Davis Polk welcomes Diane Lucas as pro bono counsel for racial justice initiatives
October 9, 2020, New York – Davis Polk today announced that Diane Lucas has joined the firm in New York as Pro Bono Counsel for Racial Justice Initiatives.
In this newly created role, Ms. Lucas will work with Davis Polk’s Pro Bono team and nonprofit and community partners, to develop and supervise matters for our lawyers that will combat racial and social injustice and inequality.
Ms. Lucas joins Davis Polk from the Justice Collaborative, where she served since 2018 as the Director of Community Engagement and Senior Legal Counsel. In that role, she developed and implemented strategic campaigns to reform policies driving dehumanization and extreme vulnerability, including mass incarceration, lack of health care, vulnerable employment, and the housing crisis. She also consulted with elected officials to develop and implement policies to identify and eliminate drivers of incarceration and execute decarceral policies throughout all stages of the criminal legal process.
From 2014 to 2018, Ms. Lucas was an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. She handled cases on a range of matters related to race discrimination, access to education, fair housing, biased lending, voting rights, immigration and LGBTQ rights, among others. Prior to that, she spent several years in the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society, representing indigent clients in misdemeanor and felony cases, including in jury and bench trials in New York County Criminal and Supreme Court.
After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served as General Editor of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Journal, Ms. Lucas clerked for the Honorable Bernice B. Donald of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from New York University.