Prior to her retirement in February 2020, Olinda Moyd practiced for 30 years at the D.C. Public Defender Service as Staff Attorney (13 years) and then Chief Attorney of the Parole Division (17 years). She provided direct representation to thousands of clients, both at administrative hearings and at proceedings in D.C. Superior Court and the United States District Court. As division chief, she supervised staff, including a team of attorneys, a legal assistant, an investigation group and numerous law clerks. During her tenure, her greatest accomplishments included increasing parole attorney staff positions, drafting attorney practice guidelines, designing and implementing the staff telework policy and increasing the division spending budget. In addition, she oversaw the summer law clerk program and conducted skills training seminars for the CJA Bar, the DC Bar Association and local law firms on parole representation.
Her litigation experiences include filing a class action against the U.S. Parole Commission challenging constitutional due process violations of persons sentenced under the D.C. code. As a result of this action, the federal court issued a settlement order establishing mandatory guidelines and procedures, which are now codified in the Code of Federal Regulations. Her persistent and zealous advocacy led the Parole Commission to develop alternative diversion programs to address allegations of violation behavior, avoiding loss of liberty for many. She continues to consult and collaborate with local advocacy groups to return local control of parole authority in the District.
She also has a passion for expanding the educational knowledge of law students through clinical education, especially about parole and reentry obstacles. For the last 20 years Olinda trained and supervised clinical students at the Georgetown University Law Center, Criminal Law Clinic as they represented clients at administrative hearings. She coordinated the parole orientation and training for the clinic students and fellows, provided guidance to the parole attorney supervisors and directly supervised numerous students as they represented clients. The Georgetown clinic students who she supervised also teach Legal Writing at the Jessup Corrections Institution under my supervision. She continues to support and supervise students who teach at Jessup. Olinda has a history with Howard Law, when the PDS Parole Division partnered with Howard University Law School, Criminal Justice Clinic Professors Tamara Meekins and Josephine Ross as we trained and supervised law students who provided direct representation (2005-2008). In the summer 2000 and fall 2001 semesters, she was a visiting professor at the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law teaching the Prisoner’s Rights and Advocacy Clinic. Furthermore, she currently serves on the Law Clinic Kuje Prison Advisory Committee with several other local law school clinicians. This advisory committee trains law students and supervisors at three law schools in Abuja, Nigeria as they provide legal aid services to detainees awaiting trial. In the fall, 2019, she conducted a two-day training titled, Investigation 101 for 105 Nigerian law students from the Baze, Nile and University of Abuja law schools. She continues to serve on this advisory committee while also mentoring two Nigerian legal fellows through the Nigerian Justice Education Fellowship program.
She currently serves on several boards and committees including The Mercy Justice Network and The Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform, where she is chair of the Behind the Walls Workgroup. She remains active in several grass-roots reentry organizations led by formerly incarcerated persons in both Maryland and the District.