People's Law Conference Program Descriptions and Speaker Bios

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Program Descriptions

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21st Century McCarthyism, COINTELPRO, and Dissent: Defending Movements and Communities from Profiling, Agents Provocateurs, and Overzealous Prosecution, Saturday, March 24, 1pm **NEW TIME!**

More than ten years after 9/11, activists and targeted communities face ever-increasing scrutiny and criminalization in the name of national security. Legislation and prosecution continue to expand the definitional scope of "terrorism-related activity," Muslim and activist communities are surveilled and infiltrated at alarming rates, and activists who dissent on the web and in the streets face an onslaught of agents provocateurs, militarized police, unforgiving courts and unrelenting sentences. The 21st Century redux of McCarthyism and COINTELPRO requires smart organizing and lawyering to defend our movements and communities. Attorney Ahmed Ghappour (The National Security Defense Project) will discuss surveillance and infiltration within Muslim communities, as well as prosecution tactics and defense strategies in national security trials. Vince Warren (Center for Constitutional Rights) will discuss the legal issues and strategies for defending Anonymous members and other hacktivists, and Bradley Crowder will offer his insight as a young activist who was taken under the wing of an FBI agent provocateur and ultimately prosecuted and incarcerated for his participation in the Republican National Convention of 2008.

Panelists: Emily Ratner (Loyola Law student) (Moderator), Bradley Crowder (RNC 8), Ahmed Ghappour (Director, National Security Project), Vince Warren (Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights)

Fighting (and Winning!) in the Courts, on the Hill, and in the Media: Strategies from the Campaign against Louisiana’s Solicitation of Crimes Against Nature Law, Saturday, March 24, 3:30pm **NEW TIME!**

Under Louisiana's Solicitation of Crime Against Nature law, workers in the sex industry have been penalized by laws designed for rapists and child molesters, including serving longer sentences and having the word "sex offender" printed on their drivers license, which makes it virtually impossible to secure housing and employment.  One local organization, Women with a Vision, decided to fight back.  Working with media, lawyers, and activists, they led a successful campaign to change the law.  This panel brings together many of the key figures in that struggle, discussing how they made it happen along with details of the ongoing federal court case to make the new law retroactive, as well as the race, gender, and class issues associated with this 200 year-old Louisiana law.

Panelists: Davida Finger (Clinical Professor, Loyola Law Community Justice Clinic) (Moderator), Alexis Agathocleous (Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights), Jordan Flaherty (Journalist, Al Jazeera English), Deon Haywood (Founder, Women with a Vision), Andrea Ritchie (Coordinator, Streetwise & Safe)

Financial Survival: Creating a Sustainable Social Justice Lawyering Career, Saturday, March 24, 9am

This panel will feature New Orleans social justice lawyers who have constructed their careers so that their bills get paid while continuing to participate in movements for social change. Our panelists will share their personal journeys while also addressing how they fit their ethical commitments and community work into their daily lawyering routine. They will discuss how they incorporate values of solidarity, sustainability, cooperation and equity into their work, and how to balance these principles in a variety of workplace settings. As well, the panelists will explore how to manage debt and a private practice with community responsibilities.

Panelists: Professor Majeeda Sneed (Moderator), John Adcock, Elizabeth Cumming, Sarah V. Pic, Miles Swanson

Integration of Extracurricular Access to Justice Programs at Law Schools, Presented by University of Tennessee Law Students, Saturday, March 23, 9am

An exploration of the roles law schools can play in addressing unmet needs in the legal system. The program consists of examples from the University of Tennessee’s access to justice efforts and programs, and will invite attendees to engage in small group discussions and reflection in order to generate conversations about best practice tips for law school students, staff and administrators in access to justice efforts.

Panelists: Professor Brad Morgan (Moderator), Brooke Boyd, David Priest, Brittany Thomas, Amy Williams

LGBTQ Liberation Struggles in a Politically Conservative Climate, Saturday, March 24, 10:30am

This interactive panel will discuss the many issues LGBTQ people, especially low-income LGBTQ people and LGBTQ people of color, face in politically conservative and/or rural communities that limit our quality of life, including but not limited to criminalization, discrimination, bullying, and lack of culturally competent resources and services.

Panelists: Robert Lancaster (LSU Law Center Faculty) (Moderator), Tucker Barry (Capital City Alliance, Political Director), Jason Benford (Student, Southern University Law Center), Stephen Handwerk (National Stonewall Democrats Political Action Committee, Co-Chair), Lizzie Jenkins (Louisiana Trans Advocates, President), Clyde Jones (Acadiana Gay Men’s Community Wellness Center, Coordinator), S. Mandisa Moore (OUTLaw—LSU, President), Bruce Parker (Equality Louisiana)

No One is Illegal: Strengthening Immigrants’ Rights through Litigation and Community Organizing, Friday, March 23, 3pm

Panelists: Collette Pichon Battle (Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy) (Moderator), Jacinta Gonzalez (Lead Organizer, New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice), Norris Henderson (Executive Director, Voice of the Ex-Offender; Member, Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition), Julie Mao (Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice), Azadeh Shahshahani (Director, National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU-Georgia)

Rebuilding with Dignity and Justice: Strategies from Haiti and the U.S. Gulf South, Friday, March 23, 4pm

Attorneys and organizers working within communities in Haiti, Honduras, and across the Gulf South will discuss strategies that have used human rights norms and advocacy.  Looking to these sites as examples, this program will explore some of the tensions and opportunities for lawyers working with communities and social movements.  How can/mght the introduction of a human rights strategy affect those relationships?  To what extent are advocates framing their struggles in human rights terms?  How are the norms introduced?  Who is making the strategic choices?

Panelists: Pam Spees (Senior staff attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights) (Moderator), Brian Concannon, Jr. (Director, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti), Monique Harden (Co-director, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights), Mario Joseph (Manager, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti), Laura Raymond (Advocacy Program Manager, Center for Constitutional Rights)

Re-entry and Civil Rights: The Struggle for Self-Empowerment in Louisiana, Friday, March 24, 1pm

Learn about local community organizing to create legislative changes to overturn voting and employment discrimination. Voice Of The Ex-Offender (VOTE) is a New Orleans organization dedicated to the political development of formerly incarcerated people and their communities. Over 10% of New Orleans is currently denied the right to vote due to felony convictions, and these convictions lead directly to employment discrimination. This workshop will discuss the legal basis for challenging such laws, coordination with other efforts around the country, and the question of "citizenship" in America.

Panelists: Norris Henderson (VOTE, Executive Director), John Thompson (Resurrection After Exoneration), Bruce Reilly (Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People's Movement).

Stand Up for Each Other! (SUFEO!) A collaboration of Loyola and Tulane law students, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, and Young Adults Striving for Success, Saturday, March 24, 10:30am

According to the Louisiana Department of Education, 71% of New Orleans students attended charter schools in 2010. At the end of this year, that number will dramatically increase as the Recovery School District converts all of their direct-run schools over to the private non-profit sector. Local activists: Stand Up For Each Other!, Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children, local students, and the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans will discuss this transformation and the various strategies they have developed to advocate for students, parents, and their communities in this process.

Panelists: Breion Burns (Student at Sojourner Truth Acedmy), Hoang Thanh Hoang (Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association – VAYLA-N.O., Rides to Success Coordinator), Tu Thomas Hoang (VAYLA-N.O., Education Research Coordinator), Anna Lellelid (SUFEO!, Outreach Coordinator), Damonika Morgan (Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children), Lynntrell Westbook (Student at Sojourner Truth Academy), Damonike Strokes

Speaker Bios

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After a year as a second grade teacher and Americorps volunteer, John Adcock worked as a death penalty investigator at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center for five years and handled death penalty cases in all stages of litigation in Louisiana and Mississippi. After graduating law school in 2006, he has worked as a staff attorney at the Innocence Project, a public defender in juvenile court and volunteered on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in North Carolina. Currently, he runs his own public interest law firm in New Orleans and takes all manner of cases where voiceless people have been treated unfairly including the representation of persons charged with crimes, those with immigration issues as well as cases involving violations of civil rights laws, the Fair Housing Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Louisiana Public Records Act.

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. Before joining CCR, Alexis was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD), and Director of OAD’s Reinvestigation Project. Alexis was a Karpatkin Fellow with the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and graduated from Yale Law School, where he was a Coker Fellow and interned at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Tucker Barry is the Political Director at Capital City Alliance. Through organizing with groups like Equality Louisiana, Louisiana Trans Advocates, Capital City Alliance, and Business Partners in Pride, Tucker is able to bring together ideas, resources, and people from across identities and purposes.

Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. is a native of Louisiana who, over the past five years, has worked with leaders in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas toward multi-racial cross regional alliance building. In 2006, Colette co-founded Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc. to help with the equitable rebuilding of impacted communities recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In 2008, Colette was awarded the U.S. Civilian Medal of Honor for the state of Louisiana for her work in the Katrina recovery. Colette now serves as Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (at Moving Forward Gulf Coast) with projects focused on Immigration, Community Economic Development, Land Sovereignty and Disaster Assistance. Colette’s legal specialization is in Immigration and Naturalization Law. Her current work includes providing legal and advocacy services to Native American, Immigrant and African American communities impacted by the BP Oil Crisis. Ms. Pichon Battle earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and World Religion from Kenyon College and is a 2002 graduate of the Southern University Law Center.

Jason Benford, who is from Baker, Louisiana, is a third law student at Southern University Law Center. He is the president of the Gay Alliance for Legal Equality (GALE), SULC’s premiere LGBT law student group.

Brooke Boyd is a first year student at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Brooke graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida in 2010. Her interests include family law, juvenile issues, and child advocacy.

Judith Browne-Dianis has an extensive background in civil rights litigation, which includes fighting to protect the rights of displaced Hurricane Katrina survivors. She was instrumental in securing a victory in Kirk v. City of New Orleans, which barred the city from bulldozing homes without first giving home owners opportunity to challenge the demolition. Through litigation, public speaking, and field work, Browne-Dianis staunchly advocates justice and equity for displaced New Orleans residents. She also served as co-counsel in NAACP v. Katherine Harris, et al., representing the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and black Floridians in a lawsuit to remedy voting rights violations related to the November 7, 2000 election. A graduate of Columbia University School of Law and a recipient of the distinguished Skadden Fellowship, Browne-Dianis began her civil rights career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), practicing law in the areas of housing, education, employment, and voting rights. In its 30th Anniversary issue in 2000, Essence magazine named Browne-Dianis one of “30 Women to Watch” and, in the same issue, featured her in an article defining the Black agenda for the millennium.

Brian Con­can­non, Jr., Esq., Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, co-managed the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti for eight years, from 1996–2004, and worked for the United Nations as a Human Rights Offi­cer in 1995–1996. He founded IJDH, and has been the Direc­tor since 2004. He helped pre­pare the pros­e­cu­tion of the Raboteau Mas­sacre trial in 2000, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant human rights cases any­where in the West­ern Hemi­sphere. He has rep­re­sented Hait­ian polit­i­cal pris­on­ers before the Inter-American Com­mis­sion on Human Rights, and rep­re­sented the plain­tiff in Yvon Nep­tune v. Haiti, the only Haiti case ever tried before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Mr. Con­can­non has received fel­low­ships from Har­vard Law School and Bran­deis Uni­ver­sity and has trained inter­na­tional judges, U.S. asy­lum offi­cers and law stu­dents across the U.S. He is a mem­ber of the Edi­to­r­ial Board of Health and Human Rights, An Inter­na­tional Jour­nal. He speaks and writes fre­quently about human rights in Haiti. He holds an under­grad­u­ate degree from Mid­dle­bury Col­lege and JD from George­town Law. He speaks Eng­lish, Hait­ian Cre­ole and French.

Elizabeth Cumming enrolled in law school knowing that she would use her degree to do social justice work. While an undergrad she worked with a variety of organizations such as the Maryland ACLU and the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center, where she had the opportunity to work closely with lawyers committed to social change and inspired her to go to law school in order to help give a legal voice to those who often do not have one. As an Equal Justice Works fellow, she worked on a project to raise awareness around the dangerous health conditions at Orleans Parish Prison, as well as to contribute to efforts to reduce the size of the prison.

Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) is a statewide membership-based organization that fights for a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system.

Davida Finger teaches the Community Justice clinic at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She has also taught the Law & Poverty course and Social Justice Lawyering seminar. She joined Loyola in 2006 to work with what was formerly the Katrina clinic. In collaboration with community organizations, she has worked extensively on disaster-related litigation and policy matters focusing on government accountability in rebuilding. Prior to joining the clinical faculty at Loyola, she practiced law in Seattle.

During 2008-09, Professor Finger was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School and an “Effective Leadership” fellow with Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy in its inaugural program for emerging Louisiana leaders. She was also a 2009 teaching fellow with the Neighborhood Partnership Network’s first capacity college in New Orleans designed to develop community members’ advocacy and organizing skills.

While in law school, Professor Finger was the founding Editor in Chief of the Seattle Journal for Social Justice and an Associate Editor on the Seattle University Law Review. At graduation, she received the Faculty Scholar Award for excellence in high academic achievement and substantial service to the law school community. In 2007, Seattle University Law School named her an inspiring alum and she now serves on the alumni board.

Professor Finger received Loyola University College of Law’s 2010 Gillis Long service award and the 2010 Loyola University Faculty Senate service award. She is the 2011-12 chair of the Association of American Law Schools poverty law section.

Jordan Flaherty is a journalist and community organizer based in New Orleans. He was the first journalist with a national audience to write about the Jena Six case, and played an important role in bringing the story to worldwide attention. His reporting has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Democracy Now. He is currently a news producer on Fault Lines, the award-winning current affairs news program on the Al Jazeera television network.

Ahmed Ghappour is a Clinical Instructor with the National Security Clinic at UT Law School, where he directs the National Security Defense Project, an access to justice initiative that litigates constitutional issues in national security cases. He is also a senior legal advisor to the Cairo based Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, where he works on security sector reform, and international accountability litigation. For years, Ahmed has represented individuals and organizations facing federal national security charges across the United States. Before founding the NSDP, he worked with Lt. Cmd. Charles Swift (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld), taking numerous national security cases to trial. Prior to his criminal defense work, Ahmed was a Staff Attorney at Reprieve UK, where he represented over 30 Guantanamo detainees in their habeas corpus proceedings and challenged the US Extraordinary Renditions Program. He is a National Security Committee member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has been qualified to serve as an expert on national security by courts in the United States and Canada. For more info, see

As lead organizer for the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice's Congress of Day Laborers, Jacinta Gonzalez helped establish and maintain a base of day laborers and immigrant families dedicated to building worker power, advancing racial justice, and mobilizing workers across race and industry in post-Katrina New Orleans. She was the lead investigator and primary author of two reports that documented the inhumane conditions in the immigration detention center in Basile, Louisiana, and played a role in exposing abuses in the South Louisiana Detention Center. Jacinta is currently a Soros Justice Fellow.

Stephen Handwerk is Co-Chair of National Stonewall Democrats Political Action Committee. He represents the 7th Congressional District on the executive committee of the Louisiana State Democratic Party and is the first openly gay man to serve as an officer of the party.

Since 1996, Monique Harden has provided legal counsel and advocacy support that have helped community organizations win important environmental justice victories. In 2003, Ms. Harden, along with Nathalie Walker, co-founded Advocates for Environmental Human Rights. Ms. Harden is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law (1995), and received a B.A. from St. John’s College (1990). Ms. Harden has authored and co-authored numerous reports and papers on environmental justice and human rights issues. Her advocacy work has been featured in television, radio and print news, as well as books, magazines, and documentaries.

Norris Henderson, a former OSI Soros Justice Fellow, is Executive Director of VOTE. Norris has had tremendous success in his work impacting public policy and public discourse about police accountability, public defense for poor and indigent people, and reforming the notorious Orleans Parish Prison (OPP). As someone who was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years, Norris shares first hand experience of racism and brutality of the criminal justice system with communities of color across the city. Self-taught in criminal law during his 27 years in prison as a paralegal, advocate and organizer. He is clear that only by working together can communities of color protect themselves from one of the most brutal criminal justice systems in the country and rebuild together a diverse New Orleans rich in culture and community. He has not only achieved significant wins in this area, but he has also built bridges with other communities of color, regularly speaking publicly in support of underprivileged communities in New Orleans and immigrant workers rights, and acting as a general liaison to other community organizations in the city.

Since his release in 2003 Norris has applied his legal expertise and community organizing skills to a number of leadership positions, including Co-Director of Safe Streets/Strong Communities and Community Outreach Coordinator of the Louisiana Justice Coalition. Norris serves on a number of organizations’ Board of Directors including Innocence Project of New Orleans, Family & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children and Junior Regional Services. He continues to provide valuable insight into the concerns, questions and needs of prisoners, the formerly incarcerated and their families. In 2004, Norris incorporated Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE), and is now directing VOTE full time.

Hoang Thanh Hoang is an undergraduate student at the University of New Orleans. He is currently majoring in Engineering. In addition to his studies, he is actively involved in the Vietnamese American Young studies, he is actively involved in the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA-NO) as the Ride to Success' (RTS) Coordinator. RTS is a campaign that organizes Benjamin Franklin High School parents and students to demand for free yellow bus transportation to New Orleans East.

Tu Thomas Hoang is second-year law student at Loyola University of New Orleans. Before attending law school, he developed and directed the Education Program at the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA-NO), an organization based in New Orleans East. Currently, he is serving as the Education Research Coordinator for VAYLA.

Lizzie Jenkins is the president of Louisiana Trans Advocates, an organization that works to strengthen and support transgender and allied communities across the state through social support, education, empowerment, and advocacy in order to promote self-determination of gender identity and gender expression for everyone.

Clyde Jones is the coordinator of the Acadiana Gay Men’s Wellness Center, a FREE community clinic provided by Acadiana CARES. We provide STI testing services for the Gay, Bi, and Transgender community of Acadiana and the surrounding area.

Mario Joseph, Av., has co-managed or man­aged the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti since 1996, and has prac­ticed human rights and crim­i­nal law since 1993. The New York Times called him Haiti’s most respected human rights lawyer. He spear­headed the pros­e­cu­tion of the Raboteau Mas­sacre trial in 2000, one of the most sig­nif­i­cant human rights cases any­where in the West­ern Hemi­sphere. He has rep­re­sented dozens of jailed polit­i­cal pris­on­ers, in Hait­ian courts and in com­plaints before the Inter-American Com­mis­sion on Human Rights. In 2009, he received the Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award from the Cen­ter for Jus­tice & Account­abil­ity and the Kather­ine and George Alexan­der Human Rights Prize from the Uni­ver­sity of Santa Clara Law School. He has tes­ti­fied as an expert on Hait­ian crim­i­nal pro­ce­dure before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and in U.S. courts, and served on the Hait­ian government’s Law Reform Commission.

Mr. Joseph is also an edu­ca­tor, and a grad­u­ate of Haiti’s Teach­ers’ Col­lege. He has exten­sive expe­ri­ence teach­ing human rights and legal issues to grass­roots advo­cacy orga­ni­za­tions, human rights groups and vic­tims’ orga­ni­za­tions. He appears fre­quently on tele­vi­sion and radio in Haiti to explain legal issues. He speaks Hait­ian Cre­ole, French and English.

Robert Lancaster, a member of the LSU Law Center faculty since Fall 2008, is the Director of Clinical Legal Education and the Singletary Professor of Professional Practice. He is also official advisor to OUTLaw and is a board member of Capital City Alliance.

Anna Lellelid is a second year law student at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and Outreach Coordinator at Stand Up For Each Other! and has helped to grow the organization and expand its reach throughout New Orleans and into neighboring parishes.

Julie Mao is a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow at the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, where she provides legal and strategic support to its membership of day laborers, guestworkers, and low-income workers. Her current work includes membership defense in the immigration and criminal context, addressing the unconstitutional detention of individuals on ICE holds by local jails, and representing guestworkers in human trafficking litigation against employers. Julie graduated from NYU School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar and student of the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Her past work includes representing a civil rights leader in his deportation proceedings before the Second Circuit, district court litigation on Border Patrol’s internal enforcement practices, and asylum adjudication at the UN High Commission for Refugees in Malaysia.

S. Mandisa Moore is a black radical feminist and president of OUTLaw, LSU Law Center’s premiere LGBT student group. Her primary social justice work is with the Women’s Health and Justice Initiative-a New Orleans-based multi-dimensional organizing and base-building project.

Brad Morgan is the Access to Justice Coordinator at the University of Tennessee College of Law. He serves on the Tennessee Access to Justice Committee as well as the Knoxville Bar Association Access to Justice Committee. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee Brad practiced with a large southeastern law firm.

Damonika Morgan (Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children – FFLIC) is FFLIC's Statewide Educational Policy and Campaign Director and lead staff person for FFLIC's School Discipline Reform Program.

Bruce Parker is one of the founding members of Equality Louisiana, a statewide 501(c)(4) coalition that affords like-minded groups an opportunity to unite and collaborate on efforts, such as lobbying for legislation at the state house and supporting each other in efforts to pass inclusive local non-discrimination ordinances.

Sara V. Pic is a New Orleans native who attended Smith College with a degree in women's studies and Northeastern School of Law. Sara received a post-graduate fellowship at Health Law Advocates in Boston in 2005. After the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and the federal flood, Sara decided to return to New Orleans to help her family and friends rebuild our home. Sara worked at Mental Health Advocacy Service, representing foster care kids with emotional and behavioral health needs. She then joined the team that started Health Law Advocates of Louisiana, based off the same organization she worked for in Boston. She has been Litigation Director there since its inception two year ago.

David Priest is a second year law student at the University of Tennessee College of Law and founder of Vols for Veterans. He is an Eagle Scout and an avid sports fan. David hopes to complete his J.D./MBA in 2014.

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. Bill served as the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights for two years and has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana, for which he served as General Counsel for 15 years.

Bill teaches in the clinic and also teaches courses in Law and Poverty, Social Justice Lawyering, Community Lawyering, and Catholic Social Teaching and Law. His research and writing has focused on living wage, the right to a job, legal services, community organizing as part of effective lawyering, civil disobedience, high stakes testing, international human rights, revolutionary lawyering and a continuing history of how the laws have regulated the poor since colonial times. He has served as an advisor on human and civil rights to Human Rights Watch USA, Amnesty International USA, and served as the Chair of the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights. He has also been an active volunteer lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Bill is the author of Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At A Living Wage (Temple University Press, 2003) and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice (2008). In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA. He is the recipient of the 2004 SALT Teaching Award presented by the Society of American Law Teachers; the 2006 Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans; the 2006 Stanford Law School National Public Service Award; the 2006 National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman award; the 2007 University of California School of Law, Boalt Hall, Social Justice Scholar in Residence; the 2009 Northeastern University School of Law Daynard Public Interest Visiting Fellow; the 2011 Activist-Scholar Award of the Urban Affairs Association; and the 2011 Fordham University School of Law Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Award.

Laura Raymond is the Advocacy Program Manager for CCR’s International Human Rights docket. She joined CCR in 2008 after working with a number of social justice organizations and networks throughout the United States and in Mexico. Since that time, she has coordinated CCR's advocacy work on a broad range of international human rights issues. Specific projects have focused on the oil company Shell's role in Nigeria, accountability for torture by private military contractors and U.S. government officials, a variety of human rights issues stemming from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2009 coup d'etat in Honduras and the occupation of Palestine, among other issues. She is the co-editor of The Global Activist’s Manual: Local Ways to Change the World and the author of numerous articles on human rights and organizing. She is an active member of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG); she was the recipient of the NLG's Legal Worker of the Year Award in 2005. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Service, Leadership, and Management, with a focus on Policy Advocacy, from SIT Graduate Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies, with a focus on Globalization and Community Restructuring, from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Bruce Reilly (Tulane Law School, '14) is a founding steering committee member of the Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People's Movement, and works with groups around the country on criminal justice issues. After 12 years of incarceration, he joined Direct Action for Rights & Equality in Providence, RI, as an organizer and policy expert. He has worked on issues such as voting rights, employment discrimination, and conditions of confinement. Before law school, Bruce was also a professional lighting designer and DJ. He has directed his own plays, and written the NewJack's Guide to the Big House. Since moving to New Orleans, he has developed an addiction to karaoke. Read his blog

Andrea Ritchie is a police misconduct attorney and organizer who has engaged in extensive research, litigation, 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 over the past two decades. She currently coordinates Streetwise & Safe (SAS), a leadership development initiative aimed at sharing “know your rights” information, strategies for safety and visions for change among LGBT youth of color who experience of gender, race, sexuality and poverty-based policing and criminalization. She is co-author of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States and co-counsel to the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice in Doe v. Jindal.

Azadeh Shahshahani is the Director of the National Security/Immigrants' Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia. The project is aimed at bringing Georgia and its localities into compliance with international human rights and constitutional standards in treatment of refugee and immigrant communities, including immigrant detainees. To that end, Azadeh has been involved with impact litigation, legislative advocacy, human rights documentation, coalition-building, public education, training of attorneys, and organizing. Azadeh was recently elected to serve as the next President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is also Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Committee on the Rights of Immigrants (of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section), Chair of Refugee Women's Network, and Chair of Georgia Detention Watch. Azadeh is also one of the Founders of Human Rights Atlanta. Azadeh is a 2004 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a participant in the Third Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law and served as Article Editor for The Michigan Journal of International Law. While in law school, Azadeh completed a fellowship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, DC and a research fellowship with a women's rights organization in Iran. Azadeh previously served as Interim Legal Director for the ACLU of Georgia. Before her move to Atlanta, she worked with the ACLU of North Carolina as Muslim/Middle Eastern Community Outreach Coordinator. In March 2012, Azadeh, along with three other NLG attorneys, joined a delegation to Tunisia at the invitation of the Tunisian national bar association. The delegation produced a report on the Tunisian revolution and U.S. complicity with crimes of the ousted Ben Ali regime. Azadeh is also a founding member of the International Tribunal of Conscience of the Global Alternative Forum of Peoples in Movement. Azadeh has edited several human rights reports and is the author of book chapters and legal articles on immigrants’ rights and racial profiling, including a selection in the 3rd Edition of the anthology Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense and a forthcoming article in the Winter 2012 edition of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal. Her opinion pieces have appeared in publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Huffington Post, and openDemocracy. Azadeh was born in Iran and moved to the United States at age sixteen. She is the recipient of the University of Georgia Law School 2009 Equal Justice Foundation Public Interest Practitioner Award.

Majeeda Snead started her legal career as the 1985 recipient of the Reginald Hebert

Smith Fellowship. The fellowship placed her at New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation working in the Family Law Unit. During that fellowship she established an in house relationship with Catholic Charities representing displaced battered women. In 1987 she joined the law firm of Howell & Bayer and in 1990 became a partner in the law firm of Howell & Snead. The firm specialized in civil rights actions, plaintiff civil litigation, criminal defense and family law. In 1999 she had the honor of being invited to be a Visiting Clinical Professor at the Loyola University College of Law working in the Law Clinic teaching in the area of criminal defense. She was asked to join the faculty in 2001. In July, 2007 she became the Acting Director of the Loyola Law Clinic serving until August 1, 2008. While serving as the Acting Director she was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve as Judge Pro Tem in Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans where she served from July, 2008 until August 22, 2008. She served as Acting Director of the Loyola Law Clinic again from August 1, 2010 until May 15, 2011. In addition to teaching, she is now the Interim Director of the Office of Skills and Experiential Learning. Currently Professor Snead is one of the Governor’s appointees to the Louisiana Public Defender Board

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. In addition, she has worked as a consultant in international law with a focus on women's human rights and previously served as Program Director of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, an international advocacy network dedicated to ensuring accountability for crimes of sexual and gender violence included in the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. She now serves as an advisor to the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (formerly the Women's Caucus), which is now based in The Hague, to monitor the Court and continue the advocacy for accountability gender-based violence.

Stand Up For Each Other! (SUFEO!) is a collaboration of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, law students from Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University and Young Adults Striving for Success that has stepped up to help kids stay in school.

Students Represented by SUFEO!

Breion Burns is a senior at Sojourner Truth Academy and a member of STA's first graduating class.

Damonika Stokes is a senior at Sojourner Truth Academy and a member of STA's first graduating class. As a founding student of Sojourner Truth Academy, Damonika Stokes is a leader among her peers. Determined to succeed, she lives by the motto, "Change your future and then change the world." Damonika has a voice and isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes is right.

Lynntrell Westbrook is a senior at Sojourner Truth Academy and a member of STA's first graduating class. A determined, unique, and outspoken girl, Lynntrell is going to college and will become successful. She lives by the motto, "Without struggle there is no progress or no greatness." She would like to see everyone live Dr. King's dream and one day travel the world.

Miles W. Swanson graduated from the University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of law in 2005. He helped coordinate the Common Ground Legal Committee from 2005 – 2007. He was an AmeriCorps Pro Bono Legal Fellow from 2006 – 2007 with the New Orleans Pro Bono Project helping train volunteer lawyers and law students to staff free legal clinics in the New Orleans area. Miles worked as a staff attorney with the Orleans Public Defender from 2007 - 2010. In 2007, he worked with his law school to design a design a semester long class curriculum that continues today focusing on post-Katrina New Orleans and includes an “alternative spring break” for students placing them in volunteer positions in various legal aid efforts in the Gulf region. Since starting his private practice in 2010, Miles has assisted in representing individuals in a range of state and federal criminal and civil matters, including Occupy New Orleans and the ongoing criminal charges against the 2011 Krewe of Eris. Miles is on the Governing Committee of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the vice president of the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association. Miles also loves to bicycle.

Brittany Thomas is a third year law student from the University of Tennessee. She is currently serving as the Director of UT Pro Bono along with Overall Coordinator of Legal Aid of East Tennessee's Saturday Bar program. During her tenure at UT she has changed the face of UT Pro Bono creating a pro bono orientated community at the College of Law. In recognition of her work she has received numerous awards, including the TBA's Law Student Volunteer of the Year.

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA-NO) is a youth-led community-based organization that empowers Vietnamese American and underrepresented youth through supportive services and organizing for cultural enrichment and positive social change.

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.

Vince oversees CCR's groundbreaking litigation and advocacy work which includes using international and domestic law to hold corporations and government officials accountable for human rights abuses; challenging racial, gender and LGBT injustice; and combating the illegal expansion of U.S. presidential power and policies such as illegal detention at Guantanamo, rendition and torture.

Prior to his tenure at CCR, Vince was a national senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he litigated civil rights cases, focusing on affirmative action, racial profiling and criminal justice reform. Prior to the ACLU, Vince monitored South Africa's historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings and worked as a criminal defense attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn.

Amy Williams has a Master's in cultural anthropology from the University of Wyoming, and worked as a program coordinator for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Bristol, TN for 8 years prior to coming to law school. She is an officer in Lambda Law Society at University of Tennessee and does research on poverty law for Professor Bach. Her ultimate goal is to build a career in public interest law, and her dream is to work for Lambda Legal or the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Last modified 

March 18, 2012