Kirsten Anderson is the Southern Poverty Law Center’s deputy legal director for its Economic Justice Practice Group. She manages a dedicated team of attorneys and other legal professionals and is responsible for the overall vision, strategic planning and leadership of the SPLC’s economic justice work across the Deep South.
Anderson is an experienced civil rights litigator whose cases have set precedents advancing legal protections for people experiencing homelessness. She is a founding member of the national “Housing Not Handcuffs” campaign committed to ending the criminalization of homelessness. And she is frequently invited to speak on homelessness and poverty, and the importance of ensuring inclusive and nondiscriminatory housing policies.
In 2022, she received the Jane Shaeffer Outstanding Homeless Advocate Award. The honor from The Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section recognizes achievements advancing the rights of people experiencing homelessness. Anderson received the Leadership and Service Advocate of the Year award in 2019 from the University of Florida Presidential Service Awards program. She was honored in 2014 with the Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence for Moreland v. Palmer, a class action that remedied due process violations by Florida’s developmental disabilities Medicaid waiver program.
Previously, Anderson served as litigation director for Southern Legal Counsel, a nonprofit public interest law firm in Gainesville, Florida, dedicated to the ideal of equal justice for all. She directed the organization as it advanced the legal rights of people experiencing poverty. Earlier, she worked for a Gainesville law firm, where she represented clients in immigration law cases, including asylum, business immigration and removal defense cases.
Anderson has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature and a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Florida. She received her law degree from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, where she graduated with honors. She is a member of The Florida Bar.