Alec Karakatsanis, Founder & Executive Director

Alec graduated from Yale College in 2005 with a degree in Ethics, Politics, & Economics and Harvard Law School in 2008, where he was a Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review.  Before founding Civil Rights Corps, Alec co-founded Equal Justice Under Law, a non-profit organization dedicated to systemic litigation challenging injustices in the American criminal legal system.  Alec was also a civil rights lawyer and public defender with the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and a federal public defender in Alabama, representing impoverished people accused of federal crimes. 

 

Alec is interested in ending human caging, surveillance, the death penalty, immigration laws, war, and inequality.  He is the author of The Human Lawyer, 34 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 563 (2010); Protecting Corporations Instead of the Poor, 121 Harv. L. Rev. 275 (2007); and Civil Disobedience: The Role of Judges, 120 Harv. L. Rev. 1988 (2007).  His most recent article is Policing, Mass Imprisonment, and the Failure of American Lawyers, 128 Harv. L. Rev. F. 253 (2015).

 

Alec was recently awarded the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by Public Justice for his role in bringing constitutional civil rights cases to challenge the American money bail system and the 2016 Stephen B. Bright Award for contributions to indigent defense in the South by Gideon’s Promise.

 

Alec also has taught a high school class on mass human caging, civil rights, and safe interaction with the police in the D.C. public schools; helped lead a community organizing effort against racial profiling and police misconduct in the District of Columbia; and is a mentor in the Big Brother/Big Sister program. He is currently Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Pretrial Justice.  He also spends his time playing the piano, making weird paintings, and playing soccer.

 

You can reach Alec at alec@civilrightscorps.org and read representative articles about his prior work here: