Heather Gatnarek wearing black blazer with white and black polka dot blouse in front of bright, outdoor, leafy background.


Staff Attorney




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Heather Gatnarek received her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her JD from Georgetown Law. Previously, she worked for the Innocence Project in New York City, has investigated death penalty cases in Louisiana, and worked with ex-offenders in Milwaukee, WI, to develop job opportunities with local employers. She moved to Kentucky in 2012 to join the Department of Public Advocacy's Capital Trials Branch, representing indigent clients facing the death penalty in trial courts around the state. During her time at DPA she was a member of the Gideon's Promise public defender training program, where she trained with faculty and public defenders from around the country.

She joined the ACLU of Kentucky’s legal program as a Legal Fellow.  She was promoted to Staff Attorney and works under the direction of Legal Director Corey Shapiro to defend individual’s rights and civil liberties in Kentucky state and federal court.

Heather is a New Hampshire native who has lived in multiple cities across the U.S., including New Orleans and New York, and most recently has settled in Louisville, KY. She’s a fan of brass bands and musical theater, and enjoys cooking Sunday Italian feasts with Kentucky-grown food.