Mentor- Metro Detroit

Jocelyn Benson

Wayne State University

Jocelyn Benson is an associate professor at Wayne State University Law School, and is the founder of the Military Spouses of Michigan.  Benson also is the founder and President of the Michigan Center for Election Law, which hosts projects that support transparency and integrity in elections. In 2011 the Center hosted Michigan’s first ever “Citizens’ Redistricting Competition,” providing an opportunity for Michigan citizens to access software and draw their own redistricting maps for the state.

In 2011, Benson was selected to serve with retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the national board of directors of iCivics, Inc., a nonprofit created by Justice O’Connor to improve civics education throughout the country.

A former member of the ABA’s Committee on Election Law, Benson and has developed and supervised two statewide nonpartisan election protection efforts in Michigan. She has published the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws, titled State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process. In 2010 she was the Michigan Democratic Party’s candidate for Secretary of State.
In 2005, Benson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College, Benson began her career at the Southern Poverty Law Center, investigating hate groups and hate crimes throughout the country. She earned a Master of Philosophy as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and subsequently earned her law degree from Harvard Law School.