August 31, 2021

Dr. Bridgett Ortega Presents at National Association of Drug Court Professionals Conference


Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development, Dr. Bridgett Ortega, recently presented at multiple sessions at The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Conference – RISE21 in National Harbor, Maryland.

RISE21 was held August 15-18, 2021 and brought together judges, law enforcement officials, treatment providers, drug and veterans court coordinators, researchers, celebrities, leading authorities on best practices in adult, juvenile, and veterans substance abuse treatment, drug court graduates, veteran treatment court graduates, probation officers, attorneys, consumer advocates, and experts in the treatment court field. The attendees gained new tactics, insights, and increased ability to improve the success of their treatment courts.

In-line with her dissertation and expertise, Dr. Ortega presented at two sessions on Compassionate Jurisprudence and one session on Compassionate Communication and Family Engagement.

Dr. Bridgett Ortega, a veteran of the United States Air Force, is the Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. She has been a key administrator since joining the team in early 2011 and is also a Sr. organizational consultant and trainer for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, American University’s Justice Program Office and the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence. She is a lawyer, researcher, and the Past President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Juvenile Defender Center in Washington, D.C. She is also currently the Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Georgia affiliate of the ACLU.

Dr. Ortega has spent over 30 years advocating for criminal and juvenile justice reform. She is a passionate advocate for the incarcerated and their children with an emphasis on compassionate practice in the justice system. She is a National Trainer on subjects dealing with Juvenile and Adult Drug Courts, Compassionate Practice in Problem Solving Courts, Compassionate Communication, Compassionate Family Engagement, Domestic Violence, Equity and Inclusion, Cultural Competency, Improving Outcomes for Children of the Incarcerated and all things Juvenile Justice. Dr. Ortega is the former Deputy Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Reclaiming Futures Initiative, a juvenile justice reform initiative aimed at creating strategies for intervening in the lives of young people with substance disorders and other issues that bring them into the justice system.

She has been featured in the ABC Nightline “Kids in Court” series and the Frontline Juvenile Justice documentary. Dr. Ortega is the recipient of the ABA Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award for outstanding advocacy in juvenile justice, the NAACP Freedom Fund Civil and Human Rights Award and in December of 2018 she was recognized by the National Juvenile Defender Center as a champion for juvenile justice for her work in defending youth rights. She co-founded the Santa Clara County California Juvenile Drug Treatment Court with the Honorable Judge Thomas Edwards for which she received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for invaluable service to the community. Dr. Ortega holds a Master of Arts degree, Juris Doctorate and a Doctorate Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership. Her published research dissertation is entitled, Compassionate Jurisprudence: As Praxis for Justice.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is proud of Dr. Ortega’s service to her community and students, and looks forward to championing her continued leadership in and out of the classroom.