Rakim Brooks
Year
2019
Chapter
Position
Elizabeth Board of Education, Teacher- High School Science

Rakim Brooks is a lawyer with Neufeld, Scheck, and Brustin, a civil rights firm in Manhattan. NSB was founded by legendary attorneys Johnnie Cochran and co-founders of the Innocence Project Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck. As a Cochran Fellow, Rakim litigates on behalf of clients across the country who were framed by police and lost decades of their lives to wrongful convictions.

Rakim clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Constitutional Court of South Africa for Justice Edwin Cameron, who fought doggedly against Apartheid and is the most high-ranking openly gay official in Africa. He was also a member of Yale Law School’s Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic and worked for the appellate departments of Sidley Austin and Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Rakim advanced progressive politics thru public policy. He interned at the Brookings Institution and Center for Law and Social Policy while attending Brown University. After college, he spent two years attending Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and worked for the income-support nonprofit Single Stop USA. Later, he was selected as a fellow at the think tank Demos where he wrote extensively about poverty, inequality, democracy, and Black politics. He then served President Obama’s Administration as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Treasury Department. Rakim's portfolio included low-income housing, community development finance, and social impact bonds. He remains engaged through his work as a Policy Advisor to the Black Economic Alliance.

In addition, Rakim has participated in several prominent fellowships sponsored by the Mellon Foundation, Institute for Responsible Citizenship, Drum Major Institute, and Harvard’s Galbraith Scholars Program. He also managed communications for former City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito and served as congressional campaign manager for former Democratic National Committee Political Director Clyde Williams in 2012 and 2016. Rakim was raised in Wagner Public Houses in East Harlem.