Melissa Owen (Charlotte, NC)

Melissa Owen (Charlotte, NC) Photo
Missy Owen is a candidate for Secretary in NACDL's 2022 election, nominated by the Nominating Committee.

Over the past three years, NACDL President, Martin Sabelli has echoed Churchill, reminding us to never “waste a good crisis”. During my Executive Committee term, we have weathered a pandemic, searched for and transitioned a new Executive Director, and painfully and honestly confronted the depths of our duty to end systemic racism in our quest for a more just, more humane legal system. Thanks to strong leadership, our incredible staff, and membership of nearly ten thousand committed defenders, we have turned crisis into opportunity and I am so excited for the work that has to be done. I want to be part of this next chapter for NACDL.

I have represented the accused every day of my career. I chose this work because I wanted more justice for the human beings caught in the jaws of the criminal legal system. My NACDL membership, a law school graduation gift from my father, was my north star. Early on, NACDL taught me how to be an advocate. As my career progressed, NACDL became my community, giving me strength, friendship, and support to best serve my clients. Now, I know that through NACDL, we can change the system. I can improve the chance for justice not just one client at a time, but for all.

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