Novella Coleman - Assistant Chief Counsel

Novella Coleman is an experienced civil rights attorney. She has represented persons from diverse racial and religious backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, students, immigrants, low-income persons, and persons with criminal legal system contact. Prior to joining CRD, Novella was the Litigation Director at Bay Area Legal Aid; a staff attorney at PolicyLink; a staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California; the Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow at the Equal Justice Society; and a Legal and Criminal Justice Policy Fellow at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.

Novella’s notable cases include Phillips v. State of California, Superior Court of California, County of Fresno, case no. 15CECG02201, a case seeking to enforce indigent criminal defendants’ right to counsel; Scott v. Brown, Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, case no. RG14712570, a voting rights case on behalf of persons with criminal legal system contact; and Cross v. City and County of San Francisco, 386 F. Supp. 3d 1132 (N.D. Cal. 2019), a case challenging racially selective law enforcement.

Novella serves as a member of the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness. She is also a member of the Charles Houston Bar Association. Novella is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D.) and Stanford University (B.A.S. and M.A.).

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