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Elizabeth Levitan L’17

After graduating in 2011 from Haverford College, Elizabeth spent three months working for an education NGO in Ollantaytambo, Peru, before moving to Philadelphia to begin a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. After completing her year of service, she was hired by Congreso to create and implement a direct service program that supports middle school students with the transition to high school, including application support and soft skill development. Elizabeth also served as Congreso’s agency representative with the United Way’s “Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow” program and participated in the 2013-2014 Philadelphia Education Policy Fellowship Program. In 2014 Elizabeth received the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Service to the City of Philadelphia by Recent AmeriCorps Alum for her work at Congreso.

Since arriving at Penn Law, Elizabeth has participated in a wide array of the public interest-oriented projects, particularly in the areas of juvenile and family law. Elizabeth co-founded and co-directs the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP), a pro bono project that supports youth being charged in the adult criminal justice system. Elizabeth participated in Penn’s Child Advocacy Clinic, where she worked with youth in dependency proceedings, youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and families referred to the clinic through a Medical Legal Partnership with CHOP. She is also a member of the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC), where she supports low-income clients with family law issues. Additionally, she was named the Field Center’s Alan Lerner Fellow in Child Welfare Policy, where she supported the center’s advocacy for safe harbor protections for trafficked youth, and worked on legislation to provide college funding and support services for youth coming out of foster care. Elizabeth is also working towards a certification in Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, so that she can better understand adolescent brain development and its implications for working with youth involved in criminal, delinquency or child welfare systems. Finally, Elizabeth is the Publications and Outreach Editor on the Journal of Law and Social Change, and served during her 2L year as an Auction Chair with the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF), and is currently the co-president of the Equal Justice Foundation, which raises money to fund Penn Law students engaging in summer public interest work.

During her 1L summer Elizabeth worked the Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services of Massachusetts (CPCS), the child welfare division of the states public defenders office. During her 2L summer she worked for Youth Advocacy Division of CPCS, the office’s juvenile delinquency division. Elizabeth was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to work with the Youth Advocacy Foundation’s EdLaw Project based in Boston after graduation. She will provide direct representation for youth in the delinquency system to ensure that they receive all special education services necessary to avoid school failure and successfully reintegrate into school and the community. She will additionally develop a sustainable system for post-sentencing educational representation for court-involved youth in Massachusetts.