Director of Legal Representation Programs
Cassandra Lopez is the Managing Director of Legal Representation Programs with Acacia. Prior to joining Acacia in 2023, she was an attorney with Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. from 2010 to 2022, where she represented individuals charged with a variety of federal criminal offenses. She was an assistant public defender at FDSDI for 9 years before joining the executive management team in 2019. As part of the management team, Cassandra was involved in every aspect of running FDSDI, including directing the attorney recruitment program, serving as the FDSDI liaison with various community stakeholders, and overseeing the publication of Defending a Federal Criminal Case, the preeminent federal criminal defense practice manual. Over the years, she has tried more than 25 federal cases.
Before joining FDSDI, Cassandra was an Equal Justice Works fellow with Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California, where she created a project focused on representing detained non-citizens in removal proceedings. She received her JD from U.C. Davis in 2008 and her BA from San Francisco State University in 2005.