Amelia Casas joined the Texas Fair Defense Project as Policy Analyst in 2021. In her role, Amelia supports TFDP’s advocacy strategy to pass impactful legislation and the development of TFDP’s pilot Client Advocacy Program, empowering former clients and directly impacted community members to lead criminal legal reform policies in Texas. Prior to her time at TFDP, Amelia served as the Policy Coordinator for the Workers Defense Project, where she advocated for workers’ rights and fair employment practices in Dallas, TX. Previously, Amelia finished her graduate final field practice with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, advocating for basic human rights and services in prisons. Amelia is a Licensed Master Social Worker and graduate of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas, where she also received her BSW.
Nathan's work focuses on improving representation for Texans who get arrested and cannot afford a lawyer, including by challenging illegal and ineffective indigent defense systems, advocating for improved defense provision, and helping people who have been mistreated or ignored by their local provider. Because this type of work is always a team effort, he also provides advice and legal representation to advocates, attorneys, and organizers seeking to improve their local indigent defense systems. Before moving to Texas, Nathan coordinated intake, appointment of counsel, and post-sentencing services at the Orleans Public Defenders. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas - Austin, and the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
Managing Attorney, Litigation
Camilla develops and manages TFDP's litigation program, which aims to support the shared goals of TFDP and its community partners in the fight against the criminalization of poverty. Before TFDP, Camilla was an appellate public defender at the Center for Appellate Litigation in New York City, where she brought challenges to debilitating enmeshed consequences of conviction alongside her direct representation work; a trial-level public defender at The Bronx Defenders; and an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she represented clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies and taught in the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale University.
Pro Bono Program Director
Sarah Mae Jennings manages TFDP’s statewide pro bono program helping low-income Texans restore their driver’s licenses and alleviate barriers to jobs, housing, and public benefits imposed by criminal records. In her role, Sarah Mae trains and supervises pro bono attorneys assisting low-income Texans in their communities with Class C misdemeanor and criminal record clearing cases; and recruits pro bono attorneys to join TFDP in the fight to end the criminalization of poverty. Sarah Mae joined TFDP as a Staff Attorney in 2020 building out TFDP’s criminal record clearing work and working with the Clean Slate Texas Coalition to advocate for policy changes to increase access to criminal record clearing in Texas. Before joining TFDP, Sarah Mae worked as a trial attorney at the Orleans Public Defenders office in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she defended hundreds of clients against misdemeanor and felony charges from arrest through post-conviction. As a law student in Austin, Sarah Mae managed both the UT Law Expunction and Driver’s License Recovery pro bono clinics. Sarah Mae is admitted to practice law in the State of Texas and in the State of Louisiana.
Katie Kis is the Operations Manager at Texas Fair Defense Project. She joined TFDP in 2020 to help build internal systems and processes, as well as to support new and existing programs. Prior to joining TFDP she managed an Austin-area AmeriCorps program. She received a B.S. and a graduate certificate from the University of Oregon in 2013.
Accountability Project Director
My Le is the Accountability Project Director at Texas Fair Defense Project. My’s work at TFDP centers communities who are entrenched in the policing and carceral systems and takes lead from the movements challenging these systems. Through creative advocacy, litigation, and movement support strategies, My works to hold system actors accountable or abolish their abusive policies and practices. Prior to joining TFDP, My was a holistic public defender in the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders, where they collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of advocates to defend Bronx residents from pre-arrest through post-conviction. During law school, My completed the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) and Immigrant and Non-Citizens Rights Clinics, and interned with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Outten & Golden, LLP, and the East Bay Community Law Center. My is a graduate of the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, where My was a National Fred T. Korematsu Fellow and a Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice Fellow. Prior to law school, My organized with grassroots movements and other directly impacted folks in San Antonio and nationally to end immigration criminalization, detention, and deportation through popular education, movement-building, and direct actions.
Yvonne M. London’s work includes providing direct representation and pro se assistance with clearing criminal records. Yvonne also is working with the Clean Slate Texas Coalition to advocate for policy changes that would increase access to criminal record clearing services in Texas. Prior to joining TFDP, Yvonne worked as a Staff Attorney at the Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Inc. with their Juvenile Justice Project (JJP). At the Earl Carl Institute, Yvonne provided direct legal representation and advocacy in the areas of juvenile justice, special education, and school discipline. Yvonne also provided direct representation in both adult and juvenile record clearing cases. Additionally, Yvonne worked as an Agency Attorney for the City of New York, handling child protective and special education cases. Yvonne earned her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Rutgers University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Wayne State University. Yvonne is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar of New York.
Pro Bono Program Legal Assistant
Hans is a long-time Texas resident and a recent graduate of Austin Community College with an Associate degree in Paralegal Studies. He joined TFDP in April 2022 as a Pro Bono Program Legal Assistant. In that role, he is helping expand TFDP's capacity to provide direct criminal legal services, including record clearing and driver’s license reinstatement, to low-income Texans. Prior to joining TFDP, Hans worked as legal assistant for The Law Office of Mark W. Smith, PLLC. He also has extensive experience in volunteer criminal legal system reform advocacy with Grassroots Leadership, American Ethical Union, and other groups, as well as professional experience in customer service and information technology support.
Sandra Organ is the Development Associate for Texas Fair Defense Project, hired in 2022 to assist the organization in increasing its base of operational support though grantmaking and fundraising efforts. Having founded a diverse non-profit dance company in Houston, TX, after a successful career as a classical ballerina there, she has expanded her experience in dancemaking and writing, as advocate and activist, utilizing storytelling to facilitate communities in their understanding of their neighbor. Ms. Organ earned her degree in Human Services Administration from Antioch College in 2017, and has taught at UT and Texas State, among many conservatories and academies across Southeast Texas.
Lulu Portillo is the Systems Navigator at TFDP. She joined the TFDP team in May 2022 to assist the Client Services team in providing additional advocacy and support to our clients with their non-legal issues. Previously, Lulu served 5.5 years as the Foster Youth Specialist of the Texas Foster Youth Justice Project. Before that, she was a Bilingual Survivor Advocate at the SAFE Alliance, working with survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Lulu is an alumnus of Saint Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
Ana Prado is the Legal Assistant at Texas Fair Defense Project. She joined in 2021 to help support direct services and complete intakes for new potential clients. Prior to joining TFDP, she was a Litigation Clerk at Cleveland | Terrazas PLLC, intern at Grassroots Leadership, a field research assistant for PROJECT SEED at UT, and a research assistant for Dr. William Kelly at UT. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Philosophy.
Keegan Shepherd is the Development Director at Texas Fair Defense Project. They joined TFDP in 2021 to help grow the organization’s development bandwidth and public-facing communications. Prior to joining TFDP, they were (among other things) Policy Coordinator for the Texas Pension Coalition. They received a PhD in history from the University of South Florida in 2017.
Amanda Woog joined Texas Fair Defense Project as Executive Director in September 2018. During her tenure, TFDP has expanded their legal services to serve hundreds of Texans each year, helped to pass legislation that provided relief to over 1 million Texans living in poverty, and worked with partners to settle historic bail litigation in Harris County. She regularly works in coalition with community partners, and was part of the community-led group that advocated to start the Travis County Public Defender Office. Previously, Amanda held research fellowships at the Quattrone Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Texas at Austin, was a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and served as Policy Director for the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and briefing attorney to the Honorable Cheryl Johnson of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Trinity College. Amanda is co-author of the forthcoming essay Courts and the Abolition Movement in the California Law Review