NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Rachel M. Kleinman

Senior Counsel

At LDF, Rachel uses legal, policy and legislative advocacy to ensure access to equal educational opportunities for all students at the pre-K through higher education levels and to challenge discriminatory practices that negatively impact students. Rachel has recently brought civil rights complaints challenging the use of police in schools to ticket students for minor misbehavior in Bryan, Texas and the use of a single multiple choice exam for admissions to New York City’s prestigious Specialized High Schools. Rachel speaks and writes about the criminalization of black youth, and school push-out policies and practices, including the discriminatory use of school discipline, which push students out of schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

Prior to joining LDF, Rachel was a litigation associate at the plaintiff-side law firm, Beldock, Levine & Hoffman LLP. There, she developed a civil rights practice with a focus on police misconduct and employment discrimination. Prior to joining the firm she was a law clerk to the Hon. Michael H. Dolinger in the Southern District of New York. Ms. Kleinman received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law magna cum laude, where she was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law & Ethics and the Associate Research and Writing Editor for the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Ms. Kleinman graduated from Brown University with a degree in American Civilization with honors. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law.