James Lyall is a graduate of Middlebury College, where he majored in art with a minor in classical studies. His law degree is from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Between college and law school, Lyall worked in Boston at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, taught in Shanghai, China, and worked as a human rights observer in Chiapas, Mexico. Lyall joined the ACLU of Vermont in 2016 and is the 12th director in the organizations 50-year history. He was previously a staff attorney for the ACLU of Arizona where in 2013 he helped to create the first ACLU satellite office in Tucson, Arizona to investigate and litigate civil rights issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border. Prior to joining the ACLU, James was a law fellow at the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles, where he provided legal representation to detained and unaccompanied immigrant children in deportation proceedings.