Biography

Mary Lynne Werlwas is the Director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project of The Legal Aid Society of the City of New York.  The Prisoners’ Rights Project challenges constitutional violations and unlawful conditions in jails and prisons in New York, and advocates for individual prisoners on matters including access to medical care and mental health treatment, safety and protection from violence, disability and conditions of confinement..  She is class counsel in Nunez  v. New York, seeking to reform the systemwide misuse of force in New York City jails, and Handberry v. Thompson, remedying New York City’s failure to provide high school education to youth held in adult jails.  Previously she was an associate at Altshuler, Berzon, Nussbaum, Rubin & Demain in San Francisco, specializing in labor, employment, constitutional and civil rights law, and the Leonard Sandler Fellow at Human Rights Watch in New York.  She served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Richard D. Cudahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and to the Honorable Chief Justice Gubbay of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe in Harare.  She is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review.