Maya Menlo

Maya Menlo


Maya Menlo

  • Biography

    Maya joined the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) in 2019. She represents indigent clients convicted of felonies, nearly all of whom are incarcerated. Maya litigates in Michigan's circuit courts, in the Court of Appeals, and in the Michigan Supreme Court. Prior to joining SADO, Maya was an Assistant Defender at the Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender. While there, she led the Office's groundbreaking work to provide legal counsel at first appearance (arraignment), contest cash bail, and challenge unreasonable pre-trial release conditions.

    Born and raised in Michigan, Maya graduated from the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy. She applied to law school with the goal of becoming a public defender. While earning her J.D. at Yale Law School, Maya participated in the Re-entry Clinic, the Criminal Justice Clinic, the Advanced Sentencing Clinic, and the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic. She interned at New Haven Legal Assistance Association and remained involved with that organization throughout her law school years. Maya also interned with the Bronx Defenders.

    Maya was deeply involved in New Haven’s Sex Workers and Allies Network, which was born out of the community's broader movement against police violence. She served as president of Yale’s OutLaws chapter and led a successful initiative to amend both the Connecticut Building Code and Yale University policy regarding gender-neutral restrooms. Yale Law Women recognized her work by awarding her its annual Student Excellence Award.

    Maya also received the New Haven County Bar’s Public Service Award, and Yale Law’s Stephen J. Massey Prize for her clinic work and community service. Maya was a Senior Global Health and Justice Project Fellow and an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow.


  • Courses taught by Maya Menlo