Lauren Calton, CLS1
Lauren joined Children's Legal Services of San Diego in February 2020 as the Managing Attorney of Firm 1. Prior to joining CLS, Lauren represented children in Los Angeles County's dependency courts as an attorney with Children's Law Center of California (CLC) since 2012. Lauren helped to launch and manage an attorney mentorship program in her firm. She also represented her firm's CSEC clients when Los Angeles County first created its CSEC court. Prior to her work at CLC, Lauren worked at the State Bar of California where she worked to improve the delivery of legal services to low-income Californians and to increase funding for the courts.
Lauren has always been committed to advancing children's rights and is a proud alumna of UCLA School of Law. As a participant in UCLA's Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, Lauren received a specialization in public interest law while also clerking for a variety of organizations including the Alliance for Children's Rights (Foster Care Benefits Department), Public Counsel (Education Unit), and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. Following law school, Lauren volunteered as an attorney with Legal Services for Children in San Francisco, where she represented students at school expulsion hearings and worked on a variety of cases involving foster care, legal guardianship, and immigration.
Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pomona College. Prior to attending law school, she worked at the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. As the ACLU's Communications and Development Manager, Lauren managed a multi-faceted fundraising program to increase support for key civil liberties issues. She enjoyed her time in San Diego and is happy to return to San Diego as a member of CLS' management team.
Karen Prosek, CLS2
Steve Wedel, CLS3
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Steve Wedel worked as a scientist for ten years for San Diego-based bio-tech company IDEC Pharmaceuticals, focusing on immunological-based treatments for cancer. After graduating from California Western School of Law in 2001, magna cum laude, Steve focused on representing disabled individuals in lawsuits pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, fighting discrimination in the form of physical barriers that disabled individuals face on a daily basis. During his six years practicing ADA law, he argued in front of the Ninth Circuit of Appeals three times, and was successful in establishing new law regarding deterrence-based injuries and standing for disabled individuals.
He has also worked in the areas of insurance law, employment law and for a short time worked for a firm that was at the forefront of fighting mortgage and foreclosure fraud.
Steve began his career as court-appointed counsel for both parents and minors involved in Child Welfare Services cases in 2011 with Dependency Legal Group. He joined Children’s Legal Services at its founding in the fall of 2016, and has solely represented foster youth ever since.
On his off-time, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as his large furry pack – three dogs and two cats. He also enjoys writing and has completed a screenplay, The Art of War.
Maria Diaz, ClS4