Jin Hee Lee joined LDF’s Criminal Justice Project in July 2008. As Senior Counsel, Ms. Lee is engaged in advocacy to address racial biases in the criminal justice system. She is lead counsel in Brister v. Mississippi, one of the first cases in the country to have a juvenile life without parole sentence declared unconstitutional under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Miller v. Alabama. She is a senior member of the legal team representing plaintiffs in Davis v. City of New York , which challenges unlawful trespass stops and arrests by NYPD officers in New York City’s public housing. She also represents death-sentenced prisoners in state and federal post-conviction proceedings in Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas, raising claims of racial discrimination, ineffective assistance of counsel, and coerced confessions. Ms. Lee speaks regularly on issues concerning race and criminal justice in law schools, conferences, and community meetings all across the country. Her articles have been published in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and the Fordham Urban Law Journal.
Prior to joining LDF, Ms. Lee was a Staff Attorney at New York Lawyer’s for the Public Interest, where she combined lawyering with community organizing to address the disinvestment of healthcare resources in New York City’s communities of color. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a concentration in African Studies, and was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She is a 2000 graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was Executive Editor of A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, published by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Ms. Lee also served as law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Martha Vázquez in the District of New Mexico.