Published on: Friday, September 8, 2023

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit announced today that the Court has selected Rachel Brill to serve as the next Federal Public Defender for the District of Puerto Rico (press release available here).

Attorney Brill is a solo practitioner, who has practiced criminal defense for the vast majority of her 36-year legal career. Attorney Brill earned her law degree from Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1987, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude, in 1984.

Immediately following law school, Attorney Brill clerked for Judge José A. Fusté of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (1987-1988) and then for Judge Frank A. Kaufman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1988-1989). Following her clerkships, she joined the FPD Office for the District of Puerto Rico. After three years with the FPD Office, Ms. Brill opened her solo private practice, the Law Offices of Rachel Brill, in 1993.

Through her solo practice, Ms. Brill also handles specialized civil litigation, such as § 1983 causes of action, federal forfeiture claims, and prisoners' rights litigation.

Chief Judge Barron stated: "Rachel Brill is — and long has been — a leading member of the criminal defense bar in Puerto Rico, and herself a former member of the office she will now head. She is an exceptional advocate who is deeply committed to ensuring that indigent criminal defendants in the commonwealth receive exceptional representation, and I am confident that under her leadership, the District of Puerto Rico Federal Public Defender Office will continue to provide high quality criminal defense to the community it serves."