“It’s important to win, but it’s more important to be on the right side of justice.”
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia
Education: BA, Political Science and Middle East Studies, University of Arizona
J.D., University of Arizona
Known around the office as: The expert on multiple religions
Recognized by: The graphic tee under his lawyer suits
John has never been attracted to issues that might be easy to win. Instead, he acts based on his morality.
John’s interest in law developed after he earned his undergraduate degree. John went to work as a community organizer, working with residents of subsidized housing complexes, one of which was was built on previously industrialized land that contained carcinogens. When John entered the community, the tenants knew nothing of this history, although the owners and government officials did. John says this is what compelled him to study law. In law school, John’s interests focused primarily on environmental justice law, but he also focused on immigration, criminal law, and international human rights.
“I went to law school to get tools that I could use to help poor and disenfranchised people fight for their rights,” he said.
After he graduated from law school, John accepted a job doing immigration asylum law and became an expert on Burundian politics. Then in 2006, he started working for criminal justice reform at the ACLU. By 2009, he was fully entrenched in the field, working for the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project (MAIP), an organization that works to prevent and correct wrongful convictions. John joined the CFSY in February 2012 as its litigation specialist.
John has diverse interests outside his work life. He studied Arabic, German, and Spanish. He also grew up playing the fife in the Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to punk rock and hip-hop as well as following his favorite soccer teams.
LaShunda Hill, our state strategist, claims that John can also jump over buildings. This statement has not been independently verified.