About the Awards
The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s approach to legal education has always been anchored in an unwavering commitment to public service. Through the visionary philanthropy of Robert “Bob” Toll L’66 and Jane Toll GSE’66, the Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC) has grown into a bustling hub for public service. TPIC is home to a number of the Law School’s public interest programs, including the Toll Public Interest Scholars Program, the Toll Public Interest Fellows Program, and the Public Interest Experience.
With the Alumni Impact Awards, TPIC seeks to recognize alumni who have utilized their law degrees to advocate for a more just and equitable society. The winner of the award will receive $10,000, and two runners up will each receive $5,000.
Launched in 2022, the Alumni Impact Awards are intended to highlight lawyers who have excelled in using innovative thinking and problem solving to produce concrete and sustainable solutions to societal problems. Nominees should be leaders in their fields who embody the tradition of public service that the Law School seeks to develop in all students.
On this page:
- 2022 Alumni Impact Awards Recipients
- Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Impact Awards
- Links and Resources
2022 Alumni Impact Awards Recipients
Deuel Ross, L’09
Deuel serves as Senior Counsel & Director of Professional Development at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where he advocates for equal access to educational opportunities and the political process for people of color. Deuel recently argued the Alabama redistricting case Merrill v. Milligan before the United States Supreme Court. Ross also served on the trial team and co-wrote the appellate briefs in Veasey v. Abbott, which successfully challenged Texas’s voter ID law. During the COVID-19 crisis, he filed several federal lawsuits to protect the voting and educational rights of Black and high-risk people across the South. Deuel is an adjunct professor at the Penn Carey School of Law and NYU School of Law.
Kristen Dama, L’07
Kristen is the Managing Attorney of SSI and Medical-Legal Partnership at Community Legal Services. In that role, she oversees CLS’s work connecting disabled adults and children to federal income programs and fighting for policies that improve their lives. She also manages CLS’s medical-legal partnerships, which provide direct legal aid to patients in Philadelphia neighborhoods. During the COVID-19 crisis, Kristen convened and organized a national coalition of disability advocates to work directly with Social Security Administration leadership to tackle systemic issues facing clients, including benefit suspensions and cuts, and to ensure that any fixes made by the SSA protected the most marginalized.
Jessica Feierman, L’00
Jessica is the Senior Managing Director at Juvenile Law Center. She manages JLC’s projects and programs and engages in litigation, amicus, and policy advocacy focused on replacing the juvenile and criminal legal system with alternatives that better support children. Jessica has co-authored numerous appellate and amicus briefs aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices, including Supreme Court briefs in Graham v. Florida, Safford v. Redding, J.D.B. v. North Carolina, and Timbs v. Indiana. She partnered with researchers on a landmark study on the high costs of fines and fees in the juvenile legal system and currently leads a national effort to end these costs. Jessica is an adjunct professor at Penn Carey School of Law.
Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Impact Awards
Nominations for the 2023 Alumni Impact Awards are now open through 5 PM EST on February 28, 2023. Nominations will be reviewed and three finalists selected by a Selection Committee comprised of faculty, staff, and community partners. Recipients of the 2023 Alumni Impact Awards will be publicly announced in April at the annual Public Service Recognition Event, as part of the Law School’s broader celebration of service.