights Program Director
Martina directs the Tenants’ Rights Program at Centro Legal. She manages the provision of legal services to hundreds of low-income tenants most at risk of displacement. During her tenure, Martina has significantly expanded the services provided and the number of tenants served each year. Under her leadership, Centro Legal is recognized in the community for its high-quality legal services and expertise in landlord/tenant law and policy. She has developed powerful strategies that allows Centro Legal to protect tenants against landlord harassment, uninhabitable living conditions, unlawful rent increases, abusive evictions, and discrimination, including threats based on perceived immigration status.
Under Martina’s leadership the resources for tenants facing displacement have doubled. Martina regularly advises elected officials on tenants’ rights policies, laws, and initiatives. In the face of the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression Martina has fought hard to bring over $3.5 million new anti-displacement funds to people of County of Alameda.
Prior to joining Centro Legal, Martina practiced criminal defense and immigration law in New York City, primarily defending death-penalty-eligible defendants. Upon moving to California, Martina worked at a civil litigation firm in Walnut Creek and developed her love for litigation.
Martina first became involved with Centro Legal as a volunteer for its Youth Law Academy. She immediately fell in love with Centro Legal. She was thrilled to join its team as a staff attorney tasked with implementing holistic legal services to survivors of sexual assault. As the daughter of Argentinian immigrants, she is proud and honored to serve the immigrant and Latino community in the Bay Area as well as for the opportunity to be a guerrera de los derechos de inquilinos and hopes to be an inspiration to future guerreros!
Martina holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s College and a Juris Doctor degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of law.