Rigel S. MassaroSenior Staff Attorney
Issue(s): Education

“Since I heard, years ago, of Public Advocates’ hard-hitting, creative, and committed advocacy on behalf of disenfranchised communities, it has been my goal to support its work. For me, there is nothing more gratifying than fighting alongside parents and students for a quality education system. I come from a family of educators, and my years as a public school teacher have fostered my belief that equalizing educational opportunities is the best way to bring about equality and democracy in our society.”

– Rigel S. Massaro

Rigel S. Massaro, Staff Attorney, joined Public Advocates in January 2013, where she is working on Public Advocates’ education team. As a former teacher and lifelong activist, Rigel believes a public education must empower low-income students and students learning English to obtain professional and civic success. Rigel interned for Public Advocates as a law student in summer 2008, supported by a fellowship with the Legal Aid Association of California and in conjunction with a fellowship with Education Pioneers.

Before joining Public Advocates this year, Rigel was staff attorney at Advocates for Children of New York, where she represented immigrant families of students with disabilities, engaged in city and state level advocacy on behalf of immigrant students, and trained hundreds of parents and professionals. After law school, she clerked for Judge Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals. Prior to attending law school, Rigel joined Teach for America and taught middle school for three years in Phoenix, Arizona, where she served as the president of her district’s education association.


Rigel graduated from the University of Arizona’s College of Law in 2009, where she served as the president of the Student Bar Association, represented low-income clients through the Immigration Law Clinic, and interned at Consumers Union in San Francisco. Rigel graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 2003. She is a Bay Area native and loves unconventional cooking and outdoor adventures.

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Sumi Paik