I was Executive Editor of the Temple Civil & Political Rights Law Review and a co-founder of School Discipline Advocacy Service, an organization that advocates for youth and parents at school discipline hearings in Philadelphia. SDAS came about after we successfully pitched the idea in a national ABA contest for law students and won a grant to fund the start-up process. Not only did I get to make real connections with other people committed to social justice, I was able to help create something new that met a real legal need in the community.
Temple Law really encourages students to engage in service opportunities. During my first year, I volunteered at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in New Orleans during an alternative break service trip. I have also completed volunteer internships at Juvenile Law Center and Education Law Center, and participated in the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. My internship at ELC was probably the most meaningful for me, because I was able to work directly with clients to help them navigate the public education system. At ELC I worked largely under the tutelage of another Temple Law alum. I learned a great deal in terms of both substantive law, and what I would call “informal advocacy”—figuring out who you need to approach and how to most effectively solve a client’s problems.
That is a three-way tie between three incredible women on Temple’s faculty—Laura Little, Jane Baron, and Lee Carpenter. I’ve taken multiple classes with each, and while they each have very different approaches to teaching, they are all extremely effective instructors. Professor Little was able to convey some of the hardest material in law school—Constitutional Law, Federal Courts and Jurisdiction, and Conflicts of Law—in a completely non-intimidating way that was accessible to her students. Professor Carpenter is a brilliant writing instructor and really enthusiastic about helping students develop their communication skills. Finally, I’ve had more “aha!” moments in Professor Baron’s class than any others. She challenges her students to think critically about the socio-economic paradigms that inform our system of laws, while also explaining the black-letter law that students need to be successful in practice.