Sejal is a San Francisco based attorney and writer. She studied ethics at Harvard Divinity School mid-career and brings the ethos of her work there to her law practice.
She now works as an adjudicator and evidentiary specialist for Stanford University's Title IX Office and as an investigator for Bay Area universities and hospitals for complaints of harassment, discrimination, and other implicated university policies. She also represents juvenile and adult indigent defendants in felony appellate cases.
Sejal graduated from Northwestern Law School in 2000 and joined the Attorney General’s Honors Program at the United States Department of Justice in the Criminal Division, Fraud Section. A certified rape victim's advocate prior to entering law school, she also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia in the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Unit. She then worked in the San Francisco office of Pillsbury Winthrop in the White Collar and Corporate Investigations Group. She moved to Boston in 2004 and began a solo practice as a criminal defense attorney, specializing in state and federal criminal trials and appeals. Sejal served on the Committee for Public Counsel Services Appellate and Post-Conviction Panel for Massachusetts and the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the First Circuit. She obtained certification as a mediator through Metropolitan Mediation Services and mediated cases in small claims and criminal courts in the greater Boston area.
The Boston Globe featured a front-page article about her work in 2008, after she won exoneration for her client, Guy Randolph, who pleaded guilty to a sex crime he did not commit. Mr. Randolph served ten years in jail and was classified as a Level 3 sex offender for another seven years before he was exonerated in Suffolk Superior Court. Sejal then sued the Commonwealth and obtained the maximum statutory award of $500,000 for her client. She published an essay about the case in The Champion, a magazine publication of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
From 2010-2012, Sejal served as one of four lead trial attorneys to Tarek Mehanna in a federal terrorism case in Boston. The case was covered extensively in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and many local television and newspaper outlets and involved complex issues of national security and free speech.
Sejal was recognized as one of 20 “Up & Coming Lawyers” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in April 2010. She also is a 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 New England Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” In 2009, she served on the Boston Bar Association’s task force on reducing wrongful convictions in Massachusetts. The 20-person task force included prosecutors, police, forensic analysts, judges, defense attorneys, public defenders and academics in what the BBA called the “broadest group of major players in the criminal justice system ever assembled to prevent wrongful convictions in the Bay State.”
From 2012-2014, Sejal studied religion, ethics, and politics at Harvard Divinity School, where she earned a Masters in Theological Studies and a Certificate in Religious Studies and Education. She reopened her solo practice in San Francisco in 2014, where she served on the First and Sixth District Appellate Panels in litigating felony appeals and won several reversals. She served as pro bono counsel to Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and volunteered with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, helping with asylum cases for domestic violence survivors from Mexico and Central America.
She also writes and speaks about law and ethics. Her essays have been published or are forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Rumpus, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and other publications, and she was on the blogging team for Carve Magazine. She was a featured speaker for the Harvard Divinity Dialogues Series in January 2015 and was a member of the Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ Alumnae Council. She served as a Board Member of TAKE 5 Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring and providing specialized learning to underserved children in the Boston area, and volunteers at 826 Valencia as a creative writing teacher for San Francisco public school children.
Apart from her love for working with people in her law practice, her two happy places are at home with her family and in dance studios. She started dancing at the age of five with Dr. Rathna Kumar at the Anjali Center for Performing Arts in Houston. She studied and performed Bharatanatyam throughout her youth, along with garba and other folk dance forms. She has since taken classes in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, modern, and tap at Joy of Motion in Washington, D.C., Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and ODC/Dance and Rhythm & Motion in San Francisco. She has choreographed or guest choreographed five comedy musicals with ImprovBoston and has taught dance through the years. She especially loves teaching children and elderly students who think they can't dance and then surprise themselves.
B.A., Trinity University, 1997
J.D., Northwestern Law School, 2000
M.T.S, Harvard Divinity School, 2014
Bar & Court Admissions
Texas Supreme Court
California Supreme Court
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, D. Mass.
First Circuit Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court
Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ Alumnae Council
Board Member, TAKE 5 Foundation
Volunteer, 826 Valencia
Member, Nat'l Assn. of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member, California Appellate Defense Counsel
Member, Assn. of Writers & Writing Programs