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. His past experiences include providing direct services (legal and nonlegal) to incarcerated people, defending renters from eviction actions, expunging criminal records, lobbying for statewide criminal justice reform efforts in Texas, and the intake and appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in New Orleans.
Nathan 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. In law school, he was co-President of the Prisoner Legal Services pro bono project, a member of the Three Strikes Project and the Community Law Clinic, and interned at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Equal Justice Works Fellow
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 successful local campaigns to decriminalize homelessness 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 received 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 Johnson is TFDP's Intake Specialist. She helps individuals who call and write TFDP to connect with programs and resources for their legal issues. Emily is a third-year law student at the University of Texas School of Law where she has participated in the Mental Health, Children's Rights, and Actual Innocence clinics and interned at the Alaska Public Defender Agency.
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.