John M. Copacino, Director & Professor of Law
Professor Copacino is Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman graduate fellowship program in criminal trial practice and advocacy. Prior to joining the Georgetown Law faculty, he was the Director of the Juvenile Law Clinic at the Antioch School of Law. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and received an LL.M. as a Prettyman Fellow from the Law Center. In the District of Columbia, he continues to serve as trial counsel in numerous criminal and post-conviction cases. He remains active in local criminal justice organizations and regularly participates in local and national training programs for criminal defense lawyers. In 1997, he received the Law Center’s Flegal Award for outstanding teaching.
Vida B. Johnson, Deputy Director
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, Investigations Supervisor
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.
Fadya Salem, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Fadya Salem is a Chicago native, raised on the southwest side. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University College of Law, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers. As a 2L, Fadya was a member of the mock trial team that won the midwest regional and national championships at the Thurgood Marshall mock trial competition. Throughout law school, Fadya worked in the felony trial division at the Cook County Public Defender’s office. She also interned at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, working in the parole division.
Elizabeth “Liz” Vasily, E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Elizabeth “Liz” Vasily graduated from Georgetown Law in 2016. Prior to law school, she received her B.A. from Brown University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At Georgetown, Liz was an editor on the Modern Critical Race Perspectives Journal and a student in the Criminal Justice Clinic where she represented indigent clients in criminal court proceedings and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers’ Student Advocacy Award. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Senior Judges on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Honorable J. Michael Ryan on the District of Columbia Superior Court. Additionally, Liz has been a regular volunteer at Free Minds Book Club—a local D.C. organization that provides support through writing and poetry to members presently incarcerated or recently released
Taneisha Ballard, Clinic Manager & Notary
Taneisha Ballard is the current office manager helping both the Criminal Justice Clinic as well as Georgetown’s DC Street Law Program. Prior to working for Georgetown, Taneisha worked with the Department of Justice as a clerk helping a large staff of paralegals with a diverse set of administrative task, operations and procedures. While in school, Taneisha will be pursuing her degree as a double major in Business Administration and Marketing.