Tamara N. Holder is the principal of The Law Firm of Tamara N.
Holder, LLC. Her firm’s work includes: criminal defense,
expungement, race discrimination, police brutality, public policy,
and pro bono practices.
Tamara established her own practice in
2005, defending amongst others, the poor and indigent in criminal
courts throughout the State of Illinois. She quickly learned how
even a dismissed misdemeanor case can return to haunt people. Many
of her clients found themselves facing lifetime bans on employment,
education, adoption, even access to credit – all because of a prior
Seeing the need for outreach in this area,
Tamara founded www.xpunged.com, a Chicago-based expungement
practice that provides a second chance to those individuals who
have expungeable offenses under Illinois law. She also helps
ex-offenders seek a Governor’s pardon for non-expungeable offenses.
Tamara has met privately with Governor Blagojevich on the issue of
pardons, and Illinois Attorney General Madigan on sentencing and
expungement procedures and laws. Tamara was soon invited to work
with Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition (RPC). As a result, her work quickly caught
the attention of civic leaders in Chicago, as well as nationwide.
In 2006, she founded an expungement clinic at RPC headquarters, and
now holds a weekly clinic, reviewing criminal records and providing
advice on expungement options. This work is a testament to Tamara’s
unparalleled pro bono work efforts in the city of
Tamara also works closely with Reverend Jackson in
crafting and executing public policy initiatives, together with
programs to increase opportunities for minorities and the
economically disadvantaged; as well as initiatives designed to get
guns off the nations streets, help reduce street gang violence, and
offer educational opportunities for young people.
2007, Tamara’s investigation of the railroad industry’s improper
employment practices toward those with criminal records led to a
Congressional investigation and a hearing before the Committee of
Homeland Security. In July of 2007, Tamara testified as an expert
witness before the Committee of Transportation, Sub-Committee of
Maritime and Infrastructure. Her testimony was crucial to
preventing passage of an invasive, anti-worker, anti-business piece
of legislation calling for mandatory identification cards for
transportation workers – a statutory scheme criticized by organized
labor and management alike.
Tamara is a also a frequent guest
on radio and television shows, such as the Upfront Show with Jesse
Jackson, The Santita Jackson Show and The Cliff Kelly Show (both on
WVON), Reverend Al Sharpton’s radio program, Clear Channel’s
WGCI-FM and selected programs on public access television
Tamara N. Holder, Esquire BIOGRAPHY - continued
2004 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, and a
2000 graduate of the University of Arizona, Tamara learned criminal
trial practice as an intern for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s
Office in Chicago. She also served a clinical internship at Miramax
Films, in Los Angeles, now known as The Weinstein Company.
Tamara is now a member of many public policy organizations, in
addition to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; she currently enjoys
membership in Women of Power, a “who’s who” group of female
business leaders devoted to helping women within the criminal
justice system. Among Tamara’s honors for her work in the
community, she is especially proud of several received in 2007: a
Women of Power Award, a Social Justice Award from the Illinois
Department of Human Services, and a Women Leadership Award from the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
In addition to Tamara’s legal work, she
is also a sought-after and popular public speaker. She has appeared
by invitation, most recently at The College of Lake County,
Northeastern Illinois University, the Illinois Department of Human
Services, the Illinois Department of Teen and Family Services, The
Near North Health Service Corp., the Cook County Jail and the
Rainbow PUSH Coalition.