Megan Russo L’23
As a first-generation college and professional student who has experienced homelessness, Megan has come to understand that although poverty is personally experienced, it is embedded within a national context. It is this shift in understanding – from a personal to a national context – coupled with her professional experience that has motivated her to pursue a law degree focused at the intersection of law and policy.
Megan received her BA in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, where she was a QuestBridge National Match Scholar, a Horatio Alger Ronald C. Waranch-Georgia Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She wrote her honor’s thesis on the experiences of low-income students in elite institutional settings to better understand ways in which higher education can provide support for first-generation and low-income students. After graduation, Megan worked most recently as a project manager and research analyst in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute where she provided research and operational support to affect criminal justice reform and reduce mass incarceration.
At Penn Carey Law, Megan served as an Associate Editor for The Regulatory Review and The Law Review. She was a board member for Penn’s First Generation Professionals Group, Mock Trial Association, and Student Public Interest Network. Megan spent her 1L summer at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Fair Housing and Community Development project and provided research assistance to Criminal Law Professor Shaun Ossei-Owusu. She was also a research assistant at Penn’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice and a Fall 2020 extern for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.