Program Director

Olu K. Orange

Olu K. Orange is a civil rights attorney who handles cases nationwide which bring about impactful change. 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 thrice been selected as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award winner -- first in 2015, again in 2017, and yet again in 2021. In 2021, Professor Orange was also selected by the Daily Journal to be honored with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California as a Top Lawyer of the Decade. Professor Orange was recognized for his decade-defining civil rights work. He is 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.

Program Manager

Karen Figueroa

Karen Figueroa is a civil rights attorney who graduated top of her class at Trinity Law School. She served as editor-in-chief of the law review, and was awarded "Law Student of the Year" at the finish of her 3L year. Karen was first prompted to pursue law during her first year of college when she learned about the financial obstacles that prevent many litigants from obtaining justice. In the pursuit of her goal to practice law, she joined the USC Trial Advocacy Program, where she excelled at trial advocacy and was hired as a Teaching Assistant. As a member of the Program, Karen volunteered with Public Counsel as a rights advocate for persons who were at risk for, or facing, homelessness as well as for persons with disabilities in need of essential resources.

After graduating magna cum laude from USC and before entering law school, she gained more experience in the civil rights field as a legal assistant at Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai LLP and as a case worker at Orange Law Offices, P.C. As a civil rights case worker, she helped defend Title 1 school children who were at risk of losing many of their learning spaces to a charter school takeover. Karen also worked as a legal writer/case briefer at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, where she wrote legal case briefs for daily publication to attorneys and judges state-wide. In law school, she spent the summer of her 2L year as a religious rights legal assistant where she helped draft appellate level briefs.


Program Assistant

Ambika Nuggihalli

Ambika Nuggihalli (they/them) is a scholar at USC and the Program Assistant for Agents of Change, the first ever undergraduate civil rights clinic in the nation. Ambika has drafted direct and cross examinations, and evidentiary objections for police brutality, freedom of speech, and wrongful death cases at Orange Law Offices, P.C.; and participated in discovery and designed trial graphics for Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles' federal civil rights class action lawsuit against the LAPD for excessive force used upon George Floyd solidarity protestors.

Ambika has also assisted in preparing evaluation criteria memoranda for Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon's FACCT committee to use when examining fatal uses of force by police officers.