Email Tamara

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October 2018

About Tamara

Tamara N. Holder is an Illinois defense attorney, TV/radio legal analyst and political blogger. Tamara Holder is the principal of The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC and founder of Her work includes: expungement and clemency, criminal defense (felony and misdemeanor), race discrimination, police brutality, personal injury and pro bono practices. Soon after Tamara's graduation from law school, she realized many of her clients found themselves facing lifetime bans on employment, education, adoption, even access to credit – all because of a prior arrest record that was long forgotten. Seeing the need for outreach in this area, Tamara created, to help offer a second chance to people who have expungeable or sealable offenses under Illinois law. She also helps people seek a Governor's pardon for non-expungeable offenses. Tamara also works closely with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. in crafting and executing public policy initiatives, together with programs to increase opportunities for minorities and the economically disadvantaged. As a result of her work, she quickly caught the attention of not only Chicago's civic leaders, but also of those nationwide. Tamara was the first in the country to expose the railroad industry's improper employment practices toward those with criminal records. She spearheaded a Congressional inquiry with the help of Chairman John Conyers, the result of which was a hearing before the Congressional Committee of Homeland Security in February of 2007. Then, in July of 2007, Tamara testified as an expert witness before the Congressional Committee of Transportation, Sub-Committee of Maritime and Infrastructure. Her testimony was crucial to preventing passage of an invasive, anti-worker, anti-business piece of legislation calling for mandatory identification cards for transportation workers, a statutory scheme criticized by organized labor and management alike. Tamara created a pro bono expungement clinic at Rev. Jesse L. Jackson's Rainbow Push headquarters where she provides free legal advice and educates the public about the importance of clearing their criminal background. In 2008, Tamara uncovered a pattern of wrongful arrests and evictions of Chicago's public housing residents, filing a class action lawsuit on their behalf. Tamara has met privately with Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on the issue of pardons and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on criminal sentencing and expungement laws. She has worked with many of the nation's top political leaders, such as Congressman Bennie Thompson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters and former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, to name a few. Tamara is a frequent guest on Fox News Channel, CNN, HLN, truTV (formerly CourtTV), and on local TV and radio. Tamara sits on the advisory board of Women of Power (an organization within the Cook County Sheriff's Office -, alongside some of the state's most powerful leaders, including Congressmen Danny Davis and Jesse Jackson, Jr., as well as many judges and elected officials. The organization is devoted to helping women rehabilitate who are caught within the criminal justice system. She also sits on the board of Horizon Prison Ministries (, a non-profit organization founded to establish faith and character-based residential programs in prisons. Tamara believes in rehabilitation over incarceration. Tamara is an early graduate from college (The University of Arizona, 2000) and from law school (The John Marshall Law School, 2005). While in law school, she learned criminal trial practice as an intern for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and contract negotiation and mediation at Miramax Films in Los Angeles.

work Experience

Founder, Pro Bono Expungement Legal Clinic
Rainbow Push Organization
Jan. 1, 2006 - Jan. 1, 2010

Attorney at Law
The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC
Jan. 1, 2005 - Current

school Education

John Marshall Law School, Chicago
No degree provided
- 2005

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