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Tracie Johnson

  • Hosted by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Law school Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Tracie will represent, engage, and advocate for young women of color in Philadelphia who have criminal records to increase their access to meaningful employment opportunities and fight intergenerational poverty.

Young women of color with criminal records face enormous barriers to gaining employment in fields such as childcare, health care, and cosmetology due to their criminal records. Supports and services that connect individuals with criminal records to job opportunities are maleoriented and often limit career options to positions in areas like warehousing and truck-driving. Legal services such as expungements, challenging overbroad laws that serve as lifetime bans from employment, and appealing licensing denials will help these ambitious young women fight intergenerational poverty and change the trajectory of their lives. Collaborating with community partners will help meet the intersecting needs of women who have come into contact with the criminal justice systems due to histories of trauma, extreme poverty, mental health issues, and substance abuse.

Tracie is the right person for the project because:

  • She is dedicated to public interest law having spent her law school summers at Juvenile Law Center and Community Legal Services.
  • She has already worked with some of the project’s planned community partners, where she provided on-site legal assistance to clients.
  • She has experience helping low-income Philadelphians clear their criminal records.
  • She comes from the same community as some of her future clients and has the compassion and competency necessary to build trusting relationships with clients.

Fellowship Plans

In the first six months, Tracie will:

  • Reach out to community organizations working with system-involved young women, such as Covenant House, Ardella’s House, Gearing Up, and Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project.
  • Develop plan with partners to conduct trainings for staff and youth and set a schedule for on-site clinics.
  • Meet with pro bono partners to discuss involvement in project.
  • Begin representing young women through Community Legal Services’ intake process.


Good Law | Bad Law #143 - Compassion and Education vs. Stigma: A Conversation w/ Tracie Johnson

Accessing Opportunity for Exploited Youth

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