Janna Paschal

Janna Paschal is the Senior Executive Assistant at Equal Justice Works.

Janna has over 20 years of administrative experience with a focus on research, organization, and interpersonal skills.

Prior to joining Equal Justice Works, Janna worked as support staff at McKinsey & Company where she aided multiple Partners and served in the role of Communications Manager for the McKinsey North American parents’ division. In addition to her assigned duties at the Firm, Janna held the role of pod leader and newsletter contributor for multiple affinity groups within the Firm.

Janna has served as Scheduler to the First Lady, Chief of Staff to the Associate Vice President of Research at the University of Virginia, Director of Outreach at Girls Who Invest and as a Senior Associate at the Dewey Square Group.

Throughout Janna’s career she has worked on countless non-profit projects, to include large scale events and provided high level briefings to organizations encompassing every industry.. In her free time Janna formed a non-profit to support homeless populations in Los Angeles and feels passionate about offering compassion to all that are in need.

Janna attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville with a focus on History and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.

To contact Janna, please reach out to [email protected]

Verna L. Williams (she/her) is the CEO of Equal Justice Works. In her role as CEO, Verna will continue to advance the mission of Equal Justice Works to create opportunities for leaders to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service.

Verna brings with her an extensive background of experience teaching and practicing law, as well as researching civil and women’s rights. Verna previously served as the dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was a professor prior to becoming dean, and taught courses on family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. Additionally, she founded and co-directed the Judge Nathaniel Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at the University of Cincinnati.

Before her work at the University of Cincinnati, Verna was the Vice President and Director of Educational Opportunities at the National Women’s Law Center, where she focused on gender equity in education. In this role, she was the lead counsel and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, which established that educational institutions have a duty to respond to and address complaints of student-to-student sexual harassment.

Verna clerked for the Honorable David S. Nelson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. After the clerkship, she practiced law at Sidley Austin LLP and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Verna also has a background in research, which examines the intersection of race, gender, and class in law and policy. She has authored and co-authored many articles and essays on her area of expertise.

Among her other achievements, Verna has presented papers at the Latina/o Critical Race Theory Conference and meetings of the Association of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. She also served as a consultant for the Ford Foundation, where she chaired the convening of a national conference at UC entitled Women Coming Together: Claiming the Law for Social Change. 

Verna received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2004 and 2011. She was recently honored by the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Bar Association, which presented her with the Themis Award for exemplary service to the law and the community.

Verna is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Georgetown University.

If you have a media request or other inquiry for Verna, please reach out to her executive assistant, Janna Paschal, at [email protected]


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Abigail Orshefsky is the senior manager of strategy execution at Equal Justice Works.

Prior to joining Equal Justice Works, Abigail worked for the American Association for Justice as a Registration Manager, providing data tracking and research support for a year-round calendar of continuing legal education events. She also ran a national mock trial competition for law students interested in trial advocacy skills, directing the registration and communications of more than 2500 students, law school staff, and attorney volunteers.

Abigail holds a B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Education and Human Development from George Washington University.