Before joining NJP, Vanessa’s professional career was primarily at the ACLU of Washington where she has engaged in extensive policy work, worked on impact litigation efforts, and manages and supports grassroots efforts as the ACLU-WA’s Youth Policy Director, leading state and local campaigns to end the school to prison pipeline and increase positive supports for young people in communities. Previously, Vanessa founded the ACLU-WA's Second Chances Project, which worked to eliminate discrimination against people with criminal history and to fight debtors' prisons. Vanessa’s vision of advocacy builds on creating relationships between advocates and marginalized communities, integrates direct representation and impact litigation, and focuses on broad based coalition building to address the complex problems facing our client communities. Vanessa served as a law clerk for Judge Betty Fletcher on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, she was a Gates Public Service Law Scholarship recipient, and also holds Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While in law school she worked/interned for NJP, the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.