Former Disability Rights Advocate Joins LSA as Managing Attorney of Client Access

Legal Services Alabama welcomed Attorney Nell Brimmer to its Central Office Staff on Nov. 18, 2019. As the newly-created Managing Attorney of Client Access, Brimmer will work with LSA Executive Staff and Alabama’s five Volunteer Lawyers Programs to strengthen access to justice across the state.

With experience in disability rights, civil rights, domestic violence, housing and administrative law, for Brimmer, LSA is an opportunity to ensure people have access to justice.

“I don’t think access to justice should be dependent upon access to wealth,” Brimmer said. “As Client Access Manager, the idea is to focus in on how folks access the justice system and how we can best amplify the VLPs and encourage private attorney involvement … My goal is to be a resource and to support the work of LSA and attorneys across Alabama who are volunteering their time and expertise. Pro bono is really the heart of the profession.”

Brimmer, who has lived in Southern Appalachia, Coastal New England and spent her formative years in intown Atlanta, calls the South home. Brimmer practiced the last 3 1/2 years as Managing Attorney for Disabilities Rights Maine (DRM), directing and managing the delivery of legal services for clients with disabilities as well as supervising a statewide legal team. While at DRM, she represented the first person in Maine to terminate a guardianship in favor of employing Supported Decision-Making, a less restrictive support model. Having worked for a large law firm in Atlanta early in her legal career, Brimmer also has experience in private practice, where she dedicated considerable time to pro bono work, assisting victims of domestic violence and immigrants facing human trafficking.

“I am excited to be back in the south, which was a very intentional decision,” Brimmer said. “This position sounded interesting and innovative and right up my alley.”

At an early age, Brimmer admired her mother’s social activism, which sparked her own spirit of altruism and wanting to serve the community.

Brimmer earned a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts’ Salem State University (2002) and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta (2010), where she was a founding member of the Public Interest Law Society. While in undergraduate school, Brimmer’s education focused on Women’s Studies, photography, and Latin American history.

Having served as a board member for multiple nonprofit organizations, most recently for a sexual assault support center in Maine, Brimmer stated she has always had an interest in “social justice.”

“I strongly believe in justice,” Brimmer said. “The law has limitations and the work that we do collectively is trying to broaden who the law serves and how the law serves folks. We are all equal under the law. The question is, ‘How do we get there?’ It shouldn’t be based upon access to resources, to wealth – these things are inequitably distributed in our society. But the law is a profession of service and lawyers are problem-solvers. How do we make the law accessible in a real way and encourage people to use the system that is here?”

LSA, Brimmer stated, wants to strengthen access to legal services through collaboration. “Pro Bono work empowers the community and the profession.”

Brimmer also has an interest in the arts, specifically photography. When not practicing, she enjoys visiting art museums, reading, traveling, and spending time with her partner Jason and their son, Hawthorne.

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