As a senior attorney, Vanessa Domenichelli investigates unjust practices and actors and litigates cases focused on advancing more equitable systems. Additionally, Vanessa mentors and supports our fellows in their efforts to achieve SJLF’s mission.
Prior to joining SJLF, Vanessa practiced as a civil litigation attorney with a focus on general litigation, tort liability, and employment law. Her litigation experience includes meticulously developing and preparing cases in preparation for trial, including taking and defending depositions, drafting dispositive pretrial and trial motions, engaging in settlement negotiations, and oral advocacy. Vanessa has represented corporate clients and individuals in both defensive and affirmative litigation, including representing over 50 small businesses in a multi-party tort liability action. Vanessa has tried cases as first chair and second chair counsel in New York Supreme Court and California Superior Court.
During law school, Vanessa’s studies and extracurricular activities focused on advancing social justice, including her work as a student intern with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Project, representing youth impacted by the carceral system. Vanessa also interned with the New York City Department of Education, Office of General Counsel – Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management and Special Investigation Divisions, as well as at the Children’s Law Center, where she advocated for students in an effort to combat the school to prison pipeline, Vanessa also served as the Northeast Regional Chair of the National Black Law Students Association, where she organized and attended campus and city protests challenging police brutality.
Most recently, Vanessa served as a board member and Executive Committee Secretary of Pain of the Prison System (POPS) the Club, a nonprofit organization focused on providing an empowering space in high schools for children who have loved ones impacted by the carceral system. The Club’s mission is to create a place where pain transforms into resilience and those who were once silent and stigmatized can lift their voices to become compassionate community leaders.
Vanessa enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the Southern California sun.