Juvenile Law Center Appoints Three New Members to Board of Directors

Juvenile Law Center,

National children’s rights public interest law firm appoints James Bell, Judge Nancy Gertner and Julia Pudlin

Philadelphia, PA (September 19, 2018): Juvenile Law Center, the nation’s first nonprofit public interest law firm for children’s rights, is announcing the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors. These individuals – James Bell, Judge Nancy Gertner and Julia Pudlin – will join the governing body of the national organization, which is based in Philadelphia.

James Bell is the Founder and President of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. The Burns Institute has worked in over 200 counties in 23 states to engage justice stakeholders and communities across the country to build equity in the administration of justice.  He has trained and addressed thousands of human services professionals and community members on a vision of well-being as the preferred and most effective way to achieve community safety. James has appeared on numerous national television shows, conducted several radio interviews and written blogs for the Huffington Post. He has authored sections of published anthologies on school discipline, youth justice history, and health. James has extensive experience in the international justice arena: he assisted the African National Congress in the administration of the juvenile justice system in South Africa and consulted with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He has worked with government officials and activists on the human rights of children and restorative justice in Cambodia, Kenya, Brazil, New Zealand and China.

Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College and Yale Law School where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University. She was previously an instructor at Yale Law School, teaching sentencing and comparative sentencing institutions. Currently, she is a professor at Harvard University.  She was appointed to the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts in 1994 by President Clinton. In 2008 she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, only the second woman to receive it (Justice Ginsburg was the first). In 2010 she received the Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award. In 2011 she received the Massachusetts Bar Association's Hennessey award for judicial excellence, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brandeis University. She has been profiled on a number of occasions in the Boston Globe, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She has written and spoken widely on various legal issues and has appeared as a keynote speaker, panelist or lecturer concerning civil rights, civil liberties, employment, criminal justice and procedural issues, throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. Her autobiography, In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate, was released on April 26, 2011. Her book, The Law of Juries, co-authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 and is regularly updated. She is currently working on a judicial memoir, Incomplete Sentences (forthcoming Beacon Press, 2019). 

Julia Pudlin is the Assistant Deputy General Counsel for Government Investigations at Comcast Corporate in Philadelphia, where she helps to oversee federal, state, and local government investigations of the company.  She also is a member of the Comcast Law Department’s pro bono committee, helping to plan and execute the Department’s pro bono activities and build community partnerships. Prior to joining Comcast, she served as a political appointee in the United States Treasury Department, in the roles of Senior Advisor to the General Counsel of the Department and Deputy Executive Secretary in the Chief of Staff's Office.  In those roles, she advised the Secretary of the Treasury and senior department officials on a wide range of issues relating to domestic finance, tax policy, and congressional inquiries.  In recognition of her service, she received Treasury’s Distinguished Service Award. Before Treasury, Julia worked as a litigator at Williams and Connolly LLP, where her practice focused on investigations, criminal defense, civil litigation, and appeals, and before that, she was a law clerk for Judge Marjorie O. Rendell on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  Prior to law school, Pudlin worked in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Pudlin received her B.A. from Yale University, summa cum laude, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, magna cum laude, where she was a legal writing instructor to first-year students and an Articles Editor on the Law Review. 

“We are very excited about James, Nancy and Julia joining our board,” said Sue Mangold, Executive Director of Juvenile Law Center. “They bring comprehensive system knowledge and a deep commitment to racial equity; trial, judicial and academic expertise; national leadership and communication expertise with young professionals. We are thrilled to welcome them to our board.”

Juvenile Law Center is proud to welcome these distinguished individuals to its Board of Directors.


Juvenile Law Center advocates for rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for youth in the foster care and justice systems.

Founded in 1975, Juvenile Law Center is the first non-profit, public interest law firm for children in the country. We fight for youth through litigation, appellate advocacy and submission of amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs, policy reform, public education, training, consulting, and strategic communications. Widely published and internationally recognized as leaders in the field, Juvenile Law Center has substantially shaped the development of law and policy on behalf of youth. We strive to ensure that laws, policies, and practices affecting youth advance racial and economic equity and are rooted in research, consistent with children’s unique developmental characteristics, and reflective of international human rights values. For more information about Juvenile Law Center’s work, visit www.JLC.org.