Spring 2020 Health & Welfare Clinical Student
Reliable, responsible, and flexible in meeting people wherever they were, Penn earned the respect of everyone he worked with in Health & Welfare, including clients, students, and staff. We had the pleasure of working with Penn over a summer and then again during the academic year. He was intrepid in taking on a challenging array of cases, including a rent board hearing where he successfully thwarted an illegal rent increase for a client who still fondly recollects how supported Penn made him feel. Whether assisting with SSI applications, Food Stamps access, housing habitability issues, or public benefits for immigrants, Penn inspired confidence in his clients and allowed them respite essential for their continued wellbeing. Wherever Penn goes from here, he will be improving the lives of those around him.
Penn embodies client-centered lawyering. He listens to his clients with compassion and empathy and develops strong relationships through good humor and humility. Penn has a healthy fear of failure, but it is not rooted in how it would reflect on him, but what it might mean for his clients if they don’t have access to food, shelter, or health care. Whether it is jumping in to take on a hearing within weeks of the start of the semester or successfully navigating the Health Practices first rent board hearing, Penn is always ready to do whatever is necessary to support clients. There was much rejoicing in the Health Practice when Penn came back for a second semester.
– Liam Galbreth, Health & Welfare Clinic