Neighborhood Defender Service

New York, NY

Jennifer Lambert, J.D. ’21, is a Public Service Venture Fellow who will spend her fellowship year as a fellow with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) focused on bail-related issue. Jennifer will litigate cases where New York’s bail reforms are not being followed and advocate for the expansion of alternatives to cash bail. As a fellow with NDS, a holistic, community-based defender, she hopes to work with NDS clients and the Harlem community members to determine what bail-related issues the community feel most need to be addressed and prioritize those issues.

Jennifer’s career has been dedicated to contesting the carceral state. Throughout her three years at HLS, Jennifer was an active member of the Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP) representing clients in disciplinary and parole hearings and serving on PLAP’s Board as a Liaison and Co-Training Director. Her 3L year was focused on working with clients of the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), building relationships, investigating cases, and litigating in front of Boston Municipal Court judges remotely from her home in Jersey City. Prior to law school, Jennifer worked as a paralegal at the American Civil Liberties Union Racial Justice Program and the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. She graduated from Cornell University, where she first gained exposure to the mass criminalization and racial injustice crises, with a degree in Human Development. She looks forward to beginning her career as a public defender in earnest this year and hopes to continue directly representing people facing criminalization and incarceration after her fellowship year.