Jodi Siegel, Executive Director - ↑ top
Ms. Siegel has been an attorney with Southern Legal Counsel since 1985, and became its Executive Director in July 2004. A predominant portion of Ms. Siegel’s responsibilities at SLC is in representing individuals with disabilities in a variety of forums. She has litigated class and individual actions involving federal constitutional and statutory actions under the Federal Civil Rights Act, the Federal Rehabilitation Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. She also has presented extensively to various groups on special education and other issues.
Ms. Siegel is an Adjunct Professor for Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law Center where she teaches a Masters Level course in Special Education Law. She has been the Director of SLC’s Education Advocacy Project since 1999, which is funded by The Florida Bar Foundation to provide state support and train, support, mentor and co-counsel legal service/aid lawyers and advocates to increase and improve special education advocacy. She is a Past Chair of the Board of Directors and Past Treasurer of the national organization The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), whose mission is to improve the quality and quantity of legal assistance for parents of children with disabilities. She coordinated the 2003 and 2004 national conferences for COPAA, and has been active on the Conference Design team since then. She is a Past Chair of The Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section.
Ms. Siegel is a member of The Florida Bar, the U.S. Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She received her B.A. in 1982 from New College (Honors College of University of South Florida), Sarasota, Florida; and a J.D. in 1985 from the University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida. She was the Senior Research Editor for one semester and Senior Student Works Editor for two semesters with the University of Florida Law Review.
Simone Chriss - ↑ top
Simone Chriss recently joined Southern Legal Counsel in August 2016 after graduating from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she received her J.D. with honors in May 2016. Ms. Chriss received her B.A. from the University of Florida in 2012 with honors, and volunteered at SLC for a year prior to beginning law school.
Ms. Chriss is a member of The Florida Bar. During law school, she worked on children's issues and advocated for juveniles in the dependency and delinquency systems in our community as a Certified Legal Intern for the Gator TeamChild Juvenile Law Clinic. Ms. Chriss served on the Pro Bono Student Advisory Board, and as an executive board member of the American Constitution Society and Outlaw, the LGBT student organization. Ms. Chriss has long been involved in youth outreach, volunteering as a Guardian ad Litem for many years, with the Law and Justice and Youth Summit Conferences for three years, and mentoring students through the Gator Law Mentor program.
Ms. Chriss was published in Genius, an Italian law journal focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity. The article she co-authored is titled "After Obergefell v. Hodges: the Continuing Battle Over Equal Rights for Sexual Minorities in the United States." Ms. Chriss is in the process of being published in the Northwestern University School of Law's Journal of Law & Social Policy. The article she co-authored is "The Case for Trauma-Informed, Gender-Specific Prevention & Early Intervention Programming in Reducing Female Juvenile Delinquency in Florida."
Kirsten Clanton - ↑ top
Ms. Clanton joined Southern Legal Counsel in 2007 and directs SLC’s Homeless Advocacy Project, a statewide project to protect and defend the civil and human rights of homeless individuals and their advocates. She is a member of The Florida Bar, and the bars of the U.S. Middle, Southern and Northern District Courts of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Public Interest Law Section (PILS) of The Florida Bar and is a past chair of the PILS Committee on Homelessness. Prior to joining SLC, she worked as an associate at a private law firm specializing in immigration and nationality law.
Ms. Clanton received her J.D. with honors (2005); M.A. in Latin American Studies (2005); and B.A. in Spanish with honors (2001), all from the University of Florida. In 2009, she received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Florida Alumni Association. While in law school, she served as the Executive Research Editor for the Florida Journal of International Law. Ms. Clanton also interned at the Carter Center, a non-profit organization headed by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, where she worked in the Americas Program and served as a member of the Center's election-monitoring mission to Venezuela in August 2004.
Andrea Costello - ↑ top
Andrea Costello returned to SLC in 2016 after working as an attorney here from 2001-2007, including as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. She is an experienced civil rights litigator and advocate on impact and class action litigation related to government and police misconduct, juvenile justice, access to health care, disability rights, protecting the right to dissent, reproductive rights, homelessness, and representing employees in discrimination cases and labor union disputes. She has also litigated cases of national significance to challenge racial profiling by police and provide unrestricted over-the-counter access to emergency contraception.
Before returning to SLC, she worked at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in Washington, D.C., and Florida Institutional Legal Services. She also has worked as an organizer for women’s rights and social justice for over 20 years and has a deep commitment to providing legal support to communities and movements working for social change.
She received a J.D. from the City University of New York Law School at Queens College in 1998 and received the school’s inaugural Distinguished Graduate Award. She is a member of The Florida Bar, the U.S. Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the New York Bar, the U.S. Southern District of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the District of Columbia Bar and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.