NEW ORLEANS – The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today welcomed Katie Schwartzmann as the organization’s new legal director, joining a growing staff under the leadership of executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert. Schwartzmann is a leading civil rights attorney and social justice advocate who most recently served as founding co-director and attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center, a public interest law firm.
“Katie Schwartzmann has spent her entire career advocating for justice and championing the ideals we fight for each and every day,” said ACLU of Louisiana executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert. “Her unique skill set and exemplary legal background will allow us to be even more vigilant in defending the rights of all Louisianans.”
Schwartzmann began her legal career in 2003 as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. From August 2005 to May 2011, she served as the Legal Director for the ACLU of Louisiana. She served as counsel on every ACLU of Louisiana case, including constitutional questions of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, separation of church and state, discrimination, due process, unlawful search and seizure, police misconduct and cruel and unusual prison conditions.
“This is a really exciting homecoming for me,” said Schwartzmann. “Now more than ever, the ACLU’s unrelenting commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of all people is vital to the future of our democracy and the well-being of our most vulnerable communities. I’m honored to be rejoining this essential organization at such a pivotal time.”
In 2011, Schwartzmann was named the Managing Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Louisiana office, supervising a staff of six attorneys, four investigators and others focused on education reform, immigrant justice and prison reform. While at SPLC, Schwartzmann initiated the class action lawsuit against the oppressive Orleans Parish Prison.
Schwartzmann has a J.D. from Tulane Law School in New Orleans where she graduated cum laude and received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in International Human Rights. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.