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Course Details

Externship: Community Legal Services (Quaglia)

Spring 2024   LAW 830-001  

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Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Drafting Legal Documents
Other Professional Skills:

100% Other (Externships are graded Credit/No Credit )

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can make PowerPoint slides or other class materials available to you.

Meeting Times/Location




For the Spring 2024 semester, CLS will be hosting externs in person in their offices, and in the following Units: Housing, Energy, and Family Advocacy Units. CLS will assign students to one of these Units.

Community Legal Services (CLS) represents 11,000 low-income Philadelphians a year and also advocates for systemic changes that will improve the lives of the poor. We focus our practice on the most needy individuals and families. CLS lawyers are leading advocates in areas of law affecting low-income residents, including: landlord-tenant, consumer, mortgage foreclosure, employment, criminal record expungement, welfare, utilities, family advocacy (representing parents in the child welfare system), disability and elder law. There are opportunities for placement in CLS offices in Center City or at CLS' neighborhood office in North Philadelphia. Student assignments will involve a broad range of lawyering tasks, including to the greatest extent possible client interviewing, counseling, case planning and development, and hearing preparation and participation. Students also work on systemic and policy issues and appellate briefs as they arise during their externship. Each student will be supervised by an experienced legal services attorney and will get to know other staff. For the Spring 2024 semester, CLS will be hosting externs in the following Units: Housing, Energy, and Family Advocacy Units. If a student’s placement at CLS requires them to appear in court, the student should contact externships@law.upenn.edu to arrange for their certification under Pennsylvania's student practice rule.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Students are not permitted to enroll in this Externship if also enrolled in another Clinic or Externship in the same semester. Students who elect to use their enrollment in this Externship toward their public service requirement will receive one fewer credit for this course, in exchange for 35 hours of TPIC credit (students should contact TPIC to arrange for the credit exchange). Be certain to review the "Enrollment Procedures for Clinical Courses" section on the Registrar's website.

ADD/DROP FOR EXTERNSHIPS: The placement site incurs a substantial amount of time and investment in the program and is burdened by drops that occur after enrollment has been announced. As such, students should not register for this Externship if they are uncertain about remaining in the course. Please email externships@law.upenn.edu with any questions.

IN-PERSON BI-WEEKLY SEMINAR COURSE REQUIREMENT: Before the semester begins, students will receive an email to choose one of two seminar times and should plan their course and work schedules accordingly. Students may not switch the seminar day and time once they have committed to one of the options. The options are as follows:

Civil Externship Seminar The Civil Externship Seminar taught by Professor Kathryn Quaglia will meet beginning the week of January 22. Students will choose either Tuesday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. or Wednesday 12 to 1 p.m.

Advanced Externship Seminar Students who have previously taken the Civil Externship Seminar with Professor Quaglia and who are registering for a second civil externship will take the Advanced Externship Seminar. The Advanced Externship Seminar will meet every other week beginning the week of January 16 and is offered on Tuesday 12-1 p.m. or Thursday 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Note that a student may only take the Advanced Seminar if the student has previously taken the Civil Externship Seminar with Professor Quaglia and is registering for a second civil law externship. A student who has completed a criminal law externship who is then registering for their first externship at a civil law placement must take the Civil Law Externship Seminar.

Course Concentrations

Skills Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of the individual course skill; Demonstrate the ability to receive and implement feedback; Demonstrate an understanding of how and when the individual course skill is employed in practice.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.