About the VCLF
As the charitable arm of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, the Valley Community Legal Foundation promotes education in the law, provides scholarships to qualified students pursuing law related studies, supports the courts, increases access to justice, and assists families in conflict and victims of domestic violence with their legal needs. The Foundation relies on volunteers and donations for the services it provides. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.
MEET SOME VCLF OFFICERS
It takes hard work by many dedicated professionals for our organization to accomplish its mission. We have no paid staff (although we appreciate the help the SFVBA staff provides). We get things done because the volunteers in our organization make it happen. Here are some of the people who help run VCLF.
Mark Shipow, Esq. – President. Mark Shipow is a 1979 graduate of UCLA Law School. He spent the first 27 years of his career as a commercial litigation attorney in major law firms, most recently as a partner at Holland & Knight, where he was at various times the Managing Partner of the L.A. office and the Southern California litigation practice group leader. He now has his own practice continuing to handle commercial litigation, including disputes involving shareholders and partners, real estate, and contracts. Mark was elected to the Board of Trustees of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association from 2010 through 2014. He has been on the Board of VCLF since 2014, and has served as V.P. of Public Relations & Marketing, President-Elect, and now President.
Kira S. Masteller, Esq. – President-Elect. Kira is a shareholder at Lewitt, Hackman, Shapiro, Marshall & Harlan practicing in the area of Trusts and Estates. Kira has served on the SFVBA Board for the past 10 year. She was SFVBA President two years ago. Raised in the San Fernando Valley and living in Woodland Hills, Kira has had a passion for children’s education and for providing extra ordinary opportunities for our Valley children interested in legal careers. She strongly believes in VCLF as a great platform for attorneys and others in the legal field to give back to the community and make a difference in our future by contributing their time and talent. Kira urges you to join her in working with students, our local schools and the Courts, to foster learning opportunities and experiences for our fantastic Valley youth.
Ms. Terri Peckinpaugh-Agnew – Secretary. Terri has worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years. She is Vice President of Leavitt Insurance Brokers. Her background includes extensive knowledge and experience with all forms of insurance programs, including lawyers’ professional liability, in diverse industries such as law firms, construction, healthcare, retail business, property owners, and technology. Terri also owns a food catering business, Muddy’s BBQ & Catering, one of a few mobile wood-smoked BBQs in S. California. She has been an active member of VCLF for many years, formally acting as the VCLF Secretary, but also assisting in all of the Foundation’s projects.
Judge Virginia Keeny – Vice-President, Scholarships. Since her appointment in 2012 to the Superior Court, Judge Virginia Keeny has served the Valley community, first in a family law courtroom and now in a civil assignment in the Van Nuys Courthouse. She has served on the VCLF Board for many years, administering one of the key charitable activities of VCLF: providing scholarships to deserving students. Last year, she was responsible for overseeing VCLF’s award of $9,000 in scholarships to help students pursue their dreams of law-related careers. Judge Keeny hopes to significantly expand the scholarship program in the coming years by attracting new donors so VCLF can encourage more students. Judge Keeny also has been instrumental in VCLF’s sponsorship of student attendance at Defamation, the award-winning play that helps students understand race and gender issues in the context of litigation. She helped lead the students’ vigorous discussion of those issues at the most recent presentation of the play.
Patricia McCabe, Esq. – Vice-President, Grants. Patty has a small firm in Van Nuys. Her firm represents disabled individuals who need assistance with Social Security benefits, Medicare/Medi-Cal claims, State Disability Insurance, Veteran’s benefits or other disability benefits. Patty has been a VCLF supporter and volunteer for 20 years. In that time, she has helped guide VCLF in providing scholarships to hundreds of students to further their education. She also has been instrumental in administering the VCLF grant program, through which VCLF has partnered with community programs in the San Fernando Valley to provide a greater understanding of, and access to, the justice system. Patty is proud to be a Past President of the Foundation. She is excited about the Foundations’ recent work to decrease recidivism by addressing the legal barriers that prevent a successful return to a normal life after incarceration
D. Shawn Burkley, Esq. – Vice-President, Fundraising. Shawn came to the law late in life after spending a significant amount of time in both the marketing and music industries. He is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. A sole practitioner, Shawn has been active in criminal and civil litigation since passing the bar in 2016, handling a wide variety of matters, as his clients’ needs tend to span more than one area of law. Shawn will be serving his second year as the VCLF’s Vice-President of Fundraising. He has found that his tenure with VCLF has provided an amazing entrée into the Valley’s legal community as well as a means to be of service, which was fundamental in his decision to become an attorney. He has been instrumental in the Foundation’s success in raising funds to do good work. We congratulate Shawn on his upcoming marriage to his childhood sweetheart.
Deborah Chodos, Esq. – Vice-President, Public Relations & Marketing. Deborah practices personal injury law, representing injured parties in all types of accident cases. Coming from a family of attorneys, including her father, uncle and two younger brothers, she views the practice of law as an opportunity for service to her clients and the community. During her tenure as a VCLF Board member last year, one of the highlights was helping present the courtroom drama Defamation for middle and high school students. She found the students’ enthusiastic response and their excellent essays about the experience incredibly inspiring. She looks forward this year to serving as VP of Public Relations and Marketing, spreading the message about all of VCLF’s excellent projects.
Laurence Kaldor, Esq. – Immediate Past President. VCLF is lucky to have had Laurence as President for the past 3 years. In fact, VCLF is lucky to have had Laurence at all. At age 16, he miraculously survived an airplane crash, losing his left leg, right eye, and father, but not his will to live. Through stamina and determination he endured extensive surgery and rehabilitation, and came to realize life would be most fulfilling if he utilized his experiences to overcome obstacles and lead by powerful example. He did that over and over as President of VCLF. He is a happily married father of two wonderful daughters. His legal practice includes entertainment and family law, and he regularly serves as a volunteer Judge Pro Tem in Family Court and Traffic Court. He also has written, directed and produced independent feature films. He will continue to be a driving force at VCLF.
Watch this page for information about other VCLF leaders. The VCLF is looking forward to an exciting year of giving back to our legal community. We all welcome your participation in our efforts.
Please contact our President Mark Shipow at firstname.lastname@example.org or review this website if you want to become involved, donate money, or obtain more information.