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Jason T. Vail
Director, Legal Services Division
Chief Counsel, Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense
Jason T. Vail leads the Legal Services Division in its mission to expand access to justice for all persons resulting from the provision of, and appropriate funding for, legal assistance, counsel, and representation in the nation's civil, criminal, and military justice systems. In his role as Division Director, he also serves as Chief Counsel to the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID). In the decade prior to his promotion to Division Director, Jason served as Chief Counsel to the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP). As a part of this work, he led the creation of the ABA Military and Veterans Legal Center and its programs and initiatives, including the ABA Military Pro Bono Project and ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network. Before joining the ABA in 2008, Jason's legal practice focused exclusively on civil legal aid, which included nearly seven years as a staff attorney in the Seattle office of Northwest Justice Project, Washington State's largest statewide civil legal aid program for the poor. Building on his experience as a front-line legal aid attorney, Jason continued working with the national civil legal aid community as a legal editor of CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW: A JOURNAL OF POVERTY LAW AND POLICY, published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago. Jason received his B.A. in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University and his J.D. cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law.
Counsel/Director, Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives
Shubhangi (Shubi) Deoras is an attorney licensed in Illinois and currently serves as the Counsel/Director of the ABA Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives. She held the position of Assistant Counsel to the ABA Commission on IOLTA from 2014–2018. Between 2008–2014, Shubi provided consulting services to SCLAID on civil right to counsel activities, during which time she assisted in producing the ABA Directory on Law Governing Appointment of Counsel in State Civil Proceedings. Prior to 2008, Shubi provided consulting services on a variety of civil and/or criminal justice system matters to the Ford Foundation, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. She also served as Assistant Counsel to SCLAID from 2000–2005, providing staff support for the SCLAID's indigent defense activities, including the development of ABA policy resolutions, reports, and standards relating to indigent defense services and delivery systems. Shubi received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis.
Indigent Defense Counsel, Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense
Mark Pickett serves as the ABA’s Indigent Defense Counsel, working to ensure that attorneys appointed to represent defendants in criminal cases are appropriately trained and funded. Prior to this role, Mark was a staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, North Carolina from 2013 to 2022, where he represented persons facing the death penalty in post-conviction and trial proceedings. Mark had a prior stint at the ABA from 2011 to 2013, where he served as a staff attorney with the Death Penalty Due Process Review Project, researching and assessing whether state death penalty systems comport with ABA policies. From 2009 to 2011, he was an Osborn Fellow Attorney with the Fair Trial Initiative working on trial-level death penalty cases in North Carolina. Mark received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. summa cum laude from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Mary C. Meixner
Director, Military and Veterans Legal Center
Chief Counsel, Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel
Mary Meixner is the Director of the ABA Military and Veterans Legal Center, along with Counsel for the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel. With the Committee, she manages continuing legal education (CLE) programs for military and civilian attorneys, education for military families, publications, policy advocacy, and collaboration with military legal services and civilian bar engagement. She also oversees the delivery of legal assistance to servicemembers and veterans through program initiatives, including the ABA Military Pro Bono Project and ABA Veterans Claims Assistance Network. Mary joined the American Bar Association in 2011 and managed the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connects servicemembers in need of pro bono legal assistance with volunteer attorneys throughout the United States. Before joining the ABA, Mary practiced employee benefits law. She is a 2008 graduate of the DePaul University College of Law.
Military Pro Bono Coordinator
Rachael Derham is an attorney licensed in Illinois and serves as the Military Pro Bono Coordinator of the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connects junior-enlisted military members facing civil legal issues with pro bono volunteers throughout the United States. Before joining the ABA, Rachael served as an Equal Justice Works Veterans Legal Corps Fellow at Legal Aid Chicago and represented low-income veterans facing a variety of civil legal issues. During law school, she interned with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and served as a Lead Articles Editor for The John Marshall Law Review. Rachael received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa, and her J.D. cum laude from The John Marshall Law School in 2018.