Galit Lipa recently joined the Public Welfare Foundation (PWF) as its new youth justice program director. An accomplished attorney, Lipa comes to PWF from the District of Columbia’s Public Defender Service where she has been the supervising attorney for about two years. She was first brought on in 2012 as a staff attorney.
The five years prior saw Lipa practicing law and teaching at Stanford Law School. Once again she joined Stanford as a staff attorney but would then move up the ladder. In the meantime, she worked as a staff attorney and clinical supervisor, most notably on cases involving California’s infamous Three Strikes Law.
Lipa researched and developed numerous ways to litigate in defense of clients facing the Three Strikes Law, challenging the law directly in court on numerous occasions. After about four years at Stanford in this capacity, Lipa was selected as an interim director to establish Stanford’s misdemeanor criminal defense clinic. She also gained recognition for successfully arguing Miles v. Martel in the Ninth Circuit.
While Lipa ended up working much of her career at Stanford, she completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley; earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and government and graduating with high distinction in 2000. She then moved on to Yale Law School, graduating four years later with a Juris Doctor degree.
Lipa’s first position after this education was with Georgetown University as a Prettymen Fellow, teaching trial advocacy and criminal justice theory as well as supervising law students in Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. She also personally represented clients throughout the criminal litigation process, particularly focusing on juvenile justice cases. As a Prettymen Fellow, Lipa did all of this while working towards a Master of Laws degree (LLM), which she would earn by 2006.
An accomplished attorney with extensive experience in criminal and juvenile law, Lipa will now lead PWF’s youth justice initiatives which are currently focused on dismantling the youth prison model across the country and rapidly cutting down on the practice of transferring youth to adult prisons.
Along with the Lipa, PWF also announced the appointment of John Bae as program director of its criminal justice program. “John and Galit are incredible additions to our team. They both have dedicated their careers to advocating for people who have been impacted by the justice system,” PWF President and CEO Candice Jones said in a press release about the appointments. “I am thrilled to have their expertise on the Public Welfare team as we work to reimagine a justice system that is both restorative and redemptive.”
Galit Lipa assumed the responsibilities of her new position as youth justice program director at the Public Welfare Foundation effective late January.