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Current Pro Bono Opportunities for Students

All external and pro bono project volunteer opportunities are listed below. This page is regularly updated as positions are filled and new ones become available. All opportunities listed here meet Penn Law’s pro bono eligibility guidelines.

Information about the New York bar pro bono requirement.

External Pro Bono Opportunities

  • Pennsylvania Health Law Project

    Who Can Participate

    All Students

     

    Description

    Research and outreach to courts throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to establish a plan for training family court staff regarding the implications of the Affordable Care Act on child custody.

     

    Organization Website

    www.phlp.org

     

    To Express Interest

    Contact:

    Joline Price, Esq.

    Staff Attorney

    Langer, Grogan & Diver Fellow in Social Justice

    JPrice@phlp.org

    Tags:

Spring 2015 Penn Law Pro Bono Project Opportunities

 

Animal Law Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

Animal Law Project focuses on the protection and promotion of animal interests through the legal system. We offer a wide variety of research and writing opportunities throughout the semester. ALP also host speakers and events on campus designed to promote awareness of animal-related legal issues.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/alp/index.php

Opportunity

We offer a number of research and writing opportunities that are distributed by e-mail throughout the semester. There is no fixed time commitment required, and students may select from a variety of projects based on their specific availability and interests. Some examples of upcoming projects include:

  • Conducting a national survey of regulations pertaining to use of exotic animals in exhibitions.
  • Researching and assisting in production of a manual on regulations pertaining to inclusion of pets in domestic violence protection orders.
  • Conducting research in support of an appeals court lawsuit seeking to enforce use of non-lethal controls for birds, including several endangered species, at airports.

To Express Interest

Write to Rhea Ghosh at rheag@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Criminal Records Expungement Project

Who Can Participate

2L and 3L volunteers who are eligible for certification for student practice (have completed 3 full semesters of law school)

Project Description

C-REP provides services to individuals seeking to expunge non-conviction records in Philadelphia County. Volunteer attorneys and law students host community clinics and provide legal counsel through all stages of the expungement process, including representing clients before the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. C-REP also educates the public and the legal community on the expungement process and advocates for criminal record policy reform.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/crep/

Opportunity

C-REP is looking for 2L and 3L volunteers to argue petitions in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas under the supervision of C-REP supervising attorneys. Volunteers will be trained on the expungement process and no prior experience with C-REP is necessary. This is a great opportunity to earn pro bono hours and get stand up, in court experience.

To Express Interest

Write to Colin McGrath at colinmcg@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Custody and Support Assistance Clinic

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/casac/

To Express Interest

Contact Arielle Herzberg at herzberg@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Employment Advocacy Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

The Employment Advocacy Project advocates for the rights of employees and represents unemployment compensation claimants who are appealing denials of unemployment compensation. While we do not provide legal services, EAP advocates are Penn Law students that represent unemployment compensation claimants at unemployment compensation hearings in Philadelphia. The EAP board and advocates are coached and advised by a supervising attorney from Philadelphia Legal Assistance who specializes in employment matters.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/eap/

Opportunity

EAP offers many opportunities for involvement and has no minimum time requirement. Join us in serving our community! Ways to get involved:

  1. Sharpen your oral advocacy skills through advocating for your client in unemployment compensation hearings before state administrative referees. Preparation includes opportunities to practice client interviewing and management.
  2. Improve your persuasive writing skills by authoring written appeals of unemployment compensation decisions.
  3. Attend skills training sessions run by our supervising attorney and experienced advocates that will cover important competencies like trial advocacy and client interviewing.

To Express Interest

Please contact pennemploymentadvocacyproject@gmail.com.

 

 

Environmental Law Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project and Opportunity Descriptions

Penn Law’s Environmental Law Project (ELP) is a pro bono organization that provides students with opportunities to engage in legal advocacy on environmental issues. We partner with non-profit organizations to produce meaningful research for practitioners throughout the academic year. We also perform environmental policy analysis in public comments submitted to regulatory agencies each semester. Both of these opportunities will be available to students in the spring of 2015.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/environmental/

To Express Interest

Contact the ELP board at elp.pennlaw@gmail.com.

 

 

Financial Literacy Project

Who Can Participate

Anyone, after signing our Volunteer Agreement. VITA tax trainings are held at the Law School on Friday January 23rd and Friday January 30th. CFLP requires no official training.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/flp/

To Express Interest

Contact the Board:

 

 

Guild Food Stamp Clinic

Who Can Participate

2Ls and 3Ls

Project Description

The Guild Food Stamp Clinic (GFSC) is a partnership of students from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Philadelphia Legal Assistance. GFSC’s student advocates assist people in applying for food stamps and appealing terminations or reductions in food stamp benefits.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/foodstamp/index.php

Opportunity

Hello Prospective Volunteers! We have several openings this semester for the Guild Food Stamp Clinic. We are looking for volunteers for Monday morning (9:00am-12:00pm), Wednesday morning (9:00am-12:00pm), Friday morning (9:00am-12:00pm) and Friday afternoon (1:00pm-4:00pm). The GFSC requires a weekly commitment from the student of 3 hours in which the student travels to our office at Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Students who volunteer assist people in applying for food stamps and appealing terminations or reductions in food stamp benefits. If you are in need of additional pro bono hours or you are looking to satisfy the NY Bar Pro Bono requirement, please email us at akopjank@law.upenn.edu or dnuzzaci@law.upenn.edu.

To Express Interest

Write to Katy Akopjan at akopjank@law.upenn.edu or Daniel Nuzzaci at dnuzzaci@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Health Law and Policy Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/helpp/index.php

To Express Interest

Contact pennlawhelpp@gmail.com

 

 

Innocence Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

PEAP Innocence Project volunteers assist the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in its efforts to exonerate individuals who have been convicted of crimes that they did not commit.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/plea/index.php

Opportunity

The Innocence Project is recruiting additional student volunteers for the spring semester. A training session, led by Pennsylvania Innocence Project staff attorney, Nilam Sanghvi, will be held in late January. Please be on the lookout for additional information.

To Express Interest

Write to Innocence Project Coordinator Britney Wilson at wbritney@law.upenn.edu

 

 

International Human Rights Advocates

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

The International Human Rights Advocates (IHRA) is a student run pro bono organization that supports human rights advocacy throughout the world. IHRA works with international human rights organizations to provide research for our partner’s publications and lawsuits. Participation in IHRA gives students a chance to develop foreign law research skills, fulfill their pro bono requirement (including New York Bar credit), learn about emerging issues in human rights, travel the world through our Field Work, and learn about career opportunities in human rights.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/ihra/

Opportunity

  • Land Rights | Namati, International http://www.namati.org
    Namati’s Community Land Protection Program supports communities to use national legislation and legal procedures to protect their land claims. The Program uses an integrated community land documentation process that secures legal protections, strengthens local land governance, and leverages the process to create positive intra-community change. As part of its Community Land Protection strategy, Namati is compiling a database of national court cases involving dispossession and disenfranchisement of community lands. The Casebase will be a resource for community land rights advocates and lawyers crafting litigation strategies to fight community land dispossession. IHRA will partner with Namati to help grow the Community Land Rights Casebase. Interested Penn volunteers, please contact Natasha Arnpriester at narnpr@law.upenn.edu for more information.
  • Global Health | Lawyers Collective, India http://www.lawyerscollective.org/
    Lawyers Collective, headed by former Special Rapporteur to the UN on health Anand Grover, promotes international health issues. Students will help the organization in analyzing domestic, regional, and international judicial decisions on the right to health for publication to a database. The database will be used by organizations worldwide as an informational and advocacy tool. Students will also have the opportunity to put what they’ve learned in their research on a particular jurisdiction’s right to health into a final product that the organization will publish on its website. Contact Aaron Jordan at aajordan@law.upenn.edu for more information.

To Express Interest

Contact Pinky Mehta at PinkyMehta@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project

Who Can Participate

Students who have previously enrolled but not worked with the group

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/irap/

To Express Interest

Contact pennlawirap@gmail.com.

 

 

Legal Education Partnership

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

Our project provides mock trial and debate team coaches for Boys Latin High School in West Philadelphia, and provides leadership for their student government program.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/lep/

Opportunity

We are looking for students interested in serving as mock trial or debate team coaches, or students interested in guiding the school’s student government. Volunteers should expect to volunteer once a week on either Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, from 4-5 pm.

To Express Interest

Please contact any of our board members: Ed Howell (edhowell@law.upenn.edu), Mike Howald (howaldm@law.upenn.edu), or Saam Alikhani (alikhani@law.upenn.edu).

 

 

Penn Housing Rights Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

The Penn Housing Rights Project (PHRP) was established in 2007 to protect the rights of low income tenants in the Philadelphia area. Penn Law students receive referrals from Community Legal Services and work with attorneys from Dechert LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP to assist indigent tenants in their landlord-tenant disputes.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/phrp/index.php

Opportunity

We have a flexible time commitment whereby students may sign up for cases on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students work in pairs on each case along with a local attorney. Throughout the semester, we may also have fixed research opportunities that we send out to the listserv.

To Express Interest

Write to contact@pennhousingrights.com.

 

 

Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/hap/

To Express Interest

Contact the Board:

 

Penn Law Students for Reproductive Justice

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

Penn LSRJ incorporates pro bono project work, community building, activism, and events work focused on ensuring reproductive justice access for all individuals. Since 2005, our organization has collaborated with the Women’s Law Project, the Public Defender’s Office, Planned Parenthood, and the Philadelphia Women’s Center to ensure access to safe, comprehensive, and affordable reproductive healthcare. Penn LSRJ currently provides direct legal service to clients in the form of judicial bypass counseling and clinic escorting and performs legal and policy research.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/reproductive-rights/

Opportunity

  • Direct Service: Clinical Escorting: Penn LSRJ members escort women to and from health clinics in Philadelphia to shield them from protestors and to watch out for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act violations.
  • Judicial Bypass Program: Penn LSRJ members counsel women under the age of 18 about their right to petition the court for a judicial bypass in order to access abortion services. This right enables young women who cannot safely obtain parental consent in a timely fashion to make choices about their future and reproductive health. We answer questions, assist them with their petitions, and connect them with legal representation and a court date.
  • Research: Penn LSRJ works closely with the Women’s Law Project to conduct research on a wide range of reproductive justice and access issues in Pennsylvania. In 2013, Penn LSRJ revised a briefing booklet that will help legislators understand abortion in Pennsylvania. In 2012, Penn LSRJ wrote a comprehensive memorandum on H.B. 1077, a bill intended to make ultrasounds mandatory for abortions in Pennsylvania. Penn LSRJ also monitors cases going forward in other jurisdictions to analyze their potential effect in Pennsylvania. Penn LSRJ has also assisted in many confidential research projects for pending and current cases in Pennsylvania on broader issues of access and choice.

To Express Interest

Write to Sarah Morrissey at sarah.morrissey@law.upenn.edu.

 

 

Street Law

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Description

Street Law works with Philadelphia elementary and middle schools to educate students about the American legal system.

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/streetlaw/

Opportunity

Street Law is looking for volunteers to visit an elementary or middle school classroom for one hour once a week, starting and ending at your convenience. You have the option of following our standardized curriculum or creating your own. For each week you participate you will earn 2 hours of pro bono service.

To Express Interest

Write to PennlawStreetlaw@gmail.com.

 

 

Urban Ventures Project

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/urbanventuresproject/

To Express Interest

Contact the Board: 

 

 

Women’s Re-Entry Legal Services

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/wrls/

 To Express Interest

Contact the Board:

 

 

Youth Courts

Who Can Participate

All Students

Project Website

https://www.law.upenn.edu/probonoprojects/youth-courts/

To Express Interest

Contact the Board:

  • Ashley Super

Co-Director

asuper@law.upenn.edu

  • Michael Zaslow

Co-Director

mezaslow@gmail.com