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Prison Legal Education Project

The goal of the Prison Legal Education Project is to work together with incarcerated people to jointly lead a seminar on legal research and writing skills.

What we do: 

The Penn Law Prison Legal Education Project works with people who are currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania state prisons to jointly lead a seminar on legal research and writing, at the prison facility. A goal of our curriculum is to help incarcerated people develop their legal research and writing skills so that they can successfully file pro se documents. The curriculum will build the fundamental building blocks incarcerated people need to interpret and craft legal arguments.

How we do it:

Volunteers work with incarcerated individuals at the prison facility during each lesson alongside 5-6 other Penn Law students. The class is collaborative and student-directed: volunteers will work together with the student-partners to review key aspects of legal research and writing and discuss relevant legal issues. Volunteers will make a year-long commitment, with 3-4 Friday sessions per semester. Transportation for the one-hour trip is provided.

How and when can I join:

Interested volunteers should email the Co-Leaders, Claire Samuelson and John Santoro, for a volunteer application. You can also come see us at the Pro Bono sign up fair!

What skills will I develop:

Working with incarcerated clients, community engagement, criminal justice, legal writing, legal analysis, classroom management, public speaking, presentation skills, education