Elizabeth A Blackwood

NACDL Staff, Counsel & Project Director, First Step Act Resource Center

Elizabeth A Blackwood Photo

Elizabeth A. Blackwood is Counsel & Director for the First Step Act Resource Center at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Before joining NACDL, Beth practiced for eleven years as an Assistant Federal Defender and Research and Writing Attorney at the Federal Public Defenders of Western North Carolina, where she represented indigent defendants charged with a wide variety of federal crimes, including drug and firearm offenses, violent crimes, fraud, and sex offenses. Beth represented clients through every stage of a criminal case, including pre-indictment, pretrial, plea negotiations, trial, and sentencing.  She also handled numerous habeas proceedings and appeals before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and previously served on the Clemency Project 2014 to assist federal inmates petitioning to have their sentences commuted by the President of the United States. Prior to the Federal Public Defenders, she practiced for several years at a large Chicago law firm where she worked extensively on criminal and pro bono matters, including the representation of a Georgia inmate in a capital habeas corpus proceeding and the management of the firm’s pro bono clinic that provided legal services to indigent Chicagoans.  She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an Executive Editor of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law.

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