Keith Wattley, Founder and Executive Director, received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University and his law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. He has been advocating for the rights of prisoners and parolees for nearly twenty years. Prior to launching UnCommon Law in 2006, Keith was a staff attorney at the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit law firm in Berkeley. He has represented thousands of prisoners in impact litigation and individual matters involving mental health care, gang validation, religious freedom, prison infirmaries, medical care, excessive force, visitation, parole consideration and parole revocation. He has also trained hundreds of lawyers, law students and others in prisoner and parole advocacy.
Keith is co-chair of the Institutional Review Board (human subjects committee) for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He was also a member of the Founding Board of Directors for the Prison University Project (San Quentin’s College Program) and a member of the Board of Directors for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. Keith is currently a Lecturer in Law at UCLA School of Law and UC Berkeley School of Law, where he supervises the Post-Conviction Advocacy Project. Keith was a co-recipient (with California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno) of Santa Clara University School of Law’s 2009 Social Justice and Human Rights Award, and was awarded the 2016 Kathi Pugh Award for Exceptional Mentorship from UC Berkeley School of Law.
Ritika Aggarwal has been the Office Manager and Paralegal at UnCommon Law since 2012. After receiving a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, she moved back to the Bay Area to organize with Critical Resistance. Prior to joining UnCommon Law, she worked as a paralegal at a prisoners’ rights law firm in San Francisco, advocating for the rights of prisoners with mental health issues.
Kony Kim joined UnCommon Law as a Staff Attorney in 2016. While earning her J.D./Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, she was an active volunteer in arts, education, and restorative justice programs at San Quentin State Prison. She also volunteered with the East Bay Sanctuary as a refugee advocate, co-founded the Restorative Justice Committee, and taught in the undergraduate Legal Studies Program. Before law school, she studied philosophy and theology, coordinated a children’s ministry, and taught the craft of writing to teenagers.