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Erin Sweeney L’19

Prior to coming to Penn, Erin investigated police misconduct at the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), a city oversight agency staffed entirely by civilians. She witnessed policing’s disproportionately negative impact on impoverished communities of color, and realized she wanted to advocate for–rather than investigate–the people sharing their stories of police abuse. An aspiring public defender, Erin plans to provide superb representation to every client while working toward a system that is more restorative than retributive. 

At Penn, she is an Auction Chair for the Equal Justice Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that raises money for students interning in public interest organizations, and is the co-director of the Pardon Project, a pro-bono project that pairs students with formerly incarcerated people who are completing their applications for a Pardon from the Governor. Erin is the Impact Programming Director of the American Constitution Society and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change. She also works with an interdisciplinary team of social workers and formerly incarcerated individuals at the Goldring Reentry Initiative at the School of Social Work. Erin spent her first summer in the Public Benefits unit at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and will spend her second at the Contra Costa County Defender in California. Erin majored in Public Policy at Duke University and enjoys running and biking along the Schuylkill, practicing yoga, cooking spicy food, and thinking about how to make the world more just and compassionate.