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At the request of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Professor Michael Foreman, director of Penn State Law's Civil Rights Appellate Clinic and clinical professor, testified at the hearing on "Workplace Fairness: Has the Supreme Court Been Misinterpreting Laws Designed to Protect American Workers from Discrimination?" The hearing was held on Wednesday, October 7, at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building
On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, Penn State Law’s Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, acting as counsel of record for six civil rights groups, filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in Rent-A-Center, West v. Antonio Jackson, Supreme Court Docket Number 09-497.
Students from Penn State Law’s Civil Rights Appellate Clinic recently visited the U.S. Supreme Court to observe oral arguments in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, a case in which the Clinic had filed an amicus brief. While witnessing arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is in itself extraordinary, Penn State Law students arrived a day early and had the opportunity meet privately with some of the most brilliant legal minds in the country – including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Since 1972, children in abuse and neglect matters have had a right to legal representation through the appointment of guardians ad litem. Effective legal representation and advocacy for children in the dependency system can make a huge difference in improving the chances that fair and accurate determinations are made. However, a lack of investment in supervision, training, and compensation of these child advocates continues to harm children.
The Penn State Children’s Advocacy Clinic recently teamed up with several organizations to draft legislation that would require county children and youth agencies to make every reasonable effort to place siblings together in foster care unless doing so is contrary to the safety and well-being of any sibling. Sponsored by State Representative Briggs (D-Montgomery), House Bill 2258: Keeping Siblings in Foster Care Together unanimously passed (49-0) in the Pennsylvania Senate on October 13, 2010, and was signed by Governor Ed Rendell on November 24, 2010.
Can a school regulate off-campus student speech? What is a district to do when a custody order makes no sense, or competes with another state’s custody order? And under what circumstances can a child be interviewed about abuse allegations without parental consent? School administrators, teachers, and education lawyers are invited for a state-of-the-art legal training at the Penn State Law and Education Institute on June 20-24.
Older adolescents in foster care are among society’s most vulnerable populations and have recently become a focus of attention across Pennsylvania. As part of an initiative of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Office of Children & Youth and Families in the Court, a working group convened at the Penn State Law Children’s Advocacy Clinic has advocated for an improved local judicial procedure and providing training for social workers, attorneys, and foster youth. Communities across the state have led working groups to improve the process for youth transitioning to independence from foster care.
The Apfelbaum Family Courtroom was crowded with cameras, equipment, and people from cultures around the world. Speakers of French and English mingled in the Lewis Katz Building, while five Penn State jurors awaited opening statements for the pilot episode of "World on Trial."
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, clinical professor and director of the Center for Immigrants' Rights, has been named by the American Bar Association (ABA) to its Commission on Immigration. The 13-member commission was established in August 2002 and directs the ABA’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and refugees within the United States.
One in five refugees seeking protection in the United States is denied asylum because they do not apply within one year of their arrival and miss the 12-month deadline imposed by Congress, according to a study of the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) asylum decisions, which Penn State Law students scrutinized as part of their work at the Center for Immigrants’ Rights.

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