CCR Social Justice Conference 2012: Principles and Approaches to Community-Based Lawyering

The Center for Constitutional Rights Social Justice Institute in conjunction with The Bertha Foundation cordially invite you to the CCR Social Justice Conference 2012: Principles and Approaches to Community-Based Lawyering.

Join law student interns from across the U.S. for a one-day conference in New York City that will explore the basic principles and methods of social justice and community-based lawyering. The conference will identify concrete strategies, tools and forums that lawyers can use as part of their practice in representing underserved communities; expose students to a range of public interest organizations in New York City; and examine the importance and diversity of the type of work they will be doing in this rich legal community.

Registration deadline was Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:59 PM EST.

Keynote speaker: Michelle Alexander

Author of the acclaimed book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar who currently holds a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Kirwan Institute, Alexander was an associate professor of law at Stanford Law School, where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of her first book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The book has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, C-Span Washington Journal, among others. In March, the book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best non-fiction.

Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 9:00 AM — 4:30 PM (Registration begins at 8:30 AM)

Location: The Graduate Center The City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street), New York City

NOTE: Due to the limited number of spaces, we may not be able to accommodate all of your organizations law school student interns; therefore, at this time we must limit the number of interns to 4-5 per organization.


Vince Warren

Vincent Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a national legal and educational organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Baher Azmy

Baher is an esteemed lawyer, professor and scholar, who has actively pursued constitutional and human rights litigation challenging policies emerging from the so-called "war on terror," including policies related to indefinite executive detention, extraordinary rendition, and torture.

Bill Quigley

Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill has been an active public interest lawyer since 1977. Bill has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including human rights, Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience.

Alexis Agathocleous

Alexis Agathocleous is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and works on CCR's Government Misconduct and Racial Justice docket. He is lead counsel in Aref v. Holder, challenging policies and conditions at the federal Bureau of Prisons' Communications Management Units, and Doe v. Jindal, challenging a Louisiana law that requires individuals convicted of Crime Against Nature to register as sex offenders.

Fahd Ahmed

Fahd Ahmed is Legal and Policy director of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM). Currently, Ahmed leads DRUM's work on national security, racial profiling, and police accountability in the Racial and Immigrant Justice program.

Amna Akbar

Amna Akbar is Attorney-in-Residence/ Adjunct Professor of Law in the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, a cross-clinical collaboration between the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic and the Defenders Clinic at CUNY School of Law. CLEAR aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counterterrorism policies and practices.

Cathy Albisa

Cathy Albisa is a constitutional and human rights lawyer with a background on the right to health. Ms. Albisa also has significant experience working in partnership with community organizers in the use of human rights standards to strengthen advocacy in the United States. She co-founded NESRI along with Sharda Sekaran and Liz Sullivan.

Chandra Bhatnagar

Chandra Bhatnagar is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His practice centers on racial justice and immigrants' rights issues with particular focus on the rights of low-wage workers. He litigates and is engaged in advocacy involving the use of international and foreign law in U.S. courts and the domestic implementation of ratified human rights treaties.

Darius Charney

Darius Charney is a senior staff attorney in the Racial Justice/Government Misconduct Docket. He is currently lead counsel on Floyd v. City of New York, a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department's unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices, and Vulcan Society Inc. v. the City of New York, a Title VII class action lawsuit on behalf of African-American applicants to the New York City Fire Department which challenges the racially discriminatory hiring practices of the FDNY.

Jenn Ching

Jennifer Ching is the Executive Director of Queens Legal Services. QLS is the borough's largest neighborhood legal advocacy program, with offices in Jamaica and Long Island City and 12 projects in areas ranging from housing, education and government benefits to immigrants' rights, economic justice and domestic violence advocacy.

Brian Concannon

Human rights lawyer and activist Brian Concannon Jr. directs the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The Institute promotes human rights in Haiti by litigating cases in Haitian, U.S. and international courts, documenting human rights violations and training lawyers and grassroots activists in Haiti.

Ejim Dike

Ejim Dike is Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network. Ms. Dike has worked on social policy issues for over fifteen years and in the domestic human rights arena for the past ten years. Her human rights work focuses on addressing poverty and discrimination using a human rights framework.

Katherine Gallagher

Katherine Gallagher is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), where she focuses on holding individuals, including US and foreign government officials, and corporations, including private military contractors, accountable for serious human rights violations.

Damon Hewitt

Damon Hewitt is Director of the Education Practice Group at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). He supervises a team of lawyers and policy experts working on class action cases, legislative and policy initiatives, and public outreach on a variety of educational equity issues — including school desegregation, fiscal equity, affirmative action, and school discipline.

Chaumtoli Huq

Chaumtoli Huq joined NYLS in fall 2011 to teach Legal Practice. Her expertise lies in labor and employment, immigrant workers, and human rights. Previously, she was director of litigation at Manhattan Legal Services, which provides free legal services to low-income New Yorkers and deals with a wide range of legal issues, including housing, consumer rights, and employment.

Bonnie Scott Jones

Since joining the Center for Reproductive Rights in 1996, Bonnie has litigated a wide range of cases to protect access to reproductive health services. She has developed considerable expertise in fighting TRAP laws, and has led the Center's cases against such laws in South Carolina, Arizona, Missouri, and Kansas. Bonnie has developed a number of innovative legal theories in her cases, including arguing that ultrasound viewing laws discriminate against women, and that state inspection schemes violate the Fourth Amendment and patients' rights to informational privacy.

Lynn Lewis

Lynn has worked in the social justice movement for over 30 years in New York, Florida and revolutionary Nicaragua in a range of capacities in organizations and initiatives led by poor people. Lynn has worked with Picture the Homeless since its founding in 2000, to “relocate” homelessness as a racial and economic justice issue through grass roots organizing.

Noah Lewis

Noah Lewis is a Staff Attorney at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, a New York City-based organization committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people. Noah works on cutting-edge impact litigation in areas such as employment discrimination, health care access and identity documentation. He also coordinates the Name Change Project, which helps hundreds of NYC residents obtain legal name changes with the assistance of pro bono counsel.

Miranda Massie

Miranda Massie is Legal Director and Interim Executive Director at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a nonprofit civil rights law firm. In addition to overseeing the organization's advocacy related to health justice, disability rights and environmental justice, she focuses on issues of children's environmental health and toxics in low-income communities of color.

Kate Mogulescu

Kate Mogulescu is a staff attorney in the Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice, and has represented indigent clients facing criminal prosecution for almost a decade. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the City College of New York. Ms. Mogulescu received her J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Sunita Patel

Sunita Patel is currently a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she litigates racial profiling, immigrant justice, and other human rights issues. She is counsel for NDLON v. ICE, a FOIA lawsuit seeking records related to the illusive “Secure Communities” program of the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency; Floyd v. City of New York, a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department's unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices and Turkmen v. Ashcroft, the class action suit on behalf of Arab and Muslim men rounded up in immigration sweeps after 9/11.

Taylor Pendergrass

Taylor Pendergrass is a senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union. His work at the NYCLU focuses on criminal justice reform, prisoners rights, and the right to protest. Prior to joining the NYCLU, he was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Colorado.

Archana Prakash

Archana joined the Neighborhood Defender Service in February of 2008 and became a supervisor in July 2011. She has tried numerous felony and misdemeanor cases, and continues to do so as a supervisor. She also supervises and trains a staff of lawyers, social workers, and investigators to provide holistic services to clients in the Harlem community.

José Pérez

José Pérez is the Associate General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF and directs and manages the organization's Legal Division which is known for its impact litigation work. He also works very closely with LatinoJustice's Education Division and its many innovative pipeline programs which seek to increase the number of Latinas/os admitted into law school and diversifying the legal profession.

Andrea Ritchie

Andrea Ritchie is a police misconduct attorney who has engaged in extensive research, writing, litigation, organizing and advocacy on profiling, policing, and physical and sexual violence by law enforcement agents against women, girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color in over the past two decades.

Jennifer Robinson

Jen Robinson is an Australian human rights lawyer and Director of Legal Advocacy at the Bertha Foundation in London. She has acted in numerous free speech and freedom of information cases for media organisations such as the New York Times and Bloomberg.

Johnathan Smith

Johnathan Smith joined LDF’s staff as Assistant Counsel in the Economic Justice Group in October 2010. Prior to joining LDF, Mr. Smith spent two years as a litigation associate with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP where he was the NAACP LDF fellow.

McGregor Smyth

McGregor Smyth, the Managing Attorney of the Civil Action Practice and the Director of Reentry Net at The Bronx Defenders, has for the past decade pioneered the integration of civil and criminal defense services for low-income people in the criminal justice system.

Pam Spees

Pam Spees is a senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal trial practice. Prior to joining CCR, she practiced criminal law in Louisiana, where she primarily represented indigent persons in state and federal courts.

Last modified 

May 6, 2014