Roy L. Austin, Jr. is a partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. Mr. Austin began his career as an Honors Trial Attorney with the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division investigating and prosecuting hate crime and police brutality cases around the country. In 2000, he joined Keker & Van Nest LLP in San Francisco, as an associate where among other cases he worked on a successful pro-bono civil lawsuit aimed at preventing racial profiling by the California Highway Patrol. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted domestic violence, adult and child sexual assault, human trafficking, homicide and fraud and public corruption cases. He left to become a partner in a DC law firm and later rejoined the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In January 2010, Mr. Austin was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG), Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice. As a DAAG, Mr. Austin supervised the Criminal Section, and the Special Litigation Section’s law enforcement (police departments, corrections and juvenile justice) portfolios. Among numerous other matters, Mr. Austin worked on cases involving the New Orleans (LA) Police Department, Missoula (MT) law enforcement and the Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff’s Office.
In March 2014, Mr. Austin joined the White House Domestic Policy Council as Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity. In this position, Mr. Austin co-authored a report on Big Data and Civil Rights, worked with the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, helped develop the Police Data Initiative, worked on the expansion of reentry assistance, and was a member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.
Over his career, Mr. Austin has tried thirty jury trials. Mr. Austin received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from The University of Chicago.