Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Kick Off with Annual Poverty Law Training

Today marks the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program, which commences with an annual poverty law training. This two-day orientation, held at the PLAN, Inc. Office on May 15-16, serves as a crucial foundation for interns who will be working with civil legal aid organizations across our Network over the next ten weeks. By offering an overview of the unique challenges faced by low-income and marginalized communities, the interns are better prepared to make a significant impact through their service. The training also provides insights into professionalism, networking, and building essential attorney skills.

This morning, PLAN, Inc. Interim Executive Director Jim DeAngelo, Esq. welcomed the ten 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer interns and provided an overview of Pennsylvania's civil legal aid system. Tevis D. Bryant, Ed.D, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging & HR Operations coordinated the orientation.

The training sessions offered as part of the poverty law training cover various substantive areas of law, such as Employment Law, Family Law, Landlord/Tenant Law, Public Benefits Law, and Utility and Consumer Law. are made possible with the support of partners within our Network and legal community at-large who provide valuable instruction to the students.

We want to thank the following training partners for their support this year: 

  • Kianna Bowles, Training Coordinator, PLAN, Inc.
  • Gio Brackbill, Esq., Utility Justice Project Manager, Pennsylvania Utility Law Project
  • Ryan Cummins, Esq., Managing Attorney, MidPenn Legal Services
  • Jamie Gullen, Esq., Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia
  • Nick Matash, Esq., Managing Attorney, MidPenn Legal Services
  • William McLaughlin, Paralegal, North Penn Legal Services
  • Alexandra Morgan-Kurtz, Esq., Deputy Director, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
  • Rachel Pinsker, Esq., Managing Attorney, Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
  • David Keller Trevaskis, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator, Pennsylvania Bar Association

Following the orientation, participants will join their respective legal aid organizations, where they will have an opportunity to interact conduct initial client interviews, attend client meetings, and accompany mentors at hearings, trials, and administrative proceedings. This year, the host organizations are Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, Community Justice Project, Justice at Work, Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, MidPenn Legal Services, Neighborhood Legal Services, Pennsylvania Health Law Project, Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and Regional Housing Legal Services.

At the culmination of the program, participants will memorialize their experiences in the 2024 Drum Major Essay Collection. These essays will be showcased during our Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Reception, a cherished tradition where participants share excerpts from their essays. This annual event, held in July, serves as a moment of celebration and inspiration, as guests contemplate the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while honoring the impactful work of our interns.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship Program offers law students invaluable legal work experience, providing firsthand insights into the legal obstacles faced by low-income and marginalized communities in Pennsylvania. Through a curriculum that encourages self-reflection, personal growth, and the establishment of a professional network, the program prepares students to become compassionate advocates for justice.  

Read more about this year’s interns and our MLK, Jr. Summer Internship Program and discover how you can support PLAN, Inc.’s DEIB programs and initiatives. 

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