Julia Devanthery

Julia Devanthéry

Attorney and Lecturer on Law, Housing Law Clinic; Director, Housing Justice for Survivors Project

Julia Devanthéry co-teaches the Housing Clinic and directs the Housing Justice for Survivors Project, which she founded in 2017. The Housing Justice for Survivors Project trains clinical law students to represent tenants who are facing housing instability due to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Students under Julia’s supervision provide direct client representation, develop and litigate impact litigation, conduct housing rights trainings for community members and advocates, and engage in local, state, and federal law reform efforts aimed at improving the housing rights of survivors. Julia and students in the Housing Justice project represented the tenant in BHA v. YA, 482 Mass. 240 (2019), in which the Supreme Judicial Court decided affirmed a domestic violence survivor’s right to raise the Violence Against Women Act defense to a non-payment of rent eviction.

From 2018-2020, Julia was the Dignity for All Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Southern California where she worked to safeguard the civil rights of people experiencing homelessness and advance the right to safe, affordable housing for all.

Julia is the author of Boston Housing Authority v. Y.A., 482 Mass. 240 (2019): SJC Clarifies VAWA Defenses in Eviction Cases, Early Lease Termination Under G.L. c. 186 s 24: An Essential Escape Route for Tenants Who are Facing Domestic Violence Sexual Assault or Stalking and The Supreme Judicial Court’s Decision in Beacon Residential v. R.P. Gives Survivors of Domestic Violence Their Day in Housing Court, all  published in the Boston Bar Journal, and co-author of Chapter 12: Evictions in the 8th edition of Massachusetts Law Reform’s pro se manual Legal Tactics: Tenant’s Rights In Massachusetts. She also co-authored an ACLU report exposing abuse, neglect, and unsafe living conditions inside county-funded homeless shelters in Southern California. Julia received her juris doctor from Northeastern University School of Law and she graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Sociology.

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