As public defenders, we see the harsh outcomes our clients and their families face in the legal system. We believe it is our duty to work to dismantle laws and policies that threaten the civil and human rights of all members of society, especially those who are disproportionately harmed — people from low-income communities of color.

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We work in partnership with other stakeholders, advocates and people directly impacted by the harsh and unfair legal system to create change here in Brooklyn, across New York State, and throughout the country.

The Work

We see firsthand the unjust laws and policies that were designed to keep people down, often based on identity and race. We influence change by engaging in legislative advocacy at the city, state, and federal levels, employing strategic litigation to combat unconstitutional practices and amplifying the voices of public defenders and people who are directly impacted in the media.

Influencing legislative change and pursuing strategic litigation

We take the expertise of our staff and the experiences of the people we represent to the halls of government to influence, challenge and change laws and practices at the city, state, and federal levels. When we identify policies that threaten the civil and human rights of the people we represent, we use our legal expertise to challenge them through class action and other civil lawsuits.

Shifting narratives and public education

We engage with the public, in social and traditional media, to call attention to the injustices we witness and fight for change.