2019 Community-Oriented Defender (COD) Network Conference 
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Tara Chen

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Staff Attorney
Washington DC
Tara Chen has been an attorney in the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Community Defender Division, Prisoner & Reentry Legal Services Program (PRLS), since 2015. She directly advises and collaborates with Trial Division attorneys to develop holistic and effective defense strategies to address conditions of confinement, sentencing outcomes, and client needs while incarcerated. She provides legal representation and advocacy to individuals incarcerated in the D.C. Department of Corrections and those serving felony sentences in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She also represents individuals in the community struggling with the collateral consequences of their criminal record on issues such as supervision conditions, early termination of supervision, record sealing, and employment. Before working at PDS, Tara was an assistant general counsel in the Employment Law Branch for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There she litigated before the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Arbitrators based on the collective bargaining agreement between the national union and management. Tara obtained her J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of Law in 2011 and is a member of both the District of Columbia and California Bars. She received her Bachelor of the Arts from University of California San Diego in Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts and International Studies: Political Science.