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Jesse Krohn L’11 looks at CASAC through a new lens - a practitioner

April 04, 2014



My name is Jesse Krohn. I graduated from Penn Law in 2011 and I am currently a staff attorney at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, which is a non-profit civil legal agency here in Philadelphia. I am in the family law unit and I help low income Philadelphias with problems pertaining to child custody, child support, and domestic violence.

I feel like family law is one of those, kind of, over looked ways that you can make a difference in a child’s life and in a family’s life. Child custody orders, protection from abuse orders, child support orders, you know, they are kind of core building blocks that you have in helping a family build stability and build independence. I feel that family law is a very underserved area. You don’t have, in Philadelphia, appointed council in family law cases. It is very difficult to get volunteer attorneys for family law cases because they are known for dragging on forever, being really emotional, not everybody really has kind of the interpersonal skills for doing that work and to have the opportunity to make that my entire job and to purposely select the cases that I think that I can really make an impact in, that is kind of what keeps me going, is to know that even though family cases are really frustrating, I won’t hide the ball on that, to know that at the end of the day you do have the opportunity to really make a difference in somebody’s life.

So when I was law school I was very active with the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic and I really enjoyed it. One of the things that I like about my current job at Philadelphia Legal Assistance is that I actually get to be involved with the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic again. I help to supervise the students who are involved in CASAC we call it, when they are at the PLA office. One of the things that I really like is getting to work with those students and seeing the same kind of growth in them as advocates and as attorneys to be that I must have also had and had been kind of unaware of at the time.

Everybody starts and they are really nervous, you know, am I going to get somebody to open up to me, to talk to me, am I really going to be able to help someone with their problems. And then 6 months down the road, you see the same student advocate really confidently talking to someone on the phone, or walking them down the hallway and you can see that the client just has absolute trust and faith in them. And, I don’t mean to sound patronizing by saying how it makes me feel proud, but it really does to think about the good work that they’re doing, that Penn students are doing for all the of these people in the community, and to just be part of that is something that really does give me a really big sense of satisfaction and I always smile a little when I see it happen.

Transcript edited for length.