Lauren Anderson has served her community a public defender at the Orleans Public Defenders office since 2013. She is currently the Supervising Attorney in Municipal and Magistrate Courts. In this role, she coordinates numerous programs including the office's first bond advocacy team. The team is aimed at reducing jail populations through rigorous first appearance advocacy and swift action in the first days of client incarceration to divert them into alternatives to incarceration.
In 2015, she founded the city's first warrant clinic, Municipal Court at the Mission, which brought the judges and court system into a homeless shelter to help the city's homeless population clear up outstanding warrants that kept them wrapped up in the court system. This program has expanded to both municipal and traffic warrants and has also brought coat drives and medical testing to homeless shelters so clients can get assistance without fear of being jailed and receive additional much needed resources. She has worked with community partners and the city to work on reducing these warrants and decriminalizing crimes of poverty and homelessness.
A trained Gideon's Promise Public Defender and mentor, Lauren mentors young public defenders in other offices around the state and works to train others in holistic defense. Lauren's long term goal is to fill the gaps in mental health systems that cause local jails and prisons to function as mental health hospitals and divert clients out of jails into the community with the support they need.