Asja Towns L’25
Asja joins the Penn Carey Law community from St. John’s University, where she graduated with a major in Legal Studies and minor in International Studies. As a Toll Public Interest Scholar and a prospective lawyer, Asja hopes to empower and amplify the voices of low-income, marginalized communities through empathetic advocacy.
Asja began her career in public interest during her undergraduate studies. She served as a diversity peer educator for St. Johns’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, where she educated administrators, student leaders and organizations on the importance of equity and inclusion, particularly within academic and professional environments. Additionally, she served as a summer intern in the Witness Aid Services Unit at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she explored the overrepresentation of poor, minority communities within the criminal justice system, both as victims and defendants. The following summer she worked as an administrative assistant at the Baltimore City District Court’s Self-Help Center, where she helped to connect pro-se civil litigants to free legal advice. Asja experienced first-hand how poverty often serves as a barrier to justice, inspiring her passion for civil justice. Most recently, Asja worked as an intake paralegal for Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services- a nonprofit organization that connects low-income Marylanders to pro bono civil legal services.
Along with her passion for civil justice, Asja is drawn to parole justice and advocacy which she believes is a crucial factor in addressing the issues of mass incarceration and recidivism. While in undergrad, she volunteered for the Parole Preparation Project of NYC where she collaborated with an incarcerated person to compile application materials for his appearance before the Board of Parole. Additionally, she worked with other volunteers to develop comprehensive release and reintegration plans.
Asja finds creative outlets in reading, traveling, and using tertiary studies as an excuse to visit and live in new cities.