Jin Hee Lee

Adjunct Professor of Law (Fall term)
Contact Information
Cornell Law School
260A Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901

Phone: (607) 255-2856
Email: jl3987@cornell.edu

Susan Tosto
Cornell Law School
129 Hughes Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
Email: sjt29@cornell.edu

Professional Biography

Jin Hee Lee is the Senior Deputy Director of Litigation of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), where she supervises LDF’s criminal justice, education, and economic justice litigation. Ms. Lee currently represents a death-sentenced prisoner in Arkansas state post-conviction proceedings, whose death sentence was successfully vacated and who is now seeking a new trial.  She has authored amicus curiae briefs in multiple state supreme courts and the United States Supreme Court on issues pertaining to race, criminal justice, and the death penalty. She is the lead plaintiffs’ attorney in Davis v. City of New York, a federal class action lawsuit challenging the New York City Police Department’s unlawful trespass stop and arrest practices in New York City public housing residences. In Brister v. Mississippi, Ms. Lee litigated the first case in Mississippi in which a mandatory juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentence was declared unconstitutional; her client eventually became the first person in Mississippi, who had been sentenced to JLWOP, to be released on parole. Along with Sherrilyn Ifill, Ms. Lee co-authored the chapter "Do Black Lives Matter to the Courts?" in the anthology Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment, edited by Professor Angela J. Davis.

Ms. Lee is a 1995 graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, magna cum laude, and the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She graduated from Columbia Law School in 2000 and served as law clerk to Judge Martha Vázquez in the United States District Court for District of New Mexico. In 2016, Ms. Lee was recognized by Columbia Law School as the Distinguished Public Interest Graduate of the Year.