Current position: Special Adviser, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon
Those familiar with the accomplishments and career successes of PCJP alumnus Alisa Blair might be surprised to learn that prior to her clinical experience in law school, she feared public speaking. A calm and quiet young woman by nature, she found it intensely nerve-wracking to deliver a speech of any kind.
That all changed when she began advocating for PCJP clients. “No mock trial or role-playing experience could ever have overcome my nerves or distaste for public speaking,” she notes, “but speaking on someone’s behalf is a tremendous honor and incredible responsibility.”
It was a responsibility Alisa eagerly assumed. After graduating from Gould, she went on to work for 18 years as a trial attorney with the L.A. Public Defender’s office, the largest public defense firm in the country. She is now a Special Adviser to L.A. District Attorney George Gascon.
A native Angelino and mother of two, Alisa is now dedicating her life to improving the criminal legal system and demanding a more racially equitable society. She studies and writes about racial trauma and its impact on adolescent brain development, often lecturing on the topic at area colleges and law schools as well as professional organizations including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Juvenile Defender Center. Her greatest passion, however, is empowering underserved BIPOC communities through education and access to resources. Alisa believes that prevention through community-based services is the best way to avoid or navigate the criminal legal system.