Bethany Li

Legal Director

Bethany Li has used a movement lawyering model to fight for social justice in Asian American communities and advance racial equity. Using an innovative and multi-faceted approach in collaboration with community organizers, Bethany has litigated cases and led advocacy work on a range of civil rights issues, including housing and displacement, workers’ rights, immigration, education equity, language access, and hate crimes. Bethany represented Southeast Asian communities fighting against deportation, including the first Cambodian American to return to the East Coast after deportation. In collaboration with community organizers, she co-produced the documentary “Keep Saray Home” about Southeast Asian families fighting deportations. She served as co-counsel to a multi-racial coalition of organizations and families intervening in a lawsuit against Boston Public Schools’ shift in exam policy. Bethany has won millions in back wages for low-wage workers along the Northeast corridor. She has led a variety of initiatives to increase low-income and limited- English proficient Asian Americans’ access to resources. She also published a report documenting the gentrification of Chinatowns on the East Coast and guided the launch of RAISE, the first undocumented Asian American youth group on the East Coast. Bethany started her legal career at AALDEF as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and staff attorney. She then taught and supervised cases in Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic as the Robert M. Cover Fellow. Bethany was also the Director of the Asian Outreach Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. Bethany taught as an adjunct professor at Hunter College on Asian American civil rights and the law. Bethany graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Amherst College. She serves on Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Well Being and the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force for Hate Crimes.