Carol Garvan joined the ACLU of Maine in the spring of 2022. As legal director, Carol leads the organization’s legal efforts tackling broad, systemic issues through impact litigation, something the ACLU is uniquely able to do.
Carol is excited to grow the ACLU of Maine’s legal staff and broaden the scope of its legal work. Most recently, the legal department has brought on its first paralegal and first Skadden fellow. The department has expanded upon existing priorities, such as defending the rights to effective assistance of counsel and a speedy trial, the right against self-incrimination, and freedom from unreasonable arrest. New initiatives include defending the rights of unhoused people and expanding rights and protections under the Constitution of Maine as federal courts continue to be hostile to rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Before joining the ACLU of Maine, Carol worked at Johnson & Webbert, LLP, where she spent over a decade litigating civil rights and employment cases in Maine, with a focus on systemic discrimination and wage theft. She has worked to vindicate the rights of Mainers who were harassed because of their race and national origin; has represented individuals who were not paid fairly for their work; and has advocated for workers who lost their jobs because they were brave enough to speak out.
While in private practice, Carol worked to create collaborations between her firm and nonprofit organizations, including partnering with the ACLU of Maine and Disability Rights Maine, and working with the Southern Maine Workers’ Center and the Volunteer Lawyers’ Project to help create a free Workers’ Rights Legal Clinic. Carol has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for the past two years, and before that was recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star.
Carol earned her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College and her Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley School of Law. During law school, she served as supervising editor for the California Law Review and editor of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice. She clerked for Judge Kermit Lipez of the First Circuit for the United States Court of Appeals and Justice Mark Simons of the California Court of Appeal. Before law school, Carol taught middle school reading in Oakland, California.
Carol lives with her husband, children, and terriers in Gardiner, Maine, where she enjoys gardening, swimming, ice-skating with her kids, hiking with their dogs, and making miniature things.