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Allison Mahoney        

Social Justice Lawyer; Sexual Abuse & Domestic Violence Awareness Advocate; Storyteller, Writer, and Founder of the Estorie Agency

Allison Mahoney is a lawyer with over a decade’s worth of experience litigating on behalf of survivors of intimate partner violence, child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. She is also a certified yoga and meditation instructor.

Mahoney founded Estorie Agency in 2021 after seeing the role that storytelling played in her work as an advocate. Estorie Agency is a public relations and communications agency that works with advocates and organizations that are addressing today's most pressing social justice, civil rights, and human rights issues.

Mahoney began her legal career as a Litigation Associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where she was a member of the firm’s pro bono committee and represented survivors of sexual abuse and intimate partner violence from around the world. She was later a prosecutor in New York City and investigated sex crimes, public corruption, and human trafficking rings. For the next several years, Mahoney worked at Lawyers for Children, Inc. and represented children in foster care in New York City in various family court proceedings. As LFC’s Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Project Attorney, she carried a specialized caseload and served as the in-house legal expert for cases involving those sensitive issues. Mahoney is currently the Interim Deputy Director at A Better Childhood, where she investigates child welfare systems across the country, forms partnerships with local organizations and national law firms, and files class action lawsuits on behalf of foster children, alleging violations of their civil rights.

Today, Mahoney is on the board of directors at Response, a nonprofit organization that works with survivors of domestic and sexual abuse in Aspen and the upper Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado. Mahoney serves as the Secretary of the New York City Bar Association’s Children & the Law Committee, and the Chair of Fordham University’s School of Law Government and Public Interest Affinity Group. She is also part of a working group to reimagine intimate partner violence services for abusers. The goal of the working group is to change abusers’ behaviors in order to stop the cycle of trauma.

Mahoney is admitted to practice in New York; Washington, D.C.; the Eastern District of New York; the Southern District of New York; and before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Speech Topics

The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence

Discussions about intimate partner violence usually focus on what the cycle of abuse looks like and how to escape the immediate threat. But what happens to survivors after they have left an abusive relationship? How does society view them? How does the legal system treat them? And what can survivors—and their support networks—do to promote healing and growth? Allison will encourage people to reframe how we think about survivors and emphasize that more attention needs to be paid to supporting survivors in the aftermath of abuse.

Civil Rights Investigations & Class Actions

Have you seen injustices in your community? Does your legal organization want to address a systemic flaw? Allison will describe how investigations into large-scale civil rights violations are formed and what changes are possible through civil rights class actions.

Child Welfare System Reform

Approximately 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States, a staggering number. All too often the systems charged with protecting those children fail. But child welfare systems can be reformed—from the inside out or through litigation, if necessary. Allison has spent several years investigating child welfare systems and launching class action lawsuits against state actors, alleging violations of children’s civil rights. She will highlight some of the common issues facing child welfare systems in the United States and ways in which they can improve.

Leveraging Public Relations and Communications Strategies for Lawyers and Advocates

Lawyers and advocates often shy away from proactive interaction with the media for fear that engagement risks having a negative impact on their cases. But, if done correctly, informing the public can be a powerful tool, put pressure on the opposing side to engage in settlement negotiations, and establish a supportive audience for their clients. Allison explains how lawyers can do this while being mindful of their pending court cases.

Trauma-Informed Storytelling for Organizations and Advocates

Organizations and advocates working with survivors of abuse, injustices, and crimes often struggle to tell their clients' sensitive stories. They want to protect their clients from potential harm and require permission to tell clients' stories. Those stories are necessary, however, for organizations to promote their work, attract new clients, and increase fundraising. And, for survivors, stories are also powerful catalysts for healing. Allison explains how how to communicate stories from a trauma-informed perspective and develop effective, safe, and meaningful communications and public relations strategies and content.

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