A Texas native, Jemila Lea joined the foundation after receiving her juris doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in the spring of 2013. Lea earned her bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in legal studies from Texas Woman’s University.
Prior to law school, she held various administrative support positions in higher education at the community college level, and within a Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, at the medical school level.
Lea interned during her time in law school with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council’s Office of the Mental Health Advocate, where she assisted with representation and monitoring of defendants who had been acquitted with a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). Additionally, internships with the Honorable Brent Carr in Tarrant County and the Office of the Public Defender Flint Judicial Circuit supplemented her knowledge of mental health policy with valuable experience in a legal setting. She also interned with the U.S. Department of Education – Office for Civil Rights.
A dedicated child advocate, Lea has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in her home county of Tarrant, Texas, and received Excellence in Pro Bono recognition during her law school graduation.