Nell is an experienced attorney who has dedicated her career to promoting access to justice and protecting the rights of underrepresented groups and marginalized communities. Before joining the Center, she served as the Managing Attorney for Client Access and Pro Bono at Legal Services Alabama, where she led all aspects of the development, management, and planning of the firm’s pro bono programs. Nell was responsible for directing the allocation of the firm’s private attorney involvement funds and ensuring federal compliance. Under her leadership, the firm created several impactful pro bono projects, including the Alabama Pro Bono Alliance and the Black Small Business and Community Nonprofit Pro Bono Clinic.
During her tenure at LSA, Nell demonstrated a strong commitment to leveraging technology to improve access to legal services. She spearheaded the development of LSAutomation, a legal document preparation tool that helps pro se litigants in civil legal matters. Additionally, Nell led the adoption of Alabama Legal Connect, a remote legal platform that facilitates virtual legal clinics and large-scale pro bono projects.
Nell’s leadership at LSA extended to designing and coordinating the John Lewis Legal Fellowship and building and supervising the LSA Summer Clerkship program. Both programs have received national recognition for their innovative approach to engaging young lawyers and law students at the intersection of poverty law and racial/social justice in legal aid organizations. Nell was also the founding co-chair of LSA’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee, where she worked to promote equity and belonging within the organization.
Prior to her tenure at LSA, Nell served as Managing Attorney with Disability Rights Maine, where she led a team of attorneys advocating for the human and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Her litigation and policy work led to a significant legal milestone, as her client became the first person in the state to successfully terminate their guardianship using supported decision-making. Nell started her legal career at King & Spalding, while volunteering as a pro bono attorney for mission-driven nonprofits. While at K&S, Nell served as the lead in several matters that resulted in successful T and U visas applications for pro bono clients of the firm.
Nell is an experienced presenter and trainer, delivering speeches and training sessions on various legal topics to local and national audiences. She serves on the boards of several organizations, including the Alabama Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Aid to Inmate Mothers, and the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Advisory Council for the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program. She is a 2022 Fellow of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law Racial Justice Institute and earned her BA in Women’s Studies with honors from Salem State University and her JD from John Marshall Law School. During her time in law school, Nell worked for the Juvenile Public Defender’s Office of DeKalb County and the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys, where she represented indigent children involved in the criminal justice system and advocated to protect the parental rights and dignity of mothers during incarceration.
Nell is licensed to practice law in Georgia, Maine, and Alabama. She currently resides in Montgomery, Alabama, with her partner and their son.