Tessa Baizer

Human Rights Litigation Clinic Fellow

Tessa Baizer is a fellow in the Human Rights Litigation Clinic. She works closely with Clinic Director Cathy Sweetser on cases addressing a variety of human and civil rights issues, including conditions in detention, First Amendment retaliation, corporate accountability, excessive force, and the rights of unhoused people.

Prior to joining the Promise Institute, Tessa represented low-income tenants in the Bay Area in eviction and fair housing matters. She also engaged in policy advocacy to address inequities facing vulnerable tenants. Her efforts led to the scrapping of a proposed law banning smoking in multifamily housing in San Jose which would have had a disproportionately negative impact on low-income tenants and tenants of color. Her efforts also led to the creation of new Permanent Supportive Housing in Santa Clara County, as well as improvements in the conditions of already-existing Permanent Supportive Housing.

Tessa graduated from Columbia Law School in 2020, where she served as the Notes Editor for the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. During law school, she interned at the Center for Constitutional Rights; Schonbrun, Seplow, Harris and Hoffman, LLP; and International Rights Advocates. Before law school, Tessa worked for human rights and economic justice organizations in Thailand, Brazil, Hawaiʻi, and Washington, DC.