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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.

Current External Opportunities

Click on an opportunity to learn more:

 

• Ceiba, remote research  (Available for Spring 2020)

Ceiba, Tax Prep Assistance (Available for Spring 2020)

 Census 2020, Rights and responsibilities workshops (Available for Spring 2020)

• CHILD USA (Available for Spring 2020)

Children’s Law Center (Available for Spring 2020)

• City of Philadelphia Law Department (Available for Spring 2020)

• Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)  (Available for Spring 2020)

• HIAS (Available for Spring 2020)

• Justice for our Neighbors (Immigration law)  (Available for Spring 2020)

• Penn Law Clinical Program (Translators only) (Available for Spring 2020) 

• Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) (Available for Spring 2020)

• Pepper Center (Immigration)  (Available for Spring 2020)

• Public Interest Law Center (Available for Spring 2020)

Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement   (Available for Spring 2020) 

 

CEIBA (research projects)

Who Can Participate: All Students

Organization Website: http://ceibaphiladelphia.org/

Description: Ceiba has several direct client and research projects available for Penn Law students. Ceiba is looking for students who have a significant interest in issues of housing, economic development, immigration, tax policy, consumer protection, language access, voting rights, and civil rights.

Time commitment: 4-8 hours per week

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Email your resume to Sarah Egoville

 

 

CEIBA, Tax Prep Assistance

Who Can Participate: All Students  

Organization Website: http://ceibaphiladelphia.org/  

Description: Beginning January 25th through April 15th, Ceiba will provide free federal and state tax preparation services to low-income families. Clinics will run Monday-Saturday (10am-5pm), with a preference for students to volunteer on Friday/Saturdays. However, Ceiba can likely accommodate student schedules during the early part of the week. The tax preparation clinics will be held at Ceiba’s office in North Philadelphia (easily accessible by public transportation).  

Training: Students must become advanced VITA certified through the online training.  Please see the flyer for additional information and make sure to take the advanced training, not the basic training. 

Time commitment: Students must commit to at least four, 4 hour clinic dates between January - April.  

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is NOT New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Please follow the training instructions included in the flyer and email your results to Will Gonzalez (Ceiba’s Executive Director) and please copy Sarah Egoville .

 

 

Census 2020, Rights and Responsibilities Workshops

Who can Participate: All Students

Organization Website: https://www.phila.gov/programs/philly-counts-2020/

Description: Philly Counts, in partnership with Ceiba, is excited to announce a new opportunity to join the City’s efforts to ensure a complete count in the 2020 census. Why does the census matter? Complete and accurate reporting helps to ensures that on a state and local level, our communities receive an accurate share of federal funding. Under-counting can result in serious under-funding for diverse cities like Philadelphia whose census participation is historically low.

Students will help Philadelphians learn about their rights and responsibilities at Census time and why it matters. Workshops will take place at local community organizations, health clinics and at neighborhood events. 

Language skills: English, Spanish, mandarin, Russian, Cambodian, French, Vietnamese.

Time Commitment: Workshops will take place form January to April. Students must commit to at least 15 hours throughout the spring semester. 

Spring Break? Yes, dates will be available during spring break! If you intend to volunteer during spring break only, students must commit to at least 2 days of teaching workshops.

Information session/training: January 22, 2020 12pm - 1pm

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Please sign up here

 

 

CHILD USA

Who can Participate: All Students

Organization Website: www.childusa.org

Description: Professor Marci A. Hamilton (University of Pennsylvania, SAS) oversees the first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary nonprofit think tank for child protection, CHILD USA.  CHILD USA’s mission is to end child abuse and neglect through evidence-based research and public advocacy resulting in laws and public policy that truly protect children.  

(CHILD is an acronym for Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty)

We are seeking 2 Penn law students/semester to work on cutting edge legal research involving child abuse or neglect and the legal system.  There are 3 studies underway: (1) the investigation into the institutional loopholes that allowed the decades of abuse committed by Dr. Larry Nassar; (2) the effects of gay conversion or reparative therapy for purposes of establishing public policy involving religious exemptions; and (3) research on statutes of limitation for child sex abuse.  There will also be research involving family court reform, destruction of children’s rape kits, child marriage laws, extreme religious liberty statutes, and medical neglect laws for our website. Excellent research and writing skills are required.

Time Commitment: 6-10 hours/week with a semester commitment.

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Email resume, transcripts, short writing sample and a letter of recommendation to Sarah Egoville .

 

 

Children’s Law Center

Who can Participate: 2L and 3Ls with strong research/writing skills

Organization Website:  https://www.clcny.org/

Description: The Children’s Law Center (CLC) is a non-profit law firm based in Brooklyn, New York, that represents children in custody, visitation, guardianship, paternity, family offense, and related child protective (abuse or neglect) proceedings in the Family Courts and the Integrated Domestic Violence Parts of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, and in appeals therefrom.  Working closely with attorneys who are members of CLC’s writing and appellate team, the student will have the opportunity to hone legal research and writing skills, and learn about family law and the role of the attorney for the child. Working primarily remotely, the law student will conduct legal research, digest case records (school, medical, forensic reports), and engage in factual and legal cite checking of court documents. The student will also draft legal documents, including memoranda of law, motions, and/or sections of written trial summations and appellate briefs.  During visits to our Brooklyn office, the student will have the opportunity to observe family court and appellate proceedings and conferences, and observe and potentially participate in witness and client interviews.

Excellent research and writing skills are required.

Time Commitment: 8 - 10 hours/week with a semester commitment. While this opportunity is remote, the student should expect to travel to the office once per month. 

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Email resume, short writing sample and a cover letter (addressed to Rachel Stanton) to Sarah Egoville .

 

 

City of Philadelphia Law Department

Who Can Participate: Second Year Law Students Preferred

Organization Website: http://www.phila.gov/law/Pages/default.aspx

Description: As the City’s in-house counsel, the Law Department’s lawyers help chart the course for the City in business, health, safety, commerce, civil rights, taxation, and community development. Our attorneys represent the City before federal and state courts on a diverse array of matters, including civil rights, tort claims, labor and employment, affirmative litigation, and appeals. We also draft ordinances and contracts to which the City is a party. We provide advice to the Mayor, City Council, and the operating departments so the City can manage risk and develop proactive and sound policies. Our lawyers enjoy intellectually challenging work and the satisfaction of knowing that their efforts make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Philadelphia.

The Law Department is composed of four groups: Corporate and Tax, Litigation, Legislation, and Social Services. Within each group are numerous Units and Divisions with a wide range of practice areas. A more detailed description of each unit can be found here .

Interns are assigned to one specific unit. Assignments will vary depending on the unit assigned and the discretion of the supervising attorney.

Time commitment: 5-10 hours per week but varies by departments. 

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To Express Interest: Email your resume and letter of interest (addressed to Iveliz Crespo) to Sarah Egoville . Please specify in your letter which groups/units are of interest.

 

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

Who can Participate: 2Ls and 3Ls

Organization Website: www.thefire.org

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 (one full work day), 50 hours total semester.

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 .

 

HIAS

Who can Participate: All Students

Organization Website: http://hiaspa.org/  

Description: HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. One to two students are needed to assist refugees, asylees and other immigrants with adjustment of status (green card) applications. Students who can speak other relevant languages are preferred; the most commonly needed languages are Spanish, French, Arabic, Dari/Farsi, Pashto, Russian, Ukrainian, Swahili, Tigrinya and Urdu.

Time Commitment: 5-10 hours per week with semester commitment.

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Email Sarah Egoville  your resume and letter of interest.

 

Justice for our Neighbors (Immigration Law)

Who can Participate: All Students, Spanish fluency preferred

Organization Website: https://njfon.org/

DescriptionJustice for our Neighbors is a immigration law ministry sponsored by the United Methodist Church. One student is needed 5-8 hours per week to assist with immigration law matters; research and writing, interviewing prospective clients (some of which are in ICE detention) and assist with trial prep. Spanish fluency is not required, but preferred. 4 hours will be spent in the office (Old City location, easily accessible by public transportation) and up to 4 hours will be completed remotely. 

Time Commitment: 5-8 hours per week with semester commitment.

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest: Email Sarah Egoville  with your resume.

 

Penn Law Clinical Program

Who can Participate: All Students 

Organization Website: https://www.law.upenn.edu/clinic/  

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.

 

 

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts

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.

Organization Website: www.pmconline.org

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. Semester commitment. 

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 .

 

Pepper Center for Public Service (Immigration)

Who Can Participate: All students that are fluent in Spanish. Immigration law knowledge or experience is not required.

Organization Website: https://www.pepperlaw.com/about/pepper-center/

Description: The Pepper Center for Public Service (housed at Pepper Hamilton LLC), is working with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) to provide counsel in bond hearings to detainees held at the York County Prison. Each week, 100 new detainees are imprisoned at the facility.

Law students will assist Pepper Hamilton attorneys in communicating with clients in their native language (Spanish), conduct interviews and factual investigations as well as prepare court filings.

Students will travel with attorneys to York County Prison (1.5 hours away) to meet with clients. Travel days are flexible and dependent on student schedules. In addition to travel days, students will work remotely on cases under attorney supervision.

Time Commitment: Flexible, approximately 10-15 hours per month. This opportunity is best for students that have an open day in your schedule, yet you are not required to travel each week. For continuity, we ask that students travel at least twice per semester.

NY Bar Pro Bono:  The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.

To express interest: Email your resume and note your availability to travel (i.e. “I am available all day on Thursdays”) to Sarah Egoville .

 

 

Public Interest Law Center 

Who can Participate: All Students 

Organization Website: www.pubintlaw.org 

Description: The Public Interest Law Center, a nonprofit organization focused on using high impact legal strategies to represent individuals and organizations challenging policies and practices that perpetuate discrimination, inequality and poverty, is looking for legal interns. Interns will research and write about diverse issues related to pending and future litigation. The Law Center is looking for students interested in poverty law, specifically related to its six subject areas: education, housing, environmental justice, employment, healthcare, and voting. 

Time Commitment: Commitment will vary based on the ebbs and flow of litigation. Most work can be done remotely but some in-person training and meetings may be required. 

NY Bar Pro Bono: The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible. 

To express interest:  Email your resume and a brief letter of interest to Sarah Egoville .

 

 

The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement

Who Can Participate: All Students

Organization Website: http://rendellcenter.org/

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 our 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.

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 with a semester commitment. 

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.