Founder & Executive Director

An experienced movement lawyer, civil-rights litigator, policy advocate and law professor, Purvi has spent her career at the intersection of law and social movements. After a decade of providing legal support to grassroots movements, Purvi founded Movement Law Lab to build a new generation of legal organizations and lawyers with the skills, know-how and vision to use law to create social change.

Purvi has a long-track record as a legal innovator having founded numerous visionary legal organizations in the past decade. In 2015, in the aftermath of the Ferguson uprisings, Purvi co-founded Law For Black Lives, a national network of 3,500 lawyers committed to using law to build a world where #BlackLivesMatter. Prior to that, Purvi was the founding Director of the Bertha Justice Institute at the Center for Constitutional Rights, the nation's first movement lawyering institute. While there, she trained thousands of emerging lawyers on movement lawyering and helped build a a global network of movement lawyers in 16 countries. Prior to that, Purvi co-founded the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services in 2006. There, she represented taxi drivers, tenant unions, public housing residents, and immigrants rights groups.

Purvi is best-known for being an effective multiplier and a skilled trainer/coach on movement lawyering. Her teaching experience spans from serving as a clinical professor at the University of Miami School of Law from 2007-2011 to facilitating workshops on movement lawyering at law schools and legal organizations around the world.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Purvi worked as a community organizer with youth in Miami, students in India, and families of incarcerated youth in California.

For her work, Purvi has been awarded an Echoing Green Fellowship, Soros Equality Fellowship, Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellowship,  Miami Foundation Fellowship, and a New Voices Fellowship. She is also the recipient of the East Bay Community Law Center’s Justice Award, the ACLU of Florida's Rodney Thaxton Award for Racial Justice and the Community Justice Project’s Community Defender Award. 

Purvi’s work has been featured on MSNBC, the Nation, the Miami Herald, and the Daily Business Review.

Purvi holds a BA in Political Science and Social Policy from Northwestern University and an JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. 

Follow Purvi on Twitter @purvishahesq



Operations Director

Joi has over a decade of experience in event and membership association management in start-up, law, government, non-profit, higher education and corporate settings both domestically and abroad. She brings a creative, entrepreneurial and solutions-driven approach to every project.

Past clients include NMAC (formally National Minority AIDS Council), the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Sidley Austin LLC, District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health, Association Headquarters, FRHI Hotels and Resorts and the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

Joi has significant experience in supporting organizations business goals through board, staff and volunteer recruitment and management, exhibit and sponsorship management and database administration.

At Movement Law Lab, Joi is responsible for administrative operations, travel and logistical support for domestic and international events, supporting the Executive Director, and branding communications coordination.

Joi holds a B.A. in Multicultural Advertising from the University of Maryland, College Park, a M.A. in Publications Design from the University of Baltimore.