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Public Interest Law Faculty

  • Jill Engle

    Professor Jill C. Engle 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. Professor Engle’s scholarship examines the rights of domestic violence victims, economic rights of divorced women, international domestic violence issues, and best practices in legal education. Professor Engle has done public interest work for decades, including with Head Start and the National League of Cities.

  • David Flatto

    David Flatto is an associate professor of law, religion, and history at Penn State Law. He has served as a visiting professor at Hebrew University Law School and Yeshiva University, and a visiting researcher at Yale Law School. Experienced as an educator and lecturer, he was honored in 2003 with a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education. His research interests include legal history, constitutional law and theory, and Jewish and comparative jurisprudence. His works have appeared in Yale Journal of Law and HumanitiesYale Law Journal Pocket PartNYU Law Global Hauser SeriesDine IsraelHebraic Political Studies,Commentary and Tradition.

  • Michael Foreman

    Professor 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 before the United States Supreme Court and the federal appellate counts. He argued Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court in 2012.

  • Gary Gildin

    Professor Gildin is recognized among the nation's leading teachers of advocacy skills. Professor Gildin designed a course on civil liberties litigation and has prepared the multi-disciplinary and multi-media electronic course book, Civil Liberties Litigation. His most recent scholarly articles propose alternate means by which damages caused by deprivations of constitutional rights should be allocated among the governmental entity, the individual public official and the victim.

  • Lucy Johnston-Walsh

    Professor Lucy Johnston-Walsh devotes her career to protecting children’s rights, directing the Children's Advocacy Clinic and the Center on Children and the Law. A former state and federal lobbyist for a child advocacy organization and past chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Children's Rights Committee, Professor Johnston-Walsh directs the clinic’s operations and supports its mission to serve children and advocate for legislative issues related to children in the welfare system. Under Professor Johnston-Walsh’s supervision, clinic students represent abused and neglected children as well as those involved in contested adoption and custody actions.

  • Katherine Pearson

    Professor Katherine Pearson is a scholar of legal issues facing older adults, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to elder care. Her recent scholarship focuses on protection of older adults, regulation of continuing care retirement and life care communities, and public and private obligations under filial support laws. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State University.

  • Thomas Place

    Professor Place joined Penn State Law after co-founding the first legal services program in Appalachia. He is the author of the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act — Practice and Procedure. He teaches courses on criminal procedure, constitutional law, post-conviction remedies, and prisoners rights.

  • Dara Purvis

    Professor Dara E. Purvis is a scholar of family law, contracts, feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. She is particularly interested in the intersection between gender stereotypes and the law. Her most recent work examines gendered impacts of the law and proposes neutralizing reforms, most recently in the context of how the law defines parenthood.

  • Geoffrey Scott

    Professor Scott has a wide range of teaching and scholarly interests, but his focus is in intellectual property and on the intersection of the worlds of artistic and scientific expression and the law. He has given particular attention to the protection of cultural properties in both Europe and Asia, to domestic and international entertainment issues with an emphasis on music, and to the representation of the individual professional athlete. He received a Fulbright Scholar award in 2004-2005 for his research in the protection of cultural and ethnographic properties in Asia, and he has been a visiting professor and scholar at the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies in the fields of biotechnology and intellectual property law.

  • Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

    Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is a nationally recognized scholar of immigration law whose research focuses on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law; the association between detention, removal and due process; and the intersection between immigration, national security, and race. She is working on a book for NYU Press that ties together and builds upon her body of scholarship on the role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law.