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Carolyn Rice L’21

Carolyn’s passion for public service has motivated her for her entire adult life. She first became interested in the law when she volunteered as a college freshman to translate for the Food Stamp Advocacy Project at the University of Michigan Law School. She worked closely with Spanish-speaking undocumented families to help them obtain food stamps, and as a result she developed an understanding of how federal immigration laws prevented her clients from obtaining work and state welfare policies made it almost impossible for her clients to qualify for benefits. She decided to become a public interest attorney so that she might become a more effective advocate for undocumented people and other marginalized communities across the United States.

Originally from Connecticut, Carolyn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. She thereafter became a Paralegal Specialist for the Consumer Protection Branch at the United States Department of Justice, where she worked on civil and criminal investigations aimed at protecting Spanish-speaking, low-income and elderly consumers from fraud and extortion. She fell in love with government service and developed a deeply-felt belief that the role of government should be to protect and advocate for the most vulnerable among us. Following her first year of law school, she continued to explore government service as a legal intern for the Public Integrity Section in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. She will continue on this path as a Summer Law Clerk for the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, where she will have the opportunity to pursue her interests in civil rights work and constitutional litigation.

At Penn Law, Carolyn has continued to serve others through her participation in the Transnational Legal Clinic, where she represents clients seeking asylum, and the Federal Reentry Court Program, where she assists clients with any legal issues they face upon reentering society after long sentences. She is also an Auction Chair for the Equal Justice Foundation and serves as an Articles Editor for the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.