Emily Seawell


Senior Staff Attorney

Em Harwell is a staff attorney who works in and outside the courtroom to defend and advance North Carolinians' constitutional rights. With an emphasis on racial justice and community-driven advocacy, Em's work focuses on protecting the rights of all people: voters, immigrants, LGBTQ, people in poverty, currently or formerly incarcerated people, and those who face discrimination because of their speech, religion, or association.

Before joining the ACLU of North Carolina, Em litigated redistricting and other voting rights cases in state and federal court as a staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. She is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association and North Carolina Advocates for Justice, where Em currently chairs the Civil Rights Section. Em has been recognized for her pro bono work through the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of people in immigration detention in the Southeast.


Em grew up in Gaston County, N.C. and likes to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, watching baseball, and relaxing on the back porch with good company or a good book.