Our clinic staff consists of a faculty member, fellows, an investigations supervisor, an executive assistant, and a receptionist.

Abbe Smith
Director of the Clinic, Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program, and Professor of Law.  She joined the Georgetown faculty in 1996.  Prior to coming to Georgetown, Professor Smith was the Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, where she was also a Clinical Instructor, and Lecturer on Law.  In addition to Georgetown and Harvard, Professor Smith has also taught at City University New York Law School, Temple University School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, and the University of Melbourne Law School (Ausralia), where she was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2005-06.  Professor Smith teaches and writes on  in the areas of criminal and juvenile defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice, and clinical legal education.  In addition to law journal articles, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), co-author with Monroe Freedman of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics (4th ed., Lexis-Nexis, 2010), and co-editor with Monroe Freedman of How Can You Represent Those People (forthcoming, 2013).  a contributing author of We Dissent (Michael Avery, ed., NYU Press, 2008) and Law Stories (Gary Bellow & Martha Minow, eds., University of Michigan Press, 1996).  Professor Smith began her legal career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she was an Assistant Defender, a member of the Special Defense Unit, and a Senior Trial Attorney from 1982 to 1990.  She continues to be actively engaged in indigent defense practice and frequently presents at public defender and legal aid training programs in the United States and abroad.  Professor Smith is on the Board of Directors of The Bronx Defenders and the National Juvenile Defender Center, and is a longtime .  She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Lawyers Guild.  In 2010, she was elected to the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, an exclusive national society for outstanding criminal trial lawyers.  She is also a published cartoonist.  A collection of her cartoons, Carried Away: The Chronicles of a Feminist Cartoonist, was published in 1984.

Vida Johnson
Professor Johnson, prior to joining Georgetown University Law Center, was a supervising attorney in the Trial Division at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), where she worked for eight years. At PDS Ms. Johnson was assigned to the most serious cases at the “Felony One” level, and her experience included numerous trials in D.C. Superior Court representing indigent clients facing charges including homicide, sexual assault, and armed offenses. Ms. Johnson’s responsibilities at PDS also included supervising other trial attorneys and serving as one of the agency’s two representatives to the D.C. Superior Court Sentencing Guidelines Commission. In 2009, Ms. Johnson was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining PDS, Professor Johnson was an E. Barrett Prettyman fellow at Georgetown University Law Center. As a fellow she represented indigent adults in the D.C. Superior Court and supervised students in the Criminal Justice Clinic. Ms. Johnson earned her law degree from New York University Law School in 2000 and she earned her B.A. in American History from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.

Seana Holland
Seana is the Investigations Supervisor and Director of the Investigative Internship Program. She received a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Seana went on to spend seven years working as a Staff Investigator at the DC Public Defender Service, investigating serious felony cases on behalf of indigent clients. Seana has also worked as an investigator at private law firms in the Washington, DC area and spent two years as the Program Director at Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, a nonprofit that works with juveniles charged in the adult justice system.

Teruko Richardson
Teruko Richardson is the Executive Assistant for the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic. She handles all administrative matters necessary to ensure an efficient work flow. Prior to joining our staff in March, 1982, Teruko worked with the Law Offices of Mitchell, Shorter & Gartrell.

E. Barrett Prettyman Fellows

Theodore Shaw

Theodore Shaw is the second-year E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow in the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic (CDPAC). Theo was one of “Jena Six,” a group of African American high school students wrongly arrested and jailed in Jena, Louisiana in 2006 in a case that garnered national attention. He received his B.A. in Political Science in 2012 from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, and his J.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle. During college, he interned with the Innocence Project New Orleans, which represents innocent people serving life sentences in Louisiana and Mississippi. Before law school, Theo worked for three years as an outreach paralegal for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s New Orleans office, where he helped challenge inhumane and violent conditions of confinement in prisons across Louisiana and Mississippi. While at law school, he was a Gates Public Service Law Scholar, he externed for the Honorable Richard Jones of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and interned with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Bronx Defenders. After law school, Theo clerked for Chief Justice Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Dara Jackson-Garrett

Dara is the first-year E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow. She received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2020 and earned her B.A. in International Relations from American University in 2013. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Venezuela from 2013-2014. Dara was a summer law clerk at the Bronx Defenders and ArchCity Defenders, where she worked on indigent criminal defense and prisoner advocacy. She was a student attorney and Practice Area Director at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, where she represented indigent clients in housing court and led the Housing Practice. Dara was also a student attorney and Executive Director at Harvard Defenders, where she represented indigent clients in criminal show-cause hearings. Prior to law school she worked at the Council on Foreign Relations in the David Rockefeller Studies Program.