Devon Simmons Paralegal Pathways Initiative, Columbia Law

Devon Simmons

Devon is the Co-founder & Project Director, Paralegal Pathways Initiative, a program that helps former jailhouse lawyers find a way into the legal field through a 14-week training course that teaches tech skills, legal ethics, soft communication skills, and legal history. In 2012, while incarcerated at Otisville Correctional Facility, Devon enrolled in John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program. Soon after his release, following over 15 years of imprisonment, he obtained his AA (with honors) and BA in criminal justice. As a global ambassador for higher education, he has traveled to Cuba, England, Jamaica, and South Africa in an effort to help establish prison-to-college pipeline programs internationally. He is a 2019 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity and 2019 Soros Justice Fellow.


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