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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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HONORARY FELLOW PRESENTATION AND DINNER: LITIGATION & RESISTANCE 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.
 
Honorary-Fellow-In-Residence Dinner with Cecillia Wang

Every year, Penn Law awards an Honorary Fellowship to an attorney working at the forefront of an important public interest legal issue. Honorary fellows spend two days at the law school, engaged in formal and informal conversation with faculty and students about the nature of their work, challenges pursuant to their field, and solutions worth pursuing. This year, it is our pleasure to welcome Cecillia Wang, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU. 

Cecillia Wang is a nationally recognized expert on issues at the intersection of immigration and criminal law, including state anti-immigrant laws, racial profiling and other unlawful police practices relating to immigration enforcement.  She has taught immigration law and the constitutional rights of non-citizens as an adjunct lecturer at Stanford Law School.

Cecillia is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer with nearly 20 years of experience in civil rights and criminal defense.  Her notable cases include:

•     A trial victory in a class action lawsuit against policy and practice of racial profiling and illegal detentions by the Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona;

•     An appellate victory before an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a class action challenge to an Arizona state constitutional amendment categorically prohibiting bail to suspected undocumented immigrants;

•     Successful arguments before both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a civil rights challenge to Alabama’s notorious HB 56 anti-immigrant law.

•     A trial victory defending a federal criminal case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of an indigent client who had been facing a 44-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Cecillia has been an attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project since 2004, after beginning her career with the ACLU as a fellow in 1997-98 and then working as an attorney with the federal public defender’s office for the Southern District of New York and at the San Francisco law firm of Keker & Van Nest, LLP.  While in private practice, Cecillia was appointed to the federal Criminal Justice Act indigent defense panel for the Northern District of California.

Cecillia is a 1995 graduate of the Yale Law School, where she was an Articles Editor for The Yale Law Journal.  She served as a law clerk to retired Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States, working in the chambers of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and to Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit.  


 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.

 

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MAKING AN IMPACT AS A GOVERNMENT LAWYER
1:30 - 2:45 PM I Tanenbaum 142

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.

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 142

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