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Tackling Education Law in Philadelphia

August 29, 2023

A passionate advocate, Juliana Poroye L’25, MSEd’25 engaged in hands-on litigation work at Stevens & Lee’s Philadelphia office.

As someone considering Philadelphia as a launch pad for my career, I was excited to work at Stevens & Lee’s Philadelphia office this summer. This experience gave me a glimpse into what it would be like to be an associate in a Philadelphia firm. I am happy to say that I enjoyed working in Philadelphia and plan to stay in the city after I graduate!

Building Essential Litigation Experience

My work at Stevens & Lee exposed me to various practice groups and industries, including litigation, corporate finance, trusts and estates, and labor and employment law. Working at a firm confirmed my interest in litigation over transactional work, as I gravitated toward litigation assignments. My favorite industry was education.

I am pursuing a JD/MSEd in education policy, and I also have a background in education. However, when I started my internship, I did not know what the education law sector would look like. My education assignments required me to research defenses for religious colleges in employment cases. I researched underdeveloped areas of employment law and wrote memos on ways the supervising attorney could win a case or the likelihood of claims succeeding in front of a judge. Getting the chance to engage in education work at Stevens & Lee was thrilling, and I hope to take education law classes during the semester, as well as work in education law after graduation.

Taking “Anti-discrimination Law” with Shaun Ossei-Owusu LPS’08, Presidential Professor of Law, in my second semester and Legal Practice Skills with Jessica P. Simon C’95, Associate Director of Legal Practice Skills, during my first year helped me tremendously in the work that I did this summer. The anti-discrimination course equipped me with an understanding of multiple discrimination laws and defenses. I was able to suggest potential solutions to problems that arose in various cases, even if they were not discrimination cases, because of the breadth of topics in different industries covered in the course. Legal Practice Skills improved my dexterity with direct, concise writing and helped me to present my research findings to attorneys in a lucid and comprehensible way.

Thriving in Philadelphia

In addition to the legal work I completed at Stevens & Lee, I also worked with attorneys outside of the office: attending hearings in the Court of Common Pleas, accompanying them to depositions, and observing a mediation. Litigators frequently engaged in a wide range of activities, including advocating for a position at a hearing, taking depositions from witnesses, and participating in mediations. I appreciate the range of substantive experiences that I received at Stevens & Lee because they helped me to better envision the type of work that I want to do in the future.

I also had fun this summer! I got invited to Phillies games, attended Top Golf, and went to catered dinners. This enabled me to network with my peer summer associates and full-time associates, learn about Stevens & Lee’s culture, and explore the abundance of restaurants and gripping activities in Philadelphia. The summer was both professionally rigorous and recreationally interesting. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of working at Stevens & Lee to apply.

Pathways to the Profession highlights Penn Carey Law students and post-graduate fellows as they launch impactful legal careers. From summer internships in the private sector to public interest post-graduate fellowships, these firsthand accounts of substantive legal work demonstrate the myriad opportunities available to Penn Carey Law students and graduates as they hone their skills and advance their career goals.

Juliana Poroye L’25, MSEd’25 is a JD/MSEd Education Policy student from New York, a Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander Scholar, and a 2023 PDLG Fellow who is interested in pursuing education law.

Learn more about our students’ Pathways to the Profession.