Board of Directors

Pablo Cervantes, President, Lincoln Public Schools

Jodi Garrelts, Secretary, Lawyer, Brown Immigration Law, PC, LLO

Jeanette M. Smith, Chair, Lawyer, Kutak Rock LLP

Dennis Keefe, Chair, Retired Lancaster County Public Defender

CLIA Staff

Meet Max Graves - Mr. Graves, seeing the need for legal services for immigrants, started CLIA in July 2001. At that time, CLIA was the only non-profit west of Omaha assisting immigrants by providing legal services. Graves is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals as a Legal Representative, and functions as the Executive Director.

Meet Tim Greenwood, J.D. - Mr. Greenwood is a registered attorney with the Iowa State Bar and has been working with CLIA since November 2016. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish from Creighton University and a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law. The majority of his work with CLIA is completing U Visas for victims of domestic violence through the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. Greenwood hopes to be involved in comprehensive immigration reform in the future. 

Meet Mary Choate, J.D. - Ms. Choate is an attorney registered with the New York State Bar and has been working with CLIA since May 2017. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from Middle Tennessee State University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Since Choate began her work with CLIA, she has worked with the Yazidis at their cultural center here in Lincoln, NE, doing naturalization, adjustment of status, asylum, and various other immigration paperwork. She has also devoted some of her time working with domestic violence victims doing U Visas. In the future, she hopes to do even more for the immigrant community in Lincoln, NE.

Meet Jonathan Rubio - Mr. Rubio graduated from UNL in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology. He has held leadership positions in multicultural student organizations. Rubio serves as CLIA’s Administrative Assistant, Grant Manager, Paralegal, and Notary Public and is pursuing his DOJ Accreditation.

Meet Francisca Peterson, LMHP - Ms. Peterson has served as a bilingual Receptionist and Translator/Interpreter since 2013.

Meet Allison Starr - Ms. Starr graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2015 with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature and Anthropology/Sociology. She lived in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico for 15 months where she became fluent in Spanish. Starr serves a grant researcher/writer and support staff. She hopes to become DOJ accredited.