Patricia Anders

Staff Attorney

Patricia Anders (she/her) is an attorney at PDA.  She provides legal representation to LEAD clients and advocates for criminal legal system reform. 

Patricia is committed to transformative justice and brings experience designed to create change in social systems. 

Patricia worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as an advocate at the Center for the Pacific Asian Family in Los Angeles, at the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Dorchester, MA District Court, and at the Domestic Violence Institute at the Boston Medical Center.  These experiences highlighted that punitive-based systems, especially the criminal legal system, purporting to serve survivors are ineffective, frequently further traumatize survivors and fail to address the issues contributing to violence in families and communities. 

Patricia spent over a decade as a Public Defender providing client-centered representation while pushing for reforms in the criminal legal system.  During her eight years with the New Mexico Law Offices of the Public Defender she served in a variety of capacities including managing the Metro Division and as the Training and Recruitment Director.  Patricia also practiced public defense in Massachusetts and Alaska, and in the municipal courts of Sedro-Woolley, Mount Vernon, Burlington and Bellingham, Washington.  Patricia focused on spotlighting and pushing back against the persistent racial and ethnic bias in the criminal legal system and on treatment alternatives to the criminalization and punishment of persons with mental disorders, cognitive disabilities or trauma. 

Patricia works to engage with people and organizations to identify priorities and partner in developing solutions on the issues most important to them.  As a grassroots lobbyist and organizer with the Massachusetts and Boston Chapters of the National Organization for Women she advocated for marriage equality, reproductive rights and policies and practices to support financial freedom and equity for women and girls.  With the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty she provided know your rights workshops in the community, pursued changes to laws and policies and engaged in advocacy and litigation to address systemwide injustices, enforce rights and hold public institutions accountable. 

Patricia received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Northeastern University. 

Outside of PDA, Patricia enjoys immersing herself in nature, hiking, and gardening.