Swarthmore College; New York University School of Law.
She received a bachelor of arts degree from Swarthmore College in 1975 and a Juris Doctor from New York University Law School in 1978. She was admitted to the State Bar of California in November 1978. Where she worked as director and managing attorney until 1999, when she left to work in private practice.
She helped organize the National Network for Women in Prison, and Critical Resistance.
She has represented "incarcerated women, pregnant women prisoners, prisoners, and parolees" in lawsuits.