TPIC: Experience Service (Fall/Winter 2020)

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experience service Toll Public Interest Center



Welcome........................................................................................................................................02 Pro Bono.......................................................................................................................................03 Leadership in Action: Chad Keizer Summer Service Spotlight: PA 30 Day Fund Democracy Law Project: Assisting in Election Protection Summer Service Spotlight: Unemployment Compensation Feature: A Historic Gift................................................................................................................08 Public Interest................................................................................................................................11 TPIC Welcomes New Toll Scholars & Fellows Alumni Spotlight: Rae Shih L’18 2020 Postgraduate Fellowship Recipients Community....................................................................................................................................19 8 Questions with a TPICkle: Alisha Rodriguez Congratulations Arlene! Save the Date...............................................................................................................................22 Stay Connected............................................................................................................................22

Welcome Let ter from TPIC Welcome to the fall 2020 edition of Experience Service, the Toll Public Interest Center’s semesterly magazine. This semester - set within the landscape of a pandemic, a presidential election, and the ongoing fight for racial justice - has once again demonstrated the kindness, passion, and resilience of our Penn Law community and the communities we serve. As COVID-19 simultaneously rendered traditional modes of pro bono and public service impossible and heightened the need for legal assistance, Penn Law students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community partners quickly developed new systems to provide support. From helping scores of Pennsylvanians with unemployment compensation claims, to building a comprehensive web of election protection initiatives, the immediacy and impact of our students’ work has been extraordinary. While this has been a time of change in our society, it has also been a time of growth for TPIC. The Robert and Jane Toll Foundation's historic $50 million gift to Penn Law will greatly expand our ability to support students who are committed to pursuing public interest careers. We are profoundly grateful to the Tolls – TPIC's longtime benefactors, for this monumental contribution and the many opportunities it will provide for our students. As the Law School continues to deepen and increase its work at the intersection of social justice, equity, and inclusion, Arlene Rivera Finkelstein, who directed TPIC for the past 12 years, has stepped into the new role of Associate Dean for Equity & Justice and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Emily R. Sutcliffe, who has helped to shape the expansion of public service at the Law School for the past decade, will take on the directorship of TPIC. The TPIC team has also recently welcomed Alisha Rodriquez as Associate Director of Access to Justice Initiatives. It has been a busy time in TPIC! As we head into the winter break and prepare to welcome a new year, we hope that the stories shared here will serve as reminders of some of 2020’s bright spots. With warm holiday wishes and excitement for the year to come,

The TPIC Team

Experience Service

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Leadership in Action: Chad Keizer By: Alisha Rodriguez


n the face of the many challenges this year has brought, the need for pro bono service has grown. One student leader who has risen to the challenge is 3L Chad Keizer, the Director of Penn Law’s Walk-In Legal Assistance Project (WILA). WILA, in partnership with the University City Hospitality Coalition (UCHC) provides civil legal services to people who are experiencing homelessness or are housing insecure. Chad got involved with WILA in his first year of law school. “I was eager to get plugged in with a variety of pro bono projects, and I came to find out that WILA gives me the opportunities for personal client interaction that I was looking for. WILA also gave me a way to remain grounded in the reason I came to Penn Law in the first place by connecting with and serving the community I’ve called home for going on three years now.” WILA, like many student pro bono projects, has faced additional difficulties in working with clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. WILA serves unhoused individuals and those at risk of homelessness, which may present an additional barrier to service for an at-times transient population. By meeting clients at weekly meal programs, the clients do not have the additional burden of finding transportation to an office or accessing a computer at a public library. “By being present at these weekly community meals we can listen to our neighbors as they explain their needs for forms of identification or public assistance. At these clinics we can also help clients identify and make

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Experience Service

PRO BONO use of legal solutions they may be unaware of, such as our clients’ eligibility to receive Economic Impact Payments from the Federal government,” Chad notes. WILA volunteers along with supervising attorney, Michael LiPuma (C’91, L’94) adapted to continue to serve the West Philadelphia community by offering “outdoor legal aid” when social My work with WILA over the distancing requirements moved the past two and a half years has project outdoors. made me a better law student Chad highlights, by giving context to the cases I “the kinds of services we provide read in my casebook.s are very difficult or impossible to offer remotely, so the WILA team has had to think imaginatively about how to continue meeting the needs of our clients in a safe and healthy manner.” Some innovative solutions


Experience Service

included partnering with other organizations that provide outdoor aid like the Sunday Love Project and using lanterns during the evening hours. The WILA team continued to serve West Philadelphia with what Chad describes as “upbeat ingenuity and dedication.” Chad remains steadfast in his resolve to serve those who are housing insecure or experiencing homelessness. “Reflecting on my involvement with WILA makes me overflow with gratitude. My work with WILA over the past two and a half years has made me a better law student by giving context to the cases I read in my casebooks. When I’m confronted with issues of entitlement to public benefits in my Administrative Law course, for example, I now know faces and names of those for whom the question is a matter of life itself. Our clients have helped me remain centered on the reason I chose a legal career in the first place. I’ve been inspired by the work of WILA’s volunteers, leaders, and community partners, who all continue to show up and offer their time and energy.”

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Summer Service Spotlight: PA 30 Day Fund By: Sarah Egoville


he PA 30 Day Fund is a not-forcoordinators and volunteers who have profit, volunteer run effort to been a part of the team from the very first provide quick and forgivable loans to day” said Jeff Bartos, who co-supervises Pennsylvania small businesses experienc- the Fund along with Professor Michael ing financial distress. The Fund, which Knoll, University of Pennsylvania Carey was started in the spring in response to Law School and Professor of Real Estate, the first wave of pandemic shutdowns, The Wharton School. has been incredibly successful in providSecond year JD/MBA ing critical financial student Angela Wu who support to local small serves as a co-leader The number of small businesses of this pro bono effort business owners. who have recieved grants from the said, “it’s amazing that The application and such a large, impactful PA 30 Day Fund. evaluation process, non-profit has been which was crucial for the Fund to prostaffed almost entirely by Penn Law vide resources where they were needed volunteers since its inception. Penn Law and could have the most impact, was students have really stepped up in redesigned, built and managed by a large sponse to the many challenges facing our group of Penn Law students. community during this unprecedented time. From bubble tea shops to local hair Close to 40 students reviewed over 2,000 salons, we’ve been able to help hundreds applications and the Fund has issued of Pennsylvanian small businesses over grants to over 650 small businesses, main- the past few months, and it’s extremely taining about 4,000 jobs. gratifying to see our work have a tangible, immediate impact on others in our “The PA 30 Day Fund has helped small community.” business owners across Pennsylvania keep the lights on and preserve thousands of jobs. None of this work would be possible without the compassionate and dedicated work of the Penn student


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Democracy Law Project: Assisting in Election Protection By: A lisha Rodriguez


n this unprecedented election year, the call for voter protection volunteers was higher than ever. The Democracy Law Project (DLP) rallied students to meet the rising need and recruited over 100 Penn Carey Law students to work on nonpartisan election protection projects across seven states including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. These students logged close to 1,300 hours during the 3-month period leading up to Election Day. The full range of student service included legal, direct voter outreach, and poll monitoring on Election Day. Here is an overview of DLP’s projects from September to November, 2020: • Campaign Legal Center: Students

volunteered for Restore Your Vote campaigns in several different states, conducting direct voter outreach to formerly incarcerated people and helping them reregister to vote. • Ceiba: Students conducted voting rights

legal research and volunteered with the Spanish-speakers voter hotline, which Ceiba oversaw as part of the Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition. • Common Cause: Students volunteered

for the Pennsylvania Election Protection Coalition in numerous capacities, including voter hotline support, monitoring social media for voting problems,

and serving as in-person, roving poll monitors on Election Day. • Fair Fight Action: Students collected

declarations from Georgia citizens who had problems voting during the primaries, early voting period, and Election Day. These declarations supported Fair Fight’s advocacy and ongoing federal litigation. • Federal Election Commission: DLP

organized an event with Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission. • NAACP: As part of the Election Pro-

tection Coalition, a student served as a voter hotline captain. • Philly Thrive: A DLP volunteer helped

the organization to successfully apply to become a Registered Community Organization. • SeniorLAW Center: Students wrote a

legal research memo analyzing voting issues that arose for senior citizens in long term care facilities and assisted housing, in light of COVID-19 restrictions. • Texas Civil Rights Project: Students

volunteered for the election protection coalition in Texas during the Early Voting period and Election Day, processing and responding to tickets when Texans had problems voting.

Experience Service

• The Law Office of Adam Bonin: DLP

board members sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State requesting guidance on student absentee voting during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary of State subsequently released clear guidance, which DLP disbursed with the help of TPIC and Penn Leads the Vote. DLP has continued its advocacy with the recent launch of a project with March on Harrisburg where students are drafting legal research memos to assist the organization with legislative advocacy during the next state legislative session in 2021. Under the leadership of Co-Presidents Kate Bass and Victoria Sanchez and with the support of fellow board members and project leaders including Sade Famakinwa (Common Cause), Kayley Ingalls (Campaign Legal Center / Restore Your Vote), and Zach Malter (Texas Civil Rights Project and Fair Fight Action), DLP volunteers advanced voter protection efforts across the country. Victoria commended the project managers who “deserve all of our praise and gratitude for the stellar work they did with DLP’s partners, especially during such a deeply challenging semester.”

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Summer Service Spotlight: Unemployment Compensation By: Sarah Egoville iving within a pandemic is infinitely challenging, yet Penn Law students have been undaunted in their quest to perform meaningful, necessary pro bono service. While the Law School’s pro bono policy states that pro bono hours must be completed during the academic year, in response to


the pandemic, students were invited to engage in summer service to be counted toward pro bono recognition at graduation. Nearly 100 students logged over 2,200 service hours from May to August! Even more impressive is that all hours logged were outside of summer employment. We are deeply inspired by our students’ commitment and passion. The number of students to who One opportunity to assist those directly did summer pro bono. impacted by the pandemic was the The total number of hours of Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) summer pro bono service. unemployment hotline. As so many



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across the state of Pennsylvania faced and continue to face unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, students participated in this hotline to assist callers in applying for benefits or help identfy issues in the delay in receiving benefits. With hotline work beginning in April 2020 and continuing through the summer, over 50 students under the supervision of Philadelphia Legal Assistance staff attorney Rachel Miller, L’12 engaged in this service. “We were bombarded with people needing assistance,” said Miller. Through the hotline, volunteers used their internet access to file unemployment applications for the

Fall 2020

newly laid-off. Often, unemployed people are limited to filing their applications from computers at PA CareerLink locations, public libraries or relatives’ homes, Miller said. All of these locations had limited or no access as a result of the pandemic. Through early August, students volunteered over 600 hours to assist nearly 700 clients across 30 Pennsylvania counties.

Experience Service


A Historic Gift Story Courtesy of the Communications Department


A group shot of the 2019-2020 Toll Public Service Corps


he Robert and Jane Toll Foundation, founded by Robert Toll L’66 and Jane Toll GSE’66, has made a $50 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School to dramatically expand the Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows Program, doubling the number of public interest graduates in the coming decade through a combination of full and partial tuition scholarships. The Toll Foundation’s $50 million gift is the largest gift in history devoted entirely to the training and support of public interest lawyers, and among the ten largest gifts ever to a law school in the United States. This transformative gift comes at an unprecedented time in history, when lawyers working for a more just and fair system are desperately needed. Beginning in the 2021 academic year, the Toll gift will be implemented to support the tuition and programming for students working towards the crucial goals of public service. This will place the Law School in the unique position to catalyze its unwavering commitment to put service and justice into action in ways that have never before been possible, through recruiting, enrolling, 9  ///

and empowering the next generation of advocates.

of leaders to do the substantial work required for serious reform.”

“We are profoundly grateful for this spectacularly transformational gift from Bob and Jane that builds on their previous support of the Law School and will ultimately enable us to double the number of public interest graduates

As the world continues to grapple with a global pandemic that has exposed deep inequality, the U.S. finds itself in the midst of facing and correcting the deep racial inequities present through its society. This gift will enable the Law School at Penn to widen the gateways to service for students who will change the world for the better through their careers in the public interest. By increasing the number of Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows, the Law School can exponentially increase the capacity of our global public interest community to fight the most significant legal battles of the time while expanding access to justice.

Our goal is to greatly increase the number of students entering careers in public interest. -Robert Toll L’66

in the future,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The timing could not be more important, as our country acknowledges how inadequately our criminal justice system and other institutions have responded to the country’s long history of racism and inequality. The Tolls’ visionary philanthropy firmly places Penn Carey Law in a preeminent position to support a new generation

“A gift of this magnitude, in this current moment, creates a significant opportunity to expand on the long-standing commitment of the Law School to educate, train and launch the advocates needed to fight the injustices of our world today,” said Ted Ruger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “These scholarships will make public interest careers accessible to a broader pool of students,

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FEATURE many of whom are from underrepresented backgrounds. The Tolls’ generosity truly supercharges the Law School’s ability to create meaningful change in the future of our communities.” Robert Toll, the co-founder of the American luxury homebuilder company Toll Brothers, Inc., and his wife, Jane, have previously committed philanthropic efforts to the Law School and its public interest programming. Their most recent gift expands upon a $3 million donation made in 2018 to create and launch the Toll Public Service Corps, which includes Toll Scholars and Fellows, while also establishing Alumni Impact Awards and funding additional financial and career support for alumni through loan forgiveness and the existing Toll Loan Repayment and Assistance Program (TolLRAP). Additionally, in 2006, the Tolls gifted $10 million to the Law School’s public interest program, which resulted in renaming to the Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC). Originally founded in 1989, the public service program at the Law School ren-

Experience Service

dered it among the first institutions to require all students to complete 70 hours of public service before graduation. In 2000, Penn was the first law school to ever receive the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico Award. The Tolls’ donation in 2006 resulted in significant expansion for the program, and helped TPIC grow into an exceptional hub for public service at Penn. TPIC now facilitates a wide array of pro bono and public service opportunities that focus on impactful service, personal enrichment, and professional skill development, including the promise that each graduating class dedicates approximately 30,000 hours of pro bono legal service. “Our goal is to greatly increase the number of students entering careers in public interest,” said Robert Toll. “It’s my hope that this opportunity leads to even more tangible, positive change from future Law School graduates.”

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TPIC Welcomes New Toll Scholars & Fellows

PUBLIC INTEREST Colin Dobell, L’22 Fellow

Margaret (Margo) Hu L’23, Scholar

Where is home for you?

Rye, NY

Where is home for you?

Pittsburgh, PA

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

Dermot Delude-Dix, L’23 Scholar Where is home for you?

Philadelphia, PA

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school after working in the labor movement in Philadelphia for 10 years, and I’m interested in learning how to develop legal strategies to support worker organizing. Fun Fact:

I was born in London and learned to speak with a cockney accent. I’m also the proud owner of three cats.

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I worked in disaster recovery and climate resilience for several years between law school and undergrad. It quickly became apparent how our environmental and climate strategies aren’t responsive to the needs of marginalized communities, and that climate resilience work at an engineering firm work wasn’t going to be an effective pathway to change that. I decided to come to law school in the hopes of helping drive climate and environmental justice. Fun Fact

For most of undergrad, I had the intention of becoming a physics professor someday. Def not happening.

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

Nastia Gorodilova, L’23 Scholar Where is home for you?

Khabarovsk, Russia

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I have been working on addressing sexual harm and its inter-related issues for a number of years now. I came to law school to focus on the intersection of criminal legal system reform and sexual violence from a systemic approach. I am also interested in how sexual harm affects immigrant and LGBTQIA+ communities as these are some of the identities I hold.

Seeking justice after harm is never easy, especially if you don’t know what tools and solutions are available. For too many, legal resources are out of reach, leaving entire communities behind. I want to help people fight and navigate the journey towards justice and healing. My hope is to use public interest law to support social movements and directly serve marginalized communities, most likely through criminal justice, civil rights, or immigration law. Fun Fact:

I’ve lived in 7 different places: Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, Tianjin, Chicago, Providence, Wilmington, and now Philadelphia.

Fun Fact:

In high school I was part of a youth group where we learned to fly planes and aeronautics (little 2-seater planes) but I still don’t have a driving license in the States.

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Experience Service

Cat Kearney, L'22 Fellow Where is home for you?

Makayla Reynolds, L’23 Scholar

Baltimore, MD

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

Katie Hyde, L’23 Scholar Where is home for you?

Kansas City, KS

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school to join the fight for immigrant justice. I decided to apply to law school after working as an immigration paralegal in my hometown, where I served asylum seekers, survivors of persecution, and detained children who were seeking status in the United States. I hope to devote a large part of my future legal practice to appellate immigration litigation. Fun Fact:

When I was in college, I conducted research in El Salvador about the Catholic Church’s role in negotiating a gang truce.

Where is home for you?

I came to law school to become a public defender. I am interested in prison abolition and partnering with Jordan Konell, L’22 justice-impacted people Fellow to build power and Where is home for you? change our criminal Philadelphia, PA punishment system. Fun Fact:

To deal with the stress of law school and a pandemic, I watch documentaries about whales, listen to podcasts about TV, and walk with friends around our (now VERY familiar) neighborhood in West Philadelphia.

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school because I wanted to bridge law and public policy to support to community organizers fighting for racial and economic justice in my hometown of Philadelphia. I am interested in a career in labor law and public policy. Fun Fact:

I am passionate about Jewish education and have taught classes in how Jewish thought can inspire social action to Philadelphia teenagers for years.

Experience Service

Stuart, FL

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school to pursue public interest law. Specifically, I am interested in juvenile justice, family law, and education law. I hope to fight for justice for at-risk individuals, particularly children. Fun Fact

Erica Rodarte, L’22 Fellow Where is home for you?

El Paso, Texas-Cd. Juarez-Chihuahua

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school to I was an elementary learn the tools that will school teacher in Tulsa, help me navigate difOklahoma. ferent legal systems in Congress, the judiciary, and executive agencies to create innovative solutions to address this nation’s housing crisis as it relates to immigrants and communities of color.

Fun Fact:

I love dogs.

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Jeffrey Simon, L’22 Fellow Where is home for you?

West Bloomfield, MI Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

Krystle Salvati, L’23 Scholar Where is home for you?

Brooklyn, NY

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

After working at the Bronx Family Court and the Legal Aid Society, I discovered my passion for working with youth in contact with the justice system! Fun Fact:

I know American Sign Language.

Victoria Sanchez, L’22 Fellow Where is home for you?

Austin, TX

Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school because I believe the law can be a powerful tool for social change. I am particularly interested in election law, and civil rights litigation more broadly. Fun Fact:

I can wiggle my ears.

I was a high school teacher and counselor in immigrant communities and I saw tons of students skip out on college and higher education because their undocumented status prevented them from being able to afford it. I want to live in a country/world where everyone can live a full life doing what they dream of doing, regardless of where they were born. Fun Fact:

I am a huge fan of Key and Peele - I can recite many of their sketches from memory! Other Comments: I’m so grateful to be a Toll Fellow, for my fellow Fellows and Scholars, the vibrant public interest community here at Penn. The thoughtfulness and kindness of everyone here uplifts me and makes me better.

Karla Talley, L’23 Scholar Where is home for you?

Bowie, MD Why did you come to law school and/or what are your areas of legal interest?

I came to law school after working for two years as a Housing Law Paralegal at the Legal Aid Society of D.C. I witnessed the deplorable conditions tenants were forced to live in and the obstacles residents were facing while navigating the court system. I decided to attend law school in hopes that I could use my gained knowledge, experience, and background to amplify the voices of communities that have been historically oppressed. Fun Fact:

In my spare time, I enjoy creative writing. I love reading/writing poetry and short fiction.

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Alumni Spotlight: Rae Shih L’18 By: Victoria Gillison


fter they leave the law school, our alumni go off to make their own impact in the Public Sector. In our alumni spotlight series, we catch up with the great work that our alumni are doing around the United States and around the globe. This time our spotlight shines on the work of Rae Shih. Rae graduated the law school class of 2018 earning a concurrent Master’s in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Upon leaving the law school Rae worked for two years as a Legal Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii through a Penn Law Fellowship and in May 2020 started as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Now in her work, Rae serves indigent clients who are typically survivors of domestic violence in divorce, paternity, child custody, and child support proceedings. She also works as a Guardian ad Litem representing the best interests of children in foster care custody proceedings in cases of abuse and neglect. Outside of the courtroom, Rae is on the Alumni Advisory Board for Teach for America Hawaii working on developing alumni programming on race and gender equity. And, while she is no longer working with the ACLU, the data she collected while working there on school policing has led to a collaboration with researchers at the University of Hawaii. The team, housed within the Sociology Department, aims to publish a paper on disparities in referrals to law enforcement and school-based arrests early in 2021, with the possibility of accompanying legislation. This will not be the first piece of legislation for Shih, as she drafted two bills that passed into law in Indiana while working with StudentsFirst before attending the law school. Moreover, one of the bills she drafted in her time working at the ACLU of Hawaii was signed into law July 2020 during a special COVID-19 session of the Hawaii State Legislature. The law requires the Hawaii Department of Education to collect, analyze, and disclose important civil rights data relating to student discipline, the use of seclusion and restraint, school climate, and student achievement. The aim of the law is to ensure more accurate data collection to make schools more equitable. To read more about the ACLU bill you can read the ACLU Press Release or the Bill itself.

Experience Service

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PUBLIC INTEREST Mia Cabello L’20 will begin her work with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Cabello will work on national, state, and local issues related to nutrition and public health including food additives, food marketing to children, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

2020 Postgraduate Fellowship Recipients

Vivek Kembaiyan L’20 will also be funded through the Penn Fellowship Program as he joins Still She Rises in Tulsa, OK through the Gideon’s Promise Fellowship, a program that provides training and mentorship to aspiring public defenders.

Peter Jones L’20 will work with an environmental justice organization in the coming year. Jones hopes to fight for the health and wellbeing of communities affected most severely by climate change.

Victoria Glock-Molloy L’20 will work with the Children’s Law Center of New York in two key practice areas: Guardian ad Litem and Healthy Together. By working closely with social workers, investigators, and special education attorneys, Glock-Molloy will advocate for the best interests of her clients to support their safety, permanency, physical and mental health, and education.

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Emily Kyle L’20 will work with RMAIN to address the critical needs of low-income immigrants detained at the Aurora Detention Center in Colorado. Kyle will provide direct representation to detained immigrants and offer other legal services as needed to meet the demands of the ever-changing populations at the detention center.

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Experience Service

Sabrina Merold L’20, funded by the Penn Law Public Interest Fellowship, will be a fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights. Merold will identify ways in which federal religious refusal laws are exploited or misused in order to sanction discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ communities. Using novel administrative advocacy strategies, Merold hopes to protect the right to access reproductive health care for all who seek it.

Daniel Lewis L’20 will work with Bet Tzedek Legal Services to provide direct representation and legal advice to clients who were victims of California’s predatory lending PACE program, while engaging in community education and outreach to mobilize a coalition of affected low-income homeowners.

Jesse McGleughlin L’20, sponsored by the Toll Public Interest Fellowship, will work with the Southern Center for Human Rights to challenge the solitary confinement of individuals experiencing psychiatric disabilities in Georgia jails.

Jarron McAllister L’20 will work with the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, advocating for essential workers and workers’ rights in the midst of the pandemic, particularly as the employment landscape fluctuates during the next year.

Experience Service

Colleen O’Conor L’20 will work

with Legal Services of Northern Virginia to provide greater housing stability for low-income residents of Fairfax Country. O’Conor will represent tenants in eviction proceedings, with a focus on representing tenants who will lose their housing subsidies if they are evicted when the eviction moratorium related to the pandemic is lifted.

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Allison Perlin L’20, funded by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review Fellowship, will support immigrant justice efforts at Human Rights First through direct immigration representation and impact litigation. Perlin plans to address the systemic failures clients experience in immigration proceedings

Meroua Zouai L’20 will join the Center for Justice and Accountability and will support active litigation in their pending war crimes, crimes against humanity, and torture cases. CJA’s war crimes practice area brings civil and criminal cases in the United States against individual human rights abusers.

or elsewhere when their rights are violated.

Jake Romm L’20 will work with Reprieve’s Secret Prisons team to represent clients at Guantanamo Bay. Romm will support several of Reprieve’s projects, including initiating new habeas litigation for two detained clients. Haley Pritchard L’20, a recipient of the Langar, Grogan & Diver Fellowship in Social Justice, will work with the ACLU of PA to challenge pretrial and probation-related incarceration practices through impact litigation and legislative advocacy. Pritchard’s work will also support the ACLU’s decarceral work, focusing on releasing as many people from confinement as possible given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bindu Natesha Doddahatti LLM’20, through the LLM Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship Program will work as a community advocate in the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

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Experience Service

PUBLIC INTEREST Mariel Mussack L’20 was awarded one of the Skadden Foundation fellowships and will spend two years working as a fellow at Philadelphia’s Justice at Work, formerly known as Friends of Farmworkers. Justice at Work provides free legal aid, community education, and advocacy for workers.

Yumna Kamel LLM’20 through the LLM Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship Program plans to work with an organization that fights against anti-immigration movements to empower immigrant communities across the United States. Lelabari Giwa-Ojuri L’20 was awarded a Equal Justice Works fellowship, and will be a fellow at Community Legal Services (CLS), where she will pilot a participatory family defense project to help parents who are current or former foster youth keep custody of their children.

Atsushi Shiraki LLM’20 through the LLM Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship Program will work with Human Rights Watch staff in Tokyo to enhance access to justice for the underprivileged. Shiraki will implement clinical legal education at Japanese law schools to help launch a new generation of Japanese lawyers committed to international human rights.

Experience Service

Valerie Snow L’20 will spend two years at Philadelphia’s SeniorLAW Center advocating for the rights of low-income seniors, especially regarding guardianship abuse, neglect, and exploitation through the Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellowship.

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8 Questions with a TPICkle: Alisha Rodriguez Get to know the TPIC Team with this series. Meet the newest TPICkle, Associate Director for Access to Justice Initiatives, Alisha Rodriquez

1. This is your first year with TPIC, can you tell us about your role? What is your favorite thing about the job?

I joined TPIC as the Associate Director for Access to Justice Initiatives. In my role, I supervise student pro bono projects and work closely with student leaders on project management, volunteer training, community outreach and service trips. I also have the awesome opportunity of developing and planning Public Interest Week. It’s hard to pick a favorite thing about my new role. I genuinely enjoy getting to know the student leaders and learn about their passions, their pro bono projects and the communities they serve. I also love the camaraderie that exists within TPIC. It has been challenging to start a new position while working from home but everyone has welcomed me with such sincerity and enthusiasm. 2. You’re originally from New York, what do you miss about living there?

I miss my neighborhood in Queens and the magic that is New York. I miss the food, the Caribbean culture, the pizza, the salons that never close, the ease of public transportation, the Mom and Pop stores and did I say, the food! There aren’t many cities where you can find a vegetarian Guyanese restaurant and a Puerto Rican Szechuan joint in the same neighborhood. 3. What is your favorite thing to do in Philadelphia?

I love going for walks around the city. One of my favorite routes during the summer is walking from City Hall down the Ben Franklin parkway to the Art Museum It captures a little bit of everything – history, nature and that Philly flavor.

5. If you had a superpower what it be?

To turn into any animal. I would probably spend most of my time flying as a bird or swimming about in the ocean. 6. What is one of your favorite books (non- fiction or fiction)?

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I can vividly remember the first time I read it during my freshmen year of college. It was a revelation. I have reread it many times since. 7. When you are feeling low, what kinds of things do you do to boost your energy?

Dance! I throw on some tunes and put on a mini concert for myself with backup vocals and everything.

8. What are the ways in which you’d like to see the Pro Bono and Public Interest Community at Penn Law grow?

As I think back over 2020, I often think of marginalized communities and how certain inequities have widened during the pandemic. As lawyers, we are privileged to have access to a system and language that is off limits for many. From my brief time with TPIC, I have seen how students have used innovation and technology to advocate for communities in need despite the challenges of a pandemic. I hope the Penn Law public interest community will continue to think of innovative and collaborative ways to serve communities even when there isn’t a need for social distancing. There is still much work to be done.

4. If your friends could describe you in three words, what words would they use?

Thoughtful, compassionate and pioneering.

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Fall 2020

Experience Service

Arlene Rivera Finkelstein Named Penn Law’s Associate Dean for Equity & Justice and Inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Experience Service

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Congratulations Arlene! "Arlene has a breadth of experience at the many intersections of DEI and public interest that well-position her to take on this important work. She will collaborate with our Law School community and across the University to advance equity and justice broadly." – Ted Ruger, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law

"Service is Arlene's North Star. Her empathy-driven leadership is transformative, and I have been exceedingly fortunate to learn from her example and under her thoughtful tutelage over the past 10 years. In TPIC, Arlene has planted countless seeds that have blossomed and taken root — so many of the seminal characteristics that make TPIC what it is today are products of Arlene's unique vision. Her dedication to students and to fostering a thriving, inclusive, and deeply supportive public interest community is unwavering. I am thankful that I will continue to have the opportunity to work closely with Arlene in her new role and I am excited to see all of the ways our community will continue to benefit from her leadership."­ –Emily R. Sutcliffe, TPIC's Incoming Director

"I am incredibly grateful to have Arlene as a mentor and thought partner as I navigate the public interest law school experience. Her commitment to providing an inclusive environment for students made all the difference for me as a first generation professional. I am excited for her to serve as Penn Law’s Inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. Under her leadership,

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Penn Law will make significant strides in fostering a more inclusive and welcoming community." – Ana G. Jarquin, current student

"Arlene was foundational in setting me on my path as a public interest attorney. The community that she created and nurtured was my home at Penn. Arlene embodies strength of leadership through kindness and warmth. Despite often seeming to "do it all", she always made time for one-on-one mentorship and took genuine interest in me as a full person. As the years since graduation go by, Arlene and others in TPIC remain my personal connection to Penn." – Reid Cater, L'13

“I can't imagine a better person to take on the roles of Associate Dean for Equity & Justice and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Penn Law than Arlene Rivera Finkelstein. Like countless other Penn Law students, I have benefitted tremendously from Arlene's mentorship and support during her time as Executive Director of the Toll Public Interest Center. Whether it’s meeting with students individually to advise on course selection and pro bono programming, warmly welcoming new students to Penn Law during Orientation or reminding us all to center the passions that originally compelled us to seek a law degree in inspirational remarks during school-wide events, Arlene’s impact on the Penn Law community cannot be overstated. I look forward to seeing Arlene continue to find new and meaningful ways to positively shape the

experience of Penn Law students in her new position.” – Sherrod Smith, current student

"In TPIC, Arlene has played a critical role in helping so many students chart social justice lawyering paths. Her office was always open, she was so generous with her time and expertise, and she asked tough and critical questions of each of us -- about our vision of change, what kind of lawyers we wanted to be, and how we would center our clients' stories and lives in our work. Arlene led with joy, vision, and compassion and I know she will bring this to her new and much needed role." -Maura Hallisey, L'20

"As a first-generation college graduate, figuring out how to navigate law school and professional life afterwards was daunting, and at times overwhelming. Arlene's door was always open for guidance, mentorship, and encouragement. She took the time to help me identify and create opportunities tailored to my goals and interests, which allowed me to graduate law school with extensive, practical experience in child welfare law. Even after law school, she has been someone I can always call on for advice. I know Arlene will bring this same commitment to helping students find success and individualized, intentional mentorship to her new role. The Penn Law community is lucky to have someone with these characteristics working at the intersection of social justice and DEI." -Tara Grigg Green, L'14

Fall 2020

Experience Service

SAVE THE DATE Be sure to put these dates on your calendar now and keep your eyes on your inbox for event invitations.

Order your PI Week 2020 T-Shirt

Between now and January 5, 2021 make sure you place your order for your PI Week T-Shirt in just two quick steps! Step 1: Go to: Step 2: Use voucher code: UPennLPIW to cover the shirt and just pay tax and shipping! Note: The code can only be used to cover one item per order but you can make multiple purchases if you'd like.

Stay Connected with TPIC To keep up with all things TPIC make sure you’re following us on all of our social media platforms. @PennLawTPIC @PennLawTPIC Penn Law Toll Public Interest Center Editor’s Note If you have ideas on articles to include in the next edition of Experience Service, or if you would like to submit an article, please contact Victoria Gillison at: This magazine belongs to all of us, we’d love to work with you on future editions. Experience Service

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TPIC wishes you and yours a restorative, hope-filled winter break. Here's to a wonderful new year of service and community.