Julia Devanthéry joined the Legal Services Center in 2013. She co-teaches the Housing Clinic and directs the Housing Justice for Survivors Project, which she founded at the Legal Services Center in 2017.
The Housing Justice for Survivors Project trains clinical law students to represent tenants who are facing housing instability due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Students under Julia’s supervision provide direct client representation, develop and litigate impact litigation, conduct housing rights trainings for community members and advocates, and engage in local, state, and federal law reform efforts aimed at improving the housing rights of survivors. Julia and students in the Housing Justice project represented the tenant in BHA v. YA, 482 Mass. 240 (2019), in which the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed a domestic violence survivor’s right to raise the Violence Against Women Act defense to a non-payment of rent eviction.
From 2018-2020, Julia was the Dignity for All Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California where she worked to safeguard the civil rights of people experiencing homelessness by challenging criminalization policies and improving conditions within emergency shelters. She developed strategic litigation to attack sexual abuse within county-funded homeless shelters; she was class counsel charged with enforcement of a settlement ensuring that people with disabilities had equal access to city-funded homelessness services; she protected the First Amendment rights of citizens who share food with the homeless and hungry; she sued the City of Los Angeles for unconstitutional towing of vehicles as a means of debt collection against homeless Angelinos; and she led a state-wide integrated advocacy team to plan a campaign advancing a right to housing and increase access to affordable housing for low-income and homeless Californians.
- J.D. Northeastern University School of Law, 2009
- B.A. Brown University, 2004
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts, United States (2010)
- United States District Court of Massachusetts, Massachusetts, United States (2014)
- Member of the Board of Trustees, Boston Bar Foundation (2015 - Present)
- Co-Chair of the Community Re-entry Education Committee, Boston Bar Association (2014 - Present)
- President, Board of Directors, Respond, Inc, (2013 - 2015)
Honors and Awards
- Excellence in the Law, Up & Coming (Awards)
Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly, May 2014
- Boston Bar Association Public Interest Leadership Program (Awards)
- Julia Devanthéry, Dan Daley & Lisabeth Jorgensen, Boston Housing Authority v. Y.A., 482 Mass. 240 (2019): SJC Clarifies VAWA Defenses in Eviction Cases, 64 Boston Bar J., Winter 2020.
- Julia Devanthéry, Early Lease Termination Under M.G.L. c. 186, § 24: An Essential Escape Route for Tenants Facing Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault or Stalking, 61 Boston Bar J., Summer 2017.
- Julia Devanthéry, The Supreme Judicial Court’s Decision in Beacon Residential v. R.P. Gives Survivors of Domestic Violence Their Day in Housing Court, 61 Boston Bar J., Fall 2017.