Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense Practice
Ava was born in Washington, D.C. and graduated magna cum laude from American University.
Her passion for public defense was ignited by a trip to California’s failing prison system during her first year of college. Upon returning to D.C., she volunteered as a re-entry caseworker in the city jail. She founded Justice Not Jails, a student group that organized events highlighting the racism and economic inequality in the criminal justice system.
After college, Ava worked with Families Against Mandatory Minimums (“FAMM.”) She wrote “Profiles of Injustice” about the men and women serving long sentences for nonviolent crimes and fought to eradicate the 100:1 federal crack-cocaine sentencing law. The slow pace of legislative change and the disconnect between lawmakers on Capitol Hill and their constituents serving decades in prison under mandatory minimum sentencing prompted Ava to go to law school and fight to keep people out of prison in the first place.
At Brooklyn Law School, Ava sought to gain the skills to effectively defend people accused of crimes. She interned at Orleans Public Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services (twice), Federal Defenders for the Eastern District of New York, and The Legal Aid Society. She was a student advocate in the Capital Defender & Federal Habeas Clinic, where she wrote a certiorari petition and reply brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a client on Alabama’s death row.
Ava was a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow, and a Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest Summer Fellow. She graduated cum laude and was awarded the Judge Doris A. Thompson & Judge Edward Thompson Award for Excellence in Professional Skills.
Ava is grateful for the opportunity to defend her clients’ liberty as a staff attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services.