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Civil Rights Appellate Clinic Testimonials

I am writing to thank you, Penn State University, the Dickinson School of Law and most specifically, Professor Michael L. Foreman and the students of the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic for their services to me and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals as Amicus Curiae Counsel in Case #10-1919 Ellis v. Ethicon. … it took years for my friends and family to begin to have an understanding of my disability and legal challenges; the Penn St. Civil Rights Appellate Clinic students and assistants grasped and briefed my realities in less than 3 months. Amazing work!  In closing, I want you to know that the value of the efforts of the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic to society and Pennsylvania is incalculable.

Theresa M. Ellis
Client in Ellis v. Ethicon


At a time when workers’ civil rights are under attack, Penn State Dickinson School of Law’s Civil Rights Appellate Law Clinic is a powerful voice in ensuring enforcement of our nation’s anti-discrimination in employment laws. The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) has been privileged to work with Professor Michael Foreman and the Clinic’s law students on amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, such as Vance v. Ball State, Thompson v. North American Stainless, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes. Most recently, the Clinic drafted NELA’s Fourth Circuit brief in DeMasters v. Carilion Clinic to protect a worker who was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for using established internal complaint mechanisms to notify his employer about the sexual harassment of a co-worker by a supervisor. Professor Foreman and his law students are to be commended and applauded for their exceptional service in the public’s interest to eradicate workplace discrimination and safeguard America’s promise of equal justice under law for all workers.

Terisa E. Chaw
Executive Director, National Employment Lawyers Association


At this time, I would like to say thank you to all who were involved in this civil rights case.  I would like to thank Pennsylvania State University for initiating a program to help with today’s equal rights justice.  I would like to give a special thanks to the students of the Dickinson School of Law for their quick research in order to file the brief before the deadline was reached.  You all did an excellent job coming in at the eleventh hour when all kind of deadlines needed to be met. 

Anthony Smith
Client in Anthony Smith v. John Wilson


The Clinic coordinated the amicus efforts for the case and drafted an amicus brief on behalf of a large number of national civil rights and advocacy organizations. The Clinic’s commitment to the case was amazing and the brief was absolutely stellar. It was first class work product that any law firm who regularly appears in the Supreme Court would be proud to call their own. I want to commend the work you and the Penn State faculty have done to advance the cause of justice. I was extremely impressed by the quality of work product from your students and how well rounded they are.

Brian P. Lauten
Supreme Court Counsel in Nassar v. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


The issues in the Nassar case have vexed even the most experienced employment lawyers for many years. Yet, the Clinic’s students were extremely conscientious, hard-working, and able to distill these complex principles. Overall, it was a genuine pleasure to work with them and Professor Foreman.

Rebecca Hamburg Cappy
Program Director, National Employment Lawyers Association


Thanks to you and your fabulous cadre of students for the excellent brief in the United States Supreme Court in Nassar. Cases like this always present especially tough issues because of the challenges of framing and presenting effectively the implications of the phrasing of various civil rights laws, their varying circumstances of legislative enactment, and the results of various decisions interpreting one of more closely related statutes.

Daniel B. Kohrman
Senior Attorney, AARP Foundation Litigation


Working with the members of the Penn State Law Clinic has been one of the greatest experiences in my almost 40 years, as a lawyer in private practice. Not only was the work first rate, but the ease of process and substantive legal issue identification exhibited commitment to the principals of legal scholarship before the Supreme Court. The Penn State Law Clinic has a real gem; its Chief Counsel, students and support staff are all first rate.

Edward Smith, Jr.
Attorney


The clinic authored a superb amicus brief that was filed in the United States Supreme Court in an important civil rights case raising crucial issues of access to justice.  The clinic's brief was extremely well written and persuasive, and it played an important role in the broader strategy that the plaintiff and the civil rights community had crafted for the case as a whole.  While I do not know how the case will come out as I write this, the clinic's work was both top notch an essential component of our approach.  I am extremely grateful to the law school and to the clinic for putting together such extraordinarily high quality advocacy on behalf of persons who both have been harmed by racial discrimination and now further face the prospect of the courthouse door being closed upon them.  A number of veteran U.S. Supreme Court practitioners with whom I communicated about the case specifically remarked upon the quality and strength of the clinic's contribution in this matter.
 

F. Paul Bland, Jr.
Senior Staff Attorney, Public Justice
Counsel for the Respondent in the U.S. Supreme Court in Rent-a-Center v. Jackson


On behalf of the firm, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Michael Foreman and the Penn State Civil Rights Clinic for their hard work and dedication to critical civil rights work.  They co-authored an appellate brief we filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and added tremendous value because of their insight into the legal issues and the quality of their workproduct.  It was our pleasure to work with them, and we hope to do so again in the future.

Andrew Loveless
Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC
Co-Counsel for Petitioner in Ford v. Mansfield


Mr. Foreman, I would like to personally thank you and the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic for assisting me in my representation of Antonio Jackson in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Your assistance in preparing an amicus brief and your participation in the moot court process were both invaluable.  I never imagined I would have such amazing support.  On behalf of myself and Antonio Jackson, a heartfelt thanks.

Ian E. Silverberg
Hardy Law Group
Counsel for the Respondent in the U.S. Supreme Court in Rent-a-Center v. Jackson


We have worked with and signed onto briefs written by the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic of Penn State’s Dickinson School for civil rights case in the 2009 and 2010 Supreme Court terms.  The clinic’s briefs always contain outstanding research, writing and analysis, and the students show an incredible work ethic as they handle multiple edits and looming deadlines with great professionalism.

Sharyn A. Tejani
Senior Policy Counsel, Work and Family Program


The National Women’s Law Center had the pleasure of working with the clinic on several key employment discrimination cases before the Supreme Court and appreciate the important role it has played as an advocate for civil rights. We worked with Professor Foreman on numerous Supreme Court amicus briefs when he was with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and we are delighted that he is continuing to provide his invaluable expertise with the Penn State Civil Rights Appellate Clinic.
 

Dina Lassow
Senior Counsel, National Woman’s Law Center


The Penn State Civil Rights Clinic, led by Michael Foreman, provides critically important advocacy on behalf of those seeking to vindicate civil rights.  The Clinic's work on key employment discrimination cases in the 2008 and 2009 Supreme Court Terms was essential.

John Payton
President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.


Professor Foreman and his clinic have provided stellar insights and research for amicus curiae briefs in some of the most critical civil rights cases heard by the Supreme Court in recent years.  Professor Foreman brings with him a substantial body of knowledge gained over the course of an impressive career, and the students in the clinic went above and beyond the call of duty with their enthusiasm and hard work.  We are extremely grateful for their contributions.

Sarah Crawford
Senior Counsel, Employment Discrimination Project, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law


During the 2008 Term of the Supreme Court, the Civil Rights Appellate Clinic of Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law co-authored amici briefs with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in two major civil rights cases on the docket.  The high quality of the new clinic's work matched that of seasoned large firms and law school appellate clinics with more experience before the nation's highest court.  In so doing, the Penn State Clinic fulfilled a noble service of the legal profession to provide access to justice for those persons that could not afford such legal representation.

John C. Brittain
former Chief Counsel for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and current professor, David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia. 


I just wanted to say how very much better the clinic has made the brief and this experience. With the time constraints, we never would have been able to do so much without the clinic's work.

Christine Webber
Cohen, Milstein Sellers & Toll
Co-counsel on an amicus brief filed on behalf of 5 national civil rights groups in Gross v FBL Financial Services, Inc.


The Appellate Clinic’s expert testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s October 7 hearing, "Workplace Fairness: Has the Supreme Court Been Misinterpreting Laws Designed to Protect American Workers from Discrimination," cogently pinpointed the legal flaws and practical consequences of the Supreme Court conservative bloc’s decisions to weaken age discrimination protections and to deprive individual employees of access to court via forced arbitration.  The testimony explained why the decisions in question thwarted Congressional intent and require Congressional reversal.

Simon Lazarus
National Senior Citizens Law Center Office


Although I have my license to practice at the U.S. Supreme Court level, your experience and your students’ enthusiasm were essential to press this case forward.  I do not think we could have done this on our own.  I believe you are providing an essential service for civil rights advocates such as myself who do not get to touch the rarefied air of U.S. Supreme Court litigation that frequently.

William D. Rotts
Partner, Rotts & Gibbs, LLC, Attorneys at Law
Co-Counsel on the Petition for Certiorari filed in Gregory et al v. Dillard’s Inc.


Since the founding of the Penn State Civil Rights Appellate Clinic in 2008, Professor Foreman and his team of able students have made an immediate impact through its amicus briefs in the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Clinic’s briefs, which my organization joined, along with other prominent national civil rights groups, have ensured that the voice of those most vulnerable are fully represented before The Court.  The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic is a demonstrated national leader in academia and in the greater appellate bar.

Vincent A. Eng
Deputy Director, Asian American Justice Center