Areva is a multi-award winning attorney and on-air legal analyst for cable and network television. She is a CNN contributor and a regular contributor on Good Morning America, ABC World News and Dr. Phil. A recurring cohost on the Emmy award-winning daytime talk show, The Doctors, Areva is a nationally recognized autism and children’s rights advocate. She is the founder and President of Special Needs Network, Inc., California’s premier autism advocacy organization.
Areva has been appointed and has played leadership roles in almost every California legislative committee on autism and the special needs community. Under her leadership, Special Needs Network has become California’s leading disability advocacy and social justice nonprofits. The organization has provided services to over 40,000 families and was one of the lead organizations on key legislation that provides for increased services for individuals on the spectrum, including California’s insurance laws that mandate coverage for autism therapies. Areva has raised millions of dollars for autism related causes and frequently testifies before legislative bodies on expanding resources for individuals with disabilities.
Her book, The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism and Other Special Needs (Penguin 2011) soared to the top of Amazon’s best sellers’ list upon release and has become a must read for parents, advocates and caregivers. Areva has published hundreds of articles on autism advocacy, disability rights, racial equity and best practices for addressing disparities in the delivery of health, education and community supportive services to underserved families.
A graduate with honors from Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago, she is the founding and managing partner at Martin & Martin, LLP, one of LA’s premiere female and African American owned law firms. Areva’s legal practice includes civil rights, employment and disability discrimination, torts and general litigation. She has been consistently identified as one of LA’s top attorneys including being selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer every year since 2014, a distinction reserved for the top five percent of the attorneys in the state.
Areva is the recipient of many awards including L’Oreal Paris’ Women of Worth; Los Angeles County Women of the Year; Ford’s Living Legend Award; the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award; KJLH Proven Achiever’s Award; and Union Bank’s Neighborhood Hero Award. She has been featured in magazines from Red Book to Ebony.
Areva is one of the nation’s leading thought leaders on issues of race, gender and the law. She is connected to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive and regularly writes opinion pieces for CNN, the Daily Beast and Time.Motto. She wrote the debut column for that popular women’s online cite, Sexist Laws Explained .
A lover of all things social media, she is a runner with a passion for 10k races. Her third book, Make it Rain (Hachette 2018) comes out in March of 2018. Areva lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters and son, who is on the autism spectrum.
Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter
“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS