Our Staff

Rachel Spears, Executive Director

Rachel Epps Spears was hired as the Executive Director of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in 2005 when the organization was founded. Prior to joining the Partnership, Rachel was an associate in the public finance department at King & Spalding in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rachel is a former Chair of the State Bar of Georgia Nonprofit Law Section and is a member of the Public Interest Executive Roundtable of the Atlanta Bar Association. She has been recognized as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite and the Daily Report’s On the Rise attorneys. She has received the EPIC Inspiration Award: Unsung Devotion to Those Most in Need awarded by Emory University School of Law and the Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award presented by the Atlanta Bar Association.

An Atlanta native, Rachel graduated from Davidson College in 1993 with a degree in Political Science and received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997. She lives in Morningside with her husband, two daughters and one very lazy lab mix.

Robyn Miller, Senior Corporate/Tax Counsel

Robyn has more than 25 years of corporate and tax-exempt law experience, including six years at Ernst & Young working primarily in the nonprofit arena. While at Ernst & Young, she worked in the National Tax-Exempt Organizations Group located in Washington, D.C. and worked with large non-profit organizations nationwide. She also created tax-exempt research and solution tools for Ernst & Young professionals to use in assisting their tax-exempt clients. In addition, she has given speeches nationwide on a variety of tax-exempt-related issues.

Prior to working at Ernst & Young, she practiced law for five years in Washington, D.C. at Miller & Chevalier and Popham Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman including tax transaction and controversy, corporate, and litigation work. While in D.C, she organized a pro bono program for one of her firms to provide ongoing legal representation to six non-profit organizations. She has also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, and she led a nonprofit in New York City while attending law school.

As Senior Corporate/Tax Counsel for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta for over 10 years, Robyn acts as outside general counsel to over 200 nonprofits, provides corporate/tax legal advice to many of Pro Bono Partnership’s non-profit organizations and serves as a resource to Pro Bono Partnership’s volunteer attorneys. She also manages our Nonprofit Legal Check Ups which take place five times a year and involve evaluating the legal health of approximately 50 nonprofits a year.

Robyn is a cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and earned a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

She lives in Milton, GA with her husband Brian Henry, an attorney with The Coca-Cola Company, their two children and their two dogs.

Lori Shapiro, Employment Counsel

Lori joined Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in July 2014. As a part-time staff attorney for Pro Bono Partnership, Lori provides direct legal services to nonprofit organizations in addition to serving as a resource to Pro Bono Partnership’s volunteer attorneys and nonprofit clients, and educating lawyers and clients on employment-related legal issues.

Prior to joining Pro Bono Partnership, Lori practiced labor, employment and benefits law for more than 20 years, both as a law firm partner and as in-house corporate counsel. As an associate and then a partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, she represented national and international corporate clients in all aspects of employment law and litigation. Starting in 2000, she moved her career in-house, first as General Counsel for Employment Learning Innovations, Inc. (“ELI”), a training company that provided labor and employment law training courses, and then as labor, employment and benefits counsel with Graphic Packaging International, Inc., an international paperboard packaging company. Throughout her career, Lori has had the opportunity to assist clients with a wide variety of corporate legal matters, including matters involving labor and employment law and litigation, employee benefits, intellectual property, licensing (including software licensing), non-compete and confidentiality agreements, OSHA issues, and general contracting.

In addition to her experience teaching her corporate clients about the law in her in-house positions, Lori served as an adjunct professor, teaching labor law classes, in the Employment Law LLM program at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School for two years. She currently serves on the board of The Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum, and has previously served on nonprofit boards throughout her career.

Lori received her J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. She graduated from Brandeis University cum laude with a B.A. in Politics and European Cultural Studies. She lives in Marietta with her husband, Cary Goldenthal, who is a Vice President with Aetna, her two children, and her dog, a schnoodle named Star

Sireesha Ghanta, Counsel & Education Director

Sireesha undertook her first volunteer attorney project with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta when she was a first year associate at McKenna Long and Aldridge. 12 years later, she joined PBPA as a part-time staff attorney. Sireesha has a mix of prior in-house and firm prior to joining PBPA. Her background includes working at Cooper Holdings, Inc., The Trust for Public Land, and Genuine Parts Company, focusing on real estate and technology contracts.

Sireesha graduated with a BA from Wake Forest University, and has a JD and MBA from the University of Georgia. She lives in Decatur with her 3 children and husband.

Justine Cowan, Corporate Counsel

Justine joined Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in 2020. As a part-time staff attorney, she assists nonprofits in navigating the multitude of laws that govern nonprofit organizations.

Justine has over two decades of experience as an attorney and nonprofit leader, including serving for 13 years as the Executive Director of Atlanta-based GreenLaw. Most recently, Justine lived in central Florida, where she ran a consulting firm that provided legal and strategic advice to nonprofit organizations on topics including industry best practices, corporate governance, charitable registrations and other regulatory compliance issues.

Justine has served as a guest lecturer at Emory University, University of Georgia, Georgia State University and Mercer University law schools and has conducted comprehensive educational programs for organizations such as the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Edyth Bush Institute of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, among others.

She received her law degree with honors from Duke University School of Law, where she was a member of the Editorial Board of the Duke Law Journal. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Robert L. Echols, United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Justine has received numerous awards for her public service.

She lives in Midtown with her husband, Patrick, an artist for EA Sports, who can frequently be found playing jazz at local Atlanta clubs.



Jessica Caldas, Programs Manager

Jessica Caldas joined Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in the Summer of 2016 as the Programs Manager. Prior to joining PBPA, she worked and volunteered in various non profit organizations, including time working with one of PBPA’s clients, The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation as the Program Coordinator of their Domestic Violence Project. Jessica remains committed to the larger nonprofit community and to volunteer work in Atlanta, the city she loves. She also believes in the power of civic engagement, regardless of background or profession, and has worked on policy issues concerning women and girls for several years now at the local and state level.

Jessica also works as a full time artist. She received her BFA in printmaking from the University of Georgia in 2012 and is currently pursuing her MFA at Georgia State University. She lives in Atlanta, GA.

Lola Ibitoye, Operations Manager

Lola joined the staff as Office Manager in January 2011.

Prior to joining Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, Lola received her B.A. in Anthropology from the State University of West Georgia. She has served as Program Assistant for the American Friends Service Committee and Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta.

Lola is an active member of Amnesty International USA and performs volunteer work for them on a regional and national level.

Laura Coats, Development Manager

Laura Coats joined Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta in June 2016 as the Development and Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining PBPA, she served in AmeriCorps in Knoxville, TN where she worked with several environmental nonprofits. Originally, from North Carolina, she graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in History.

Laura serves as President on the Steering Committee for the Poncey-Highland Community Garden. While her tomato plants are lacking, she is great at sending emails. Laura lives in the Poncey Highlands with her two cats, and her partner Zach.

Randi Zelcer, Client Manager

Randi Zelcer joined PBPA in August 2018. Prior to joining PBPA, she worked at Georgia State University’s School of Social Work and Georgia Center for Nonprofits. Randi serves on the Parent Community Board at Woodward Academy and volunteers and raises funds for Emory’s Winship Cancer Research Institute. Randi continues to be passionate about capacity building in nonprofits in Atlanta. She received her MSW from Yeshiva University and a BA from University of Miami. She lives in Decatur, GA.

Kia Dolby, Communications Manager

Kia Dolby has been living and working in Atlanta for almost twenty years. She spent her early career working as a designer for IBM and several Atlanta-based marketing firms. She then transitioned to working as a communications director and online project manager. Kia attended Florida A & M University where she studied design. She loves sharing her insider’s view on design, creativity, entrepreneurship and marketing. When she isn’t working she enjoys cooking and spending time at the beach. Kia lives in East Point with her husband, three boys, and dog, Zeke.