Lia Ernst is the legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont, where she litigates civil liberties, civil rights, and open government cases; advocates before state and municipal governmental bodies on ACLU legislative priorities; and educates community groups on protecting and exercising their rights.
Before coming to the Vermont affiliate, Ernst had been a legal fellow at the ACLU of Massachusetts and a legal intern at the ACLU of Michigan. She also clerked for two years with U.S. District Court Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. in Detroit and for one year with Judge Norman H. Stahl of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston. In between, she was an associate attorney at a Michigan law firm outside Detroit, focusing on criminal defense and attorney ethics.
Ernst is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin. Her undergraduate degree is from Swarthmore College, where she majored in biology. She served two years in the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa after college.