‘Helping the underdog’: YLS grad and civil rights law firm Alex Taubes fights for legal justice

Courtesy of Alex Taubes

Throughout the summertime just after his initially 12 months at Yale Regulation Faculty, Alex Taubes Regulation ’15 realized that he did not want to use his law diploma to provide potent organizations.

Even though doing work at a regional company in New Haven together with regulation professor Jay Pottenger Regulation ’75, who handed absent past year, he recollects currently being impressed by the do the job he did with Pottenger who he noticed as a mentor.

The Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Lawful Products and services Corporation, the program that supported Taubes’ summer season do the job, gives lawful illustration to individuals and organizations in want of lawful services but not able to pay for private attorneys, per the Law School’s web-site. This practical experience, he mentioned, fueled his commitment to remain in Connecticut and pursue a career in civil rights law. 

He later established the Alexander T. Taubes regulation organization in 2019.

“We have focused our efforts on supporting the underdog in their battles from corporations, insurance plan firms, the govt and advancing brings about of justice and equality,” Taubes explained to the Information.

Taubes, who obtained his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Boston College, instructed the Information that a huge concentration of his law firm lies in assisting folks who had been wrongfully convicted. He additional that his objective extends beyond basically securing freedom — he also fights for exoneration and payment for the time people spent absent from beloved ones.

Also, Taubes highlighted his firm’s sizeable involvement in law enforcement accountability, guaranteeing that victims of police brutality obtain proper payment and keeping legislation enforcement accountable for their actions. Over and above this, he is actively engaged in numerous lawful areas, which includes election law, legal regulation and safeguarding consumer rights.

Taubes also reported that his legislation firm is at this time in the approach of recruiting a new attorney. He underscored the inclusive character of their selecting approach, emphasizing that a candidate’s legal track record does not issue as prolonged as they share the firm’s widespread aim of accomplishing sentence reductions, preventing mass incarceration and reuniting persons with their people.

“We just take individuals from any where,” Taubes reported. “It doesn’t subject what their background is.”

Michael Merli, a paralegal at Taubes’ regulation organization who’s involved in hurt reduction within just Connecticut’s felony justice technique, informed the Information the tale of how he landed his current work.

Merli recalled his first experience with Taubes, revealing that they crossed paths at numerous law enforcement brutality protests in Connecticut in 2019. At 1 protest, Merli, along with 10 other organizers, had been arrested by Bridgeport law enforcement. Hrs later, Taubes arrived late at evening to supply them with authorized support.

In 2020, Merli joined the Abolition Ummah, a Muslim feminine-led group organization that operates at the grassroots stage. He highlighted Taubes’ enthusiastic collaboration with the group, frequently supplying lawful guidance and illustration to incarcerated persons affiliated with Abolition Ummah.

“Alex has taught me what it usually means to really be a motion attorney,” Merli informed the News. “His legal work entails co-strategizing in community with individuals hard condition violence, and questioning the premises that significantly too often go unquestioned in this article in Connecticut.”

He additional that considerably of Taubes’ get the job done centers the stories of customers and their family members, and Taubes is impressed by quite a few of his coworkers and their journey as their motivation to justice, people and local community is personal and immense.

A different paralegal at the regulation organization, Michael Braham, informed the News that he at first encountered Taubes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic by Jeannia Fu, a New Haven activist. At that time, Braham was serving a 25-yr sentence in a Connecticut jail. Fu, engaged in an initiative to help incarcerated people in acquiring release, enlisted Taubes to depict Braham in his scenario. Taubes worked on Braham’s situation cost-free of charge, resulting in a sizeable reduction of seven several years from his sentence.

“This is sizeable simply because pretty couple lawyers were carrying out sentence modifications and the types who have been, wanted tens of thousands of bucks to do so,” Braham mentioned.

Soon after staying produced from jail, Braham moved to New Haven and was utilized at Taubes’ legislation company about a month soon after his release. Braham emphasised the significance of this chance, noting that it is rare for attorneys to hire individuals with a heritage of incarceration, primarily individuals who have served a prolonged sentence.

Braham was also not too long ago recognized to regulation university with the aid of Yale Law School’s Accessibility to Regulation School Method. This application, spearheaded by Regulation School professor James Forman Jr. Legislation ’92, actively requires and guides New Haven-region college students and grownups aspiring to pursue a vocation in the legal profession.

Matthew Abraham, who handles incoming paperwork at the law organization and assists customers with understanding processes such as commutation and sentence modification, emphasized to the News the significance of diversity and inclusion at the regulation business, specifically thanking Taubes for his assistance. 

“I obtain enormous achievement in working towards civil legal rights regulation, specially as a individual of shade,” Abraham told the News. “It’s a profound honor to add to a discipline with this kind of a prosperous record, especially thinking of my very own ordeals as a previous prisoner within our felony justice program. This work holds deep personalized importance for me, as I under no circumstances envisioned myself acquiring the possibility to get the job done in regulation, enable alone in civil rights.”

Abraham reported that he was grateful for Taubes’ “inclusive approach” mainly because he not only opened doorways for people of colour but also because he performs with quite a few formerly incarcerated people. 

He included that Taubes commitment to advocating for the legal rights of all individuals, regardless of their qualifications, is obvious in the firm’s tradition.

“It’s definitely inspiring to be a aspect of a staff that prioritizes justice and equality for all people,” he reported.

The Alexander T. Taubes legislation organization is positioned at 59 Elm St.


Adam Walker addresses Yale Law School for the College desk. At first from Prolonged Island, New York, he is a sophomore in Branford University double majoring in Economics and American Experiments.