Professional Profile

 Denise Lieberman
Denise Lieberman is a St. Louis lawyer and activist specializing in constitutional law, civil liberties and civil rights. She is a Lecturer in the Political Science Department and an adjunct professor at the School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches courses related to civil rights and civil liberties (see her Courses taught). At Washington University, she is working with another professor on development of the Civil Rights Litigtation Clearinghouse (, an online resource of important civil rights injunctive ligitation. For the past eight years, Denise served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, an affiliate of the ACLU that serves 66 counties in Eastern Missouri. In this role, she was known for vastly expanding the organization's legal program, for litigating impact cases, and for developing broad-based policy projects for the organization. As Legal Director, Denise managed the ACLU's legal docket, developed and litigated civil liberties cases for the ACLU, oversaw the cooperating attorney program and undergraduate and graduate student internship programs.

Denise serves as co-chair of the Individual Rights Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, where she works to advance civil liberties and social justice in the legal profession.

Denise developed broad-based civil liberties projects for the ACLU-EM, including creating the ACLU-EM's LGBT, Title IX, Making Schools Safe, and Know Your Rights projects, overseeing the creation of the St. Louis LGBTA Coalition, and coordinating project work on the Death Penalty, Voting Rights and Racial Profiling, among others. She served as the coordinator and director of the St. Louis Voter Protection Legal Command Center, a collaborative project among numerous national civil rights organizations that sought to protect voting rights during the 2004 elections. She brought many impact cases for the ACLU, including a class-action suit challenging voter disenfranchisement, a suit establishing the standard for student free speech rights on the Internet, and important cases challenging the stiffling of free speech and FBI political surveillance after 9/11.

Denise gives frequent presentations to lawyers, students and community groups on a variety of constitutional law and civil liberties issues, including programs on the supreme court, civil liberties after 9/11, freedom of speech, religious liberty, racial profiling, gender equality, the death penalty and others. (click here to see some of her recent Speaking Engagements)

Denise is the recipient of the Washington University Law School Public Interest Employer of the Year Award, the OUTLaw Human Rights Award for work advancing equal rights for gays and lesbians, and the John Doe Society Award for work advancing free speech.

Denise was born and raised in the St. Louis area, in University City, MO, and is a proud alumni of U. City High School. She graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 1991 with a BS degree in Journalism and Political Science, following which she worked as a political and news reporter and served as schedule coordinator in Bob Holden's 1992 campaign for State Treasurer. She obtained her JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1995, where she placed in two national moot court competitions, was selected for Order of the Barristers, was editor-in-chief of the Pitt Law Record, and received the Woman Law Student of the Year award from the National Association of Women Lawyers. Before working at the ACLU, Denise worked at the St. Louis law firm of Armstrong, Teasdale, Schlafly & Davis (now Armstrong Teasdale LLP) primarily in the areas of litigation and government affairs.

Outside of work, Denise is active in politics and several community boards and organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors and Executive Board of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.She served on the Board of Directors of the University City Children's Center from 1997-2003, is past president and a current board member of the National Women's Political Caucus of Metro St. Louis, is past president of the Young Democrats of Greater St. Louis, and volunteers as a clinic escort at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

View Denise's resume (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this)

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