Samara Spence is Senior Counsel at Democracy Forward.

Prior to joining Democracy Forward, Samara served as a Senior Attorney for the Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division. At DOJ, she represented the United States in high-profile environmental matters in district courts across the country, including enforcement cases seeking to hold polluters accountable. Samara also defended high profile challenges to EPA rulemakings before the Courts of Appeals, arguing several cases before the D.C. and Ninth Circuits. While at DOJ, Samara received numerous awards, including a Bronze Award from EPA’s Office of General Counsel, the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Excellence, and she was nominated for the prestigious John Marshall Award for Trial Litigation. Samara has also served as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Samara clerked for Judge Jane Stranch of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Judge Bernice Donald of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She graduated Order of the Coif from Vanderbilt University Law School. Samara received several honors during law school, including the Carl J. Ruskowski Clinical Legal Education Award for her work as a student advocate successfully representing clients before the Sixth Circuit in criminal justice matters.

Samara is a member of the District of Columbia and Tennessee bars.

Featured Work
  • Education
  • Health Care

Amplifying Science in the Courts to Protect Children’s Health

On behalf of leading medical professionals, we’re urging courts across the country to follow the law and science to protect children’s health.

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  • Grants
  • Transportation and Infrastructure

Calling on GSA to address Trump-era reductions in transparency on Regulations.gov

We sent a letter alongside public interest groups to request that the Biden admin restore functionality and strengthen public participation on the revamped federal website.

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  • Agriculture
  • Grants
  • Health Care

County of Santa Clara et al. v. Health and Human Services

Challenging a Trump-era rule that schedules automatic expiration of roughly 18K food, healthcare, consumer safety regulations by 2026.

Learn more about this lawsuit