Cartagena to discusses criminal justice reform at Public Interest Week

Juan Cartagena is the President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

Penn Law’s 10th annual Public Interest Week brings noted public interest lawyers, including this year’s Public Interest Week Honorary Fellow-in-Residence Juan Cartagena, to the Law School for a variety of panels and discussions.

To commemorate the 10th year of this celebration, an Alumni Summit was the capstone to the week. The discussion, “Leading through Adversity,” brought together distinguished alumni to share best practices for advancing equity and justice everywhere — from West Philadelphia schools to local and federal government.

Each year, the Toll Public Interest Center awards an Honorary Fellowship to an attorney working at the forefront of an important public interest legal issue. The Honorary Fellow spends several days at the law school engaged in formal and informal conversations with faculty and students about the nature of their work.

“Juan Cartagena is a highly experienced litigator who is a powerful example of how a civil rights lawyer can advocate for the political representation of marginalized communities,” said Arlene Rivera Finkelstein, Associate Dean for Public Interest Programs and Executive Director of the Toll Public Interest Center. “From immigration and criminal justice reform, to tragic natural disasters, Mr. Cartagena’s organization has been at the forefront of the most critical issues our country is facing. We are excited and honored for the opportunity to learn from him.”

Cartagena is the President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national civil rights public interest law office that represents Latinas and Latinos throughout the country and works to increase their entry into the legal profession. He is one of the nation’s leading voices on equality and nondiscrimination, and he has successfully used the law to effectuate systems change for the benefit of marginalized communities.

The Law School’s 2018 Public Interest Week also featured guest speaker Cecillia Wang. Wang is a deputy legal director at the national ACLU and directs the Center for Democracy, which encompasses the ACLU’s work on immigrants’ rights, voting rights, national security, human rights, and speech, privacy, and technology.

In addition to consulting with students and faculty, both Cartagena and Wang participated in multiple PI Week events. Cartagena delivered a talk on elevating the voices of Latinos in criminal justice, policing, and drug policy reform, and Wang lead a discussion on the Trump Administration’s first year in office. Together, both Cartagena and Wang also lead a discussion with students on strategies for successful advocacy.

Penn Law’s 10th Annual Public Interest Week is coordinated by the Toll Public Interest Center, which is the hub of public service at Penn Law. The week includes a range of programming, much of which is planned by students for students. TPIC oversees the Penn Law pro bono program, facilitating a wide array of pro bono and public service opportunities through which students engage in impactful service while honing critical legal skills. In addition to administering the pro bono graduation requirement, TPIC is home to all of Penn Law’s public interest programming, including the Toll Public Interest Scholars program.

Supporting Stories

The Future Of The Profession Initiative Expands Access To Justice

The Future Of The Profession Initiative Expands Access To Justice

Jennifer Leonard L’04, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI) at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, calls FPI the Law School’s “recognition that the legal profession — like many professions — is undergoing a period of enormous change and that a leading law school has an opportunity […]

stories
Erik Nickels L’21 Awarded Skadden Fellowship For Public Interest Lawyering

Erik Nickels L’21 Awarded Skadden Fellowship For Public Interest Lawyering

The fellowships fund recent law graduates who want to pursue work in the public interest, particularly in service of the poor, elderly, homeless, and disabled.

news
$50 Million Gift For Public Interest Lawyering

$50 Million Gift For Public Interest Lawyering

The Robert and Jane Toll Foundation has made a $50 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School to dramatically expand the Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows Program.

stories
The Future Of The Profession Initiative Expands Access To Justice

The Future Of The Profession Initiative Expands Access To Justice

Jennifer Leonard L’04, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director the Future of the Profession Initiative (FPI) at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, calls FPI the Law School’s “recognition that the legal profession — like many professions — is undergoing a period of enormous change and that a leading law school has an opportunity […]

>stories
Erik Nickels L’21 Awarded Skadden Fellowship For Public Interest Lawyering

Erik Nickels L’21 Awarded Skadden Fellowship For Public Interest Lawyering

The fellowships fund recent law graduates who want to pursue work in the public interest, particularly in service of the poor, elderly, homeless, and disabled.

>news
$50 Million Gift For Public Interest Lawyering

$50 Million Gift For Public Interest Lawyering

The Robert and Jane Toll Foundation has made a $50 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School to dramatically expand the Toll Public Interest Scholars and Fellows Program.

>stories