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Public Service

In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. has had to wrestle with the precarious balancing of our national security interests with core constitutional principles of equality, liberty, political freedom and free expression. That balancing act was the focus of this year’s Sparer Symposium, as leading constitutional scholars, litigators, and community leaders engaged in a vigorous discussion of civil liberties in areas including free speech, criminal justice, international human rights, and immigration law.

Among the panelists at the March symposium were several Penn Law School faculty members – Senior Fellow David Rudovsky, Professor of Law and Sociology Kim Lane Scheppele, and Professor of Law Seth Kreimer – as well as other leading academics including Georgetown Law School Professor David Cole and NYU Law School Professor Michael Wishnine. Selected presentations will be published in the Journal of Constitutional Law.

The Journal of Constitutional Law and the Public Interest Scholars’ Program co-sponsored the Sparer Symposium.



Students place bids at EJF auction
Abetted by a record-breaking $52,000 raised by the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF), Penn Law funded more than 160 students in the Public Interest summer internship program.

Students worked with a broad range of national and international public interest organizations including Penal Reform International in Paris, the ACLU Prisoners’ Rights Project in Washington, D.C. and Earthjustice in Oakland, Ca.

Robert Toll, a member of Penn Law’s Board of Overseers, was once again a guest auctioneer at the EJF fund-raiser. More than 200 students and many alumni contributed to the success of this year’s event



A record 135 students were honored at the 7th Annual Public Service Recognition Event in April, underscoring the law school’s commitment to offering legal aid to the community. As proof of that commitment, nearly 60 percent of the 587 students who participated in the 2002-03 Public Service Program exceeded the 70-hour requirement.

At the event, Premal Dharia L’03 and Sarah Katz L’03 received the Henry Meacham Award for their outstanding efforts in public service. Dharia launched a prisoner’s rights clinic in collaboration with the Institutional Law Project and the Prison Society and spearheaded the Public Service Program’s Street Law program. Katz’ exceptional public service record includes chairing the Equal Justice Foundation and a clinic externship with the Criminal Defense Clinic.

Keynote speaker Robert Hayes, president and general counsel of the Medicare Rights Center in New York and legendary advocate for homeless rights, implored students to continue doing pro bono work throughout their careers. Hayes, an Honorary Fellow of Penn Law, commended the school’s commitment to public service, noting that it remains a leader in the field.

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