Meet our Team

2018-19 Leadership

Amanda Allen

Co-Founder and Co-Director
A 3L at Berkeley Law, Amanda was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She graduated summa cum laude from the Universityof Louisville with a B.A. in Political Science and Communication. Amanda created BLAST because she sees it as an opportunity to do pro bono work that students can’t experience in the Bay Area while learning about legal needs of other communities. To take a break from school, her favorite activities are being a member of the Boalt Improv Group, watching Netflix, and spending time with family.


Hannah Flanery

Co-Founder and Co-Director
A 3L at Berkeley Law, Hannah was born and raised in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky. She is passionate about improving access to legal services for low-income and marginalized communities. Prior to law school, Hannah worked for Homeless Advocacy Project in San Francisco and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southeastern Ukraine. She loves justice, bowling, and music with a lot of soul.



Safa Ansari-Bayegan

Trip Leader: Mississippi

A 2L at Berkeley Law, Safa was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy and received a master’s in Human Rights with distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to law school, Safa worked as a mitigation specialist on a trial level capital defense team in Lubbock, Texas. She is passionate about indigent defense, a lover of independent coffee shops, live music, and poodles.


Shelby Culver

Trip Leader: Central Valley

A 3L at Berkeley Law, Shelby Culver grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Economics and History. She is interested in environmental justice and wildlife protection. Prior to law school, she worked on issues with Native American communities and currently helps lead Berkeley Law’s SLP providing legal assistance to the Karuk Tribe. In her free time, she loves cooking, backpacking, and trail running.



Lara Hakki

Trip Leader: Texas
Lara Hakki is a second-year law student interested in immigration law. She spent the past summer working at a Legal Aid office in Northern Virginia that provided legal services to low-income immigrants. While there, she represented a client in his removal proceedings before the Arlington Immigration Court. Prior to coming to law school she volunteered with an organization in Washington D.C. that provided legal services to detained immigrants – the services ranged from providing know-your-rights trainings in immigration detention centers, preparing clients for Bond hearings, to working with pro-bono attorneys to take on asylum cases. During her first year at Berkeley Law, she I participated in the California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC) SLP both semesters and helped 2 clients file affirmative asylum applications.


Jarrod Ingles

Trip Leader: Eastern Kentucky
Jarrod Ingles is a 2L at Berkeley Law, and he is also a Kentucky native. He spent this past summer working for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica. He is an active member of the Ecology Law Quarterly where he serves as an Articles Editor, and he also serves as a Graduate Research Assistant for Claudia Polsky—Berkeley’s Clinical Professor of Environmental Law. Outside of law school, Jarrod enjoys hiking, reading Nineteenth Century British and American Literature, and visiting museums.


Maia Livengood

Trip Leader: Texas

Maia Livengood is a second-year student at Berkeley Law. Prior to law school, Maia graduated with high honors from Drexel University with a BS in Economics. After several years of working in industry, she decided to return to school to refocus her capacities in the public interest / public sector space. Maia spent her 1L summer with the Office of the California Attorney General in the Public Rights Division, concentrating on environmental justice issues. She is currently Co-Director of the California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC) and a board member with Ecology Law Quarterly.

Benjamin Phillips

Trip Leader: Los Angeles
Benjamin Phillips is from Beverly Hills, California. On last year’s BLAST trip to Kentucky, he served coal miners experiencing black lung by helping draft an Amicus Brief for SEC v. Lucia. This past summer, he worked at the Federal Programs Branch of the Department of Justice in Washington DC. Prior to law school, he attended the University of Southern California, majoring in English with a focus in Creative Writing. He then served as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Los Angeles, teaching and mentoring ninth-graders at UCLA Community School. He also taught at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Religious School and was a volunteer clerk at Mental Health Advocacy Services. In his spare time, he enjoys writing bad haikus, playing piano poorly, rock-climbing, Mister Rogers, and deep conversations.  


Sara Ramsey

Trip Leader: Eastern Kentucky
A 2L at Berkeley Law, Sara hails from a rural Missouri town where she became increasingly passionate about ensuring individuals from historically overlooked communities were given a voice. After graduating from Stanford University with a B.A. in Communication, she decided to focus on issues of social justice, education reform, and economic inequality. Most recently, Sara worked for the San Francisco-based Low Income Investment Fund, a nonprofit that utilizes public-private partnerships to alleviate poverty. During her 1L summer, Sara worked at the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Oakland. In her spare time, she loves to bake new creations, explore the Bay with her dog, Margo, and visit her family in Missouri.


Caitlan Rocha

Trip Leader: Central Valley
Caitlan grew up in Orange County, CA and did her undergrad at Arizona State University studying Justice Studies. She graduated this past May and took the summer off to relax and travel. She is interested in criminal law and public interest/social justice. In addition to BLAST, she is a member of the Berkeley Journal for Criminal Law, Christians at Boalt, FGP, and Women of Berkeley Law. 



Megan Wang

Trip Leader: Los Angeles
A 2L at Berkeley Law, Megan was born in Rosemead California. She received a B.A. in History from U.C. Berkeley. Prior to law school, she taught students with learning disabilities and worked in one-on-one mentorship programs. Megan is particularly interested in education and family law, hoping to represent low-income communities and minorities. During her 1L summer, Megan worked at the East Bay Children’s Law Offices. In her spare time, Megan enjoys watching crime dramas, trying new cuisines, and yoga.



Not pictured:

Alex Copper (Trip Leader: Mississippi)
Victoria Tang (Trip Leader: Texas)