Jessica Feierman, Esq.
Jessica Feierman, Associate Director, joined Juvenile Law Center in 2006. Jessica oversees Juvenile Law Center’s projects and programs. She also engages in litigation, amicus efforts, and policy advocacy focused on juvenile and criminal justice reform. Jessica currently leads a national effort to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system and is engaged in litigation aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices in juvenile facilities. Jessica’s deep interest in community and youth activism led her to launch Juveniles for Justice, a program of Juvenile Law Center that supports justice system-involved youth in becoming advocates for change. Jessica presents and publishes regularly on these issues.
Jessica’s legal advocacy focuses on ensuring that the law responds to research on adolescent development. She has co-authored numerous appellate and amicus briefs in federal courts, including the lead child advocates amicus briefs in Graham v. Florida, where the U.S. Supreme Court struck life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses under the Eighth Amendment; Safford v. Redding, in which the U.S. Supreme Court held a school strip search unconstitutional; and J.D.B. v. North Carolina, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a juvenile's age is relevant to the Miranda custody analysis under the Fifth Amendment.
Prior to joining Juvenile Law Center, Jessica was a litigation fellow at the ACLU National Prison Project, where she litigated prison conditions cases in federal court. From 2001-2003, Jessica was a teaching fellow in the Georgetown University Law Center's Street Law in the Community Program. From 2000-2001, Jessica served as a law clerk to the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jessica is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was awarded an LLM in advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to attending law school, Jessica founded and directed the Teen Health Initiative (now called the Teen Activist Project) at the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Jessica serves on Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, and on the Board of the Juvenile Defender Association of Pennsylvania.