Associate Director, Access to Justice Initiatives, Toll Public Interest Center

Posted by University of Pennsylvania on June 23, 2020

The Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC) harnesses the talent, expertise, and resources of Penn Law to engage in high-impact public service with local, national, and global communities. Our award-winning pro bono program has grown from one of the oldest and most rigorous pro bono graduation requirements in the country. TPIC ensures that students are trained and supervised in wide-ranging, substantive, impactful law-related pro bono work. We are a passionate, mission-oriented staff that works collaboratively: while each of us manages an extensive list of individual responsibilities, we complete major projects as a team, maintain an open-door policy, and enjoy a mandate to generate and implement new ideas that benefit our students and the communities they serve.

Position Overview

TPIC’s ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR ACCESS TO JUSTICE INITIATIVES reports to the Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Toll Public Interest Center, and collaborates with other TPIC staff members, Penn Law staff colleagues, faculty, students, University and community partners, to direct the wide-ranging operations of Penn Law’s robust student pro bono projects, as well as the public service initiatives of other Penn Law student groups. The Associate Director oversees matters at the intersection of public service and student life. The Associate Director nurtures a climate of innovation, focused on increasing the capacity of our community partners through sustainable, well-managed, efficient and effective student service initiatives.

Job Description

Responsibilities :

Oversee student pro bono projects:

  • Provide organizational, governance, and other project management oversight to student pro bono projects and over 100 student leaders across six practice areas. Emphasis on goal-setting, innovation, volunteer training and supervision, and community impact. Ensure exceptional training and supervision for our student pro bono project volunteers – working closely with community partners, and offering supplemental supervision when needed to effectuate excellent pro bono service with minimal drain on community partner resources. Facilitate annual sign-up fairs and other mechanisms for pro bono projects to recruit student volunteers – developing creative and efficient mechanisms for ensuring strong recruitment, retention, and management of volunteers. Counsel and guide students seeking to create new pro bono projects – ensuring all such efforts are well-grounded in community needs and expanding access to justice for underserved communities, while helping students to engage strong community partners for new initiatives. Establish and maintain strong relationships between projects and community partners to ensure mutually beneficial collaboration. Develop MOUs when necessary and appropriate. Maintain database of attorney supervisors and stay in regular contact with supervisors, ensuring all projects are well-supported and meeting expectations. Develop ways to support attorney supervisors and community partners in ways that enhance collaboration. Develop systems to measure and document the impact of our student service initiatives – on clients, community partners, and students. Work with TPIC colleagues and Penn Law Communications to ensure that the work of student pro bono projects is well-publicized across our various media platforms. Organize and host annual pro bono recognition event showcasing outstanding work done by students, supervisors, and community partners with meaningful community-building as the event’s focus. Supervise work-study intern who assists with administrative responsibilities relating to pro bono project programming. Develop and manage TPIC’s annual budget for pro bono projects. Oversee financial allocations to each pro bono project and maintain all project budgets.

Manage Service Trips :

  • Work closely with TPIC colleagues, faculty, supervising attorneys, involved alumni, and student trip planners for student group service trips to ensure trips are well supervised, that they are organized to meet a community need, that service is the core purpose of the trip, and that the service activities are eligible pro bono under Penn Law guidelines. Ensure that trip planners participate in trainings on fundraising, cultural competency, working with vulnerable populations, and travel safety. Ensure that each student group service trip is well-supervised for maximum enrichment, and facilitate the engagement of supervising attorneys; serve as supervising attorney for service trips when appropriate to ensure effective service. Collaborate with Business Affairs to manage financial matters relating to student service trips. Collaborate with International Programs to ensure that all Law School and University protocols are followed when trips are global.

Manage all matters related to student compliance with the New York Pro Bono Requirement :

a. Stay well-informed regarding the New York and any other state bar’s pro bono requirements.

b. Keep students well-informed of the requirements; advise and support them with compliance.

c. Develop efficient systems for assisting students and community partners in completing all documentation relating to state bar pro bono requirements.

d. Collaborate with other law school departments as needed to help students meet these requirements.

e. Obtain the necessary credentials to become a notary for purposes of notarizing the requisite documents.

Develop and manage TPIC’s Advising Program for non-JD public interest students, well-integrating them into our larger systems of public interest programming and support .

Public Interest Week: Manage student-group sponsored events, and collaborate with TPIC colleagues to help effectuate all aspects of this signature law school program.

Other: Provide other support to effectuate TPIC and Penn Law programs as needed.


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