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Lauren Johnson


Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative

Pronouns: she/her


Lauren Johnson is the Director of the Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative. She brings insights and experiences from her career as a public defender and civil rights advocate, fighting on behalf of communities and impacted individuals to challenge injustices within the criminal legal system. As a trial public defender, Lauren represented individuals charged with serious felonies at the Public Defender Service in Washington, DC (PDS).

Before joining PDS, she also represented clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies, and supervised law students as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic. In addition to numerous bench and jury trials, Lauren has advocated for clients in a range of other contexts including parole, post conviction advocacy, civil litigation, and immigration matters. Lauren’s experiences as a public defender informed her work as Senior Legal Counsel at the Justice Collaborative, where she worked to address systemic drivers of incarceration through community-focused campaign advocacy and policy development.

Most recently, as Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), Lauren led litigation and policy initiatives focused on creating lasting and systemic change in the criminal legal and education systems, including on behalf of those impacted by police violence, those harmed by unlawful police enforcement patterns and practices, and individuals charged with criminal offenses. Lauren received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, and her B.S. from Georgetown University.