LAURA E. EDIDIN
Laura E. Edidin is Of Counsel at Wigdor LLP. Ms. Edidin has enjoyed a distinguished and versatile legal career at the intersection of human rights and public service. She has over 25 years of experience responding to allegations of sexual violence, human trafficking, hate crimes, police misconduct, LGBTQ+ rights violations and other civil and criminal wrongdoing. A former federal and state prosecutor, Ms. Edidin’s trauma-informed approach to working with victims is a hallmark of her professional background.
Ms. Edidin joined Wigdor LLP in January 2022 after serving as Chief Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk and Compliance in the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. In addition, she has served in prominent roles in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
A pioneering advocate for crime victims, Ms. Edidin was the founding Director of Legal Services for the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), the largest crime victim agency for LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected crime victims in the U.S. She also established the nation’s first prosecution unit to empower civilian lawyers to investigate and try police officers at disciplinary trials. In addition, Ms. Edidin successfully drafted and advocated for the passage of critical anti-trafficking legislation in New York State. Recently, Ms. Edidin served on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s transition team as a member of the Gender-Based Violence and Ethics Subcommittees.
An experienced trial lawyer, Ms. Edidin has been involved in the investigation and litigation of a broad array of matters involving sexual abuse, human trafficking, police misconduct, hate crimes and other civil and criminal legal issues.
Prior to joining Wigdor LLP, Ms. Edidin served as Chief Special Counsel for Ethics, Risk and Compliance in the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. There, she supervised a team of 30 attorneys tasked with designing and implementing statewide best practices across 50 state agencies. Ms. Edidin also led the team’s crisis response to the COVID‑19 pandemic and established a multi-agency Racial Equity Working Group to advance racial equity within the state government. She instituted implicit bias training, convened a speaker series on racial equity initiatives in state government, and with her team developed a proposal to promote racial equity across state programs and services.
In addition, Ms. Edidin served as Chief of the Human Trafficking Unit in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, where she led a team of lawyers and social workers advocating on behalf of sexually exploited women and girls. She also co-chaired the Brooklyn Human Trafficking Task Force, a federally funded initiative comprised of 35 federal, state and local law enforcement partners, social service providers, survivor leaders and prosecutors representing all five boroughs of New York City.
Ms. Edidin was the founding Chief of the Administrative Prosecution Unit at the New York City CCRB, where she built the nation’s first police misconduct prosecution unit housed within a civilian watchdog agency. Ms. Edidin was the first lawyer to bring a case to trial in the unit, and the rate at which NYPD officers were found guilty of misconduct at administrative trials doubled under her leadership. Ms. Edidin also worked as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she investigated and tried a wide array of criminal matters.
Early in her legal career, Ms. Edidin was the founding Director of Legal Services for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the country’s largest crime victim agency for LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected crime victims. In that role, she advocated on behalf of survivors of rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, HIV-related violence and anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes. While at AVP, Ms. Edidin and pro bono counsel successfully represented civil rights protestors denied HIV medication while in police custody, leading to a change in NYPD policy. Immediately following law school, Ms. Edidin served as a law clerk to the Hon. Richard Owen of the Southern District of New York.
Ms. Edidin has extensive experience speaking to the press about local and national criminal justice issues. Ms. Edidin and her cases have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, New York Post, Politico, Salon, Gotham Gazette, Brooklyn Eagle, New York City Patch, New York Amsterdam News and other outlets.
Ms. Edidin is a dynamic public speaker and has presented at numerous conferences and panels regarding sex crimes, human trafficking, police misconduct, LGBTQ+ rights and other legal issues affecting crime victims. Notably, she trained more than 600 NYPD Domestic Violence Police Officers on the intersection of intimate partner violence and human trafficking at the 16th Annual NYPD Domestic Violence Conference. In addition, she addressed a parallel event of the 2018 UN Commission on the Status of Women about leveraging technology to prevent the trafficking of women and girls. In 2016, Ms. Edidin was invited by the Department of Justice to serve as an International Trial Advocacy Instructor in Sarajevo, where she provided trial advocacy training to Bosnian prosecutors.
Ms. Edidin has dedicated countless hours to volunteer service and is a dedicated community leader in Brooklyn, New York where she resides. She was a founding member of the Brooklyn chapter of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a non-profit organization that brings Jewish and Muslim women together to end religious hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice. She also served as an Associate Board member of Day One, a non-profit advocacy organization that works to prevent dating abuse and domestic violence among young people.
In addition, Ms. Edidin was a founding PTA Co-President at a Brooklyn diverse-by-design charter school and served on the Board of Directors of her synagogue in Brooklyn. She was also a founding member of the New York Coalition to End Female Genital Mutilation. She also previously served on the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Lesbian and Gay Rights.
Ms. Edidin recently served on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s Transition Committee, where she provided policy recommendations to lay the groundwork for the DA’s prosecution of gender-based violence cases, including rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and human trafficking.
In 2017, Ms. Edidin received the Citizens Legacy Award from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations in recognition of her work expanding the Brooklyn Human Trafficking Task Force and strengthening the relationships between its members.
Ms. Edidin received her Juris Doctor from the The University of Chicago Law School, where she was on the Hinton Moot Court championship team and served as a staff member of the University of Chicago Legal Forum. She received her B.A. cum laude in International Relations from Tufts University. At Tufts, Ms. Edidin was a founding member of the Tufts Black Theater Company and received the Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior.
Ms. Edidin is admitted to practice law in New York.