Claire Knittel joined the Office of Indigent Legal Services as a Statewide Implementation Attorney in January 2020 after working as a public defender for seven years in Franklin County, first in the Public Defender’s Office and then as the Conflict Defender. She represented clients at every level of criminal cases, from arraignment through trial, as well as represented clients in a wide range of Family Court proceedings. Her experience in the North Country gave her a unique perspective on rural indigent defense and the challenges and benefits associated with it.
Claire graduated from Pace University Law School in 2013 after moving to New York from Michigan, where she was born and raised. While at Pace, Claire was a Case Note and Comment Editor on the Pace Law Review and spent a summer in Arusha, Tanzania, working at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Her article comparing the charging instruments at the ICTR and the International Criminal Court was published in the Pace Law Review in 2012. She was also an intern at the Legal Aid Society in both the Bronx and Manhattan Criminal Defense Divisions. Claire received her B.A. from Michigan State University.