2021 – Sarah Grady

Despite being a relatively new lawyer, Sarah Grady has already made an enormous impact within the legal community. Sarah leads the Prisoners’ Rights Project at the law firm of Loevy & Loevy, where she has worked since 2013. Throughout her time in the legal field, she has showed an impressive dedication to public interest and justice, with a focus on prisoners’ rights that she traces back to a class she took at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. Throughout law school she sought out every opportunity she could to dedicate herself to public interest; she worked at the MacArthur Justice Center and the Death Penalty Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, and also helped organize the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship program.

Now, Sarah dedicates her time to advocating on behalf of people who are incarcerated, some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sarah was one of the lead counsel in two pro bono class action lawsuits seeking to address health and safety concerns raised by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Cook County Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Corrections, ultimately leading to improved mitigation and testing efforts in the Cook County Jail. Sarah’s colleagues describe her as “selflessly devoted to her clients, keenly intelligent, tireless, kind, and [with] a ton of heart.”

Sarah also works to support other lawyers who are representing prisoners in civil rights cases, and even took it upon herself to create and manage a listserv that now connects nearly 300 members who can share advice and training resources about their ongoing cases. Sarah serves on the Uptown People’s Law Center Board of Directors and the Illinois Prison Project’s Steering Committee and brings her creativity to these roles as well. Sarah’s passion for protecting the most vulnerable people in her community is apparent in her work, her pro bono service, and her community service. As one recommender writes, “Even at this relatively early juncture in her career, Sarah is already a leader in our legal community, and I have no doubt her professional stature will continue to grow.”