Lisa Taylor, Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice
Lisa Taylor is a civil rights attorney at the Department of Justice. She joined DOJ in 2001 as one of ten Honors' Attorneys and has worked to diligently enforce education rights in federal civil rights cases throughout the country. On December 22, 2009, she successfully settled a case in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana resulting in majority black Ville Platte High receiving $3 million in renovations, the enhancement of advanced placement classes and the hiring of qualified black teachers in the system. Last year, she prevailed in correcting the over-identification of black students in special education in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Additionally, she addressed the failure of a school district to hire black teachers, and the failure to offer advanced placement classes to black students in Alabama, and investigated allegations of racial harassment at a public university in California. Her work in education exemplifies the notion that no student shall be denied an educational opportunity in the United States. In addition to her work in education, Ms. Taylor has also monitored voting precincts in Florida to ensure that Haitian American voters were not disenfranchised, and developed an intake process to ensure that post-September 11 backlash discrimination complaints were addressed. Ms. Taylor also worked to translate her office's website into Spanish to fortify the office's outreach to the Latino community. She has been awarded DOJ awards every year for the last seven years for her outstanding performance in enforcing civil rights laws.
Further, Ms. Taylor served as President and Vice Chair on the Board of Director of Equal Justice Works, an organization dedicated to serving the underprivileged, and as Chair of the Department of Justice Association of Black Attorneys ("DOJABA") where she mentored black attorneys both inside and outside of the Department. In addition, as the Chair of DOJABA, she met with Attorney General Eric Holder to encourage DOJ to enhance diversity at the Department and worked to ensure that qualified black candidates were considered for the position of United States Attorney in districts throughout the country. She also partnered with the other DOJ organizations of color, DOJ Pride, and the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on Disabilities to encourage diversity at the greatest level in the Department. With a great appreciation for giving back to the community, Ms. Taylor organized a team of lawyers to participate in Hands on DC, a program designed to improve high poverty schools in the District of Columbia through cleaning and painting schools. She is a former Naval Officer, serving in the Engineering Division onboard the USS Tarawa where she aided with the development of the ship's first harassment program. Ms. Taylor is a proud member of the National Bar Association and the African American Federal Executive Association.
In law school, she led the Mothers in Jail Project designed to educate and assist incarcerated mothers about their legal rights as mothers in jail. She also visited homeless shelters and free health clinics to educate and advocate for the poor in Athens, Georgia. Further, she wrote and published a Public Interest Employment Guide to encourage law students to pursue careers in public interest.
She is a 1996 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where she received the Presidential Medal for Service, and a cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law.