Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Women, Leadership, & the Law Courses

Women, Leadership, and the Law

  • Externship: Women's Law Project - PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES FOR EXTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE ON THE REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS PAGE. The Montgomery County Office of the District Attorney’s Externship Program offers 3L’s and 2L’s who have completed three semesters of law school, the unique opportunity to personally experience the Pennsylvania criminal justice system as a county prosecutor. Externs will work on all aspects of a criminal case – from investigation through trial. During the first week of the externship (which will coincide with the first week of law school classes), externs will attend an intensive training program designed to generally introduce them to the practice of criminal law in Montgomery County, and specifically to the role of an Assistant District Attorney. Each extern is then assigned to assist a Senior Assistant District Attorney (ADA) within one of our Trials Division Units (Major Crimes, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes or Economic Fraud). Assignment, as much as possible, will be based upon the extern’s expressed interests. Each ADA works with closely with his/her extern to provide the best possible educational experience. Externs are given a wide range of prosecutorial responsibilities both in and out of the courtroom. Inside the courtroom, with direct supervision by the assigned ADA, externs represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in criminal matters such as probation violation hearings, indirect criminal contempt proceedings, and summary appeals. However, externs will not be permitted to conduct felony preliminary hearings. Outside the courtroom, externs perform legal research, write briefs and other memoranda, meet with police, interview witnesses/victims, and perform case file reviews. Externs will be required to work at least twelve hours per week in exchange for four academic credits (additional participation is encouraged, but not at the expense of scheduled classes). Each extern must also maintain weekly Time & Activity Reports, as well as a journal of his/her experiences, and are required to meet with an assigned law school faculty supervisor on a bi-weekly basis. For further information, please visit Please note that there is no reimbursement for transportation costs, however the OFFICE IS LOCATED A SHORT WALK FROM THE SEPTA NORRISTOWN TRANSPORTATION CENTER. You may not enroll in this externship if you are enrolled in a clinical course or another externship in the same semester. The add/drop period for this externship ends at 4:00 PM on the first Friday after the start of classes. Students who elect to use their enrollment in this externship toward their public service requirement will receive one less credit for this course. Students should not bid during Advance Registration on an Externship if they are not completely certain that they want to enroll if selected by the lottery process. Externship placement offices put forth a great deal of time and effort in running background checks, scheduling work, securing supervisors, creating office space, assigning computers for externs to use, security clearances, etc. Thus, it is not preferable for a student who is enrolled in an externship to drop the course during the one week add/drop period for Clinics and Externships which ends the first Friday of the semester.
  • Feminist Legal Advocacy in 20th Century - This seminar provides a historical perspective on feminist legal advocacy, with an emphasis on the years 1960 to 2000. Topics include campaigns for legal and constitutional change; the articulation of new legal claims, such as pregnancy and family responsibilities discrimination, sexual harassment, and reproductive freedom; the relationship between feminism and other social movements, especially civil rights/racial justice, LGBT rights, and conservatism; gender and the legal profession; and international women’s rights advocacy. Students will have a choice of a take-away exam or final paper. Additional requirements apply for students seeking to fulfill the senior writing requirement.
  • International Women's Rights - Securing the protection and promotion of the human rights of women globally remains one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Notwithstanding the significant advances in international human rights norms relating to women, systemic discrimination and inequality remain pervasive. This class will focus on the international human rights system as it relates to the protection and promotion of women, the intersectionality of human rights conventions, treaty bodies, and UN special procedures; critically analyze the theoretical debates about securing the human rights of women, including debates about discrimination, equality, the public-private divide, cultural practices/cultural relativism and mainstreaming human rights; critically comment on the international law-based approaches to securing the human rights of women; and the analysis of domestic application and implementation of international norms and the mechanisms for enforcing the human rights of women, including gaps in treaty body reporting, strengths and weaknesses in lawmaking and challenges in women’s rights litigation. Under the supervision of the instructor, and in collaboration with UN Women, students will work in groups to examine relevant United Nations treaties and comparative laws as blue prints to draft model laws in areas identified by the United Nations ( Example: gender-based constitution making, violence against women, women domestic workers, anti- acid law etc.). These model laws will be disseminated as an e-compendium of model laws by UN Women and attributed to the Penn Law Class. The Class will attend a round table with UN Women and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and present their group report to the two UN entities. The students can choose to write their individual papers and the group report on a topic area of focus for UN Women. Assessment: A short research paper on the area examined in the law: 50% of the grade. Group report on an area of focus for UN Women/OHCHR: 50 % of the grade; individual work on the group report as well as class participation will be assessed.