Meet the Staff: Brent Low, Staff Attorney 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
A photo of Brent with a light pink border
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For Low, his interest in the law stems from trying to answer a seemingly simple question: How can we work together to make a world that functions better for everyone?  

Low was born in the Bay Area, completed his undergraduate degree in San Diego, and then moved out to New York for law school and his first job as a lawyer. During his undergrad, Low studied philosophy, which largely influenced his reasons for studying the law and how he approaches his work at the ACLU-WA.   

“The stuff I was interested in while studying philosophy was how we treat each other, what we owe each other, and how to live our lives. The law we do at the ACLU is about that – how do we live together in a way that is best for everyone,” Low said.   

Low brought this critical lens and passion for equity to his internship in the national ACLU’s racial justice clinic. This was his first introduction to civil rights impact litigation, where he worked on the Immigrants' Rights Project.   

In his time there, Low saw firsthand how anti-immigrant efforts are coordinated, and it was clear that these issues were happening everywhere, highlighting how important it was for organizations like the ACLU to take a top-down approach.  

Although Low had his eyes set on being a public defender, this gave him a taste of what it would be like to work on impact litigation.   

He went on to work in New York as a staff attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem for several years. Low described his work there as a holistic approach to public defense, working with indigent clients who lived in Harlem, so they had access to legal counsel without needing to leave their community.   

Low joined the ACLU-WA last July after he and his partner decided it was time for a change and wanted to move back west to be closer to family. Although he loved his work as a public defender, he wanted to try something new, and he views our work as the front side of the same coin of public defense. A law professor of his described work that the ACLU and other organizations do as operating in the sky versus on the ground.   

“It is the same fight, the same struggle for liberation and to protect our rights. There is a connection between fighting for universal civil liberties and fighting for rights for those who need it most,” Low said.   

Since then, he has largely been working in the smart justice space on prison conditions and the rights of people who are incarcerated. Low’s background in philosophy still shows up in how he talks about his work.  

“I want to understand how these structures interact, how the government treats people, how those with power are leveraging it, and what we can do to make it better for everyone,” he said.   


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