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Public Interest Week

The 12th Annual Public Interest Week, October 21 - 25, 2019

                                              The 2019 Public Interest Week LogoThe word "Connected" sits on top a lavender globe wit...

 

The capstone of Public Interest Week will be Alumni Day on Friday, 10/25, which will end with our annual public interest Student & Alumni Bash.

 

Continue to check back as more information is added everyday!

 Please note that all events are free and open to all, however RSVPs are required.

Schedule of Events

Please look for additional details via email, announcements, Twitter, and Facebook. Feel free to contact all-tpic@law.upenn.edu with any questions.

Monday 10/21:

DONUTS OF JUSTICE
8:30 - 9:30 AM l Sansom Street Entrance

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  

 

Student Event: Movement Lawyering 101: Building Power, Seeking Justice
12:00 - 1:15 PM | Fitts Auditorium

Student Group Sponsors: Journal of Law and Social Change; Black Law Students Association; Penn Law Palestine Solidarity; National Lawyers’ Guild; Pardon Project; Youth Advocacy Project   

This event will introduce attendees to the theory and practice of “movement lawyering” and is designed to assist law students in becoming better equipped to participate within mass movements and support grassroots organizing. There is often a disconnect between traditional legal education and training and the skills needed to support grassroots movements in challenging oppression. This event will address this disconnect and focus on the ways lawyers can work with and alongside social movements to combat institutional racism, sexism, xenophobia and white supremacy. Topics that will be addressed include: what is movement lawyering and why is it necessary, working with grassroot organizers, how lawyers often fail social movements, and lawyering for collective power building.    

RSVP HERE
*Lunch will be available to those who RSVP by October 14th*

Panelists:
Jim Freeman, Founder & Executive Director, Grassroots Action Support Team
Kris Henderson, Co-Founder, Amistad Law Project
Khalil CumberbatchChief Strategist, New Yorkers United for Justice
Erica PerryPartnership Director, Law for Black Lives

This program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $20.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Student Event: Navigating the Justice System Without English
12:00 - 1:15 PM | Gittis 214

Student Group Sponsors: American Constitution Society, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association

The American legal system can be confusing to navigate even for native English speakers. For those who experience the additional obstacle of a language barrier, the experience can seem overwhelmingly impossible. Join ACS and APALSA for a panel offering a mix of legal, advocacy, and experiential perspectives on the experience of advocating for ESL clients, the primary challenges presented by a language barrier, and the intersection with current immigration law and policy.

RSVP HERE
*Lunch will be available to those who RSVP by October 14th*

Panelists:
Professor Fernando Chang-Muy, Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law, Penn Law
Yongmei Li, Translator

Akanksha Kalra, Attorney at Law, Immigration & Nationality Law Practice

This program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $20.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

TPIC and University Event: Provost’s Lecture on Diversity: What Borders Do
4:30 - 7:00 PM | Fitts Auditorium

Campus Partners: Office of the Provost, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Immigration, Perry World House, Political Science Department

Immigration has been a vital political issue in both the United States and globally for decades, with economic, security, and humanitarian implications. The current federal administration has sharply increased the number of children separated from their families while seeking entry into the United States, and has limited immigration through capping refugee admissions at the lowest levels since 1980. President Trump has repeatedly expressed an intention to take actions including denying immigrants entry if they are likely to need public assistance, eliminating birthright citizenship, constructing a border wall with Mexico, aggressive deportation of undocumented immigrants, and temporary bans on Muslim immigration. The plight of migrants internationally has gripped the United States and Europe, as images of children in cages at the United States border and overloaded boats in the Mediterranean have become media fixtures.

This Provost’s Lecture on Diversity will illuminate political and practical concerns related to immigration as Michael Jones-Correa, the President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science, explores “What Borders Do.” We often think of borders as walls. Borders are much more than that. In response to increased asylum seekers from around the world, developed nations are reconceiving their borders, pushing them out, and pulling them in. Professor Jones-Correa highlights the difficult issues raised by the re-imagination of borders and the trade-offs policymakers face. He will be joined by the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law, Fernando Chang-Muy, who will moderate audience questions. Professor Chang-Muy returns to Penn from a recent education campaign in Honduras to educate people about the legal obstacles, rights, and landscape of the trip to the north. The reception that follows the lecture, in Silverman Hall, will feature the photography of Mexican-American artist Ada Trillo, documenting the lives of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

RSVP HERE

This program has been approved for 2.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $80.00 ($40.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday 10/22:

DONUTS OF JUSTICE
8:30 - 9:30 AM l Sansom Street Entrance

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC. 

 

Student Event: Who Holds the Reins? Building Community Power through Inclusive Self Governance
12:00 – 1:15 PM | Gittis 214

Student Group Sponsors: Democracy Law Project, Civil Rights Law Project, Environmental Law Project

Fundamental to the idea of strong communities is self-determination. Without the ability to shape the policies that affect a community’s opportunities, health, and environment, no community can achieve a justice that it itself defines. And yet, many factors have made it increasingly difficult for communities to have a meaningful role in the decisions that govern their lives. Among the most pernicious barriers to community self-determination is wealth inequality and, specifically, the influence of large corporations in political processes. This event will critique the role that corporations play in distorting local democratic processes and highlight the powerful acts of resistance communities are taking in response. Local Philadelphia organizations will discuss the way they are resisting corporate control over housing, environmental, and criminal justice realities through democratic participation and organizing. The conversation will be rooted in an analysis of civic participation that recognizes historic exclusion within institutions and ongoing racialized oppression and asks how organizations confront that living legacy and understand their communities’ needs within or outside of traditional democratic frameworks.

Panelists:

Kelly Morton, founding member of Reclaim Philadelphia
Munira Lokhandwala, Philadelphia Power Research
Alexa Ross, Leadership Development Coordinator, Philly Thrive

 RSVP HERE
*Lunch will be available to those who RSVP by October 14th*

This program has been approved for 1.0 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $20.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Student Event: “A Life Unraveled” Simulation: Experience how criminal records destabilize the lives of low-income individuals.
4:30 - 6:00 PM |Levy Conference Center 

Student Group Sponsors: Criminal Record Expungement Project, Walk-In Legal Assisstance Project, Custody and Support Assistance Clinic, Democracy Law Project, Pardon Project, Penn Housing Rights Project.

Join us for an interactive experience that will give you a glimpse of the daily struggles faced by individuals with a criminal record. You will step into the shoes of a low-income Philadelphia resident who is forced to grapple with issues like finding a job, gaining access to stable housing, maintaining custody of your children, and getting public benefits, all while the specter of a criminal record hangs over your head. After a discussion to debrief the exercise, the event will conclude with testimony by a community member who has experienced these issues first-hand and translated his experiences into activism. This is an opportunity to learn through action. 
RSVP HERE

Guest Speakers:
Rachel Miller, Director, Criminal Records Expungement Project, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity
Akeem Simms, Former Client Partner

This program has been approved for 1.5 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $30.00 ($15.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

TPIC and University Event: Violence Against Women and the U.S. Military
5:00 – 6:30 PM | Fitts Auditorium

Campus Partners: Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse, The Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality, Campaign for Community, Trustees’ Council of Penn Women, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

Hear from the experts. Join us to learn about current policy and research on violence against women and the U.S. military.

Panelists:
Melissa Dichter, Ph.D., Temple University, conducted multiple studies on violence against women service members
Andrea Goldstein, MALD, Senior Policy Advisor to the recently-established Women Veterans Task Force, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; former Special Operations Forces troop commander
Emily Rothman, Sc.D., Boston University and, for 2019-2020, is with the Department of Defense; just completed sexual assault prevention study in the Navy
Andrew Morral, Ph.D., RAND Corporation; author of several reports to Congress about sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. military
Moderator:  Kathleen Brown, Ph.D., Penn Department of History and Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

RSVP HERE
Light Reception to Follow

 

Wednesday 10/23:

DONUTS OF JUSTICE
8:30 - 9:30 AM l Sansom Street Entrance

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  

 

Student Event: Intersectionality & The Law
12:00 – 1:30 PM | Fitts Auditorium
Student Group Sponsors: Penn Law Women’s Association, Latinx Law Student’s Association, Black Law Student’s Association, Civil Right’s Project, Penn Law Feminists

Penn Law Women’s Association, Black Law Students Association, Latinx Law Students Association, Civil Rights Law Project, and Penn Law Feminists are hosting an event on “Intersectionality and the Law”. The discussion will focus on the extent to which the current state of law accommodates or limits an intersectional approach to advocacy, how public interest lawyers can work around current limitations of the law to advocate for clients experiencing intersectional discrimination, and the extent to which progressive movements within the legal community have been shaped by the voices of the majority.

RSVP HERE
*Lunch will be available to those who RSVP by October 14th*

Panelists: 
Professor Dorothy Roberts,
 George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, Penn Law School
Professor Kimberle CrenshawIsidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA Law School

This program has been approved for 1.5 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $30.00 ($15.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

TPIC Event: Honorary Fellow-in-Residence Kristen Clarke Dinner and Presentation
6:00 - 8:00 PM | Levy Conference Center

Kristen Clarke, President & Executive director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), leads one of the country’s most important national civil rights organizations in the pursuit of equal justice for all.  The Lawyers’ Committee seeks to promote fair housing and community development, economic justice, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, judicial diversity and more. Ms. Clarke will focus her talk on combatting the rise of hate and white supremacy in our current political climate.

This program has been approved for 1.5 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $30.00 ($15.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

RSVP HERE

Thursday 10/24:

DONUTS OF JUSTICE
8:30 - 9:30 AM l Sansom Street Entrance

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  


Student Event: No Place to Call Home: Gentrification and Family Law in Philadelphia
12:00 - 1:15 PM | Gittis 213

Student Group Sponsors: Penn Housing Rights Project, Custody and Support Assistance Clinic

This panel will discuss an often-overlooked downstream effect of gentrification in Philadelphia. Gentrification contributes to the displacement of a disproportionate number of black and brown families and communities. Housing insecurity in any neighborhood hurts everyone, but it may hurt low-income families the most. During custody disputes, families grappling with unstable living situations may find that courts are all-too willing to hold their struggles to secure affordable housing against them. Topics will include the factors courts take into account when making custody determinations and how they can or should change, how gentrification contributes to fraying extended family support networks, policy proposals for sustainable community development, and ways in which law students and lawyers can help shape the discourse in this area.

RSVP HERE
*Lunch will be available to those who RSVP by October 14th*

Panelists:
Travis Mason, Paralegal (Housing Law Unit), Community Legal Services
Emilia Golanska, Attorney (Family Law Unit), Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Professor Vincent Reina, Assistant Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Penn Design
Anyae, Community Member

This program has been approved for 1.0 substantive CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $20.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

TPIC Event: Career Chat with Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
1:30 - 2:30 PM | Location TBD

Join us for a career conversation with Commissioner Cheryl A. LaFleur, who was first nominated by President Barack Obama to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2010 and was confirmed for a second term by the Senate in 2014. Commissioner LaFleur is a member of the Commission at a time when the nation is making substantial changes in its energy supply and infrastructure to meet environmental challenges and improve reliability and security. She will speak about her day-to-day work, as well as her career path to her current role. Commissioner LaFleur has a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and an A.B. from Princeton University.

RSVP HERE
**Space is extremely limited, a small wait list will be kept**


TPIC and University Event: Screening of “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code”
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Fitts Auditorium

University Partners: Annenberg School of Communication, Cinema Studies, Docs&theLaw

In July 1995, a heat wave overtook Chicago.  High humidity and a layer of heat-retaining pollution drove the heat index up to more than 126°. City roads buckled, electric grids failed, thousands became ill, and hundreds of people died, most of them poor, elderly, and African American. Balancing serious and somber with her respectful, albeit ironic and signature quirky style, filmmaker Judith Helfand explores the long-term crisis produced by the intersection of pernicious poverty, racism, economic and social isolation, and weather-related “natural disasters.”  See the trailer at https://vimeo.com/336151320.

Panel Discussion with the Filmmaker Judith Helfand to follow screening.

In conjunction with the Symposium on “Environmental Justice and Health Disparities in the U.S.”  For more information see:

https://web.sas.upenn.edu/enviro-justice/2019-symposium/.

This program has been approved for 2.5 ethics CLE credits for Pennsylvania lawyers. CLE credit may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $100.00 ($50.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.


RSVP HERE

Friday 10/25:

PUBLIC INTEREST STUDENT AND ALUMNI DAY

Alumni doing incredible work across the country and around the world will join us to meet with current students and celebrate service.

TPIC Event: How to Thrive as a Public Interest Lawyer: Practical Advice on How to Make It Work
4:00 – 5:15 PM | Tanenbaum 145

Join us for a candid conversation with Penn Law alumni thriving in the public sector. Panelists will concretely discuss living on a public sector salary and navigating the emotional challenges as well as the personal and professional rewards of social justice advocacy. Bring your questions so that we can have a real and robust conversation!

 RSVP HERE

 

2019 TOLL PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER STUDENT & ALUMNI BASH
Levy Conference Center

5:30 pm | Reception
7:00 pm | Dinner

Join Penn Law students, staff, faculty, alumni, and guests as we conclude Public Interest Week 2019 with a celebration of our collective work for justice!

Business Casual… or whatever makes you happy.

As in past years, travel reimbursements are available for alumni who work in the public sector and are traveling to Philadelphia for the Alumni Dinner. 

RSVP HERE