Olu K. Orange is a civil rights attorney who handles cases nationwide which bring about impactful change. In the past decade, he has won precedent setting cases in California which established that police officers cannot use their victims' mistakes to offset their own liability for intentional harm (Burley 2020) and that non-biological, non-adopted, non-foster children have standing to sue for the wrongful deaths of their parents (A.G. 2018). He also set federal precedent for the 63 million Americans living in the Ninth Circuit that decedents' estates may recover pre-death pain and suffering damages when government agents kill their victims -- the case recognized as ending "the perverse effect of making it more economically advantageous for a defendant to kill rather than injure his victim" (Chaudhry 2014). Professor Orange has twice been selected as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award winner -- first in 2015, and again in 2017. Both awards honored Orange for his civil rights work. He is also consistently selected by Thomson Reuters as a 'Super Lawyer' in the Civil Rights and First Amendment categories. Professor Orange founded the Agents of Change: Civil Rights Advocacy Initiative upon the request of his supervisor and well-respected Los Angeles public service luminary, Dornsife Associate Dean Tammara Seabrook Anderson. He was assisted by two of his USC Trial Advocacy Program students, Mariah Breit and Dylan Specht.
Kath Rogers is a community organizer and attorney with experience in civil rights law, environmental justice, free speech, and protester rights. Prior to her work at USC, Ms. Rogers served as Executive Director of National Lawyers' Guild (NLG) of Los Angeles, where she helmed mass defense efforts for hundreds of George Floyd Solidarity Protesters; organized legal support for migrant caravans and protests; expanded defense of unhoused individuals; developed "Know Your Rights" trainings; and assisted worker and tenant rights campaigns including the Los Angeles "Reclaimers." An organizer-turned-lawyer, Kath has coordinated and directed multiple legislative campaigns to advance human rights, environmental justice, and other civil rights issues. Prior to her work at NLG, Ms. Rogers was co-lead counsel in a federal class action lawsuit to vindicate the civil rights of unhoused plaintiffs. As a Research Fellow and Adjunct Law Professor, she taught Introduction to Climate Law and Policy and presented her work in the United States, China, and Mexico. She has served as a Board member and Chair for several non-profits, and regularly volunteers to represent protesters and unhoused clients in her solo law practice.
Mariah is a senior in the Marshall School of Business who is originally from Appleton, Wisconsin. She is a four-year member of the USC Trial Advocacy Program and has had opportunity to participate in social justice initiatives such as helping children at the border, advocating for welfare recipients in Downtown Los Angeles and helping her coach, Olu Orange, on several civil rights cases. Outside of school, Mariah has gained valuable experience in education while teaching students with learning processing disorders at Lindamood-Bell. She will be applying to law school for the 2021 academic year with aspirations to become a civil rights attorney advocating for increased educational access and opportunity. Mariah joined the Agents of Change team in Summer of 2020, helping create the curriculum to be covered during the program. Mariah feels that the program is momentous for USC because it gives students hands-on experience with civil rights work, which is key in our current political climate as the voices of the oppressed continue to be ignored.