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Letter Supporting Candidacy of Tara K. Ramchandani, Associate Judge, Superior Court for the District of Columbia

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November 15, 2021

Via Email
dc.jnc@dc.gov
Tracy Brinkley Nutall, Executive Director
D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission 515 5th Street NW, Suite 235 Washington, D.C. 20001

Re:      Support for Tara K. Ramchandani for the Position of Associate Judge, Superior Court for the District of Columbia

Dear Honorable Members of the Judicial Nomination Commission:

Washington Council of Lawyers is pleased to express its support for Tara K. Ramchandani for the position of Associate Judge on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Our strong support is based upon Ms. Ramchandani’s impressive record and distinguished work as an advocate and a mentor and her unwavering commitment to advance the interests of marginalized communities.

Washington Council of Lawyers is the public-interest bar association for the District of Columbia. Our membership includes lawyers from all sectors of the legal community, legal professionals, law students, and others committed to advancing access to justice issues in our community. Washington Council of Lawyers supports strong judicial candidates who have shown a firm commitment to promoting equal access to justice and serving marginalized populations. Ms. Ramchandani’s legal career is consistent with our mission of public and professional service.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Ramchandani committed her time to providing assistance to low-income and disenfranchised communities. During her time in the Washington Leadership Program sponsored by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, she conducted policy research for the Latin American committee and reported on hearings and her research findings to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden’s staff. She then traveled twice as a staff assistant to Venezuela, where she interviewed and assisted low-income women applying for microfinance bank loans. Immediately prior to beginning her law school career, Ms. Ramchandani served as an intern with Villanova Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, where she investigated conditions for migrant-farm workers and researched immigration law for Venezuelan nationals.

During her time as a law student, her work assisting low-income migrants did not stop. She investigated and prepared for trials, innocence hearings, and migrant worker abuse claims as a summer law clerk and assisted with the transfer of juveniles to Youth Court through ensuring proper documentation. As a summer associate, she worked on numerous assignments including researching and drafting documents on topics such as involuntary commitment laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and Fourth Amendment amicus briefs. Her second stint as a summer associate allowed her the opportunity to research and explore issues such as employment discrimination, fair lending concerns on Native American reservations, and qualified immunity.

Following her graduation from law school, Ms. Ramchandani joined the law firm of Goodwin Procter LLP as a litigation associate where her practice focused on §1983 litigation, mortgage insurance fraud, and political corruption investigations. She then clerked with the Southern District of Ohio, where she drafted bench memos and opinions while sitting by designation on the Sixth and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.

In 2010, Ms. Ramchandani returned to the plaintiff’s civil rights firm of Relman Colfax PLLC as a partner, where she is responsible for all aspects of the national federal litigation and counseling practice. She provides strategic and legal advice to non-profit civil rights organizations seeking best practices and utilizes her significant management experience to counsel approximately 40 individuals with areas such as personnel, human resources, finances, hiring and budgeting. Ms. Ramchandani is undoubtedly an accomplished trial attorney who has secured millions through settlements and jury verdicts. One of her most significant victories involved a class-action lawsuit alleging a for-profit college in Richmond, Virginia violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and Title VI by targeting minority and low-income individuals for predatory programs. She successfully secured a $5 million settlement for the plaintiffs

In addition to her work, Ms. Ramchandani has served as an adjunct professor, where she designed and taught a semester-long Fair Housing Practicum to law students for over 3 years. She has served as keynote speaker, moderator, panelist and guest lecturer at prestigious institutions including Harvard Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and Howard University School of Law, while discussing numerous topics such as housing discrimination and disparate impact, civil rights, and employment discrimination. She is also a published authored having researched and written on topics including gender, discriminatory practices and violations of the Federal Fair Housing Act, and developments in litigation related to African American slave descendants’ claims.

Ms. Ramchandani is committed to equal access to justice and adequate legal representation for all people. She has dedicated her career to advocating for historically disadvantaged groups and combating discrimination and segregation in areas such as housing, lending, employment, public accommodations and criminal justice. She intentionally represents individuals and non-profit organizations who are grappling with the negative impacts of discrimination. Ms. Ramchandani also devotes her time to organizations and initiatives that focus on providing important resources to disadvantaged persons, such as the Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services of the District of Columbia; Pathways to Housing, a non-profit dedicated to ending homelessness in the District; and The Justice Initiative, where she serves as a mentor to justice-oriented law students and advocates through a partnership between Howard University School of Law and Harvard Law School.

Ms. Ramchandani’s knowledge of the law, professional experience, and deep commitment to serving the residents of the District undeniably distinguish her as a candidate for the position of Associate Judge on the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. Accordingly, Washington Council of Lawyers supports her nomination to this position and submits that Tara K. Ramchandani is exceptionally qualified to serve in this capacity.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark L. Kovner President
Washington Council of Lawyers

 

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