“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” said 19th century abolitionist Theodore Parker.
Penn Law School’s Public Interest Week, March 14 to 18, will also bend toward justice with a workweek’s worth of events and lectures promoting justice through lawyering for the public interest.
Lauren Lewis Ikpe, the pro bono and public interest programs coordinator at Penn Law’s Toll Public Interest Center, which is hosting the annual event, says the goal of the week is to educate students about careers in public interest and community-related issues.
“Public interest law exists to serve the public, so it’s anywhere from government to non-profits,” Ikpe says. “[Public interest law focuses on] issues that affect people instead of, for example, corporate or constitutional law.”
The week kicks off on Monday, March 14, with a Public Interest Practice Area Fair and Reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Levy Conference Center (Fair) and Great Hall (Reception).
On Tuesday, March 15, participants can view “Lost Souls,” a film about immigration, migration and family, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a conversation with filmmaker Monika Navarro from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. The screening and talk take place in Silverman 240A.
On Wednesday, March 16, Joan Messing Graff, president of San Francisco’s Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and Honorary Fellow in Residence for Public Interest Week, discusses “Putting Justice to Work: Defending the Rights of Workers.” The lecture takes place at 5 p.m. in Silverman 245A, followed by a reception in Great Hall.
Later on Wednesday, the Black Law Students Association sponsors “A Discussion of Racialized Tracking in American Schools” at 6:30 p.m. in Gittis 214.
The week concludes with the 30th Annual Sparer Symposium, “Partnering Against Poverty: Examining Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Public Interest Lawyering,” from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Topics and programs include “Breaking Down Barriers to Reentry: A Conversation about Life after Conviction;” “The Poverty-Environment Connection: Fostering Collaboration in Environmental Justice” and a reception featuring Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder of Project H.O.M.E.
For a complete list of Public Interest Week events, visit the Penn Law website.
For more information, contact Lauren Lewis Ikpe at 215-898-0459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published on March 10, 2011