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Law Center News: May 2014
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia  
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The Voter ID Legal Team
Voting News: Book Closed on Photo ID Law 
Governor Corbett announced that the Commonwealth will not appeal Judge McGinley's ruling striking down the controversial voter identification law. It is finally clear that, with the exception of first-time voters, poll workers simply may not ask people for identification. This is an enormous and exciting victory for the Law Center, but more importantly, for hundreds of thousands of voters across the state of Pennsylvania. 
Stacy Hawkins
Board Member Spotlight: Stacy Hawkins
Stacy Hawkins teaches courses in Employment Law and Diversity in the Law at Rutgers School of Law, and she maintains a practice as an independent diversity consultant. She has been a Law Center board member since 2008. She said, "I became a lawyer because I wanted to advocate for civil rights on behalf of poor and minority communities. Although I have had a rewarding career as a corporate lawyer (and now academic), I was drawn to PILCOP because it offered me the opportunity to become part of an organization at the forefront of the kind of legal work that I think is the most important work we can do as lawyers. I find so much personal and professional fulfillment supporting the wonderful work PILCOP does helping poor and minority communities gain access to basic rights that many of us take for granted, like voting, education, employment, healthy communities, and medical care." Thank Stacy for her work by liking her spotlight post on our Facebook page.
Students Affected by the Autism Shuffle
Calling all Parents: 
Help Stop the Autism Shuffle

Last month, we told you about how we reached a settlement with the School District of Philadelphia, preliminarily approved by the Court, that ensures children with autism will not be unfairly transferred between schools, and that parents will become more involved in the process. Now, WE NEED YOUR HELP to finish the process. We want parents to contribute their opinion on the agreement by attending a fairness hearing on June 3 or by submitting comments by May 22. Click here to learn more about the fairness hearing, or to learn how to submit comments.

Jennifer Clarke
Law Center News:
Jennifer Clarke Receives Achievement Award

The Law Center's executive director was honored on May 16 with the Pennsylvania Bar Association's 2014 Special Achievement Award for her dedication and commitment to the Access to Justice CoalitionMs. Clarke has been a co-chair of the Access to Justice Coalition for the last few years and, working with leaders across the Commonwealth, helped the state Senate Judiciary committee convene three public hearings in 2013. To read more about the coalition, click here. The Law Center's Board of Directors, staff and clients applaud Ms. Clarke's commitment to public interest law and anti-poverty work. You can keep up with Ms. Clarke on Twitter: @JenniferRClarke

Molly Flynn
Pro Bono Spotlight:
Molly Flynn, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Molly Flynn has found a unique and valuable way to contribute to  the Law Center. When we prevail in special education cases, we are entitled to attorneys fees from the losing school district, but often we are forced to turn to federal court to collect those fees. Ms. Flynn has represented the Law Center in those actions. In reference to her work, she said, "It is satisfying to know these actions allow the Law Center to recover its fees and costs incurred in the underlying representations, so that the Law Center can continue with its mission of securing a high-quality public education for all students. It also is a pleasure working with Jennifer Clarke and Sonja Kerr. Parents represented by the Law Center are fortunate to have such passionate advocates working on their behalf." Thank Molly for her work by liking her spotlight post on our Facebook page.
Environmental News: Law Center Helps Bhutanese Refugees Secure Land for Gardening
Amy Laura Cahn, director of our Garden Justice Legal Initiative, has been advising HIAS Pennsylvania and their Butanese clients on how to obtain land in Northeast Philadelphia since last year. She connected HIAS to Partners for Sacred Places, who helped them negotiate with a faith-based partner that offered land to the group. The garden launched on April 25, with seven refugee families gardening to start. Before the Law Center's help, the group worked for more than two years to secure land. Click here for photos of the garden.
A Celebration of Civil Rights: October 14, 2014

Vacant Land 101: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19152

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