Lanessa Chaplin, Esq., is currently Project Counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union. She began her legal career in 2012 at Hiscock Legal Aide’s Appellate division where she drafted appeals on behalf of inmates to right the wrongs of the lower courts. Her work with the incarcerated population sparked her interest in public policies. Lanessa served as Legal Counsel to Assembly member Sam Roberts and went on to serve as the Deputy Secretary to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, working closely on anti-poverty initiatives, and criminal justice reform. Most notably, she is the Founder and Executive Director of the William Herbert Johnson Bar Association of Central New York, the only minority bar association in the region.