Siya Hegde, J.D.

Siya Hegde (she/her) is a Staff Attorney at the National Homelessness Law Center. Based in Manhattan, she is a first generation immigrant with cultural roots in India and remains deeply committed to using the power of law and policy to combat poverty, homelessness, and structural systems of oppression. During her nearly four-year tenure at The Bronx Defenders, serving as a Civil Public Defender and the organization’s first ever Housing Policy Counsel, Siya engaged in significant client facing advocacy and litigation that centered on the civil consequences of individuals’ contact with legal systems. She developed a particular focus on eviction defense and housing justice issues, and in her movement lawyering capacity, was tasked with advancing housing reform efforts in partnership with local grassroots movements, directly impacted tenants, advocates, and defender organizations across New York City.

Her work and commentary have been featured in various outlets, including the New York Times, New York Daily News, Albany Times Union, City Limits, the New York Law Journal, Bloomberg CityLab, the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, and the Indiana Health Law Review.

As a law student, Siya was the Executive Editor of the North Carolina Journal of International Law, the Co-Coordinator of the Dean's Fellow Program, and member of the International Law Moot Court Team. She interned at the Wake County Public Defender's Office in Raleigh, North Carolina and worked in international human rights spaces, including the Southern Africa Litigation Centre in Johannesburg and advocating before U.N. human rights mechanisms in Geneva on the issue of criminalization of homelessness. Siya graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law and Colby College, where she received her B.A. in Environmental Policy.