Johanna Steinberg

As General Counsel, Johanna provides professional advice on critical strategic, legal, and public policy issues facing the organization. She is also the Director of the Impact Litigation Practice, developing and supervising affirmative litigation to challenge systemic injustices affecting the clients of The Bronx Defenders. Previously, Johanna was Senior Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). Her work there included class action litigation challenging discriminatory police practices; post-conviction appeals on behalf of death-sentenced individuals; jury discrimination litigation; participating as amicus curiae in the United States Supreme Court and other federal and state courts; and other advocacy concerning racial bias in the criminal justice system. For example, Johanna developed and was lead counsel in Davis v. City of New York, a class action challenging the NYPD’s targeting of African-American and Latino public housing residents and guests for unlawful trespass enforcement; represented a client in a hearing pursuant to Atkins v. Virginia which resulted in his death sentence being vacated; challenged expert testimony in Buck v. Davis, now pending before the United States Supreme Court, that an African-American man was more likely to be dangerous because of his race; and was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve on a state task force addressing indigent defense reform. She has lectured and conducted trainings around the country on issues such as racial bias, jury selection, and civil rights litigation. Johanna has also served as an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow in Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic, as a law clerk to the Honorable Virginia A. Phillips of the Central District of California, and was a staff attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice of The Bronx Defenders. She graduated with a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and holds an LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to law school, Johanna worked at LDF as a paralegal and then as the Research Director. She graduated with an A.B. from Brown University in Public Policy.