Michelle Pallak Movahed
Michelle Movahed joined the U.S. Legal Program in 2007. Since then, she has worked on a number of critical cases, including our victory on behalf of an Arizona doctor who lost his job for providing abortion training to medical residents and our recent victory in a Louisiana case challenging a statute that subjected abortion providers to unlimited malpractice liability. Michelle also represented the Center in advocacy at the United Nations when the United States underwent its first comprehensive review by the Human Rights Council. She currently serves as lead counsel on our ongoing litigation in Oklahoma, where we have won an injunction against a law restricting doctors from offering safe, effective medication regimens as an option for women who need treatment for ectopic pregnancy as well as those seeking abortions. Michelle is also leading the defense of the last remaining clinic in Mississippi.
Before joining the Center, Michelle clerked for the Honorable James Orenstein, a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York. She earned a J.D. magna cum laude from the Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Stein Scholar in public interest law & ethics and a Crowley Scholar in international human rights. She founded Fordham's chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice and, while a law student, worked with several human and civil rights legal organizations on projects promoting equal enjoyment of social and economic rights.
Michelle got her start in advocacy when she worked as a field organizer on a mayoral campaign in South Central Los Angeles and as deputy campaign manager on a City Council race in Brooklyn. She later supervised the provision of social services at a disaster relief site in Manhattan and did direct service provision at a homeless shelter for single women in the South Bronx. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Reed College.