Kristen A. Johnson serves as Assistant Counsel. Kristen’s practice is primarily focused on litigation in all of LDF’s practice areas, though she also uses other advocacy strategies to advance racial justice.
Kristen represents 4 Black and Latina girls in middle school who were illegally strip-searched by school officials (I.S., et al. v. Binghamton City School District, et al.) She is a member of the litigation team in CMA, et al. v. Arkansas, et al., a case challenging the method of electing judges to appellate courts in Arkansas that dilutes the voting strength of Black voters in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Kristen is also part of the litigation team in NAACP et al., v. DHS, et al., the case challenging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Temporary Protected Status for Haitian immigrants.
Kristen co-authored an amicus brief in Ramos v. Louisiana, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the history of the Fourteenth Amendment compels the incorporation of the Sixth Amendment’s unanimous jury trial right. She also co-authored an amicus brief in a case before the Eleventh Circuit, Georgia NAACP, et al. v. City of LaGrange, explaining how the city’s policy of refusing to provide vital utility services pending housing residents’ full payment of outstanding court debt contradicts the Fair Housing Act’s purpose to root out housing discrimination and provide fair housing throughout the United States.
Before LDF, Kristen spent two years as an LDF/Fried Frank Fellow at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, where she worked on complex commercial litigation. While at Fried Frank, Kristen maintained a significant pro bono practice including representing, in New York State court and federal court, criminal defendants vindicating their constitutional rights.
Kristen previously served as a law clerk to Judge Harry Pregerson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to law school, Kristen was an Administrative Fellow at Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Kristen graduated from UCLA School of Law with specializations in Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law & Policy. While at UCLA Law, Kristen was the first Black person elected to serve as Editor-in-Chief of UCLA Law
Review. She graduated from the Harvard School of Public Health with an S.M. in Health Policy & Management and graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with a B.S. in Biology.
Kristen is a member of both the New York and California State Bars.