Our Team

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Karly Jo Dixon is the Managing Attorney of Client Services at Texas Fair Defense Project. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Law. Karly Jo came to Texas Fair Defense Project as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2016, working on TFDP’s Criminal Justice Debt Initiative. Using direct representation, community education, advocacy, and volunteer legal clinics Karly Jo works to stop courts from incarcerating people who cannot afford to pay their Class C tickets and related fees, and helps people facing this unaffordable debt avoid warrants, arrest, jail time, and driver’s license suspensions. Under her leadership, in 2020 TFDP will be creating a pro bono program to expand our client services and reach underserved jurisdictions throughout Texas.

Managing Attorney, Client Services


Karly Jo Dixon


Nathan Fennell is a 2019-2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Thomson Reuters and Shearman & Sterling. His project focuses on improving representation for Texans who get arrested and cannot afford a lawyer. His work includes advocacy, litigation development, and helping defendants navigate the court appointment process. 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. He is admitted to practice in Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Equal Justice Works Fellow


Nathan Fennell

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Emily Gerrick is the Managing Attorney of Policy and New Initiatives at Texas Fair Defense Project. She joined TFDP in 2014 as a Liman Fellow and helped to develop TFDP’s Criminal Debt Initiative and Freedom to Drive Initiative. Emily leads TFDP’s legislative and policy work. She has helped to pass legislation to combat modern-day debtors’ prisons, establish the right to ability-to-pay hearings, and restore hundreds of thousands of driver licenses that had been suspended for inability to pay fines, fees, and surcharges. Emily is a strong believer in community-based advocacy and works in coalitions to implement reforms, including local campaigns to decriminalize homelessness, end unconstitutional bail practices, and stop prosecutions for marijuana possession. Emily also works on TFDP’s impact litigation and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Emily earned her B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Managing Attorney, Policy and New Initiatives


Emily Gerrick


Jessica Johnson is the Managing Attorney of the Texas Fair Defense Project Pro Bono Program. Jessica joined the Texas Fair Defense Project team in 2020 to continue and expand her work with underserved populations through building a statewide pro bono network. Previously, Jessica practiced family law, privacy law, and nonprofit law at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and practiced criminal law through a Justice Center fellowship at SAFE Alliance. Jessica earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. from the College of William and Mary. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Texas.

Managing Attorney, Pro Bono Program


Jessica Johnson


Katie Kis-Norton is the Program Coordinator at Texas Fair Defense Project. She joined TFDP in 2020 to help build internal systems and operations, 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.

Program Coordinator


Katie Kis-Norton

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Amanda Woog joined Texas Fair Defense Project as Executive Director in September 2018. Under her leadership, TFDP successfully advocated to start the first adult public defender office in Austin/Travis County, expanded TFDP's direct 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 settled historic bail litigation in Harris County.


Prior to coming to TFDP, Amanda held research fellowships at the Quattrone Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Texas at Austin. Amanda was previously a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and has 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 in Hartford, Connecticut. 

Executive Director


Amanda Woog

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