GBLA names new executive director

February 22, 2024 /

On Tuesday, February 20, the Board of Directors of the Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance, Inc. (GBLA) announced Valentin Narvaez, Esq. as the new executive director of the organization.

“The Board of Directors for Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance is excited to move forward with Mr. Valentin Narvaez as the new Executive Director. Mr. Narvaez’s history with the organization, coupled with his commitment to serving GBLA’s clients, makes him the perfect person to lead GBLA into the future. We look forward to working with him and carrying on GBLA’s commitment to serving our clients and the community of Kern by providing high-quality legal services to low-income and elderly people in civil matters,” says Teryl Wakeman, Chief Deputy Public Defender, and GBLA Board Chair.

Since 1968, GBLA has provided legal assistance to low-income and senior residents in Kern County. GBLA’s mission is to promote social change and justice by providing high-quality legal services to the low-income community of Kern County, California. GBLA assists clients in the areas of housing and homelessness, domestic violence, guardianship, children and family services, health law, consumer law, and others. For more information on GBLA, please visit

Inspired by the mission of GBLA and the hope for a better future, Navarez joined GBLA in June of 2018 after practicing law for several years in Chicago, Illinois, obtained his California license in August of 2019, and became Director of Litigation in November of 2019.

Narvaez plans to expand service access, expand services to eligible applicants, and enhance service quality by building upon and continuously improving GBLA’s technology, client access, and community engagement throughout Kern County.

“As GBLA charts its course, the envisioned journey is one of transformative growth, anchored in the commitment to adeptly address the challenges ahead. Through embracing adaptability and the pursuit of excellence, GBLA must persist in its mission-driven work, making enduring strides towards social justice and changes facing the low-income community. I am ready to lead GBLA to success,” said Narvaez.

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