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Public Interest Week

The 9th Annual Public Interest Week, February 20-24, 2017

Schedule of Events

Please look for additional details via email, announcements, and Twitter. Feel free to contact all-tpic@law.upenn.edu with any questions.
Make sure to check in at each event you attend this week for a chance to win a super prize at our end of week BASH.

Monday 2/20:

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

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  Pick up your Public Interest Week Comic Book, your guide to all events, and a chance to qualify for prizes at the Student and Alumni Bash! 
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VOTING RIGHTS IN PHILADELPHIA: THE 2016 ELECTION FROM A COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE

 

12:00 - 1:00 PM I Gittis 213, Kushner Classroom

Panelist:

  • Patrick Christmas, Policy Program Member, Committee of Seventy
  • William Cobb, Founder, REDEEMED
  • Michael Faibus, Associate in the Government Relations, Regulatory Affairs, and Contract Group, Ballard Spahr

The 2016 presidential election has revealed numerous issues with the electoral process—from campaign finance laws that have allowed certain parties to disproportionally contribute to elections; to gerrymandered districts that have led to political gridlock and polarization; to voter ID laws that have prevented many from voting in the first place. Although the election has sparked a national debate over these issues, they have touched down closer to home, in Philadelphia, as well. Join the Democracy Law Project as we analyze how the 2016 election has affected Philadelphia, and what we can do, as both Philadelphians and Penn Law students, to take action. 

Sponsored by: Democracy Law Project 
Lunch will be available for those who RSVP.

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 $40.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

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PUBLIC INTEREST WEEK ICE CREAM PARTY

3:00 - 4:30 PM I The Clock

Help us kick off Public Interest Week with our Super Hero themed Ice Cream Party!
Design your own Cape Of Justice, make a sundae, and strike your best superhero pose! 

Sponsored by: Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC)
Please RSVP here.
  
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FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE ROBOTS? DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN AN MACHINE-LEARNING ERA
4:30 - 6:00 PM I Location: Golkin 100, Michael A. Fitts Auditorium   

Panelist: 

  • John Mikhail - Agnes N. Williams Research Professor and Professor of Law, Georgetown University
  • Helen Nissenbaum - Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication & Computer Science, and Director, Information Law Institute, New York University,  
  • David Robinson - Principal, Upturn LLC, and Visiting Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School 

Machine learning algorithms are being used to automate decision-making across a wide array of government functions, from financial regulation to criminal justice. Yet the very features that make machine learning so useful – speed, scalability, and automation – may also come into tension with democratic principles like transparency and accountability, especially if human decision-making by accountable public officials is replaced with automated decision-making by machine. This workshop will convene scholars from law and computer science to elaborate on the potential tensions between machine learning and democratic governance and to highlight possible legal and technical responses. The workshop is the first in a series of three taking place throughout the spring, dedicated to exploring challenges related to transparency and accountability in the government’s use of machine learning.

The Optimizing Government Project is a Fels Policy Research Initiative and is open to the public. For questions about the event, please email optimizing@law.upenn.edu.

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 $60.00 ($30.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday 2/21:

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

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  Pick up your Public Interest Week Comic Book, your guide to all events, and a chance to qualify for prizes at the Student and Alumni Bash!
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TALES FROM THE FRONT LINES: SERVICE AT HOME AND ABROAD
12:00 - 1:00 PM I Gittis 214, Haaga Classroom

Hear first-hand accounts from veterans about how their experiences on active duty shape the way they help their communities at home.

Sponsored by: Veterans Law Project 
Lunch will be available for those who RSVP. 

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DINNER AND PRESENTATION: THE PRESERVATION OF LIBERTY IN THE TRUMP ERA   

6:30 - 7:00 PM | Reception - Kabacoff (space between S240A/B)
7:00 - 8:30 PM | Dinner - Levy Conference Center

Dinner will be available for those who RSVP.
 

David Cole is the National Legal Director of the ACLU, leading our Supreme Court practice and overseeing the work of the organization’s nearly 300 lawyers.  

In his role as national legal director, Cole directs a program that includes approximately 1,400 state and federal lawsuits on a broad range of civil liberties issues. He directly manage 100 ACLU staff attorneys in New York headquarters, oversee the organization’s U.S. Supreme Court docket, and provide leadership to more than 200 staff attorneys who work in ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. Another 1,700 volunteer cooperating attorneys throughout the country are engaged in ACLU litigation. With an annual headquarters budget of $140 million and 1.3 million supporters, the ACLU is the nation’s largest and oldest civil liberties organization.

Cole has litigated many constitutional cases in the Supreme Court, including Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, which extended First Amendment protection to flag burning; National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, which challenged political content restriction on NEA funding; and Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, which challenged the constitutionality of making it a crime to advocate for peace and human rights under the statute prohibiting “material support” to terrorist groups.


Cole’s victories include: successfully defending for over 21 years a group of Palestinian immigrants whom the government sought to deport for their political affiliations; challenging restrictions on federally funded AIDS education; obtaining an injunction against Randall Terry and Operation Rescue for blocking access to abortion providers; and freeing several Arab and Muslim immigrants detained on secret evidence. Cole, who began his career at the Center for Constitutional Rights, litigated many of these cases in cooperation with ACLU attorneys across the country.

Cole writes regularly for The Nation, New York Review of Books, Washington Post, and many other journals.  He is the author or editor of 10 books. “Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror,” published in 2007, and co-authored with Jules Lobel, won the Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for best book on national security and civil liberties. “Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism” received the American Book Award in 2004. Cole’s first book, “No Equal Justice:  Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System,” is one of the first to examine the ways that the criminal justice system exploits and exacerbates racial disparities. It was named Best Non-Fiction Book of 1999 by the Boston Book Review. His most recent book, “Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law,” published in 2016, examines the strategies civil society organizations employ to change constitutional law.

 


 Dinner will be available for those who RSVP.
This event is open to only the Penn Law Community

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 $40.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday 2/22:

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

Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  Pick up your Public Interest Week Comic Book, your guide to all events, and a chance to qualify for prizes at the Student and Alumni Bash! 

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PULL OF GRAVITY MOVIE SCREENING
12:00 - 1:00 PM I Silverman 240B

Filmed on the street over the course of two years, Pull of Gravity is an intimate portrait of three men that confronts head-on the gritty details of lives cut short by poverty and drugs, where dealing is seen as the only route to economic prosperity, where using offers an escape from powerlessness, and where prison is too often the next stop. The film’s unfiltered lens captures its subjects as they lay bare their stories, fears, and tentative dreams.

 

Sponsored by: Youth Advocacy Project (YAP)
Lunch will be available for those who RSVP. 
 
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THE STATE OF BLACK IMMIGRANTS
4:30 - 6:00 PM I Tanenbaum 145

Join us for a discussion inspired by the “The State of Black Immigrants” report, to look at the particular ways in which criminalization, racism, and harsh immigration policies specifically affect Black immigrants in the US.

Panelist:

  • Eric Edi - Director, Africom
  • Onoso Imoagene - Assistant Professor of Sociology, The University of Pennsylvania

Sponsored by: Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project (PLIRP)
Light refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP here.

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 $60.00 ($15.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.


  
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A LIFE UNRAVELED: HOW CRIMINAL RECORDS DESTABILIZE THE LIVES OF LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS
6:30 - 8:00 PM I Levy Conference Center, Silverman 245
 
This interactive experience will give you a taste of the daily struggles that individuals with a criminal record face. You will be forced to grapple with issues like gaining access to stable housing, maintaining custody of your children, and getting public benefits while the specter of a criminal record hangs over your head.  First, participants will spend about 45 minutes juggling their time between a simulated family court, benefits office, housing office, and more, all while trying not to end up evicted and hungry.   The Simulation will conclude with a discussion about the stress and unique challenges faced by people with criminal records.  Discussion led by Mike Lee, founder of the Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, and several leaders in the community who have been directly impacted by criminal records. This simulation is an opportunity to learn through action.
 
Co-Sponsored by: Criminal Record Expungement Project (C-REP), Penn Housing Rights Project (PHRP), Custody & Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC), Environmental Advocacy Project (EAP), Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless (PLAH), Guild Food Stamp Clinic (GFSC), PARDON ME, TPIC.

Dinner will be available for those who RSVP.

Thursday 2/23:

DONUTS OF JUSTICE
8:30 - 9:30 AM l Sansom Street Entrance
 
Start your morning off with coffee and donuts from TPIC.  Pick up your Public Interest Week Comic Book, your guide to all events, and a chance to qualify for prizes at the Student and Alumni Bash!
  
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BROADENING THE ENVIRONMENTAL COALITION: EXPERIENCES FROM ORGANIZING IN PHILADELPHIA
12:00 - 1:00 PM I Gittis 214

Panelist:

  • Joanne Kilgour - Chapter Director, Sierra Club Pennsylvania
  • Amy Laura Cahn, L’09 - Staff Attorney, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Director, Garden Justice Legal Initiative
  • Terry Williams - President, Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition 

Sponsored by: Environmental Law Project (ELP)
Lunch will be available for those who RSVP.

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 $40.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

  

EQUAL JUSTICE FOUNDATION AUCTION
6:00 PM I Silent Auction I Great Hall
8:00 PM I Live Auction I Fitts Auditorium  

Support your classmates in raising funds for public interest work!

Friday 2/24:

THE ROLE OF THE PUBLIC INTEREST LAWYER TODAY
12:00 - 1:00 PM I Tanenbaum 145

Join us a for a conversation with a panel of experienced alumni who are making an impact every day at nonprofits and in government positions. They are fighting daily for immigrant justice, criminal justice, civil rights, and economic justice. These alums will share their wisdom and stories from the trenches and provide advice to you about charting your path as a public interest lawyer. Prepare to be inspired and to make some great connections!

Lunch will be available for those who RSVP.

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 $40.00 ($10.00 public interest/non-profit attorneys) cash or check made payable to The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Alumni Panelists:

Marsha Chien L’10, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Unit

Lydia Cox L’79, Delaware Public Defender

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan L’10, Lambda Legal (formerly an AAG for the State of Massachusetts)

Nicole Isaac L’04, LinkedIn Public Policy and Government Affairs (with past experience at the White House, the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Constitutional Court of South Africa)

Asher Levinthal L’13, Still She Rises (an initiative of the Bronx Defenders)

Ayana Lewis L’12, School District of Philadelphia

Britney Wilson L’15, Center for Constitutional Rights

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MAKING AN IMPACT AS A GOVERNMENT LAWYER
1:30 - 2:45 PM I Tanenbaum 145

Join us for a conversation with alumni who work in local, state, and federal government agencies about what their day-to-day job entails, how they navigated their career to arrive in these positions, and what advice they have for you if you think you want to enter government service at any point in your career.

Alumni Panelists:

Marsha Chien L’10, Washington State Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Unit

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan L’10, Lambda Legal (formerly an AAG for the State of Massachusetts)


Please RSVP here.

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LAUNCHING YOUR CAREER THROUGH A FELLOWSHIP OR AS A PUBLIC DEFENDER
3:00 - 4:15 PM I Tanenbaum 145

Join us for this conversation with alumni who are working in the fields of civil rights, criminal justice, and access to justice as public defenders, advocates for youth, and leaders in innovative criminal justice initiatives.

Alumni Panelists:

Lydia Cox L’79, Delaware Public Defender

Asher Levinthal L’13, Still She Rises (an initiative of the Bronx Defenders)

Rick Mula L’15, Southern Poverty Law Center (EJW Fellow)

Britney Wilson L’15, Center for Constitutional Rights (Bertha Justice Institute Fellow); formerly a Karpatkin Fellow with the ACLU Racial Justice Program


Please RSVP
here.


2017 TOLL PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER STUDENT & ALUMNI BASH

5:30 – 9:00 PM l Silverman Hall

Help us close out Public Interest Week at TPIC’s Famous Student & Alumni Bash! 

5:30 PM | Reception – The Goat
6:00 PM | Dinner – Levy Conference Center
8:00 PM | Dessert – The Great Hall

RSVP HERE
Business Casual – Capes Optional 
As in past years, alumni travel reimbursements will be available.
This event is open to only Student, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff of the Penn Law community.