Published on: Thursday, February 1, 2024

In April 2023, Elizabeth Brown Luck made history as the first person of color appointed as Chief of the Defender Services Office at the Administrative Office (AO) of the United States Courts.

With over 30 years of dedicated service to the Defender Services program, Elizabeth brings a wealth of legal, management, and leadership experience to her new role. Her extensive background encompasses various positions within the defender community and the AO. Over 13 years at the AO, she held progressively responsible roles, including staff attorney, budget chief, and integral contributions to the Defender Services Office management team, focusing on crucial policy analysis and program oversight.

Prior to her AO tenure, Elizabeth spent 11 years managing operations at the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Eastern District of North Carolina. From 2017 to April 2023, she served as a Senior Attorney and Resource Counsel to the Federal Capital Habeas Project, offering invaluable support to defense counsel, clients, and courts involved in federal death penalty cases filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

Elizabeth earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law and did her undergraduate work at the University of Maryland.

The Defender Services Office (DSO) exists to support the right to counsel promised and protected by the Sixth Amendment and the Criminal Justice Act. DSO promotes the independent function of Federal Defender Organizations and Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorneys through leadership, advocacy, management, training, policy guidance, consultation, and accountability which fosters public confidence in the nation’s commitment to equal justice.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Training Division is honoring black legal minds in the United States who have advanced civil rights and continue to inspire advocates to dismantle systems of oppression and work for a better tomorrow.