Laura L. Dunn
Laura L. Dunn is a nationally recognized campus sexual assault expert and victims’ rights attorney whose advocacy has been featured by TED, the New York Times, National Law Journal, NBC News Dateline, Time Magazine, Fox News, Washington Post, PEOPLE Magazine, National Public Radio, MSNBC, Al Jazeera America, Rolling Stone Magazine, Buzzfeed, and HBO’s VICE among many others.
As a victims’ rights attorney, Dunn helped secure the first-ever recognition of a federal victim-advocate privilege through the Title IX lawsuit Jane Doe v. Old Dominion University, 289 F.Supp.3d 744 (E.D. Va. 2018), which resulted in a settlement for her client. She also represented Chessy Prout and her family during the high profile St. Paul’s School rape case, State of New Hampshire v. Owen Labrie, (Merrimack Cnty. Sup. Ct. 2015), as featured in the Simon & Schuster publication I have The Right To.
As an expert consultant and witness, Dunn has worked on high profile sexual assault and retaliation cases, including ones against Yale University and Penn State following the Sandusky scandal. She is currently a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence and served on the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Task Force on College Due Process. Dunn is also a liaison to the American Law Institute (ALI) Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault and its ongoing Student Sexual Misconduct Project. Dunn is also a published legal scholar and adjunct law professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law teaching on Sexual Violence & Harassment within Education.
Dunn also has over 10 years of experience providing presentations and training on campus sexual assault at prestigious organizations across the country, including the ABA, the Federal Bar Association, the National Association of Victim’s Rights Attorneys, the National Association of Women Judges, the Democratic Attorneys General Association, the College Republican National Committee, National Crime Victim’s Law Institute, Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, Texas Municipal Police Association, the Arkansas State Bar, Harvard Law School, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, Stanford University, and many more.
Prior to practicing law, Dunn was an outspoken survivor and student activist who directly contributed to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2011 and 2014 Title IX guidance and successfully lobbied Congress to pass the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization. She also routinely advised President Obama’s White House Task Force to Protect Students Against and served as the primary negotiator on the U.S. Department of Education’s VAWA Rulemaking Committee in 2014. For her advocacy, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy have publicly recognized Dunn. Dunn also founded the survivor-led and DC-based legal organization, SurvJustice. It is still the only national nonprofit representing victims of campus sexual violence in hearings across the country and is currently the lead plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over Title IX. Dunn also interned at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, served as a judicial intern for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and worked as a law clerk for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
Dunn has received numerous honors and recognition for her advocacy over the years, including a 2015 Echoing Green Global Fellowship, the 2016 Benjamin Cardin Public Service Award, the 2017 Special Courage Award from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, and a 2018 TED Fellowship among others.