Jonathan Trunnell

Jonathan is an attorney based in our New Orleans office.

What do you do at AC?

I am an attorney with the employment and education groups. A lot of my work with the employment group is on vocational rehab issues and I represent the Client Assistance Program on the state’s rehabilitation council. I also work on education cases that involve the school-to-prison pipeline that impacts so many children suffering from mental illness.

Tell us about one of your recent accomplishments.

I helped a client with a hearing impairment sort out some issues with Louisiana Rehabilitation Services that were keeping her from getting hearing aids. The client was a teacher, so hearing questions and having dialogue are big parts of the job. It was very gratifying to help her get the tools she needed to excel at her job, and to know that her students are benefitting as much as she is.

What is the biggest frustration in your job?

When you see a state agency or large district break the law, we know that many more people were harmed than just who end up calling us. It can be very frustrating to see large patterns of injustices playing out in situations where people are often unaware of their rights and so they don’t know to come forward

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?

I’d really like to help raise awareness in the community about the new obligations vocational rehab has to help students with disabilities transition into work. It is also a priority of mine to bring a brighter distinction to the lines between mental health issues, school discipline, and law enforcement activities on campus.

What do you like about working at the Advocacy Center?

I love working with the dedicated staff here. The sense of a shared mission really is incredible and they have a huge amount of experience to draw on.

What's something people might not know about you?

I came to New Orleans very recently from Oakland, CA. I got here by driving across the country with my dog, Phoebe, in the passenger seat and camping in the National Parks along the way.

Please have some patience with me while I adjust to the SEC from the Pac-10; it’s a big transition in life.