About Us – Emily

Emily Strongwater

early years

Emily Strongwater

Emily Strongwater was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up in a household with Jay, she was exposed at an early age to the flaws in the criminal justice system and the commitment required to fighting them.

In 2005, she found herself at the University of Vermont in Burlington. While in Burlington she worked at the Peace and Justice Center of Vermont on projects such as Marriage Equality, the Livable Wage Campaign and their Non-Violent Resistance Training Program. She also became involved in the death penalty abolitionist movement and led teach ins in Burlington regarding those on death row, including Troy Davis from her home state.


Law Career

Emily Strongwater Headshot
Photo by: Piera Moore

John Marshall Law School

Missing Atlanta, and believing in the progress to come in Georgia, she came home and attended John Marshall Law School. While in law school, Emily worked two sessions at the Georgia Legislature lobbying towards criminal justice reform.

Prior Experience

In her second year of law school, Emily interned for the Honorable United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg, focusing entirely on her criminal docket. In her final year of law school, she interned at the Federal Defender’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. After that internship, she made the decision to be a defense attorney upon graduation.


Emily’s favorite part of the job, and the one she believes is as important as the work in the courtroom is the ability to make her clients feel seen and heard. No client is comparable to any other, every client has their own story and Emily is committed to telling it.
Emily has also had considerable success in post-conviction work, namely, Clemency and Compassionate Release work. After securing a client clemency from Barack Obama in 2016, she decided to commit part of her practice to post conviction work and has recently secured 4 Compassionate Releases for clients with cases in the Northern District of Florida and Georgia.


In her spare time, she sits on the board of The Tender Foundation, a local nonprofit providing gap assistance to Atlanta mothers. She also gives her time to various local and national pro-bono efforts.


  • Georgia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Atlanta Bar Association


  • Admitted to all Georgia courts
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court