Executive Director of the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies (Gittis Legal Clinics)
Beth Shapiro manages the operations of the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Education, Penn Law’s dynamic and thriving academic law firm comprised of nine teaching clinics and numerous externships. Each clinic serves a dual mission of educating students to become high quality advisors and advocates while meeting pressing legal needs in the Philadelphia community and beyond. Penn Law’s clinical programs prepare students for legal practice through classroom discussions probing theory, ethics, industry standards, current events, and skill development. Each experience is buttressed by collaborative learning, professional mentoring by experienced practitioners, and placing students as the front-line representative of real clients with varied legal concerns.
Beth joined Penn Law in 2019, after many years as a legal aid attorney with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, most recently leading CLS’ Language Access Project to improve access to legal services for limited English proficient persons and to advocate on their behalf with the courts, health care providers, and a number of city, state, and federal agencies. She started at Community Legal Services as a National Association of Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow. Beth began her legal career as an inaugural Independence Foundation Public Interest Law Fellow with the Women’s Law Project. Prior to law school, she served in various health and human services policy positions with the Commonwealth of Virginia, including as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources in two successive gubernatorial administrations. Beth earned a B.A. in government from the College of William and Mary, a Master’s degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.