Judy Verduzco is Public Counsel’s Director of Social Work. In this position, she leads Public Counsel’s efforts to nurture a trauma-informed and client-centered culture throughout the organization.
Judy joined Public Counsel’s Children’s Rights Project (CRP) in 2007 as a recent MSW graduate. She rose to the position of senior social worker in CRP’s Education Rights Project, and spent fourteen years as part of a legal advocacy team that provides trauma-informed and strength-based legal advocacy to children and families to ensure access to an equitable education. Her work has focused on working with students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students facing school push-out via exclusionary discipline practices. Judy also provides trainings in the community to parent groups, service providers, and youth on school discipline and special education rights.
As part of Public Counsel’s Social Work Team, Judy has facilitated trainings for staff and volunteers on topics such as compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, trauma-informed advocacy, and countertransference. As part of CRP’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, she has co-facilitated discussions on boundaries, privilege and introspection, and white supremacy culture, encouraging teams to re-think their current practices to ensure their advocacy is centered through a racial justice lens.
Judy’s commitment to advocacy and equal justice is rooted in her experience growing up in South Los Angeles as a daughter of immigrants from El Salvador and witnessing the prevalence of systemic oppression in her own community. Judy is a proud Bruin, attending UCLA for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She enjoys tailgating at the Rose Bowl during UCLA football season, nature outings with her two young children, and gardening.