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. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale College, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Westminster Seminary, and a J.D./Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law where she was a Regents-Intern Fellow and a Human Rights Fellow.
Kony put herself through college and seminary by tutoring, copy editing, shelving library books, and coordinating a children’s ministry. While at Berkeley Law, she volunteered at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (representing asylum seekers), co-founded the Restorative Justice Committee, edited the Post-Conviction Advocacy Project’s first training manual, and taught in the undergraduate Legal Studies Program. Before becoming an attorney, she also spent several years teaching and tutoring at San Quentin State Prison through the GED Prep Program and the Prison University Project.