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External Pro Bono Placements

Penn Law students are welcome to do pro bono through external pro bono opportunities organized by TPIC at community public interest organizations and government agencies. All opportunities posted meet Penn Law’s Pro Bono eligibility guidelines. We also indicate if an opportunity is likely to meet the NY Bar Pro Bono guidelines.

Please only apply for one external pro bono opportunity at a time. 

 

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)  (Spring 2021)

Who can Participate: 2L and 3L students. 
Description: Students will perform substantive work on behalf of student and faculty civil liberties, including freedom of expression and due process rights. Student responsibilities will vary based on staff needs but will likely include: researching and analyzing policies related to expression or disciplinary procedures on college campuses, writing or updating memoranda on recent developments in First Amendment, administrative, contract and constitutional law, and assisting FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program with cases involving civil liberties violations at colleges and universities across the county.
Course Requirements or Pre-Requisites: Knowledge of constitutional law, especially First Amendment law, is preferred. Excellent legal writing and analytical skills, including attention to detail, are required. Ideal candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to FIRE’s mission.
Time Commitment: 7-7.5 hours per week remotely (one full work day).
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Email a cover letter, resume and short writing sample to Susan Kruth, susan@thefire.org.

 

Legal Clinic for the Disabled (available for Fall 2020)

(This is IN-PERSON work that has been approved by the University)

Who can Participate: 2L, 3L and LLM students
Landlord-Tenant Lawyer of the Day Program (LOTD), which is a court-based program sanctioned by the Philadelphia Municipal Court. LCD staff attorneys are in court weekly representing tenants who come to court without counsel. Students are needed to help conduct intake and review documentation for the staff attorney covering the LOTD program each court date. Available shift: Wednesday, 8:45am - 12pm. Students can volunteer weekly or biweekly.
Time Commitment: 3 hours per week with semester commitment. Students are expected to commit to at least 2 shifts per month.
Requirement: Students must have relevant experience conducting intake or other related direct service with clients experience.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Please submit a resume to Sarah Egoville and note your availability for weekly or biweekly shifts.

Please remember that this opportunity is for IN-PERSON service work at Municipal Court. While in-person service work is not required for your pro bono requirement, please only apply if you are comfortable in attending.

 

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (available for Fall 2020)

Who Can Participate: 2Ls and 3Ls - PMC is seeking self-motivated interns with excellent research and writing abilities and a strong commitment to social justice. Students with a background in public policy, education and/or public interest law are encouraged to apply.
Description:Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting equal access to justice, civic education, and judicial modernization and reform. In addition to advocating for systemic policy changes, such as merit selection of statewide appellate judges, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts engages in numerous educational and reform initiatives.

Responsibilities may include: Conducting legal research and writing on court reform issues in Pennsylvania and nationally; engaging with pro se litigants and connecting helpline callers to appropriate resources; observing and participating in aspects of the legislative process; attending and reporting on court proceedings to identify potential areas of systemic improvement; determining additional short-term mechanisms of furthering PMC’s goals, and devising ways to implement these mechanisms.
Time Commitment: Approximately 10 hours per week, but this can be flexible.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Submit your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position and why you believe you are a good fit to Kathleen Moyer, Manager of Marketing & Administration, at moyer@pmconline.org.

 

 

Penn Law Clinical Program (Translators only) (Spring 2021) 

Who can Participate: All Students
Description: Penn Law’s Clinical Program is looking for students interested in volunteering their services as language translators/interpreters during the academic year. Volunteer interpreters and translators to assist the clinic in providing the best possible representation for non-English speaking clients. Volunteers will assist clinic student attorneys by interpreting during meetings with clients who are non-English speakers, and may also translate written documents. This semester in our Civil Practice Clinic, Transnational Legal Clinic and our Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic have a special need for students who are fluent in Spanish, French and many other languages. This experience will provide volunteers with a chance to see actual client representation, and will also fulfill a great need as all work in these clinics is provided free of charge to indigent members of our community.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is NOT New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Complete this Qualtrics Survey regarding your language abilities. Your survey information will be placed in a database for students to access once they have a need for interpreting/translating in their cases. Please email clinic@law.upenn.edu with any questions or concerns.

 

People for the American Way (Spring 2021)

Who can Participate: 2L and 3Ls with excellent research/writing skills.
Description: People for the American Way works to build a democratic system that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. PFAW encourages civic participation, defending of fundamental rights and fighting to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. PFAW is looking for one student with excellent research/writing skills.

Legal research on Court of Appeals judges’ decisions:
Two students are needed to research and review the opinions of recently appointed judges to assess their records on a variety of issues of interest to PFAW members and allies.

Time Commitment: 4-8 hours per week with a semester commitment.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Please submit a resume, cover letter (addressed to Marge Baker, Executive Vice President for Policy and Program) and short writing sample to Sarah Egoville.

 

Pepper Center (Immigration)  (Spring 2021)

Who Can Participate: All students that are fluent in Spanish. Immigration law knowledge or experience is not required. There may be an additional (but not consistent) need for students that only speak English. 
Description: The Pepper Center for Public Service (housed at Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLC), works with several organizations serving immigrants, such as the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC), HIAS-PA and Nationalities Service Center. The Pepper Center provides pro bono counsel in a range of immigration matters, including asylum defense, bond hearings for immigration detainees and appeals within the immigration court system.  Students will assist Troutman Pepper attorneys in communicating with clients in their native language (Spanish), conduct interviews and factual investigations as well as prepare court filings. 
Time Commitment: Flexible, approximately 10+ hours per month. While this opportunity typically requires students to travel with supervising attorneys to York County prison, prison entrance has been restricted due to COVID. Interviews of detainees will usually occur over video. 
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Email your resume to Sarah Egoville.

 

Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement  (Spring 2021) 

Who Can Participate: All Students
Description: The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement is a non- profit organization started by Judge Marjorie Rendell and Governor Edward Rendell to promote civics education and engagement. The Rendell Center offers opportunities for educators and the broader community to develop the knowledge, practices and dispositions of engaged citizenship. For educators, the Rendell Center creates curriculum content, pedagogical tools, and professional development experiences. For students, the Rendell Center develops literacy-based programs and experiential learning exercises.

We are looking for dynamic, innovative and passionate individuals interested in joining our team to assist us in the rollout of our Literacy Based Mock Trial program in grades k-8. We are looking for assistance in the development of material as well as individuals to work with elementary school classrooms on the Literature Based Mock program. This program combines literacy and the law in dynamic lessons for elementary school students. In addition, we are also looking for assistance with a new mock trial initiative with middle school students similar to the High School Mock Trial competition. We are particularly seeking help to transition our lessons to the virtual worlds. 

Pennsylvania law requires all volunteers in the Philadelphia School District to complete background checks. Contact TPIC for guidance in navigating this process.
Time commitment: 4-6 hours per week.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is NOT New York Bar eligible.
To express interest: Email your resume and letter of interest (attention: Beth Specker, Executive Director) to Sarah Egoville.

 

SeniorLAW Center (Spring 2021)

Who can Participate: 2L, 3L and LLM students.
Assisting the SeniorLAW Homeowner Rights project: One student is needed to assist the Director of the Program (Beth Shay, Esq.) by conducting legal research on housing, mortgage foreclosure and title issues, and writing memorandum. Must be good at creating powerpoint presentations and written educational materials for distribution to senior homeowners through our website. 
One student is needed.
Time Commitment: 2-3 hours per week with at least a semester commitment.
NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To Express Interest: Please email a cover letter and resume to Sarah Egoville, segoville@law.upenn.edu. A brief interview with the SeniorLAW Center will be scheduled.