Senior Litigation Counsel
Jessica (“Jess”) Hanson is Senior Litigation Counsel on ASAP’s Systemic Reform team. She has extensive experience in civil litigation, policy advocacy, community education, and trauma-informed, community-centered work with directly impacted people. Prior to joining ASAP, Jess was a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), where she advocated and litigated on behalf of low-income immigrants, including immigrant youth and people eligible for asylum. Before NILC, Jess worked as an associate at Covington & Burling LLP. In addition to her case load representing policyholder plaintiffs in disputes with insurance companies, she maintained an active pro bono immigrants’ rights litigation practice, including seeking monetary damages for separated families, protecting funding to sanctuary cities, defending pro-immigrant state laws, and pursuing habeas relief for civil detainees during the pandemic. Prior to her role at Covington, Jess completed a two-year Skadden fellowship with NILC, during which she litigated several cases to defend immigrants’ rights after the 2016 presidential election.
Jess graduated from UCLA School of Law with specializations in Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy. During law school, Jess participated in UCLA Law’s asylum clinic, through which she represented an individual in their successful asylum claim. She also enrolled in the criminal defense clinic, where she secured clemency for an individual serving a life sentence for a minor drug offense.
Before law school, Jess worked as a legal assistant at Casa Cornelia Law Center and caseworker at the Immigration Center for Women and Children. In these roles, she worked with hundreds of individuals and families in compiling petitions for immigration status and administering Legal Orientation Programs for Custodians of unaccompanied children (LOPC).
Jess completed her undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies at UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Jess is fluent in English and Spanish. She is a member of the California Bar.