Jenny Tumas ’14

Jenny Tumas ’14 Receives the 2022 Roaring10 Award

Jenny Tumas of Miami, Florida, graduated from Clemson in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. After completing a master’s degree in political theory at the University of Ljubljana in Solvenia in 2017, she earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2020. She worked at Yale Law School as a fellow in the criminal clinic program immediately following law school.

Since 2021, Jenny has served as an assistant public defender in Miami, where she represents people accused of crimes who cannot afford private counsel. She provides legal representation to hundreds of clients during all stages of criminal proceedings, from arrest to trial and sentencing. In this work, she advocates for some of the most marginalized people in society, challenging frequent injustices in the criminal legal system such as over incarceration, racial discrimination, and the criminalization of poverty and mental illness.

Jenny’s community service focuses on social justice. While at Yale, she worked with the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic where she advocated for the early release of people serving long prison sentences. Jenny’s work in the clinic helped secure a 25-year sentence reduction for one of the clinic’s clients. She was a board member of the Civil Rights Project at Yale, where she connected law students with various civil rights organizations across the country. At Yale, She co-authored the only comprehensive, national report with data on number of people held in solitary confinement in the United States. In Slovenia, she volunteered with a non-profit, and later secured grants and led her own initiatives, to help adult asylum seekers and unaccompanied children access school, employment, housing and legal assistance.

A member of the National Scholars Program (NSP) when she was at Clemson, Jenny gives back to the University by serving as a mentor to high-achieving students in the Honors College and the NSP. She is an Honors College admissions application reviewer and has served as an interviewer for the National Scholars Program for several years. This includes interviewing finalists at the annual NSP Selection Weekend, a major recruiting event during which three dozen of the top high school students in the country visit Clemson for individual interviews and group activities. A member of the debate team while at Clemson, as an alumnae she has also returned to campus to volunteer as a debate tournament judge.