Tatum A. Pritchard

Tatum A. Pritchard is Director of Litigation at the Disability Law Center, in Massachusetts. She first joined IJRC in 2013 as Strategic Litigation Consultant, a position she held for numerous years, and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2023.

Tatum was previously an attorney at Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts where she represented prisoners and former prisoners in civil rights litigation aimed at achieving systemic reform in the Massachusetts correctional system in state and federal courts. To this end, Tatum served as counsel in multiple lawsuits, including several cases alleging excessive force by guards, a class action challenging illegal and inhumane treatment of severely mentally ill prisoners and civilly-committed patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, an action challenging a discriminatory medical policy change directed at HIV-positive prisoners, and an action claiming unconstitutional practices by the Massachusetts Parole Board. In addition to litigation related activities, her other responsibilities included performing daily advocacy on behalf of individual clients, drafting legislation, engaging in legislative advocacy, providing support to other attorneys handling prisoner cases, conducting trainings, and speaking at community meetings and conferences.

Prior to working at Prisoners’ Legal Services, Tatum was a visiting attorney at the Legal Resources Center in Grahamstown, South Africa where she engaged in impact litigation aimed at realizing the human rights enshrined in the South African Constitution, with an emphasis on socio-economic rights. In this capacity, Tatum investigated potential causes of action throughout the Eastern Cape Province. Her major projects included: preparing a High Court application resulting in a settlement that mandated a restructuring of the national social grant appeals system and the resolution of over sixty thousand citizens’ unresolved disability grant appeals; and, with colleagues, preparing two applications on behalf of rural public schools forced to teach children in unsafe conditions that ended in settlements that totaled over 8.2 billion rand and required the government to replace inadequate school structures and provide basic services to under-resourced schools throughout South Africa.

Following law school, Tatum was a law clerk in the Massachusetts Superior Court and, thereafter, spent three years as a staff attorney with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (Massachusetts’ public defender agency) representing indigent clients charged with crimes in district and superior courts. Tatum has also represented indigent criminal defendants in appellate proceedings as a member of the Committee for Public Counsel Services Post-Conviction Panel.

As a law student, Tatum worked with several civil legal services organizations in the Boston area and two human rights organizations – International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights (INTERIGHTS) and FAIR Fund. She was an executive editor of the Boston College International & Comparative Law Review.

Tatum is a graduate of Colgate University and Boston College Law School and is admitted to the bars of Massachusetts, New York, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.