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Penn Law honors pro bono and public interest service

May 01, 2013

University of Pennsylvania Law School professors Sarah Paoletti and Tobias Barrington Wolff have been honored with the Law School’s 2013 Beacon Award, which recognizes faculty members’ contributions to pro bono and public interest service. The award was presented as part of Penn Law’s annual Public Interest Recognition Ceremony, which took place April 16 in the Fitts Auditorium. More than 100 student leaders and over 50 community partners were also honored.

Professor Paoletti, who directs the Transnational Legal Clinic, Penn Law’s international human rights and immigration clinic, was recognized for her work both within the clinic and beyond the Penn Law community. In addition to her innovative work with clinic students, Paoletti serves in numerous consulting and board positions and is recognized as a critical voice nationally and internationally on behalf of the rights of migrant workers.

Professor Wolff, who writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, the conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction and constitutional law, was honored for his work in shaping national policy with regard to LGBT equality. Wolff, who is widely recognized as a driving force in making LGBT equality possible, has served as an advisor to the Obama administration and has undertaken individual advocacy in cases of discrimination.

The Recognition Ceremony celebrated the pro bono and public interest work of the Law School’s 2013 graduating class, who collectively performed more than 30,000 hours of service. Third year students Madeline Gitomer and Caitlin Walgamuth received the C. Edwin Baker Award for performing the most pro bono hours of any student in the Class of 2013.

The work of numerous Penn Law students, including a record number of LLM students, was honored at the Ceremony, along with the contributions of public interest law attorneys and advocates, and more than 20 student-run pro bono groups. Of the graduating JDs, 92 percent exceeded the school’s 70-hour pro bono requirement, with three students performing more than 600 hours of pro bono legal service.

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