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Jesse McGleughlin L’20

Jesse McGleughlin L’20

Jesse McGleughlin advocates for youth and family justice, racial and economic equity, and a world without prisons. Jesse graduated magna cum laude from Brown University’s Africana Studies program, where her senior thesis examined Civil Rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer’s voting rights activism in Mississippi.  As a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa, Jesse developed an oral history course for high school students on legacies of apartheid in the Kayamandi Township, and advocated for the decriminalization of sex work as an intern at Sonke Gender Justice. Jesse then went on to work as the National Training Manager at Community Connections for Youth, based in the South Bronx. In her role, she trained juvenile justice system stakeholders and grassroots community leaders across the country in order to develop effective community-based alternative-to-incarceration programs for youth and decrease the number of youth who were policed, criminalized, and pushed into the juvenile justice system.

At Penn Law, Jesse works with the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project to provide mitigation and reentry support for young people prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system in Philadelphia. As a first year law student, she won the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition where she argued in defense of the rights of transgender teenagers to access the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities. Jesse previously participated in the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic, where she represented teenagers in their dependency cases, and is currently a student in the inaugural Appellate Advocacy Clinic where she works on litigation to challenge money bail practices and fines and fees. 

Jesse has externed at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and spent a summer working at Still She Rises in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a public defender office dedicated to the representation of mothers in the criminal justice system. Most recently, she interned at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia where she engaged in impact litigation to challenge solitary confinement practices in jails and prisons, and in the Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Practice. 

After graduation, Jesse will clerk for the Honorable Gerald McHugh of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Honorable Theodore McKee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.