Clinic Faculty & Staff
Kristin Henning | The Blume Professor of Law | Director of Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative | Special Advisor to the Dean on Community and Justice
Professor Henning has been the Director of the Clinic & Initiative since 2015. She first joined the faculty in 1995 as a Stuart-Stiller Fellow in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinics. After her fellowship, Professor Henning joined the staff of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia where she continued to represent clients and helped organize a Juvenile Unit designed to meet the multi-disciplinary needs of children in the juvenile legal system. Professor Henning served as Lead Attorney for the Juvenile Unit from 1998 until she left the Public Defender Service to return to the Law Center in 2001.
Professor Henning writes extensively about race, adolescence, and policing and has a book forthcoming with Penguin Random House in 2021, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth. Her previous work appears in journals and books such as Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment (2017, edited by Angela J. Davis) and Punishment in Popular Culture (2015, edited by Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. and Austin Sarat). Race features prominently in her articles such as The Reasonable Black Child: Race, Adolescence and the Fourth Amendment, 67 Am. U. L. Rev. 1513 (2018), Race, Paternalism and the Right to Counsel, 54 Amer. Crim. L. Rev. 649 (2017), and Criminalizing Normal Adolescent Behavior in Communities of Color: The Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice Reform, 98 Cornell L. Rev. 383 (2013). Professor Henning is also an editor and co-author of an anthology Rights, Race, and Reform: Fifty Years of Child Advocacy in the Juvenile Justice System (2018).
Professor Henning has trained state actors across the country on the nature and scope of racial bias and how it operates in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. Her workshops help stakeholders recognize their own biases and develop strategies to counter it and equip defenders to challenge racial injustice in their individual case advocacy and broader systemic reform efforts. Professor Henning also worked closely with the McArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network to develop a 41-volume Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP), a national training curriculum for juvenile defenders. She now co-hosts, with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), an annual week-long JTIP summer academy for defenders. In 2019, she partnered with NJDC to launch Racial Justice for Youth: A Toolkit for Defenders, and in 2020, she launched the Ambassadors for Racial Justice Program.
Professor Henning serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Law and Policy and is the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center. She has served as an expert consultant on juvenile justice to a number of state and federal agencies, including the USDOJ’s Civil Rights Division, and was the Reporter for the ABA Task Force on Dual Jurisdiction Youth. She is also a lead contributor to the Juvenile Law and Practice chapter of the District of Columbia Bar Practice Manual and has served as an investigator in eight state assessments of the access to counsel and quality of representation for accused youth.
She is the recipient of several honors, including the Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. Award for Excellence in Juvenile Defense from NJDC, the Shanara Gilbert Award from the American Association of Law Schools for her commitment to justice on behalf of children, selection to the American Law Institute (ALI), and appointment as an Adviser to ALI’s Restatement on Children and the Law project. Henning received her B.A. from Duke University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an LL.M. from Georgetown Law
Wallace J. Mlyniec | Lupo-Ricci Professor of Clinical Legal Studies | Senior Counsel, Juvenile Justice Clinic
Professor Mlyniec was the founding Director of Georgetown’s Juvenile Justice Clinic. He served in that position from 1973 until 2015 when he stepped down and assumed the role of Senior Counsel in the clinic. He was also the Associate Dean for Georgetown’s clinical and public interest programs from 1986 until 2005. During his long career, Professor Mlyniec has taught traditional and practicum courses in Family Law, Juvenile Delinquency, International Agreements Protecting Children, and Wrongful Convictions in addition to his teaching duties in the Clinic. He also assists with training graduate students in the Prettyman Fellowship Program and developed a course for new teachers called Elements of Clinical Pedagogy. Most recently he served as the Academic Co-Director of Georgetown’s Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London.
Professor Mlyniec has spoken frequently and written numerous books and articles concerning criminal law, the laws relating to children and families, and clinical education. Professor Mlyniec was awarded a Swedish Bicentennial Fellowship to study the Swedish child welfare system, has been a Lecturer at the Cariplo Foundation Law Initiative in Brescia, Italy, and a Visiting Professor in Health Law at the Loyola University Law School (Chicago), Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy.
Prior to coming to Georgetown, he was the Director of the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference Study on ABA Criminal Justice Standards and the Chief Administrator of the Emergency Bail Fund. While a faculty member, he has served as a consultant to the San Jose State University and University of Maryland Schools of Social Work, the ABA’s National Resource Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, several law schools, and the California Bar Examiners. He is the former Chair of the ABA Committee on Juvenile Justice and former Chair of the Board of the National Juvenile Defender Center. Professor Mlyniec has also been a consultant to Shepley-Bulfinch, a national architectural firm. He also writes about local history, architecture, and construction.
Professor Mlyniec is the recipient of the Stuart Stiller Award for public service, the William Pincus Award for contributions to clinical education, the Robert F. Drinan Award for contributions to public interest law, and the Gault Award for his work in juvenile advocacy. He received his B.S. at Northwestern University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Eduardo Ferrer | Policy Director, Juvenile Justice Initiative | Visiting Professor of Law, Juvenile Justice Clinic
Professor Ferrer serves as a Policy Director of the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative advocating to improve the DC juvenile justice system and as a Visiting Professor in the Georgetown University Law Center supervising students in the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Professor Ferrer is also a Certified Trainer in the National Juvenile Defender Center’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP) and conducts training for juvenile defense attorneys across the country.
Additionally, Professor Ferrer serves as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of DC127 and served previously as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Next Step Charter School and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Campaign for Youth Justice. Professor Ferrer also served as the Advisory Neighborhood commissioner for Single Member District 1B10 from 2009-2010. In 2013, Professor Ferrer was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project’s “Defender of Innocence Award” for his work securing the release of David Boyce, an innocent man wrongfully convicted in Virginia in 1990. He also was recognized in 2008 by Legal Bisnow Magazine as a top “30 under 30” attorney in the District of Columbia.
Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Ferrer was a founding member of DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY), a DC-based action tank dedicated to making DC’s juvenile justice system the smallest and best system in the country. During his ten-year tenure at DCLY, Professor Ferrer was chiefly responsible for carrying out the organization’s research, advocacy, and direct representation work. Professor Ferrer also previously worked as an associate at Howrey LLP, where he worked on a variety of matters, including juvenile justice policy, immigration law, constitutional law, civil rights law, writs of habeas corpus, white-collar criminal defense, and antitrust law. Professor Ferrer is a proud double Hoya, receiving his B.S. in Business Administration from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in 2002 and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2005.
Nate Mensah | Visiting Professor of Law
Professor Mensah earned his JD from American University Washington College of Law in 2014, and his LLM from Georgetown Law Center in 2016. From 2014 to 2016, Professor Mensah was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center’s Juvenile and Criminal Justice Clinics. As a fellow, he represented indigent youth and adults in D.C. Superior Court and supervised JJC students.
Professor Mensah has spent the last 5 years at the D.C. Public Defender Service (PDS) as a trial attorney representing both adult and youth clients charged with serious felony offenses in D.C. Superior Court. He has trial experience representing clients in complex homicide, robberies, drugs, and other armed offenses. At PDS Professor Mensah is also involved in special litigation initiatives regarding forensic issues, competency, the insanity defense, police misconduct, and fair cross section jury selection issues. In addition to his work as trial counsel, he has worked on post-conviction issues, including compassionate release, sex offender registration, Due Process sentencing challenges, and youth resentencing. He has also trained E. Barrett Prettyman fellows working in the Criminal, Juvenile, and Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinics and is a faculty member at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop.
Efosa Akenzua | E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Efosa was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and an Editor-In-Chief for the N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change. While in law school, Efosa participated in both the Criminal Defense and Re-entry Clinic, for which he was awarded the Ann Petluck Moses Memorial Prize, and the Juvenile Defense Clinic. He co-led the law school’s Solitary Confinement Project, the N.Y.U. Mediation Organization and the Defender Collective. Efosa also served as the Political Action Chair for the Black Allied Law Students Association, a case manager/advocate for the Suspension Representation Project, and as a Teaching Assistant for Legislation and the Regulatory State.
During his summers, Efosa clerked at the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California and then under a student practice order at the Colorado State Public Defender. During term-time, he worked at both the Legal Aid Society’s Bronx Criminal Division and its Manhattan Juvenile Rights Practice. He also worked as a Hays Fellow with both the Vera Institute of Justice and TakeRoot Justice’s Equitable Neighborhoods Division.
Prior to law school, Efosa worked as an investigator for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia through their Criminal Law Internship Program. He received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
Katrecia Banks | Executive Assistant | Program Specialist
Katrecia Banks is a native of Washington, DC. She graduated from Strayer University magna cum laude in 2013 with a B.A. in Management and cum laude with her MBA in Public Administration in 2016. Katrecia is a seasoned financial and business operations professional with over 10 years of experience providing leading to premier for profit and not-for-profit organizations. She is a results-driven leader with exceptional strategic, technical, operation and financial skills and has a proven track record for assisting young entrepreneurs with developing business plans, happily helping businesses lower operational overhead expenses and developing networking opportunities. Katrecia is an excellent communicator with a commitment to strategic planning multi-site operational management and assisting community based organization with positive impacts for youth.
Kaitlin Banner | Adjunct Professor| Education Advocate
Kaitlin Banner joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs as Deputy Legal Director in August 2018. She helps direct the Committee’s education just and public accommodations work.
Prior to joining the Committee, Kaitlin was the Deputy Program Director and Acting Director of Advancement Project’s Opportunity to Learn Program. There, Kaitlin worked alongside communities on reducing the overuse and disparate use of zero-tolerance school discipline policies and stopping the criminalization of young people of color by employing creative legal tactics and policy reform. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Kaitlin was Clinical Instructor at the Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. She represented families in special education and school discipline cases, and advocated for policies that promote positive educational interventions. From 2008 – 2010, Kaitlin was the Crowell & Moring Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, where she founded the Fair Discipline Project and began working on school-to-prison pipeline issues.
Quiana Harris | E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow
Quiana Harris is a native of Rich Square, North Carolina and a graduate of Howard University School of Law where she was a member of the Howard Law Journal and served as the publication’s Executive Notes & Comments Editor. Her article entitled “A Plea to Federal Judges: Combating Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Cliven Bundy Era” is published in Volume 62 of the Howard Law Journal.
Quiana has clerked at various public defenders’ offices and public interest organizations, including the D.C. Public Defender Service as a Trial Division Law Clerk and Investigator Intern, D.C. Federal Public Defender as a Law Clerk in the office of A.J. Kramer, the Washington Lawyer’s Committee as an intern for the Prisoners’ Rights Project, as well as a judicial intern for the Honorable George Levi Russell III of the U.S. District Court of Maryland in Baltimore.
Quiana was awarded the 2018 Washington Bar Association’s Dr. J. Clay Smith, Jr. Equal Justice Scholar’s Award for her commitment to public service and the 2018 J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association Scholarship for her academic achievements in law school.
Quiana is an undergraduate of Winston-Salem University, where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science, concentrating in Public Administration graduating with Summa Cum Laude honors.
Ayisha Scales-Bruce | Racial Justice & Juvenile Defense Fellow
Ayisha Scales-Bruce is the Racial Justice and Juvenile Defense Fellow. She is a proud alumna of Livingstone College where she earned her B.A. in social work, Fordham University where she earned her M.A. in social work, and Rutgers Law School where she received her J.D.
Prior to law school, Ayisha worked as a forensic social worker in New York City. Ayisha served as a fearless advocate for youth in foster care, the youth legal system, and public schools. Ayisha witnessed firsthand the intersections of race, inequality, and the law. This work inspired her to become a lawyer.
During law school, Ayisha served as a student attorney in the Children’s Justice Clinic, representing youth charged with delinquent acts. She also served as judicial extern for the supervising Administrative Juvenile Judge and as a summer associate for the Center for Law and Social Justice. Ayisha was the regional vice chairwoman of the Black Law Students Association and coordinated the law school’s first high school pipeline program for youth of color in Camden County, NJ. As a racial justice advocate, she raised awareness of police racially profiling students, which led to reform efforts in Windsor County.
For her outstanding achievement in pursuit of social justice and equality, her academic excellence, and her advocacy for black law students, Ayisha was honored with the 2020 Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award, the 2020 Justice Garibaldi Award, the 2020 David Dologenos Memorial Graduation Award, the 2020 Barristers Award, the 2019 Garden State Bar Association Diversity Award, the 2018 Heart of Black Law Students Award, and the 2018 Equal Justice Award.
Rebba Omer | Program Manager & Staff Attorney
Rebba Omer joined the Juvenile Justice Initiative in 2018 as the Juvenile Defense and Policy Fellow. She is now the program manager and staff attorney for the Clinic & Initiative. She previously served for four years as an Assistant Public Defender at the Community Law Office in Knoxville, TN where she specialized in advocating for children accused of delinquent offenses.
Rebba has been trained in holistic, client-centered criminal defense representation and juvenile defense specialization through the Gideon’s Promise Core 101 three-year training program and the National Juvenile Defender Center’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program Summer Academy. Rebba came to the Community Law Office through Northwestern University School of Law’s Pritzker Fellowship. While a student attorney in the Northwestern Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Children and Family Justice Center, Rebba represented individual clients impacted by the juvenile justice system and collaborated with professors on policy advocacy. In her final year of law school, Rebba completed a senior research project in Bangladesh where she assisted an NGO with a country-requested audit of the criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Prior to law school, Rebba was an AmeriCorps volunteer at an Oakland, CA homeless shelter where she taught job search and retention skills to clients with barriers to employment. She graduated summa cum laude from DePaul University in 2010 with a B.A. in English literature and a minor in public policy.
Rhonda Pope | Adjunct Professor | Forensic Professional Counselor
Rhonda Pope Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Washington, DC. She is a native Washingtonian with 18 years of counseling experience.
Rhonda holds extensive experience working with adolescents with mental health and substance use issues and their families. Rhonda’s areas of specialty are trauma, depression, sexual abuse, physical abuse and adolescent behavioral issues. Believing in mental wellness and community support, Rhonda has worked with Washington DC agencies to provide counseling and to promote the importance of addressing mental illness. She is skilled at working within the juvenile justice system, the District’s health and human services systems. To assist in promoting healthy birth outcomes and decreasing the high Infant Mortality rates in Wards 5 & 6 in Washington, DC, Rhonda became the Director of Family Support Services and Licensed Professional Counselor at Healthy Babies Project, where she managed the Healthy Start program that provided home visitation, case management to pregnant teens & women and their families.
Rhonda’s passion is working with and advocating for teen clients. She currently is a Forensic Professional Counselor for the Office of Rehabilitation and Development for the Public Defender Service of Washington, DC, as well as Adjunct Professor for the Georgetown University Juvenile Justice Clinic.
Rhonda is committed to tackling trauma, substance abuse and sexual abuse in families, as well as shattering the stigma associated with mental illness. Rhonda works with clients from a strength-based, positive, and affirming perspective. Rhonda is known for a warm, relaxed and comfortable approach to counseling, usually sprinkled with a little humor or a sports reference. Prior to transitioning into the Counseling profession, in 1987, Rhonda earned her B.A. in Radio and Television from The George Washington University. She worked for over ten years in the entertainment field providing videotape, production and post production services to Westwood One/NBC, Henninger Media Services and Black Entertainment Television.
In her spare time, Rhonda loves to spend time with her family, travel, watch sports with her husband and listen to music.
Jennifer Ubiera | Organizing & Advocacy Associate
Jennifer Ubiera is the Organizing and Advocacy Associate for the Georgetown Juvenile Justice Initiative advocating to improve the DC juvenile justice system. In this role, Jennifer will build out the community organizing and outreach agenda for the initiative, as well as enhance and expand the Initiative’s presence in the local Washington DC area.
Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center, Jennifer was the Legal Innovators Fellow at Law 4 Black Lives, DC. There, she created a movement lawyer curriculum and conducted a learning series that introduced lawyers, law students and legal workers to the tenets of movement lawyering and local organizing work. During that time, Jennifer was chiefly responsible for the development of the organizational infrastructure and continues to support the organization in that role as a member. Jennifer also practiced criminal defense and civil litigation in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida after serving as the fellow for the Virgil F. Hawkins chapter of the National Bar Association in Florida A&M University School of Law’s Poverty and Homelessness Clinic. Prior to law school, she served as an AmeriCorps Vista member in the areas of youth and poverty.
Jennifer received her B.A. in Philosophy at the University of South Florida in 2008 and her law degree from Barry University School of Law in 2013.