Lori James-Townes, LCSW-C


Lori James-Townes

Contact Information

College of Liberal Arts
Room 2344
Tuesday & Thursday
12:30-2:30 pm


MS Social Work, Clinical Concentration, University of Maryland, Baltimore

BS Social Work, Cum Laude, Morgan State University

Areas of Expertise

Forensic Social Work
Secondary Trauma
Cultural Diversity


Professor James-Townes’ passion is adding value to others. She has focused her attention on personal and professional development. Nothing brings her more joy than working with students and professionals as they take their journey and focus on achieving their full potential. She joined Towson in Fall 2017.

Professor James-Townes’ has over 20 years of clinical practice, leadership and management experience. Prior to joining the Towson family, her most recent position, was Director Social Work, Leadership and Program Development, the Maryland Office of Public Defender, a state agency with more than 800 employees. While in this position, she demonstrated her ability to help others grow in the areas of teamwork, leadership and management. As Director of Social Work, her primary responsibilities included leading, supervising, training, and evaluating the agency’s social worker staff, consultants, and interns.

Lori has developed programs that are now national models for other agencies. In 2015, The Daily Record Newspaper named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. As a national speaker, her presence is requested both nationally and internationally to speak about: Leadership, Team Building, Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System, Secondary Trauma, and other clinical areas.

Professor James-Townes’ has held various leadership positions on national organizations and Boards of Directors. Her commitment to growth has been recognized as organizations have appointed her to serve as Conference Chair for several national conferences and training programs. As conference chair, she is responsible for developing the program and implementing the curriculum. Lori also serves as a faculty member for the following national and regional leadership development, trials skills, and/or trainings, including but not limited to: Gideon’s Promise, National Legal Aide and Defender Association, Administrative Offices of the Courts (Training Branch), YMCA of Central Maryland and The National Association of Public Defenders.

Professor James-Townes’ commitment and passion is fueled by her roots in inner city Baltimore, being reared by a single mother who worked in Baltimore’s shipyards. She has been a beacon of hope for others, for as long as she can remember. This passion supports her drive as she remains committed to equipping and empowering others through education.  

Selected Publications

James-Townes, L. (2017, June). Maryland’s Model Is Working: Training Social Workers in a Holistic Defense. National Legal Aid and Defender Association: Cornerstone Magazine.

James-Townes, L., & Chandler, M. (2016). Educating Social Workers in a Defensed Based Practice. In R. Wells-Wibon, A. R. McPhatter, & H. F.O. Vakalahi (Eds.), Social Work Practice with African Americans in Urban Environments (pp. 349-368). New York, NY: Springer.

Courses Taught

  • FMST 101 - Introduction to Family Studies
  • FMST 201 - Family Resources 
  • TSEM 102 - Towson Seminar