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Mary Felder L’21

Mary is an aspiring public defender originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since coming to Penn Law, Mary has interned with the Bronx Defenders Criminal Defense Practice, the Montgomery County Public Defender Pretrial Unit, and the Center for Appellate Litigation. She currently represents young people in custody and dependency proceedings, as well as those petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, in the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic. Prior to law school, Mary worked on nationwide cases of wrongful conviction and misconduct of police, prosecutors, and jail employees as a paralegal for Neufeld Scheck & Brustin.

While studying Political Science and German at Northwestern University, Mary interned for the office of the Cook County Public Defender in Domestic Violence court, and in Chicago’s Prostitution and Trafficking Intervention Court. In college, Mary also interned for the Honorable Judge Biebel, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division in Cook County, where she researched the disparate impact of the criminal justice system on individuals with mental illness as well as options for policy reform.   

At Penn, Mary is the co-founder of the Student Public Interest Network and a volunteer with the Walk-in Legal Assistance Project and the Penn Law Prison Legal Education Project. She is also a member of the Penn Law Boxing Team, a performer with the Penn Law Light Opera Company, and Philanthropy Editor for the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. In her free time, she can be found cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and listening to musical theater while going on long walks and short runs around the city.