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John Fowler

Counsel, Criminal Justice

John Fowler is Counsel with the Criminal Justice Project.

John came to the Lawyers’ Committee after seven years at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). At PDS, John founded and led litigation groups on police misconduct and implicit bias and was a member of the forensic practice group. As part of his work with these groups, John led and managed litigation focused on disclosure of police misconduct records, the elimination of protective orders for police disciplinary records and body-worn camera footage, and defeating warrants for individuals’ DNA. In his direct practice, John managed multidisciplinary teams representing individuals charged with the most serious crimes in the District of Columbia, including homicides. He also directly supervised attorneys at various stages of their careers in handling their own caseloads. John trained PDS attorneys and the broader criminal defense bar on investigation, litigation strategy, and trial skills. During the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak, John was part of the team whose work led to the mass release of approximately 40 individuals detained at the city’s jail and Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital.

John previously worked at the Bridgespan Group, advising foundations and national non-profit organizations on long-term strategic planning. His clients included After-School All-Stars, the College Success Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Indian Youth Leadership Project, and VolunteerMatch.

John is a faculty member of Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

John graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and one of two Public Interest Fellows in his class.