Because my approach to systemic change and lifting marginalized populations is holistic and multi-faceted, my work takes a lot of different forms. My resume offers a summary of the work I’ve done, and below I’ve provided some narrative descriptions of that work.
Consulting, Project Management, and Business Analysis
Consulting with Public Defender Offices
In my work deploying a state-wide case-management system around the state of Ohio, I had the opportunity to consult with over a dozen county public-defender offices on how to better help indigent Ohioans.
- I audited existing case-management systems and their data to prepare for data migration.
- I analyzed intake processes and suggested changes to make them smoother and more efficient.
- I worked with leadership at these offices to analyze case data and prepare presentations to funders about budget increases and upgraded technology.
- I consulted with supervisors and department heads on best practices for supervision and case management.
I am now providing a lot of that same consultation to the Bronx Defenders in New York City. I’m bringing my methods and my approach to new areas of the law as well, including immigration defense, civil actions, and family defense.
Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Project Management
In my current role as an organizational systems analyst at the Bronx Defenders, I work on process improvement for all areas of the organization. I’ve worked on documenting and improving processes for case management, information sharing, and using technological systems. The Bronx Defenders believes that legal defense of indigent people must be holistic to really succeed. I believe that process improvement is also a holistic endeavor, so I work with folks from literally every part of the office to make our work as smooth, collaborative, and human-centered as possible.
I also provide more traditional analysis of existing business processes and technical systems as we work on building, purchasing, or implementing new systems. This includes business process analysis, systems analysis, and even project management. I am devoted to using these technological and business skills to help organizations that serve marginalized people.
Designing Public Defense and Legal Services Technology Solutions
In my role as a public information attorney at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, I was the business-processes, user-experience, and data-validation lead for the development of a state-wide data-collection and case-management system. It’s still being developed and deployed, but you can read a little bit about it here. I have also either assisted with or led other smaller technological projects at the Bronx Defenders.
Managing Website & Social Media Strategy
I was the project manager for the redesign of the Office of the Ohio Public Defender’s website, working with lawyers and staff throughout the agency to entirely overhaul our agency’s web presence to provide better information to our clients, to their families, and to poor people all over the state who interact with the criminal justice system. I also helped lead the social media working group; as a result of those efforts, you can now find our agency on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
I worked at the Office of the Ohio Public Defender for over six years, directly serving Ohioans in need when their own government turned against them. As part of the OPD team, I litigated criminal appeals on a huge variety of issues in both state and federal court.
State v. Hand
In State v. Hand, I successfully argued that juvenile adjudications cannot be used to enhance a person’s punishment for any later adult charges. You can read the filings in the case or watch the argument video to learn more. (I also won the Best Brief 2015 award from the Ohio State Bar Association for the brief in this case.)
State v. Thompson
I also led our agency’s working group on jail-time credit, an issue that combines technical statutory interpretation, constitutional law, and math in precisely a fashion that makes it terribly uninteresting but also terribly important. I successfully litigated a case in the Ohio Supreme Court on appellate rights for jail-time credit calculations, and if you’re inclined to do so, you can watch that argument as well.
I teach continuing legal education courses in appellate writing, storytelling, and litigating junk forensic science.
Some of the things I’ve taught:
- Appellate Defender Training, National Legal Aid & Defender Association: Coached lawyers on writing and storytelling at national training programs. Also presented plenary sessions on integrating case facts and legal research for effective and persuasive appellate writing.
- A Digital Investigation from Beginning To End: Co-presented with a certified digital investigator, describing both technical and legal aspects of a computer forensic investigation.
- Bringing the Scientific Method Into the Courtroom: An introduction to the scientific method aimed at lawyers, including strategies for exposing junk forensic science and using science to tell our clients’ stories.
- Issue Spotlight: Jail-Time Credit: A brief overview of how to calculate the confinement credit our clients deserve, and how to make sure the court gets it right.
Writing, Blogging, Podcasting
When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher wrote a note home to my parents saying I was a great writer but that I’d get more done if I didn’t spend so much time on the internet. Things maybe haven’t changed much since then.
- Academic Writing:
- Blogging: I’ve written a lot of blog posts in my life, most substantially at io9, the science fiction blog, first as a summer intern and then as a contributor. You can read all of my posts on their site, but here are some favorites: