Tiffany is a native Pittsburgher, who grew up in the Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s East End. She attended local catholic schools for elementary school and is a 1995 graduate of The Winchester Thurston School, where she now serves as a Board Trustee. She is also a proud alumna of Antioch College and Howard University School of Law. Her mother, Elmira, is a special education teacher who spent nearly three decades working for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Her grandparents, George and Doris Essex were instrumental in local civil rights work in the city. Public service is Tiffany’s passion and her legacy.
Tiffany is a full-time clinical law professor and experienced litigator with over 16 years of courtroom experience. She is committed to ensuring a court system that centers hearing all voices relevant to each court matter. Tiffany has the combination of deep system experience in both practice and policy, as well as compassion and empathy that will make her an outstanding jurist in Allegheny County.
As a young law student, Tiffany committed herself to a career of service. She believed that the one of the most honorable ways to serve as a lawyer was to become a public defender, and give voice to those who are often scorned or ignored in our system. She began her career as a public defender in the nation’s most prestigious and ground-breaking office – The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). While at PDS, she represented clients in cases from presentment through disposition of the case, and handled the most serious cases. As a litigator, her work has also included representing witnesses to crimes, targets of grand jury investigations, and defendants in diversionary courts, e.g.,mental health court or drug court. In addition to being a trial attorney, Tiffany was a supervisor in the juvenile section for approximately one year immediately preceding her move back home to Pittsburgh.
In 2012, Tiffany decided to move back home to Pittsburgh. Knowing that her work as a public defender was not done, she accepted a position as the head of the Juvenile Division at the Office of the Public Defender in Allegheny County, where she served for over two years. As Deputy Director for the Juvenile Division at OPD, Tiffany managed eleven full-time juvenile defense practitioners, who appeared before approximately one dozen family court judges. Sizemore was also responsible for the development and training of those lawyers in all aspects of the practice.
In 2015, Tiffany took another opportunity to combine her love of direct representation with the satisfaction of working with emerging lawyers. She took a position as a full-time professor at Duquesne University School of Law. She developed and still directs the Youth Advocacy Clinic. The clinic represents children in delinquency matters, and parents and children in special education and school discipline matters. The clinic includes a holistic representation model that includes social workers and school psychologists as part of the legal team interested in solving as many of the clients’ complex problems as possible. Tiffany also conducts research related to that model.
Over time, Tiffany understood that her work in the courtroom was not enough to see the reforms she wished for in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. As a result, she began to engage in policy and advocacy work outside of her individual case work. She sits at many policy tables – both locally, statewide, and nationally related to juvenile court reform. Her most recent work has been focused on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline here in Allegheny County, including ensuring that children with disabilities are not prosecuted for behavioral manifestations of those disabilities.
Tiffany is now ready to transition to a new way to serve: as a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. She will bring with her a wealth of courtroom and policy experience. She understands the importance of listening to all perspectives and coming to a decision that is thoughtful, right and just.
And Justice for All.