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Our Staff


Laura Brown, Executive Director

Contact Laura at lbrown@firstshift.org

Laura Brown has been working directly with workers for well over a decade. Most recently, she supervised the Workers’ Rights Clinic of the Employment Justice Center (EJC) from 2008-2014, a free legal clinic where workers receive advice and pro se assistance regarding work-related legal issues, including wage theft, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, discrimination, and leave issues. She was also the chief editor of the EJC’s Workers’ Rights Manual.

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Prior to that, Laura worked as an associate at the law firm of Woodley & McGillivary, a Washington D.C.-based law firm specializing in federal wage and hour cases and union representation, and as a staff attorney/business agent with UNITE HERE Local 25, the hotel and restaurant employees’ union in D.C. Laura has also worked as a staff attorney at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities in Washington D.C.

Laura was a presenter at the annual conference of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers’ Association from 2011-2015. She was also a panelist at the 2010 Fall Seminar of National Employment Lawyers’ Association.

Laura is a graduate of the Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was the recipient of a public interest scholarship. As a student, Laura both volunteered and clerked at the Workers’ Rights Clinics of the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center in San Francisco.

Laura is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Maryland and California (inactive); she is also the mother of two children.

Susanna Barron, Attorney

Contact Susanna at sbarron@firstshift.org

Susanna joined First Shift as a Staff Attorney in 2019. She was previously a legal fellow at A Better Balance. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2018. During law school she served as President of Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice and Executive Policy Editor of the Harvard Law and Policy Review, interned at the Exoneration Initiative, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, and participated in the Health Law and Policy and Family Law and Domestic Violence Clinics.

Liana Thomason, Intake and Outreach Coordinator (AVODAH Corps Member)

Contact Liana at lthomason@firstshift.org

Liana Thomason has been doing work related to gender equity advocacy and sexual harassment prevention since 2014. She has worked at both the high school and college level advocating for policies that support survivors of sexual harassment and assault, as well as conducting community education on Title IX. She most recently worked as a youth educator with the anti-domestic violence organization Shalom Bayit, giving workshops on healthy relationships and teen dating violence to youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a 2019-2020 member of the Avodah Service Corps, Liana will be developing First Shift’s curriculum around the issues of sexual harassment and domestic violence as they pertain to the workplace, as well as conducting client intake interviews. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2019 with a degree in English Literature and minors in Spanish and Philosophy.
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