Curriculum Vitae

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

The Mississippi Bar (2013)

The Louisiana State Bar Association (2012)

The Birth Rights Bar Association (2014)


WORK EXPERIENCE

JKH Law, llc d/b/a The Birth Law Group, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Attorney & Counselor at Law (Oct. 2015  – present)

Take Root Doula Services, llc, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Full Spectrum Doula (Aug. 2018 – present)

Bizer & DeReus, New Orleans, Louisiana
Associate Attorney (Jul. 2016 – present)

Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Domestic Relations Section II, New Orleans, Louisiana
Judicial Law Clerk & Docket Clerk to Judge Bernadette D’Souza (Nov., 2012 – April, 2015)

Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
Student Assistant to Prof. Jeanne Carriere (Sept., 2011 – May, 2012)

Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Division “H”, New Orleans, Louisiana
Judicial Extern to Judge Michael Bagneris (Aug., 2011 – April, 2012)

Law Offices of Sheila M. Wilkinson, PLC, Metairie, Louisiana
Law Clerk, (May, 2010 – May, 2011)

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Family Law Unit, New Orleans, Louisiana
Law Clerk (July – August, 2010)

Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, New Orleans, Louisiana
Judicial Intern to Judge Terri Love (June, 2010; October, 2010)

Allen & Conway, PLLC, Jackson, Mississippi
Paralegal & Legal Assistant (2004 – 2009)

Lobrano Law Firm, P.A., Ridgeland, Mississippi
Secretary/Office Manager (2003 – 2004)


SUBJECT-MATTER EXPERTISE

  • civil & human rights associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and the breastfeeding relationship
  • regulation of midwifery licensure & practice
  • racial disparities of maternal and infant health and wellbeing
  • interplay of bodily autonomy, informed consent, dignity, and respect in the delivery of maternity care
  • socio-legal determinants of maternal and infant health

PUBLICATIONS

Root of the Poisonous Tree: Historical and Current Factors Contributing to Mistreatment in Birth in the U.S.A., with Colleen P. Campbell, Farah Diaz-Tello, Deborah Fisch, Indra Lusero, Monica McLemore, and Saraswathi Vedam, Obstetric Violence: Realities, and Resistance from Around the World (working title), Edited by Angela Castañeda, Nicole Hill, and Julie Johnson Searcy, Demeter Press, forthcoming 2022

Imagining a Brave New World: Towards a Nuanced Discourse of Fetal Personhood, Women’s Rights Law Reporter, Volume 35 No. 3/4, 2014


INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

National College of Midwifery, Taos, NM (2020)
Midwifery Laws and Regulations, Online Learning Coordinator

Louisiana Bar Association, New Orleans, LA (2020)
LGBT Cultural Competency for Lawyers: Respecting Diverse Gender Identities in Pregnancy, Birth, and Lactation, Continuing Legal Education Speaker

Birth Equity Action Network: Thriving Beyond Normal
Virtual Conference organized by Health Connect One (2020)
COVID-19 Birth Equity Policy Updates & Trends: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Speaker

Law and Social Work Continuing Education Seminars, New Orleans, LA (2020)
Autonomy and Shared Decision-Making in Pregnancy and Birth, Speaker
Respecting Diverse Gender Identities in Pregnancy, Birth, and Lactation, Speaker
Why Birth Justice Requires Social Workers to Address Systemic Racism, Speaker
How Social Workers Can Support New Families in the 4th Trimester, Speaker

Childbirth and the Law Conference, Chicago, IL (2018)
Paths to a Birth Justice Practice, Panelist & Moderator


EDUCATION

Madriella Doula Training, Brandon, Mississippi
Hands-On Birth & Postpartum Doula Workshop, 2016

Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana
Juris Doctor, 2012

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Tulane Center for International Human Rights and International Criminal Law International Human Rights Study Abroad Program, 2011

University of California, Los Angeles
Bunche Center for African American Studies Summer Humanities Institute, 2008

Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi
Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in History, 2008

Holmes Community College, Ridgeland, Mississippi
Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, 2003


HONORS & AWARDS

The Mississippi Bar
Leadership Forum Class of 2020

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership®
Class Two Fellow (2019 – 2020)

Mississippi Women’s Foundation, Women’s Policy Institute
Healthy Women Cohort Fellow (2019-2020)

Tulane University Law School
Merit-Based Law School Dean’s Scholarship (2009 – 2012)

Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society
Regional Conference at The University of Mississippi
Best Undergraduate Paper (2008)

Jackson State University
College of Liberal Arts Honors for Superior Academic Achievement (2008)
Garret Weaver Symposium 2nd Place Undergraduate Paper (2007)
President’s List Scholar (2007)
Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship (2006 – 2008)
President’s List Scholar (2006)

Holmes Community College
Presidential Scholarship (2000 – 2003)


PRO BONO AND VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

Better Birth Mississippi
Director (2020 – present)

Mississippi Center for Birth and Breastfeeding Equity
Board Member (2018 – present)

Birth Justice Advocacy
pro bono attorney and advocate for pregnant, birthing, and breastfeeding mother-baby dyads (2015 – present)

Birth Rights Bar Association
Membership Director (2016 – present)

Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Collaborator (2016 – present)

March for Moms
on-site volunteer (2017)

International Cesarean Awareness Network
Secretary for Jackson, MS Chapter (2017 – 2020)

Jackson, Mississippi Rally to Improve Birth
Assistant Coordinator & Media Promoter (2015 & 2016)

2016 Mississippi Legislative Session
Grassroots Organizer & Citizen Lobbyist in support of breastfeeding legislation

Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth
Working Board Member at Large (2014)
Pro Bono Attorney (2015)

Tulane University Law School
Vice President & President ad hoc, Law Women’s Association (2010 – 2011)
Student Representative, Faculty Committee on Institutional Equity (2010 – 2011)

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