DRA Welcomes Shawna Parks as Chief Litigation Officer

Portrait of DRA Chief Litigation Officer Shawna Parks + "Meet DRA's Incoming CLO Shawna Parks"
Portrait of DRA Chief Litigation Officer Shawna Parks + “Meet DRA’s Incoming CLO Shawna Parks”

January 22, 2024 – Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center, today announced that Shawna Parks will, on February 5th, take the mantle of Chief Litigation Officer, replacing Stuart Seaborn who will be retiring from the practice of law after 25 years of dedicated service.

“After 25 years of practicing law—most involving work on behalf of the disability community, I am making a career shift to become a teacher of English as a second language to adult English Language learners. The 10+ years I’ve spent at DRA have been the most fulfilling part of my career. I will be forever grateful for my time spent working with DRA’s committed clients, talented staff, and dedicated leadership team. I consider DRA part of my family and will always remember and appreciate the chance to have shared this work and mission with everyone at DRA.” -Stuart Seaborn, Outgoing CLO

DRA will miss Stuart’s awesome talent and generous spirit. And we couldn’t be more thrilled that Shawna Parks, who worked at DRA as both a Fellow and a Director of Litigation more than a decade ago, is returning to lead our disability rights litigation programs. Shawna brings extensive experience working on high-impact, class action and individual cases, including cases regarding education, government programs and services, employment, and the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

“Shawna is a top-notch disability rights litigator who brings to bear decades of disability rights impact litigation and managerial experience. She’s run a practice for the last ten years (frequently co-counseling with DRA) and is exactly the right person to lead our litigation forward as we enter our 31st year as a nonprofit trailblazer in the field of disability rights litigation.” -Rebecca Williford, President & CEO

“DRA is an amazing organization with talented staff and a long history of exceptional advocacy in the field of disability rights. Its cutting-edge cases and passionate advocates make it a uniquely impactful organization, and I am excited to be a part of its groundbreaking work once again.” -Shawna Parks, Incoming CLO

Stuart, Shawna, and Rebecca are committed to ensuring a smooth leadership transition. Stuart will work part time, alongside Shawna through the end of April. We look forward to introducing Shawna to DRA’s clients, staff, co-counsel and supporters in the coming months and together—blazing more trails toward disability inclusion and equity in 2024 and beyond!

About Disability Rights AdvocatesDisability Rights Advocates (DRA), founded 30 years ago in 1993, is the leading national nonprofit disability rights legal center. With offices in Berkeley, CA, New York, NY, and Chicago, IL DRA’s mission is to advance the rights, inclusion, and equity of people with disabilities through high-impact litigation, education, and advocacy.