Managing Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center
Eden Heilman is the Managing Attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s office in New Orleans, Louisiana. She represents children and families in civil rights claims against schools, districts, and state agencies, and she works to ensure children’s access to public education and to reform ineffective school discipline practices that push children out of school and into juvenile and adult prisons. Eden has provided expert testimony about these issues, including testimony before the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Eden is also the lead attorney on the litigation of P.B., et al. v. John White, a class action on behalf of 4,500 students with disabilities in New Orleans against the Louisiana Department of Education alleging that the State failed to effectively coordinate, monitor and oversee the delivery of special education services across the 62 distinct local educational agencies operating in New Orleans. She has authored several publications on issues such as the exclusion of children with disabilities from public charter schools, the education system in post-Katrina New Orleans, and the excessive use of harsh discipline practices in public schools. Prior to joining the Southern Poverty Law Center, Eden was an attorney for the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL). She received her law degree from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, her master’s degree in social work from Tulane University School of Social Work, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.