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Building a Better Bench

February 9, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC-5

At 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT on Thursday, February 9th, join PPP and our featured speakers for a conversation on the first two year’s of President Biden’s judicial nominations and what we need to see moving forward.

The Building a Better Bench webinar will be a panel discussion about the importance of professional diversity in judges, the areas of strength and improvement in President Biden’s first two years of judicial nominations, and the need to eliminate the blue slip process. Following the release of PPP’s Building a Better Bench report, the conversation will take a timely look into what needs to continue and change in the next two years to meaningfully reshape our judiciary to be more reflective of the legal profession and our society.

Speaker Biographies

Tristin Brown is the Policy & Program Director at People’s Parity Project. Prior to this role, she was an Associate Counsel at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She first joined the Committee as the Small, Webber, Spencer Litigation Fellow of the Georgetown Women’s Law & Public Policy Fellowship Program. Tristin graduated summa cum laude from Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Public Relations, and earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, she was the President of the Black Law Students Association, a Public Interest Fellow, Student Ambassador, and Online Editor and Special Projects Chair of the Georgetown Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives. She was also recognized as a Pro Bono Pledge Honoree and Dean’s Certificate recipient for her special and outstanding service to the Law Center community, and elected by her peers to represent her class as a 2019 student commencement speaker. Additionally, at Georgetown, Tristin represented clients in the DC Superior Court as a student attorney in the Domestic Violence Clinic. She has held externships with the Political Law Group formerly of Perkins Coie LLP, Advancement Project and the litigation division of the Federal Election Commission. In 2018, she was selected as a Ms. JD Fellow. Prior to attending Georgetown, Tristin worked as a staffer for former U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Graham and interned for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law.

Katie O’Connor is deputy chief counsel at Demand Justice, an organization fighting for progressive change in our courts. Prior to joining Demand Justice, Katie advanced progressive legal causes at the American Constitution Society, Advancement Project, and the ACLU Voting Rights Project. She received her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She’s a Tennessee native, D.C. resident, scary movie enthusiast, and unabashed cat lady.

Jennifer Hunter is a labor lawyer, writer, and consultant to unions and nonprofit organizations. She writes and consults on workers’ rights and civil rights law and policy, as well as judicial nominations and the courts. Before she began writing and consulting full-time in 2021, Jenny practiced labor law for 15 years, first as an associate at Bredhoff & Kaiser in Washington DC, and then in the Legal Department of the Service Employees International Union for 11 years. In her last 3 years at SEIU, she was the Lead Counsel for the Public Division. In this role she served as the legal point of contact for the dozens of SEIU local unions across the country that represent public employees and publicly-funded workers, including state and local government employees, higher education workers, and family child care providers. She supported the work of SEIU organizing campaigns, including by drafting legislation to recognize collective bargaining rights for tens of thousands of family child care providers in California. Jenny is originally from Grinnell, Iowa. She attended Macalester College, where she majored in Math, and went to Yale Law School. She now lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two children.

Tom Wright serves as the Associate Director of Strategic Engagement of ACS.  He helps manage ACS’s work concerning judicial nominations, strengthening the ACS legal professional pipeline, and ACS’s Path to the Bench Initiative. Tom was previously the law fellow at ACS. Prior to joining ACS, Tom served as a staff attorney at the National Veterans Legal Services Program in Washington, D.C. Tom received his J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2017, and his B.A. in communication and political science from the University of Missouri in 2014. During his time at Mizzou, he served as the president of the ACS student chapter and note and comment editor of the Missouri Law Review. In his free time, Tom likes cheering for the Missouri Tigers, watching TV and movies, and visiting craft breweries.


February 9, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm UTC-5

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