NCJW Supports Eunice Lee. Here’s why:
For over 20 years, Eunice Lee has represented more than 380 clients as a public defender with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City in both federal and state appellate courts, focusing on post-conviction relief. Lee has spent her career ensuring her clients’ constitutional and statutory rights are protected throughout the criminal process. If confirmed, not only would Lee be the only judge on the Second Circuit with experience as a public defender, she would also be the second Black woman to ever serve on the Second Circuit, diversifying the federal bench and better reflecting the communities it serves. Eunice Lee’s background and experience clearly demonstrate that she is qualified, fair, independent, and is committed to justice for all.
Eunice Lee’s stance on important issues:
Public Defense: Eunice Lee has represented over 380 indigent clients in her more than 20 years with the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City in both federal and state appellate courts, focusing on post-conviction relief. Lee has continuously worked to ensure that her clients’ constitutional and statutory rights have been protected throughout the entire criminal process.
Compassionate Release: Lee has represented incarcerated people during the COVID-19 pandemic, successfully arguing in United States v. Gargan for a compassionate release for a client who was particularly vulnerable to the virus.
Unlawful Imprisonment: Lee has significant experience in federal habeas proceedings, a type of case frequently heard by the circuit courts to determine if an incarcerated person’s imprisonment is lawful.
Eunice Lee’s education and experience:
Experience: In addition to her life’s work as a public defender, Lee became a supervising attorney at the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City in 2001 and has served as the director of recruitment and outreach at the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City, where she supervised and trained staff and pro bono attorneys. In 2014, Lee helped to draft the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services Appellate Standards and Best Practices. Additionally, Lee was an adjunct assistant professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, where she co-designed and taught the Criminal Appellate Defender Clinic for 16 years.
Education and Clerkships: Lee graduated summa cum laude from Ohio State University and received her JD from Yale Law School. While in law school, Lee interned with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Shearman & Sterling, People for the American Way, and the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice in addition to serving as a research assistant to Justice F.L. Norcott of the Connecticut Supreme Court. After receiving her law degree, Lee clerked for Judge Susan Dlott of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and for Judge Eric Clay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Professional Affiliations: Lee is a member of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA), a labor union representing legal aids and federal defenders. Lee is also a member of Metropolitan Black Bar Association and served on the Committee on Professional Responsibility of the New York City Bar Association.