Prior to joining PFJ, Lenora served as a Public Defender in Orlando for 6 years. Thereafter, she returned home to the Bronx, where she initially volunteered and then spent the next 8 years working at The Bronx Defenders. Her experience in public defense, coupled with the love for her community, motivated her to extend the Bronx Defender’s holistic model beyond the four walls of a courtroom and develop The Early Defense Team.
She served as the Team Leader and Supervisor of this interdisciplinary team whose mission is to even out the playing field for indigent individuals (pre-arrest) by advocating for clients before their legal issues become legal cases. After the murder of George Floyd, her team played a major role in being a citywide emergency response unit for those arrested by NYPD during the 2020 summer protests. Lenora enjoys speaking on local and national panels and lobbying on key bills concerning criminal justice reform. In 2017, she was recognized as one of New York State’s Top 40 Under 40 Attorneys by the National Black Lawyers Association. As a result of her passion and dedication to enhancing public defense, she was also awarded the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Social Justice Award from her alma mater, Barry University School of Law. Most recently, she has been recognized as a 2022 Distinguished Leader by the New York Law Journal.