The Honorable Tiffany Sizemore
Board Director, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Judge Sizemore was elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in November 2021. She is assigned to the Family Division and handles primarily juvenile delinquency and dependency matters.
Prior to joining the court, Judge Sizemore was an associate professor of clinical legal studies at Duquesne University School of Law. She joined the faculty of Duquesne Law School in August 2015. She developed and directed the Youth Advocacy Clinic. The clinic represented children in delinquency matters, and parents and children in special education and school discipline matters. Prior to joining the law school, Judge Sizemore was the Deputy Director for the Juvenile Division at the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where she served for over two years. As Deputy Director for the Juvenile Division at OPD, she managed eleven full-time juvenile defense practitioners, who appeared before approximately one dozen family court judges. Judge Sizemore was also responsible for the development and training of those lawyers in all aspects of the practice. During her time at OPD, she also did significant policy work with a variety of stakeholders in the delinquency system in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children it serves. As Deputy, Judge Sizemore wrote and implemented new practice standards across the juvenile division at OPD. Those standards are in compliance with the national practice standards, as promulgated by the National Juvenile Defender Center. In 2019, Judge Sizemore was chosen as one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Research Leaders to study the Holistic Legal Model used in the clinic. Also in 2019, Judge Sizemore was appointed to Governor Tom Wolf’s Juvenile Justice Taskforce, which was charged to examine and propose needed reforms to the Pennsylvania’s juvenile legal system.
In addition to her extensive trial experience in both criminal and juvenile delinquency court, Judge Sizemore sits at many policy and stakeholder tables related to these issues. In 2014, Judge Sizemore was accepted into Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Multi-System Integration Certificate Program as part of a team from Allegheny County that developed a Capstone Project which seeks to improve outcomes for children who are involved in both the delinquency and dependency systems. She was a member of the Commonwealth’s Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee from 2013-2019. She was first appointed by The Honorable Chief Justice Debra Todd in 2013. In November 2013, Judge Sizemore joined the Board of Directors for the Juvenile Defenders Association of Pennsylvania, where she eventually became Board President and served until 2021. In January 2014, she joined the Board of Directors for Youth Enrichment Services, a mentorship and youth development program based in Pittsburgh, where she also served until 2021. Judge Sizemore previously served as the Board Chair for the Alliance for Police Accountability in 2016, a grassroots activism and policy organization based in Pittsburgh. She also served on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Legal Services in Pittsburgh from 2019-2021. She currently serves as Board President of The Givner Project (Pittsburgh, PA) and is on the Board of Autism Connection of Pennsylvania.
Prior to moving back home to Allegheny County, Judge Sizemore was a trial attorney for eight years at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, which is widely regarded as the premier public defender organization in the country. In addition to being a trial attorney, Judge Sizemore was a supervisor in the juvenile section for approximately one year immediately preceding her departure. While at PDS, she represented clients in cases from presentment through disposition of the case, and handled serious violent felonies, including: homicide, sexual assault, armed robbery, armed kidnapping, and armed carjacking. Judge Sizemore spent approximately two years handling almost exclusively juvenile cases at PDS. As a litigator, her work also included representing witnesses to crimes, targets of grand jury investigations, and defendants in diversionary courts, e.g., mental health court or drug court. She was a member of PDS’ hiring committee for seven years.
Judge Sizemore has conducted numerous trainings, including training on the following topics: fundamentals of the rules of evidence, effective juvenile disposition advocacy, how to prepare for an interview as a public defender, education advocacy basics for public defenders, juvenile competence to stand trial, preparing for transfer hearings, fundamental trial skills training (i.e., opening statements, cross-examinations, closing arguments, development of defense theme and theory), and others. Judge Sizemore was a nationally certified trainer through the National Juvenile Defender Center’s Juvenile Training Immersion Program, and served on the the faculty of NJDC’s Summer Academy for several years. She has judged many mock trial competitions, and appeared regularly on panels discussing indigent defense representation for both children and adults, as well as education and juvenile justice policy reform. The work of the Youth Advocacy Clinic has been featured many times in local media outlets including: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Public Source, WESA-FM, and the historic Pittsburgh Courier.
Judge Sizemore graduated from Howard University School of Law, cum laude, in May 2004. For her undergraduate studies, she attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where she received a B.A. in Education. She is a native Pittsburgher, alumna (‘95) and Trustee of The Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, and is an avid Steelers fan.