Kelly Jo Popkin joined Loevy & Loevy in 2022, where she litigates police brutality, prisoners’ rights, and wrongful conviction cases. Since the beginning of her career, she has worked as a public interest litigator to address the everyday injustices that individuals face because of their race, class, and gender identity, including unsafe prisons, health inequities, unjust policing, and economic discrimination. Her trial litigation on behalf of incarcerated individuals and system-involved families has been profiled in the Washington Post, Reason Magazine, Law 360, and the Harvard Law Review.
Kelly Jo has acted as appellate counsel in eight high impact appeals in federal circuit courts. For example, she filed a 10th Circuit appeal on behalf of the grandmother of an individual with an intellectual disability who committed suicide in solitary confinement, and an 11th Circuit appeal for an individual who was tasered by corrections officers because he had spilled a cup of water in his jail cell. She also filed and argued a case in the Third Circuit that reversed the dismissal of a case filed by a transgender woman who, despite having been beaten and raped at an all-male facility, was denied a Bivens remedy. The Third Circuit’s precedential opinion in Shorter v. United States is the first of its kind to affirm that Farmer v. Brennan remains good law and affords a Bivens remedy for incarcerated victims of violence in federal facilities. She also won cases in the Fifth Circuit and Second Circuit reversing dismissals of cases brought pro se by incarcerated individuals with disabilities who were denied accommodations under the ADA, creating precedent that recognizes the full scope of the ADA’s protections after its amendment in 2008.
She began her career at Planned Parenthood, where she worked as a litigator to defend access to abortion and Medicaid in trial and appellate courts across the country. She is the author of multiple law review articles and the co-author of Health Justice Now, a book about single-payer healthcare and the social determinants of health. Kelly Jo graduated from Harvard Law School in 2017, where she worked on health law litigation at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and interned with multiple abortion providers. She has a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School for Public Health, where she was awarded the prestigious Zuckerman Fellowship by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2011, where she majored in Visual and Environmental Studies.
In a past life, Kelly Jo was a documentary filmmaker and booked all-ages shows for hardcore bands in the Boston area.
Harvard Law School
• J.D., May 2017
• Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Pro Bono Honor Roll
• Board Member, Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice
• Dean’s Scholar Award, Reproductive Rights and Justice
• Articles Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
• M.P.H., May 2019
• Zuckerman Fellow, Harvard Kennedy Center for Public Leadership
• B.A., May 2011, Visual and Environmental Studies