This year’s conference includes a special focus on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Programming. Workshops that will address this overarching theme include [RJ] after the session title.

Runa Rajagopal

The Bronx Defenders
Managing Director
Bronx NY
Runa Rajagopal, a litigator and social justice advocate for more than 14 years, is currently managing director of the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders. Having joined BXD in 2011, Runa oversees a practice of more than 30 attorneys, advocates, and other staff in defending against the full range of civil consequences and problems that arise out of an accusation and systems involvement, including civil forfeiture and property seizure by prosecutors and police. In addition to training and supporting attorneys and advocates to do so, Runa represents individual clients in city, state, and administrative fora, where no civil right to counsel exists. She also develops litigation, legislative, and educational strategies as they relate to the Civil Action Practice’s direct services work and to achieve broader civil and other justice reform. Runa provides technical assistance to and trains defense attorneys, civil practitioners, and members of the community alike in identifying the potential civil fallout from entry into justice and court systems and to promote interdisciplinary, intersectional approaches to safeguard clients and their reintegration into the community. Before joining The Bronx Defenders, Runa was a senior staff attorney for the Mental Health Law Project at MFY Legal Services, Inc., where she represented mental health consumers in the areas of fair and affordable housing, income preservation, consumer defense, family law, and disability rights. Runa is a recipient of the 2016 New York City Bar Association’s Legal Services Award for outstanding civil legal assistance to NYC’s most marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Runa received her J.D. from the Washington College of Law, American University, in 2005 and her B.A. in Sociology and Communication from the State University of New York at Geneseo.