As a member of the JJS Sexual Abuse Division and a former Special Victims Unit prosecutor for 7 years, Brenda Harkavy’s practice is dedicated to representing victims of sexual abuse. She zealously advocates on behalf of clients in cases against institutions that enable that abuse.
During her time as a senior Special Victims Unit prosecutor, Brenda prosecuted hundreds of child sexual abuse, adult sexual offense, child pornography, and intimate partner violence cases – including intimate partner homicides – and litigated countless jury trials. Brenda was known as a bulldog in the courtroom, achieving guilty verdicts in some of her office’s toughest cases. Brenda also assisted with the federal prosecution of child predators and was cross-designated as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, where she investigated and prosecuted physician and teacher sexual abuse cases.
Outside of the courtroom, Brenda delivered state-wide trainings and presentations on intimate partner violence and sexual assault. She served on several legislative subcommittees where she drafted legislation and testified before the Maryland Legislature in favor of laws to enhance victims’ rights and protections. Brenda also spearheaded the development of district court domestic violence dockets and created county-wide educational programs to combat teen dating violence.
Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Brenda served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Stephen J. Sfekas in the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
Brenda is also the recipient of the Victoria F. Gelfman Legal Excellence Award, which is awarded by the Maryland States’ Attorney’s Association to only one prosecutor state-wide that displays legal excellence, leadership, and a commitment to community service.
Brenda received her law degree in 2011 from American University, Washington College of Law. Brenda graduated magna cum laude, in the top 10% of her class, with an order of the coif distinction. While in law school, Brenda served as the President of the Women’s Law Association and as a student attorney on the International Human Right’s Law Clinic, where she represented asylum-seekers fleeing war crimes and gender-based persecution.
Following her graduation from college, and prior to attending law school, Brenda worked at Safe Horizon, a victim services organization, in Brooklyn, New York, where she provided crisis intervention services to adult and child survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse.
Brenda received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude with concentrations in Political Science and Hispanic Studies. While in college, Brenda studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she studied human rights violations and wrote a thesis on the plight of mothers searching for their missing children following Argentina’s civil war.
- New York
Brenda is fluent in written and spoken Spanish.