Clinics and Experiential Learning Programs
Administrative Support Assistance, Clinics and Experiential Learning
Renessa Alert is the Clinics and Experiential Learning Administrative Assistant and provides front office support. Renessa is a State College native and is currently attending Penn State, pursuing her undergrad degree, in Law & Society.
Director, Externship Program, Co-Director, Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law
Gopal Balachandran directs the Externships Program as well as co-directing the Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum. As director of the Externships Program, he oversees students' employment with legal services and governmental organizations, including externships with judges. He has also supervised students in writing and filing briefs in the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts under the Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum.
Interim Director, Family Law Clinic
Susan Bardo directs Penn State Law's Family Law Clinic, which represents clients in domestic violence and other family law cases. The Clinic also does policy work for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, among other organizations.
Director, International Sustainable Development Projects Clinic
Jeffrey Erickson directs the International Sustainable Development Projects Clinic. Prior to joining Penn State Law, Professor Erickson was a litigator and counselor in Denver, Colorado, specializing in medical malpractice defense and insurance defense matters.
Staff Attorney, Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic
Vivian Etter oversees student interns in the Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic located at the LaunchBox at Penn State. Along with providing educational advice to walk-in clients on business entities, organizations, and other legal considerations, Vivian also assists with the representation of clients regarding legal considerations for small businesses.
Director, Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
Michael Foreman focuses on appellate representation in civil rights issues and employment discrimination cases and directs Penn State's Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, which has served as counsel on numerous cases in United States Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts and is involved in several cases currently pending.
Office Manager, Clinical Programs
Angela Lombardo serves as the Clinics and Experiential Learning Office Manager guiding clinical administrative operations for nine clinics, two practicums and more than 50 students per semester.
Staff Attorney, Family Law Clinic
Tracy Ortega is a staff attorney for the Family Law Clinic. A Pennsylvania native, Tracy previously ran the Medical Legal Partnership at University of Kansas School of Law and worked with two non-profits in San Francisco.
Associate Dean, Clinics and Experiential Learning, Director, Rural Economic Development Clinic, and Director, Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
Professor Ross Pifer’s research focuses on shale gas development and the interface between agricultural and residential development. He has been an attorney with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel, and he has advised military personnel and commands in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany while on active duty with the U.S. Army JAG Corps at the Netherlands Law Center.
Geoffrey R. Scott
Director, Arts, Sports and Entertainment Law Clinic
Geoffrey Scott is a Fellow with the the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London, and is the founder and supervisor of the Penn State Law Arts, Sports and Entertainment Law Clinic.
Director, Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic
Tom Sharbaugh is director of the Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic, in which students represent entrepreneurs, startups and nonprofit organizations in a setting similar to a small law firm. Sharbaugh has been a business lawyer and partner for over 26 years in the Philadelphia office of the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP law firm. In recent years, he has been active writing and speaking about raising capital for early-stage businesses.
Richard G. Settgast
Superviser, Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum
Richard G. Settgast supervises the Indigent Criminal Justice Practicum. Richard is an assistant public defender in Centre County, Pennsylvania, where he represents a wide range of clients from the date of initial charge through trial, sentencing, and appeal.
Staff Attorney, Civil Rights Appellate Clinic & the Center for Immigrants’ Rights
Ashika Verriest is a staff attorney for the Center for Immigrants’ Rights and the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic. Ashika previously acted as a Special Litigation attorney in the public defender’s office in Brooklyn, NY, where she worked on criminal justice reform litigation.
Director, Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic
Michele Vollmer is the director of the Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic. Vollmer, who is accredited with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, previously served as a senior counsel in the Division of Enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was a partner in a law firm practicing commercial litigation.
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia
Director, Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is the director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, where students produce practitioner toolkits, white papers, and primers of national impact on behalf of client organizations. At the Center, students provide community outreach and education on immigration topics and legal support in individual cases of immigrants challenging deportation (removal).