• Yale Law School (J.D., 2016)
  • University of Connecticut (B.A., 2013, Political Science; B.S., 2013, Finance) summa cum laude
  • Hon. Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • Hon. Richard A. Paez, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • California

As a senior attorney, Claire Simonich develops and litigates cases focused on advancing more just systems, and mentors and supports our fellows.

Claire was recently a deputy federal public defender with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California. In this role, Claire was responsible for defending indigent Angelenos charged with a range of federal crimes, including multiple murder cases and immigration-related offenses. Claire also engaged in creative litigation efforts challenging unfair practices in the criminal justice system and obtained numerous noncustodial resolutions for clients facing many years in prison.

During law school, Claire held a variety of positions focused on advancing social justice, including as a student intern with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, where she engaged in both litigation and community policy work to better the lives of immigrants and low-wage workers. Claire also participated in the Criminal Justice Clinic; worked as a coordinator with the Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project; and interned with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the Legal Aid Society, Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work), and California Rural Legal Assistance.

Claire served as the features editor for the Yale Law Journal, where she organized a symposium regarding Title IX and sexual harassment and was the recipient of the Charles G. Albom Prize for excellence in appellate advocacy in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. She also supported the Liman Project for Public Interest and served on the board of Yale Law Women.

Claire grew up on the East Coast, but has adopted Los Angeles as her home, and there she enjoys camping, running, and biking as well as finding the best vegetarian tacos in the city.