Twenty-Nine Government Lawyers From Across The Nation Selected To Participate In A One-Year Fellowship

Oakland, Calif. — Public Rights Project today announced the inaugural cohort of its Affirmative Leaders Fellowship, a program created to help leading attorneys in state and local governments across the country expand their offices’ capacity to protect their residents’ legal rights. Fellows begin their one-year program with a two-day convening and training in Oakland May 22-23, 2019.

After a national search, Public Rights Project selected a talented and diverse cohort of fellows from 23 state and local government offices in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Fifty-nine percent of fellows identify as women and 41% identify as people of color. Fellows are alumni of 26 accredited law schools and nearly 30% occupy senior leadership positions in their offices. They bring an average of 10.5 years of legal experience and a combined total of 40 professional service awards to the fellowship. The full list of fellows is below.

Public Rights Project believes that communities are safer and healthier when the laws written to protect the most vulnerable among us are faithfully and equitably enforced. State and local government offices have the power to enforce laws that protect individuals’ abilities to take out a mortgage, gain equal access to housing or a job, invest in their education, drink clean water, and breathe clean air. This fellowship aims to give state and local government lawyers the tools to do this effectively.

“State and local public law offices are one of the great untapped resources in the struggle for justice and equality,” said Jill Habig, Founder and President of Public Rights Project. “As the federal government has retreated from enforcing our rights and individuals face increasing barriers to access to justice, we’ve heard from offices across the country that want to do more to protect their communities and are eager to develop the skills to do so. We’re thrilled to work with this inaugural cohort of Affirmative Leaders Fellows to more effectively enforce the rights of their residents.”

Fellows will receive a year of intensive training and professional development aimed at strengthening and applying skills in affirmative impact litigation, coalition-building, community engagement, and public leadership. They will hone tools and strategies to work on a range of civil rights, economic justice, and environmental protection issues that directly impact vulnerable populations in their communities and across the country. They will also receive mentoring and gain access to a national network of public impact litigators. This support will enable fellows to initiate, expand, or deepen the impact of their office’s equitable enforcement work.

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Public Rights Project is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit organization.

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