Jessica Brand, Founder
Jessica Brand is a criminal justice expert with significant experience in policy and political communications. Previously, she served as the Legal Director at The Justice Collaborative, heading a team of attorneys, researchers, journalists, and media strategists that worked to reduce the harm caused by the deeply flawed criminal justice system. In that job, she advised elected officials across the country as they tried to proactively implement meaningful change, while leading communication strategies to roll out policies to safely shrink incarceration levels and supervision in their jurisdiction. She also led teams in responding to crisis situations, and worked with media to soften the groundwork for criminal justice reform.
Jessica previously worked at the Texas Defender Service in the capital trial project, where she consulted with trial teams in death penalty cases across the state of Texas and conducted state-wide trainings on understanding mental health and performing capital defense investigation. Prior to that, Jessica was a staff attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also served as a member of the forensic practice group, and she continues to train lawyers across the country on litigating the admissibility of forensic evidence. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Jessica has been published in Slate, CNN, and The Appeal, and been featured on NPR and CSPAN.
Jessica graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007, and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Defender Service and the University of Pennsylvania Platt House Performing Arts Alumni Council.
Nikki Baszynski is a lawyer and writer with over ten years of criminal justice experience. Most recently, Nikki worked at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center as a senior attorney representing clients in post-sentencing matters including clemency, record sealing, parole, and registration.
Prior to joining OJPC, Nikki served as a managing editor for The Appeal, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to exposing the harms of the U.S. criminal legal system. Nikki also served as senior legal counsel at The Justice Collaborative, a national policy and media organization that worked in partnership with organizers, elected officials, academics, and reporters to help local communities understand the policies, practices, and people responsible for mass incarceration.
Nikki began her legal career as the Greif Fellow in Juvenile Human Trafficking and then joined the Ohio Public Defender’s Appeals and Postconviction Department. While at OPD, Nikki founded the office’s Racial Justice Initiative, an agency-based team focused on identifying racially discriminatory practices and collaborating across departments to address them. Her work in the initiative centered around the criminalization of poverty and municipal court reform.
Nikki is also an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she has taught courses on appellate advocacy and reimagining public safety. She received her B.A. from Loyola University Chicago, and her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Julia Brown is an experienced attorney with a background in criminal law and immigration policy. Before joining the Wren Collective, she directed advocacy for the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Maine's only nonprofit provider of immigration legal aid. Her achievements included passing legislation that opened up a pathway to a green card for Maine noncitizen youth, leading state-wide public education and advocacy efforts in response to anti-immigrant federal policies, and spearheading the organization's media and communications strategies.
Prior to her move to Maine, Julia was an attorney at the Georgia Resource Center, where she represented death-sentenced clients in their state and federal habeas post-conviction cases. She litigated these cases in state and federal courts, including appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Julia also built up clemency cases, talking with victims’ family members, jurors, community members, and expert witnesses, in order to advocate for her clients’ lives. She has a deep understanding of the criminal legal system, and all its failures and injustices, from this work.
Julia obtained a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for Justice Brian Morris of the Montana Supreme Court.
Henna Khan is an experienced criminal defense attorney and litigator. Prior to joining The Wren Collective, she served as a staff attorney in the criminal defense practice of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, the first community-based, holistic defense office in New York City. Henna successfully tried a variety criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to violent felony offenses, and negotiated hundreds of cases benefiting her clients. In her practice she oversaw an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, advocates, social workers, investigators, paralegals, and interns who practiced in criminal, civil, immigration, and family courts in Manhattan.
Prior to becoming a public defender, Henna was a Teach for America corps member, and served as a founding middle school special education teacher in Washington, D.C.
Henna received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where she concentrated in critical race studies and specialized in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from UC Berkeley.
Dalourny Nemorin is an experienced attorney with a background in criminal and family defense. Before joining the Wren Collective, she was a staff attorney in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society. There, she represented clients challenging their criminal convictions on direct appeal, at Sex Offender Registration Act hearings, and other post-conviction proceedings.
Prior to working in criminal defense, Dalourny represented parents against state infringement on their fundamental right to parent in civil proceedings in family court, administrative hearings, and interlocutory appeals to the appellate division. Her work within the child welfare system provides her with a deep understanding of the failures of the foster care system and the discriminatory practices against parents of color in low-income communities. She also worked at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, where their holistic defense model highlighted the overlapping issues people in low-income communities face in the criminal, family, and housing court systems. Dalourny’s advocacy is not limited to the courtroom. She was the former secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Corrections and Re-Entry Committee.
Dalourny received a B.A from Florida International University and her J.D. from CUNY School of Law.
Amy Weber has twenty years of experience in criminal justice litigation and advocacy work. Prior to joining the Wren Collective, Amy was a Senior Attorney at the Justice Collaborative, where she partnered with elected prosecutors to design and implement significant criminal justice reforms driven by data and research, while considering political feasibility, timing, and strategies for optimizing expansive change. Before her involvement in designing and supporting new criminal justice policies, Amy provided litigation assistance and constitutional briefing to attorneys handling capital, juvenile life-without-parole, and nonviolent life-without-parole cases across the country. Amy contributed to many significant victories, including the Delaware Supreme Court decision invalidating the State’s capital punishment law and a successful challenge to the first true juvenile life-without-parole sentence imposed in Florida following the State’s legislative response to Miller v. Alabama.
Prior to her work litigating these constitutional criminal issues, she spent nearly a decade as a trial, training, and appellate attorney at the public defender’s office in Miami, Florida, representing clients in all phases of Florida criminal proceedings. She made significant changes to the office’s felony training program that are still in effect today and regularly trained lawyers in the Miami community. Amy has also served as a law clerk for Judge Janet C. Hall of the District of Connecticut, a staff attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, and an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.
Amy obtained a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
Bethany Young is a lawyer, researcher, and policy expert with deep experience conducting legal and policy research about social stratification and its adverse effects on individuals in academic, professional, and legal settings. She worked directly with clients and other stakeholders for several years, including federal and state government officials, donors, and community organizers during her time at the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in North Carolina. In these roles, Bethany provided representation in capital appeals and pushed policymakers to reconsider the breadth and administration of the death penalty. She also led community discussions about racial and economic inequality, worked on a team to create resources to educate the public about racial injustice’s history, and participated in efforts to remove confederate monuments in southern cities.
Along with Bethany’s legal background, her social science research experience gives her a unique lens on criminal legal systems and policies. Her doctoral studies and independent research centered on intersectional experiences of structural inequity. She used qualitative methods to gather firsthand accounts of these experiences. This training prepared Bethany for her community-centered research and advocacy work as Project Director for the Prison Research and Innovation Initiative and the DC Police Reform Commission and Deputy Director for DC Justice Lab.
Bethany received a B.A. from Spelman College, a J.D. from The George Washington University Law Schol, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University.