Team

 

Leadership

Jennifer Bennett, Esq.

Jennifer Bennett, Esq.

Board of Directors

Public Justice

Jennifer Bennett is a Staff Attorney at Public Justice, a national public interest law firm dedicated to combatting social and economic injustice through high-impact litigation.  Jennifer litigates precedent-setting appeals challenging predatory corporate conduct and government abuses.  Her practice involves a wide range of issues, including civil rights, workers’ rights, consumer protection, court secrecy, and forced arbitration.  Jennifer has briefed and argued cases in state and federal appellate courts across the country.  Her recent work includes a First Circuit victory on behalf of truck drivers fighting forced arbitration, a Fifth Circuit victory on behalf of a father killed by Texas jailers, and a Ninth Circuit victory challenging corporations’ ability to seal court records that might reveal misconduct or even dangerous product defects that could threaten public safety.  Jennifer earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University.  She clerked for the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the Honorable Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Benjamin Elga, Esq.

Benjamin Elga, Esq.

Executive Director

 

Benjamin Elga is the founding Executive Director of the Justice Catalyst, where he works on a wide array of projects, with a focus on impact litigation and innovation in legal practice. Previously, Ben worked to bring antitrust and consumer class actions at Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, including litigation that resulted in the recall of thousands of defective cars and the return unfairly depressed wages to nurses. Before attending Harvard Law, he was an agriculture volunteer with the Peace Corps in Senegal and worked on several state-wide political races. He is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Jacob Lipton, Esq.

Jacob Lipton, Esq.

Board of Directors

Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law

Jacob Lipton is the Program Director of the Systemic Justice Project, a policy innovation collaboration at Harvard Law School devoted to working with students to identify injustice, design solutions, promote awareness, and advocate reforms to policymakers, opinion leaders, and the public.Jacob has presented on legal education and systemic justice at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Institute, the National Workshop for Bankruptcy Judges, the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching Annual Conference, and the Law and Boundaries Annual International Conference. Jacob graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was co-Editor in Chief of Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left and Vice President of Harvard Law School Students for Sustainable Investment, and the captain of the Harvard Law School soccer team. Before law school he read Classics at King’s College London and spent two years in Freetown as the Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Government of Sierra Leone. He is currently working with Jon Hanson on a research project that attempts to reimagine law, the legal profession, and legal education in ways that would help them better achieve systemic justice.

Sarah O'Brien, Esq.

Sarah O'Brien, Esq.

Board of Directors

Orleans Public Defenders

Sarah O’Brien is a Staff Attorney at Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to representing poor people accused of crimes at the trial court level, Sarah works in the Special Litigation Division developing strategies and litigation to fight mass incarceration and protect the rights of the criminally accused by effecting changes in Louisiana’s criminal justice system and criminal law jurisprudence. Sarah has worked on projects aimed at securing constitutional protections for mentally ill and intellectually disabled people accused of crimes, bringing constitutional challenges to Louisiana’s racially motivated law permitting non-unanimous jury verdicts, increasing state public defense funding through litigation and legislative advocacy, developing educational resources to assist public defenders in maintaining up-to-date knowledge of changes in state and federal criminal case law, and addressing systemic prosecutorial misconduct. Sarah earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. in philosophy from Yale University.

Brian Shearer, Esq.

Brian Shearer, Esq.

Litigation Director

Brian Shearer is Justice Catalyst’s Litigation Director, where he uses impact litigation and innovative legal practice to advance economic and social justice. Prior to coming to Justice Catalyst, Brian worked for 7 years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where he worked on a wide variety of consumer protection issues but focused on student loans, debt collection, payday lending, UDAP, and administrative law. In 2017, Brian was CFPB Director Cordray’s Senior Advisor on all policy issues. Before attending American University Washington College of Law, he was a paralegal for an immigration law firm in Los Angeles. He is admitted to practice law in Virginia.

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