Emily Herbert, Deputy Public Defender

"I’m a Nashville Defender because the cynicism, classism, and racism that permeate the criminal legal system must be eradicated if justice is truly our goal."

Meet the Defenders

Emily Herbert is a Nashville native whose career path to public defense came by way of an initial stint in counseling and community social services. A proud honors graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and the University of Tennessee College of Law, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology (MTSU ’03) and master’s degree in Counseling (Vandy ’05) before completing her J.D. at the University of Tennessee in 2011. Having set out to serve and advocate as a vocation as much as a career, Emily began working with the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office while still in law school and was grateful to have the opportunity to serve as an Assistant Public Defender in that office for three years following graduation. In 2014, she was lucky to have the opportunity to return home to Nashville with her family to continue serving the people and advocating for a more just system with the Nashville Defenders Office. Emily served as an Assistant Public Defender and Social Services Program Manager before being sworn in as the Deputy Public Defender on April 17, 2019. Emily is a member of the Stonewall Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association, and Tennessee Bar Association.