Before co-founding Advancement Project, a public policy change organization rooted in the civil rights movement, Steve English was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for twelve years, helping manage a 20-lawyer litigation department.
Together with Co-Directors Connie Rice and Molly Munger, Steve launched a coalition lawsuit, Godinez v. Davis, which won approximately $1 billion for new school construction in Los Angeles and other urban areas–money previoulsy slated for less crowded, more affluent suburban school districts. With these funds the Los Angeles Unified School District began its nationally recognized program to build over 130 new schools since 2001. After the court in Godinez required California to develop a new system for funding schools construction, Advancement Project was instrumental in assessing the need for adequate schools to serve all children in California and in crafting and shepherding three school construction bond initiatives that raised $25 billion for new and renovated facilities throughout the state, including $5 billion earmarked to relieve overcrowding in urban schools. This funding has enabled California to build or renovate over 1 million school spaces since 2000. Steve led Advancement Project’s work in crafting the bonds, advising on the implementing regulations and monitoring the state’s progress in constructing schools.
A committed advocate for legal services for the poor, Steve has served as board president of three major service providers: Public Counsel, the Inner City Law Center, and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). Steve also has served as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, and chaired the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He received the California State Bar President’s Pro Bono Award in 1994 and, with Co-Director Molly Munger, the ACLU of Southern California’s Equal Justice Advocate award in 2002. With Ms. Munger and Co-Director Connie Rice he received the Western Justice Center’s Builder of Peace Award in 2011 and LAFLA’s Maynard Toll Award for Distinguished Public Service in 2012. Steve is an honors graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School.