Simone Downs L’25
Simone graduated from Princeton University with a degree in the School of Public & International Affairs. Her undergraduate research focused on the impact of gender diversity amongst judges on international supreme courts. She continued to engage with gender justice as a Faith & Gender Justice Fellow with the United Nations Women Civil Society Division. She also worked to expand access to education, interning with Children’s Scholarship Fund of Philadelphia as well as the Pratham Institute in Mumbai, India. As a Social Impact Designer for the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, Simone worked with local farmers to increase access to economic opportunities. Her favorite collegiate activity was mentoring first-year students and introducing them to service opportunities as a Community Action Leader.
Following graduation, Simone moved to Tulsa, OK, where she was the Community Development Specialist at the Tulsa Authority for Economic Opportunity. There, she worked on a wide variety of initiatives to support the city’s goal of ensuring all Tulsans have safe, quality housing. This work included launching the city’s affordable housing trust fund and landlord incentive program, providing research support for residential landlord and tenant act reform, and leading Tulsa’s participation in national collaboratives focused on bringing a racial equity approach to housing efforts and preventing illegal and retaliatory evictions.
Having grown up in the Philadelphia area, Simone is thrilled to be returning to Philadelphia as a Penn Carey Law student and Toll Scholar. She is eager to use her education to tackle legal barriers which restrict access to resources, rights, and opportunities. In her future career as a public interest attorney, she hopes to continue working on issues of gender justice, housing rights, and/or economic development.
Simone spent her 1L summer at Regional Housing Legal Services helping organizations implement projects that increase housing affordability and community ownership. At Penn, she is the Vice President of Lambda, a shift manager for the Custody Support and Assistance Clinic, and an Associate Editor for Law Review.