John Pollock,  Attorney

John Pollock is a Staff Attorney for the Public Justice Center, where he serves as the Coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.  John originally joined PJC in February 2009  as their first ABA Section on Litigation’s Civil Right to Counsel Fellow.  He focuses entirely on working to establish the right to counsel for low-income individuals in civil cases involving fundamental rights such as child custody, housing, and benefits.  Among other articles, he is the author or co-author of:

  • Introduction: Angles of the Right to Counsel in Civil Cases Debate: Formalism, Immigration, Reviewability, and Empiricism, 17 U.D.C. L.R. 10 (Spring 2014)
  • The Case Against Case-By-Case: Courts Identifying Categorical Rights to Counsel in Basic Human Needs Civil Cases, 61 Drake L.J. 763 (Spring 2013)
  • “You Have a Right to a Lawyer ... If You Can Afford It”: A Look at the History of the Right to Counsel in Civil Cases and the Current Efforts to Expand It, Bloomberg CNA Vol. 81 No. 48 at 1797 (June 18, 2013)
  • Ten Years In and Picking Up Steam: A Retrospective on the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, 47 Clearinghouse Rev. J. Of Poverty L. and Pol’y 35 (May-June 2013)
  • Gideon and Civil Right to Counsel: Two Sides of a Coin, 34 NLADA Cornerstone 24 (2013)
  • Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Going: A Look at the Status of the Civil Right to Counsel, and Current Efforts, 26 MIE Journal (2012)
  • It’s Not Triage if the Patient Bleeds Out, 161 U. Penn. L.R. 40 (2012)
  • Civil Right to Counsel’s Relationship to Antipoverty Advocacy: Further Reflections, 45 Clearinghouse Rev. J. Of Poverty L. and Pol’y 150 (July-Aug. 2011)
  • Lassiter Notwithstanding: The Right to Counsel in Foreclosure Actions, 43 Clearinghouse Rev. J. Of Poverty L. and Pol’y 448 (Jan.-Feb. 2010)
  • Going Public: The State-Action Requirement of Due Process in Foreclosure Litigation, 43 Clearinghouse Rev. J. Of Poverty L. and Pol’y 458 (Jan.-Feb. 2010)
  • Walking Before Running: Implementation of a Right to Counsel in Civil Cases, 14 MIE Journal 6 (2010)

Prior to PJC, John served as the Enforcement Director for the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center (CAFHC) in Montgomery, Alabama, addressing systemic housing discrimination in rental, sales, lending, and insurance.  While at CAFHC he filed more than 25 complaints against housing providers for discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, and religion, and co-counseled a federal case involving systemic sex discrimination.   Before CAFHC, John served as a Law Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, where he worked on immigrant civil rights violations by state and federal officers, involuntary land loss in minority communities, wage/hour violations by employers of migrant workers, predatory lending, and hate crimes.  While at SPLC, he founded the Heirs' Property Retention Coalition, a network of dozens of organizations across the southeastern United States working on stopping the forced sales of ancestral property within low-income African-American communities.  John  drafted the first version of what eventually became the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act, a uniform law to reduce forced sales that was adopted by the ABA and the Uniform Law Commission in 2011.  The Act has been adopted by the states of Nevada, Georgia, Montana, Alabama, and Arkansas, and has been introduced as legislation in several other states.  John graduated from Wesleyan University in 1994 and from Northeastern University School of Law in 2005.