Julia Leighton

Julia Leighton is the former general counsel for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). As general counsel, Ms. Leighton advised the PDS’s Board of Trustees, the PDS management team, and PDS lawyers on a wide variety of legal issues and managed litigation involving PDS. Ms. Leighton is a former two term member of the D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Committee and the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee. In addition to her duties as general counsel, Ms. Leighton was a member of PDS’s Forensic Practice Group and was a 2001 founding member. In 2014 Ms. Leighton was appointed by the U.S. Attorney General to the National Commission on Forensic Science. Ms. Leighton served as a voting member on the Commission until its charter was sunset and served on three of its subcommittees.  Prior to becoming PDS’s general counsel, Ms. Leighton spent eleven years litigating criminal cases at both the trial and appellate level; eight years as a staff attorney at PDS, and three years as a trial attorney in the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Leighton received her B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin College, Magna Cum Laude, and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, Cum Laude.