As the Program Director for Acacia’s Learning & Development department, Lauren works to ensure that both networks provide zealous, person-centered advocacy to their vulnerable clients. Lauren began working with the NQRP as a Senior Planner, leading the training, supervision, and technical support of the network, in addition to advising on post-conviction relief options. Prior to joining Vera, Lauren worked as both a trial and appellate public defender for a decade. She spent her first two years after law school as a public defender in rural Kentucky, handling criminal cases across multiple counties. She went on to work as a trial attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services and Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and as a post-conviction-relief attorney at Appellate Advocates. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her JD from the University of Michigan.