Tara Patel


Dunn Fellow



Tara’s primary interests are in litigating cases related to race and disability discrimination and police misconduct. Before joining the ACLU-DC, Tara clerked for the Hon. Paula Xinis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the Hon. Ronald L. Gilman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also spent a year as a pro-bono and litigation associate at a law firm, where she worked on a team with the ACLU of Idaho that challenged the constitutionality of Idaho’s public-defense system. Tara graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude, serving as Managing Editor of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law and as a student-attorney with the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic. Across these experiences, Tara has represented domestic violence survivors, asylum seekers, veterans with disabilities, students with disabilities, and students facing disciplinary actions. Prior to law school, Tara helped university executives tackle issues related to cyberbullying, sexual assault on campus, and fundraising.

Tara enjoys enthusiastic games of ping pong followed by equally enthusiastic discussions of The Lord of the Rings. She and her pup, Peregrin Took, also appreciate a hearty second breakfast.

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