Laura Reeds

Legal Director

Laura mentors and supervises a growing team of staff attorneys, paralegals, contractors and volunteers who work to mitigate civil consequences of the criminal legal system by providing advice and direct representation to formerly incarcerated people through clinics, educational initiatives and strategic litigation. She collaborates with nonprofit partners and government agencies to expand the range of JAC’s assistance to impacted people and to coordinate support for policy campaigns related to solitary confinement, criminal record expungement, occupational licensing and driver’s license suspension.

Prior to joining JAC, Laura advocated on behalf of people with disabilities as an attorney with Disability Rights Louisiana, while also serving as a Collective Bargaining Representative for the first legal services union to achieve recognition in Louisiana. She previously represented indigent defendants as an attorney with the Orleans Public Defenders and litigated both civil and criminal cases as an associate at Carter Ledyard & Milburn, LLC.

As an intern with the Jerusalem Rape Crisis Center, Laura helped procure funding and develop resources for underserved communities, including therapy for survivors with cognitive disabilities and a facility in East Jerusalem for SAWA, a Palestinian nonprofit that combats violence against women. Her research on best practices for treating people convicted of sex crimes and supporting survivors has been included in expert reports for the Ministry of Justice, and her scholarship on refugee law has been published in international legal textbooks.

Laura earned her B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the New York University Law Review and Co-Chair of OUTLaw, the law school’s LGBT student association.