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Course Details

Externship: Public Interest Law Center of Phila (Quaglia)

Spring 2024   LAW 812-001  

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Additional Information
Experiential Course


Skills Training
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



The Public Interest Law Center is a nationally renowned public interest law firm using high-impact legal strategies to advance the civil, social, and economic rights of communities in the Philadelphia region facing discrimination, inequality, and poverty. We combine targeted litigation, legal advice, community education, advocacy, and organizing to secure people’s access to fundamental resources and services, including a high-quality education, health care, housing and community services, employment, a healthy neighborhood and the unencumbered right to vote. We strongly value equity, inclusion, achieving racial and social justice, and empowering client communities through our high impact work.

We are excited to participate in Penn Law’s externship program. We offer externships to Penn Law students for the fall and spring semesters for (4) four credits (12 hours/week). At the Law Center, we give externs significant responsibilities on substantive legal projects in the areas of voting, education, housing, employment, health care, and environmental justice. Over the course of a semester, externs typically complete assignments in several of these practice areas and can pursue work related to areas of particular interest. Assignments include legal research and writing; drafting briefs, pleadings, and discovery requests; reviewing and analyzing discovery responses and documents; interviewing clients and witnesses; and preparing policy memoranda and proposed legislation. Externs also gain practical experience through shadowing attorneys at meetings and court appearances.

As an extern, you become part of a close-knit group of attorneys, advocates, and others committed to social justice. The attorneys and staff at the Public Interest Law Center are committed to training the next generation of civil rights attorneys, advocates, and nonprofit leaders.

To apply for an externship, please submit the following materials BEFORE 10AM on October 11, 2023: (i) resume; (ii) a one-page statement of interest; and (iii) a short legal writing sample of ten pages or less.

The Public Interest Law Center will conduct 30-minute interviews of applicants as part of the application process. All students will be notified of selections before the close of Advance Course Registration.

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 students will have the option to choose Tuesday 12-1 p.m. or Thursday 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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.