“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time…But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”  – Lilla Watson

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio until elementary school and then Ashburn, Virginia

Education: B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Virginia

J.D., University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law

Recognized by: The adorable baby boy who sometimes accompanies her

Nikola Nable-Juris serves as senior policy counsel for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. In this role, Nikola provides strategic guidance, support, and leadership to states that are working to eliminate life without parole and other extreme sentences for children. She works directly with state-level advocates and legislators.

Nikola began her career as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, during which she worked at a youth center in Juneau, Alaska, with pregnant and parenting teenagers. She later served as the residential manager at the Shelter for Help in Emergency, a domestic violence shelter in Charlottesville, Virginia. After seeing teenagers and women continually encountering legal, financial, and societal barriers, Nikola was inspired to attend law school to work for systemic change.

During law school at the University of Maryland, Nikola interned with the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore and participated in the Immigration Clinic, representing female victims of violence in their immigration cases. While she loved working with clients, she realized that she wanted to make a broader impact on systemic change than she found possible through work on individual cases. She enjoyed doing policy work on behalf of girls in detention while interning with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. She joined the CFSY staff in September 2014 after serving as a law clerk to Magistrate Judge Alan Kay of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and to Magistrate Judge Beth Gesner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Nikola is excited to be utilizing her legal and organizing skills on behalf of youth. While not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, cooking, and traveling to explore new places.