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Headshot of Alexandra Ogunsanya

Alexandra Ogunsanya

  • Hosted by The Legal Aid Society
  • Sponsored by Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school New York Law School
  • Issue area Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Alexandra’s (she/her/hers) project will focus on balancing the unequal representation of Black and brown individuals in the jury pool in New York by bringing systemic litigation challenging unconstitutional forum-shopping, creating a juror education program, and pushing for state-wide legislative reforms to the jury system.

Alexandra’s project addresses a critical and unmet need of Legal Aid clients: the systematic exclusion of Black, brown, and low-income New Yorkers on juries. Representative juries are fairer, administer justice more effectively, and provide community members with the opportunity to participate in democracy in their community. While trial attorneys challenge juror selections on an individual basis, Alexandra’s proposal seeks to build on and expand Legal Aid’s clients’ right to a fair trial and centralize Legal Aid’s efforts in making juries fairer.

Fellowship Plans

Alexandra’s project seeks to balance the unequal representation of the jury pool in New York through a multi-prong approach of litigation, community engagement, and policy advocacy. Alexandra will develop an impact litigation lawsuit on behalf of a class of Legal Aid clients deprived of their right under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to have a jury representing a fair cross-section of the community. Alexandra will also develop an outreach strategy that will educate individuals in primarily Black and brown communities on the importance of jury service. Finally, Alexandra will collaborate with existing coalitions working to develop policy reforms to the jury system in New York.

My Equal Justice Works Fellowship has allowed me to pursue my passion of using the law and working with communities to addressing systemic racism and injustices in the criminal justice system.

Alexandra Ogunsanya /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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