The DRLC’s dynamic team is spearheaded by Sylvia Torres-Guillén, a transformational leader and lawyer and DRLC’s Executive Director. A fearless and tenacious trial lawyer, Sylvia spent decades fighting for civil rights and social, racial, and economic justice. As a federal public defender for nearly 20 years, the State of California’s first Latina General Counsel of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and ACLU of Southern California’s Statewide Director of Education Equity, she fought for the most marginalized and oppressed communities.

For her commitment to public service and community, Sylvia has been recognized among California’s Super Lawyers, Top Women Lawyers, and Women of Influence, among other awards. She is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

The Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public-interest advocacy organization that champions the rights of people with disabilities and invests in otherwise neglected communities by creating access for people with disabilities.

Civil Rights Litigation Program (white text, transparent background)


DRLC’s annual gala, the FDR Dinner, recognizes individuals and organizations across sectors who exemplify DRLC’s core values of justice and fairness and who protect and expand the rights and representation of people with disabilities.

We invite our community to join us on October 5th for the 49th FDR Dinner, as we celebrate the victories we’ve shared with our community for nearly half a century.

Save the Date! Disability Rights Legal center presents: 49th Annual FDR Dinner. Date: October 5, 2024. Time: 6:30 PM. Location: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. (Design is an old Hollywood-style event ticket with black background, gold and white font, with image of a film roll in foreground with icons including a film camera, champagne flutes clinking, two dancers [one using a wheelchair], and a Hollywood star. Two dancers dance together on top of the film roll, one in a dress with a flowing skirt.)


Founded in 1975, DRLC houses the nation’s oldest disability rights program. With a strong commitment to intersectionality, DRLC’s programs confront attitudinal and programmatic barriers that maintain discriminatory structures, prevent equal access, and prevent people with disabilities from full inclusion in society.


Civil Rights Litigation Program: DRLC is proud to house the nation’s oldest disability rights program. The Civil Rights Litigation Program invests in otherwise neglected communities by creating access. These cases aim to create lasting changes that benefit the entire community, reshape attitudes and perceptions, and influence future policies, procedures, and structures to effect change across the country. (Transparent circle behind program title, off-white text on vertical, rectangular black background.)
Cancer Legal Resource Center: DRLC’s Cancer Legal Resource Center addresses legal issues faced by people with cancer, whose needs are unique in the disability community. Through its national telephone assistance line, outreach programs, and community activities, the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) has reached more than half a million cancer-affected individuals since its creation in 1997. (Transparent circle behind program title, off-white text centered on vertical, rectangular black background.)
CORE Program: The Community Outreach, Resources, & Education (CORE) Program serves as DRLC’s front line, ensuring two-way communication between our teams and community. CORE seeks to map existing resources and to connect community-based organizations to work synergistically alongside established and emerging leaders and remain responsive and attuned to the community. (Design: Transparent circle behind program title, off-white text centered on vertical, rectangular black background.)
Contact Us

Contact DRLC by email at DRLC@theDRLC.org.

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