Spotlight on Bay Area Legal’s New President & CEO, Joan C. Boles

Joan's journey with the firm began in 1988 when she joined the Bay Area Legal team as a staff attorney, marking the early stages of her longstanding career in legal aid. Her unwavering dedication to the firm's mission quickly propelled her into a leadership role: she successfully led three distinct legal teams before becoming Deputy Director in 2000.

During her tenure as Deputy Director, Joan collaborated closely with then-CEO Richard "Dick" Woltmann, contributing significantly to the expansive growth of services and projects aimed at extending the reach of free legal assistance over the last two decades.

"My passion for serving low-income people was sparked through volunteer work with the Missionaries of Charity, a program founded by Mother Teresa," said Joan. "I worked with homeless women in London and with children in the South Bronx of New York, witnessing the effects of poverty firsthand. I felt motivated to improve lives in impoverished communities, leading me to pursue a law degree with a steadfast mission to increase access to legal aid."

I felt motivated to improve lives in impoverished communities, leading me to pursue a law degree with a steadfast mission to increase access to legal aid.”

Image of Joan C. Boles

Joan C. Boles

New President & CEO

In addition to her achievements at Bay Area Legal Services, Joan has served as the president of the Hillsborough County Homeless Coalition, spearheading initiatives that benefit low-income persons and communities, and was co-chair of the Professionalism and Ethics Committee of the Hillsborough County Bar Association for nine years.

“Joan’s firm belief in listening to her community has made her acutely aware of its needs,” said Dick Woltmann. “In moving forward as the first new leader of Bay Area Legal Services in over 40 years, she will continue her mission to serve low-income community members with conviction.”