Emma Shakeshaft, Equal Justice Works Fellow

“The opportunity to be an Equal Justice Works fellow with the ACLU of Wisconsin allows me to continue working and researching issues related to criminal justice, municipal courts, and racial equity. My dedication to working for a legal organization that combats various forms of inequality has always been connected to my life experiences and academic pursuits. I have a personal commitment to practice law in areas that center under-represented communities, specifically within the areas of civil rights, racial justice, and criminal justice reform”.  

As an Equal Justice Works fellow sponsored by Quarles & Brady LLP & The John M. Kohler Foundation, Inc. Emma works to combat legal procedures that criminalize poverty and perpetuate racial inequality. Her specific project challenges modern-day debtors’ prisons in Wisconsin by urging courts to pursue more rational and equitable approaches to criminal justice debt. The project aims to implement constitutional court procedures and legal advocacy through 1) coalition-building 2) attorney training and pro-bono opportunities 3) community outreach and education 4) data collection and evaluation 5) impact litigation.

Before joining the ACLU of Wisconsin, Emma was a law and society postdoctoral fellow at Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University. She was also a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois.

Emma received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School where she was on the Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender, & Society and the Wisconsin International Law Journal. She completed her doctorate and a master’s of science degree in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was awarded an Institute for Legal Studies - Law and Society fellowship and an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, where she majored in Sociology and International Relations. 

Some of the cases, blogs, interviews and other media involving Emma:

Equal Justice Works Fellowship