Early Career and Inspiration
Inspired to become a lawyer by her personal hero, civil rights icon and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Angel recognizes the importance of equal access to justice and the power lawyers and judges have in shaping our criminal justice system. Equally inspired by Constance Baker Motley and Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Angel unapologetically challenges systems of racism, sexism and classism.
Angel began her legal career as a Public Defender in Louisiana, first in Orleans Parish then in Calcasieu Parish, where she handled hundreds of cases and became a highly-respected advocate and familiar face in the halls of the Orleans and Calcasieu Parish Criminal District Courts.
As a Public Defender, Angel made it her priority to present her clients as more than just case files, which was central to what she saw as her most important work — helping her clients hold onto their dignity while they navigated through the criminal court system.
Angel has a wide array of experience litigating both civil and criminal cases. As Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Angel’s advocacy focused on capital defense, juvenile life without the possibility of parole, and felon disenfranchisement. Angel also served as a Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project. Through those experiences, Angel fought to change the system through appellate and impact litigation. As Senior Legal Counsel with the Justice Collaborative and throughout her career, Angel worked with community organizers, stakeholders and grassroots organizations to hold public officials accountable in an effort to implement criminal justice reform and build healthier and safer communities.
Angel is a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice and civil rights issues. Her commentary has appeared in the New York Times and the Huffington Post as well as “Democracy Now!,” NPR’s “1A” and “The Roland Martin Show.” She has written and co-authored briefs filed in state and federal courts around the country — from post-conviction release petitions to school desegregation. Angel is also the co-founder of the Black Womxn Lawyers Collective, a platform providing Continuing Legal Education courses with a comprehensive intersectional framework rooted in advocacy with and for women, children and communities of color taught by Black women lawyers. Angel graduated from Hampton University with highest honors and Georgetown University Law Center.