Brandy DeOrnellas

Brandy DeOrnellas graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014. She began working with seniors in her youth, volunteering in nursing homes throughout high school and college. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Brandy founded a student group to serve local long term care residents—Bears for Elder Welfare. She also became a Certified Long Term Care Ombudsman. She received her dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Welfare and Political Science in 2010, and went on to serve one year as a California Senate Fellow in the State Capitol. There, she acted as Legislative Aide to Senator Noreen Evans, assisting with policy regarding youth, women, and senior issues.

While in law school, she served on two journals: the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review and the Harvard Journal on Law and Gender. She was on the Public Interest Committee of the Harvard Women’s Law Association, a Certified Mediator with the Harvard Mediation Program, and a member of the Native American Law Association. In addition, Brandy served as a student attorney and law clerk with several non-profits while in law school. She served as a Legal Intern with Legal Services for Prisoners with Children in the summer of 2012, crafting legal manuals to distribute to incarcerated women struggling with parental rights and pregnancy issues while in prison, and strategizing with the policy team and advocating for better laws in California to protect the basic civil rights of incarcerated persons. She acted as a Student Attorney in the Fall of 2012 with the Wilmerhale Legal Services Center, assisting victims of domestic violence with legal matters including mediation, orders of protection, and divorce. Brandy served as a mediator in the Spring of 2013 with the Harvard Mediation Program in Malden District Court, assisting with mediation and settlement agreements to resolve disputes. Finally, she served as a Law Clerk with Equal Rights Advocates in the summer of 2013, advocating for the civil rights of women throughout the nation experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace and in school.

Through the Borchard Fellowship in Law and Aging, Brandy will serve low-income seniors at Legal Assistance for Seniors, a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California. There, she will work to assist seniors who seek legal guardianship of minors—often grandchildren living in the senior’s home. As the designated legal entity for Alameda County for conservatorship cases, she will assist seniors in these cases. Brandy will also serve to combat elder abuse, and assist seniors facing such abuse. In addition, she will assist Legal Assistance for Seniors in creating a legal manual pertaining to elder abuse, and will provide community education to seniors on this topic.