Announces Opening of West Coast Office
August 1, 2023 – The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), and its Center for Protest Law & Litigation, welcomes Rachel Lederman as Senior Counsel to lead its new West Coast office based in Oakland, Calif.
“The PCJF has been a leader in the fight to defend democracy and advance constitutional rights for more than 25 years,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the PCJF, said. “We have litigated landmark civil rights and First Amendment cases nationwide, supporting social justice activists and movements across the country. Opening an office on the West Coast is an exciting next step in our continued fight to create meaningful social and legal changes in the United States and there is no better litigator to anchor this work than Rachel, who has devoted her career to advocating for social change movements. We are thrilled to have her join our team.”
Rachel has defended hundreds of progressive protestors in court and has obtained significant landmark victories in impact litigation to stop police and government repression and civil rights violations. She is currently lead counsel on NAACP v. City of San José, seeking compensation and reforms for racial justice protesters shot or beaten by the San José Police in May 2020, and she is leading the PCJF’s efforts to drop the charges against the 113 Dolores Park children and young people who were wrongly arrested en masse in July 2023.
“I am thrilled to join forces with PCJF, with whom I have collaborated and whose work I have admired for decades,” Lederman said. “Together we will continue to fight back against attacks on the fundamental right to dissent, the criminalization of youth and erosion of civil rights.”
Rachel is a 2023 Northern California Super Lawyers selectee and has previously received the National Lawyers Guild’s Unsung Hero award. She has served as President of the National Lawyers Guild, S.F. Bay Area Chapter, and is a member of the National Police Accountability Project. Rachel is also a founding member of the Oakland Law Collaborative and was a founder of the Water Protector Legal Collective, the legal team at Standing Rock, which is now an Indigenous-led legal organization. She is a graduate of Cornell University and New College Law School, and has been a practicing attorney since 1987.