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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.

 

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.

 

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. Three opportunities available. 

Philadelphia Landlord-Tenant Court Lawyer of the Day Program: This is a court- based program sanctioned by the Philadelphia Municipal Court and conducted by several public interest organizations. SeniorLaw Center staff attorneys are in court weekly representing tenants who come to court without counsel. One to two students are needed to help conduct intake and review documentation for the SeniorLaw Center staff attorney covering the LOTD program each court date. There will be opportunities to observe cases if they go to trial. We ask that students commit to at least two shifts per month (alternating weeks) throughout the semester. Follow-up work can be completed remotely. Start date: as soon as possible. Students will be trained on their first day. Available shifts: every Thursday morning 8:30am - 12pm (with remote work in the afternoon). This is IN-PERSON work that has been approved by the University. 

Assisting with Intergenerational custody matters: 1-2 students are needed to assist the Project Director for the Pursing Justice for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren project to increase access to justice for seniors with intergenerational custody matters. Students will assist in research tasks, drafting custody and family law documents and interact with clients (zoom and phone calls). Time Commitment: 5-8 hours per week remotely with a semester commitment.


NY Bar Pro Bono: All SeniorLAW Center opportunities are likely to be New York Bar eligible.
To Express Interest: Please email a cover letter and resume to Sarah Egoville noting your preferred opportunity. A brief interview with the SeniorLAW Center will be scheduled.