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  • Civil Rights Appellate Clinic

Student Perspectives

"The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic encourages students to be creative. Through debate and research we were able to collectively develop novel and complex arguments to exciting cases facing real people. There is nothing else like it in law school."

Scott Stedjan, Class of 2014
Spring 2014 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


"Working in the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic not only gave me the opportunity to write briefs filed with the U.S. Courts of Appeals, but working with the Clinic also allowed me to help plan appellate strategy and shape how we presented our cases."

Jordan Feist, Class of 2014
Spring 2014 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


"Not only did the Clinic provide me a practical understanding of appellate advocacy — something unique to any Penn State Law course — but it forced me to think critically and creatively with my peers and, on a personal level, become more assertive in the group environment. These are skills I will unquestionably use in my future legal career. Because of this, I found it to be one of my most challenging and rewarding experiences of law school."

SaraAnn Bennett, Class of 2014
Spring 2014 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“I think that I learned more from my clinic experience than anything else I have done in law school, and I feel prouder of the assignments that we were able to produce than anything else that I have ever written.  It was a fantastic experience, and I am so glad that I did it!”

Elizabeth Ashbaugh, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“It was an awesome experience to file two briefs with the Supreme Court — most practicing lawyers never get that chance.”

Nathaniel Foote, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Law Clerk, Andreozzi & Associates


“The clinic has been an amazing experience. My research and writing abilities improved tenfold.  My ability to think critically and find out of the box approaches to issues also improved.” 

Kate Steffen, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Latsha Davis & McKenna


“Working with other students of this caliber really made me push myself and, I think we brought out the best in each other.”

Megan Janowiak, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Tax Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers


“The best part of the clinic was producing high quality legal work. I learned a lot about producing work that is worthy to be submitted to the highest courts in our legal system.”

Chad Stevenson, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“I really enjoyed working in the group setting, and the experience of filing two briefs with the Supreme Court was something that I couldn’t have gotten from any other program in the law school.”

Courtney Bedell, Class of 2014
Fall 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Reed Smith


“The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic does more than introduce students to the realities of law firm appellate practice; it requires them to become practitioners themselves. Although the hours can be long and the issues difficult to grapple with, the Clinic experience is second-to-none in its ability to transform those selected from students into lawyers. The student caliber is high, as is the quality of instruction.”

Scott Engstrom, Class of 2013
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Law Clerk, Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas


“Working in the clinic was the best and most valuable thing I've done in all of law school, and definitely what has prepared me most for practicing after graduation. I only wish it could have been a longer experience. Writing and editing briefs, collaborating with other students, and getting flooded with e-mails is exactly what I'll experience as a practicing attorney, and after this experience, I feel ready.”

Asima Ahmad, Class of 2013
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Jackson Lewis, Philadelphia PA


“The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic was an amazing opportunity that not only made me more marketable to employers, but also vastly improved my practical skills for my future career. Amazing Experience! I would highly recommend it to other students.”

Kate Hynes, Class of 2013
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Stock and Leader


 “Working in the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic has been the most rewarding experience of my professional and academic careers to date. In a matter of months, my abilities to think critically and write persuasively improved drastically. Not only did the clinic allow me to develop my own professional skills, but it also afforded me the opportunity to put those skills to use for the advancement of causes I truly value.”

Kate Steffen, Class of 2014
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Latsha Davis & McKenna


“The Clinic pushes us into a different world, where our effort and actions have a real, palpable effect on people and on the rule of law. I think it would be a mistake to leave law school without having had an opportunity like this. I never felt like an intern while in the Civil Rights Clinic. This feels more intimate, and I really got to put my stamp and heart into the work. Nothing I’ve done since starting law school made me feel more like a lawyer than my work in the Clinic.”

Christopher Polchin, Class of 2014
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania


“This was honestly one of the most rewarding, demanding, and insightful experiences that I have had in law school.”

Alison Renfrew, Class of 2014
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


The experience was excellent and far exceeded by expectations.”

Jordan Johnston, Class of 2013
Spring 2013 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic 
Employment: Law Clerk, 39th Judicial District of Pennsylvania


 “As a member of the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, I was able to sharpen my research and writing skills as well as work with a great team on real cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal circuit courts. Thank you for such an amazing semester!!!”

Dave Dambreville, Class of 2013
Spring 2013 – Civil Rights Appellate Clinic 
Employment: Litigation Associate, Kimmel & Silverman, P.C.


“The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic pulled the whole law school experience together for me: research, writing, and reliance on teamwork. Besides the professional skills acquired, what Clinic meant to me was intensive personal contact with a tough-minded, experienced director and a small group of talented, high-energy colleagues, all focusing together on urgent legal analysis that mattered critically to the clients.”

Marianne Sawicki, Class of 2012
Spring 2012 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“The clinic was by far the most rewarding part of my law school experience. It never entered my mind that I would one day stand on the steps of the Supreme Court with my fellow students and be thanked for helping to take a case to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Bobby Marion, Class of 2012
Spring 2012 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Assistant District Attorney, Erie County, PA District Attorney's Office


“Debating active cases with peers and constructing briefs for federal appellate courts are things most practicing attorneys don't get to do: with the clinic, I did both on a weekly basis.”

Mike Magee, Class of 2012
Spring 2012 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic 
Employment: Associate, Jones Day


“The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic taught me all the things that academic law school classes never could. In short, my substantive law school classes taught me how to think like a lawyer — they taught me blackletter law and basic legal analysis. The clinic, by contrast, taught me how to be one.”

Kristen Conway, Class of 2012
Spring 2012 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic 
Employment: Associate, Clyde & Co. LLP


“Working in the Clinic has proved to be the most valuable and memorable experience I have gained thus far in law school.   I have had the opportunity to work with several reputable civil rights organizations throughout the duration of the Clinic.   In doing so, we filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States and were fortunate enough to hear the case we worked tirelessly on argued before the Supreme Court.  It is a powerful feeling to know that we, as law students, have advocated on behalf of the civil rights community at such a prestigious level.”

Malena Kinsman, Class of 2011
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“The ability to participate in the federal appellate process has been one of the most rewarding and thought-provoking experiences I have had in law school.  Furthermore, the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic allows students to work together in order to help protect and strengthen civil rights.”

Daniel Carlton, Class of 2010
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Honors Attorney, USPS Office of General Counsel 


“The clinic reminded me of why I wanted to practice law in the first place.  Before coming to law school, I dreamed of filing briefs with the Supreme Court and fighting for civil rights.  But during law school, it is easy to get caught up in the everyday grind of classes and you can forget what made you want to come to begin with.  Participating in the clinic is like a splash of cold water on your face.  I specifically remember thinking at one point during the semester, ‘Oh yeah, this is why I came to law school.’”

Jason Sabol, Class of 2010
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Assistant Solicitor, City of York


“This clinic is excellent preparation for practice. I have worked harder, and gotten more benefit from the clinic than from any other thing in which I have participated in law school. I have gotten very frustrated, even to the point of tears, and yet, I have loved every minute.”

N. Daniel Reeder, Class of 2010
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“The clinic has been the most valuable experience I've had in law school.   The level and quality of work we've done is unparalleled, and nothing compares to the intellectual challenge and the feeling of having a real impact on such important cases.”

Danya Ahmed, Class of 2010
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Pitta Giblin LLP


“The knowledge and experience I gained in the clinic will be one of the most useful tools I will take with me into my own practice.  It taught me how to dissect complex legal issues and craft a strong written work product that will be read at United States Supreme Court.  While the work was demanding, it was my most rewarding experience in law school and gave me confidence moving forward in my career.”  
 
Valerie M. Eifert, Class of 2010
Spring 2010 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Reed Smith


“The clinic exemplifies what law school should be about -- preventing harassment of minority shoppers, protecting an applicant's ability to be judged solely on job skill, and generally ensuring that the rights of the underprivileged are protected.”

Kendrick Donnelly, Class of 2010
Spring 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Florida


“For me it was the single most rewarding experience in law school, and is something every employer asks about in an interview.  After talking to several other graduates here in Denver, it seems the consensus is that employers are looking for students who have worked in a clinic during law school.  I am thankful that I was able to take part in a clinic that provided such a meaningful and rewarding experience.  The legal analysis was exceptionally challenging, and Professor Foreman created an environment similar to a law firm; we were expected to produce a superior quality product.”  

Terrence Burke, Class of 2009
Spring 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“Participating in this clinic was by far one of the most, if not the most, rewarding experiences I had in law school.  I gained insight into the rigorous practice of appellate law through working with the clinic director, fellow students, and non-profit and private practice appellate attorneys.  The issues we tackled were at times esoteric, and always intellectually challenging.  I further enhanced my research and writing skills, as well as acquired insight into the practical demands of practicing law, and how that influences the approach you take to handling a case.  While it seems daunting, in the end, sitting in on a Supreme Court oral argument and listening to the Court and attorneys discuss a case in which you wrote a brief, is incredibly satisfying.  I recommend the clinic to every student.  It is an experience that pushes you, but rewards you even more.”

Brian Bevan, Class of 2009
Spring 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“The Penn State Dickinson Civil Rights Appellate Clinic gives students the opportunity to work in an authentic appellate practice setting, answering difficult policy questions that have practical real world effects.”

Bret Shaffer, Class of 2010
Fall 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Baric Scherer LLC


“It is very satisfying to know that our work involves important issues before the Supreme Court.”

Matthew D. Vodzak, Class of 2010
Research Editor, The Penn State Law Review
Fall 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic


“During my two semesters with the Civil Rights Clinic, I had the opportunity to collaborate with civil rights organizations and top law firms to craft arguments for amicus briefs before the Supreme Court.  Clinic students do not simply write memos; we are responsible for researching, drafting, and editing briefs.  Working under the expert direction of Professor Foreman, clinic students analyze a case, discuss the impact of precedent, and consider whether policy arguments would be effective.  In every way, the Clinic presents a realistic view of appellate practice.”

Andrew Schnitzel, Class of 2010
Fall 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Employment: Associate, Sullivan & Cromwell


“Participating in the clinic was an amazing opportunity and excellent training tool to prepare me to be an advocate at the appellate level.  Through individual research, collaborative writing, and intensive editing sessions, the clinic composed high quality work of which we can each be proud to have contributed.”

Alina Kline, Class of 2010
Fall 2009 — Civil Rights Appellate Clinic