Meet Our Staff

Kristin Ladd | Executive Director
Kristin Ladd is a native Coloradoan and has a long history of representing the indigent and underprivileged in the legal world. Prior to working at CJDC, she practiced for over five years at the Public Defenders Office in both El Paso and Jefferson County, representing indigent adults and children facing all levels of criminal charges. After spending the first eighteen years of her life in Boulder, Kristin started her college education by attaining an undergraduate degree in political science and anthropology from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She then continued her studies at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, where she focused on Public Interest Law and Criminal Justice and ultimately received her Juris Doctorate degree. During that time, she worked for the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic representing indigent members of the Tulalip and Squaxin Island tribes, and was an active member with Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project. Kristin also had the opportunity to work as a judicial extern for the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, Netherlands, where she focused on alleged war crimes that occurred during the conflicts in former Yugoslavia. Kristin loves to travel and has taught English to children and adolescents in Japan, Mexico and Spain. Currently, she lives in Denver and continues to represent juveniles in criminal and education cases.


Elie Zwiebel | Program Director Education First: Attorney
Elie Zwiebel is a juvenile civil rights attorney based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to attending law school, Elie taught a variety of subjects to a diversity of students in the Detroit Area, Chicago, Portland, Shenzhen, and Nanjing. Through these experiences, Elie developed a passion for student and family advocacy–specifically for fighting the school to prison pipeline. In addition to working with CJDC to support families and students facing harsh school disciplinary actions, Elie investigates and evaluates educational and mental health history of young people facing charges, builds service plans, and advocates for community based solutions and mitigation. Elie has written successful federal clemency petitions for men sentenced to life for low-level nonviolent drug offenses, has contributed to federal investigations of patterns and practices of discrimination in local police departments, and has performed legislative analysis for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He proudly does whatever he can to help support people who have been traditionally and personally disenfranchised and marginalized.


Emma Mclean-Riggs | Program Director Believe in Youth: Attorney
Emma Mclean-Riggs is a 2019 Skadden Fellow, representing people placed on the sex offender registry as juveniles. Before coming to CJDC, Emma spent two years as a law clerk, first for Judge Carlos F. Lucero of the Tenth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals and then for Justice Monica M. Márquez of the Colorado Supreme Court. She received her juris doctorate from the University of California Berkeley School of Law. While there, she worked with several student groups to defend the rights of incarcerated youth, and was active in the National Lawyers Guild chapter, Queer Caucus, and the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice. Before attending law school, she received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Reed College. Emma is committed to defending individuals and communities impacted by interpersonal violence from violence perpetrated by the state.