Savannah Blackwell is a former investigative reporter who covered government and politics for various newspapers and media outlets before enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in August 2006. 


She wrote about her decision to change careers in Ink Stained: Essays by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Class of 1992.

Her first reporting job after earning a masters in journalism was at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she covered six suburban municipalities, and wrote about government affairs, politics, schools, and police, and penned weekly features. In 1994, she became a staff writer at the Tallahassee Democrat, where she covered growth and development, environmental issues, and local government and politics.


She moved to San Francisco, California, and joined the staff of the San Francisco Bay Guardian in 1996. For this once-venerable newsweekly, she covered San Francisco City Hall, energy and land use issues, and devoted herself to exposing the wheeling and dealing of former mayor Willie Brown. She also represented the Bay Guardian on the weekly SF Newshour, a live cable television show where reporters discussed local events and issues.


When Gavin Newsom became Mayor of San Francisco in January, 2004, she became Editor at


Later, she reported on the state judiciary for the Daily Journal, a newspaper devoted to local and state legal affairs. During law school, she continued to write occasionally about local politics for the Fog City Journal website. She received her J.D. from Berkeley in December, 2009, and became licensed to practice law in California in 2010.


Since then, she has worked for county public defenders' offices, litigated civil rights issues in federal court, and authored a successful brief to the United States Supreme Court concerning a publisher's free speech right to communicate with county jail inmates. She researches and writes legal briefs and appeals for other attorneys.


She can be reached at

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