Maya Simek selected to Crain’s Cleveland Business '40 Under Forty'

Maya Simek

Considered a rising star of the legal community by the Crain's editorial team, Maya Simek, the director of the Human Trafficking Project at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, was recently selected to the Crain’s Cleveland Business “40 Under Forty."   

This year’s honorees ranged from professionals to entrepreneurs and community servants. And in a year like no other in our lifetimes, they stepped up in immeasurable ways.  

Under Simek’s leadership, law students working on the Human Trafficking Project represent juvenile and adult human trafficking survivors, assisting them with a wide range of legal issues, including representation in criminal cases, expunging criminal convictions, witness advocacy, immigration status, employment and housing. 

Simek also serves as the legal director of Equality Ohio, where she developed and is now supervising a state-wide legal clinic for the lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer (LGBTQ+) community.  

Simek focuses her practice on legal issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community and human trafficking prevention and victim redress. Her other areas of interest include community lawyering and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly with social services, on the efficacy of legal practice. The focus on these areas of interest inspired Simek’s spearheading of a law clinic for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS engaging in case management services at the Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center in 2012.  

Simek earned her JD in 2010 from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, her MSSA in 2007 from Case Western Reserve’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and her BS in 2000 from John Carroll University. Simek is admitted to the bar in Ohio and California, and she is an Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervision designation (LISW-S). 

In addition to celebrating this achievement for Simek, we are also proud that three of our alumni were selected for the “40 Under Forty” honor, including Justin Bibb, Chris Schmitt and Medha Kapil.