My Work

Because my approach to systemic change and lifting marginalized populations is holistic and multi-faceted, my work takes a lot of different forms. Unless you’re really curious about the details, either the What I Can Do For You page or my resume are a good place to start.

Otherwise, below I’ve provided some narrative descriptions of my work. You can also learn about my interests and the other organizations I’ve been associated with here.

Consulting, Project Management, and Business Analysis

Technical Assistance to 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 have since been able to provide this same kind of consulting internally at the Bronx Defenders, a nationally-recognized leader in holistic defense. It has allowed me to hone this holistic approach and bring my work to new areas of the law, including immigration defense, civil actions, and family defense.

Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Project Management

Both in Ohio and in New York, I worked on process improvement for all areas of legal-services organizations. I’ve worked on documenting and improving processes for case management, information sharing, and using technological systems.

Just as I believe that those who serve the most marginalized people must consider the people they serve holistically, I believe that process improvement is also a holistic endeavor. I work with people from every part of the office to make their work as smooth, collaborative, and human-centered as possible. I also believe that careful communication is a critical part of successful systems and technology projects, so I wrote announcement emails, prepared a wide variety of training materials, and communicated constantly with both management and line staff.

I also provide more traditional analysis of existing business processes and technical systems as an office works on building, purchasing, or implementing new systems. This includes business process analysis, systems analysis, and even project management. Some examples of projects I’ve worked on:

  • Internal development of improvements to a custom case-management system, including gathering requirements, writing scopes of work, assigning tasks, and coordinating and conducting testing.
  • A complete overhaul of the performance-evaluation protocol for an extremely diverse staff, including project planning, coordinating testing, conducting weekly team meetings, and writing training materials.
  • Technology training programs for Microsoft and Google environments.

I am devoted to using these technological and business skills to help organizations that serve marginalized people.

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 systems-creation projects at the Bronx Defenders and as a consultant with Just Tech LLC.

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.

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Teaching and Presenting

I teach courses (both continuing legal education courses and general educational programs) in appellate writing, storytelling, technology for indigent legal services, and litigating junk forensic science.

Some of the programs I’ve presented:

  • Training Your Staff (On the Fly) to Work Remotely, co-presenter, for the New York State Courts Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, the New York State IOLA Fund, and NYSTech, 2020. Presented as part of a series of webinars in response to the COVID-19 crisis (video here).
  • The Role of Systems Analysis and Process Improvement for Indigent Legal Service Providers, American Society of Criminology Annual Conference, 2019.
  • Systems Analysis and Technology Improvement for Holistic Defense, co-presenter, National Legal Aid & Defender Association Community-Oriented Defender Network Conference, 2019.
  • Appellate Defender Training, National Legal Aid & Defender Association: On multiple occasions, I Coached lawyers on writing and storytelling at this 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: At multiple continuing legal education programs around Ohio, 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: At multiple continuing legal education programs around Ohio, presented this introduction to the scientific method aimed at lawyers, including strategies for exposing junk forensic science and using science to tell our clients’ stories.

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Litigation

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.

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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. Below are some examples of my writing hosted elsewhere, or check out the My Writing page.

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