Melanie Penny Ochoa

Melanie Penny Ochoa


(Sociology & Social Policy, May 2011)
Thesis Title: Eye of the Beholder: Integrating Subjective Value into Social Organization Theory
Committee: William Julius Wilson (Chair), Robert J. Sampson, and Michèle Lamont
Initial Position: Law Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Los Angeles, CA (2011-12); Associate, O'Melveny & Myers, LLP, Los Angeles, CA (2012-16)
Current Position: ACLU Staff Attorney, Advocacy Department, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Melanie joined the ACLU in October 2016, and her work thus far has focused on challenging the City of Los Angeles' use of restrictive gang injunctions without due process, the use of surveillance technology including body cameras and drones by local policing agencies, and issues around police discipline. She has also worked on state-wide legislation and implementation of existing legislation around gang databases and the collection of data on police stops.Prior to coming to the ACLU, she worked as a clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Stephen Reinhardt, and in private practice as a litigation associate for the law firm O’Melveny and Myers. Melanie obtained her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University in 2011 and her JD from Harvard Law School in 2010, where she also served as a notes editor on Harvard Law Review.

Alumni Position Type

PhD Degree Program (Grad and Alumni only)

Graduate Degrees Awarded (for alumni profiles only)