Shirlethia Franklin is an experienced litigator and former senior U.S. Department of Justice official. She litigates complex civil cases and handles disputes involving the federal government.
Prior to joining Jones Day, Shirlethia was a senior litigation associate in the Atlanta office of a multinational law firm and defended major clients in product liability, mass/toxic tort, and class action matters. She represented a leading automobile manufacturer in multidistrict product liability and consumer class action litigation; a global dialysis equipment manufacturer in defective design/warning litigation; a major chemical manufacturer in an isocyanate exposure mass tort case; and one of the nation's largest public health systems in medical malpractice actions. She also had a substantial pro bono practice and was honored as a 2012 Volunteer of the Year by the Truancy Intervention Project.
Most recently, Shirlethia was Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. In these roles, she counseled two Attorneys General on significant law enforcement issues and high-profile environmental matters — including the $20 billion settlement of civil claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill — and spearheaded key domestic policy initiatives. Shirlethia was frequently called upon to navigate complex relationships throughout the executive branch, giving her unique insight into the inner workings of the federal government.
Shirlethia was also a member of the 2013-2014 Class of White House Fellows — one of the nation's most prestigious fellowships for leadership and public service — and previously served on the board of directors for the White House Fellows Foundation and Association.
Transforming the Minneapolis Police Department: A Collaborative Approach to Driving Systemic and Cultural Change
Publications Prior to Jones Day
Calculating the Damages: Race and Socio-Economic Status, Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy,
- February 5, 2018
Emerging Trends in Consumer Fraud Class-Action Arbitration
"Has developed a reputation as a go-to litigator on the firm's largest matters — complex civil cases and handling disputes involving the federal government."Washington Business Journal
- Howard University (J.D. 2007; Editor-in-Chief, Howard Law Journal); Tougaloo College (B.A. summa cum laude 2004; Valedictorian; Alpha Lambda Delta)
- District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- Served with the U.S. Department of Justice in the following two positions: Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Attorney General of the United States (2015-2017) and White House Liaison and Counselor to the Attorney General (2014-2015); White House Fellow (2013-2014)
National Law Journal: "D.C. Rising Star" Award (2020)
Washington Business Journal: "40 Under 40" Honoree (2020)
Howard University School of Law: "Rising Star" Award (2019)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Law Day Award (2018)
Tougaloo College: Inaugural "40 Under 40" Recipient (2016)
- Law Clerk to Judge Alexander Williams Jr., U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2007-2008)