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Karla Talley L’23

Karla Talley L’23

Karla is passionate about using legal advocacy to amplify the voices of racial and ethnic minorities, low-income individuals, and those who have historically been underserved. She was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and is the first person in her family to pursue a law degree. Karla graduated from Lafayette College in 2018 as a Posse Foundation Scholar with a double major in Government & Law and in English with a writing concentration. While at Lafayette, she served as a board member for the Association of Black Collegians, led a service project focused on Sex Trafficking awareness, and also taught and mentored students in Madagascar who were applying to colleges in the United States.

After college, Karla worked as a Legal Assistant in the Housing Law unit at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. For two years, she worked directly with clients dealing with civil legal matters to help prevent low-income tenants from being evicted and to help ensure safe housing for clients. In addition, during her time at Legal Aid, Karla was a member of the Racial Justice Working Group. Karla’s commitment to direct legal services was strengthened after observing the systemic barriers that clients faced and the lack of legal representation for low-income individuals.

Karla spent her 1L summer as an intern at the Abolitionist Law Center working on solitary confinement issues. At Penn, she served as the 1L representative for the Black Law Students Association and currently serves as the Advocacy Co-Chair for the organization. She is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Law and Social Change. In addition, Karla served as a Teaching Assistant for Professor Tani’s first-year Torts class in the fall of 2021.

When Karla has free time, she enjoys taking dance and yoga classes, creative writing, and binge-watching tv shows.