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Our Staff

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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.


Cassandra Cohen, Intake and Outreach Coordinator (AVODAH Corps Member)

Contact Cassandra at ccohen@firstshift.org

Cassie will be joining the First Shift team as the Avodah Corps member for 2020-2021. She graduated this past May from Emory University where she studied Psychology and Sociology. She has always been interested in working in social justice and specifically in women’s health & women’s rights. Over the past few years, she has worked as a youth educator as well as volunteering with Jewish Women’s International (JWI) to lead workshops about “safe smart dating” and abusive relationships on college campuses. This year she will be creating and presenting “Know Your Rights” Presentations, conducting client intake interviews, launching the client story telling project among other responsibilities. 

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