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Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic

Photo of Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, which houses the Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic. Click to watch video that describes the CLC's mission and impact on the Philadelphia community.

Students work with and advocate on behalf of clients in need of legal services, referrals and other forms of advocacy in Drexel’s neighboring communities through the Kline School of Law’s Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic.

Advocacy that Works

Located in Drexel's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, the clinic allows students to serve as true community lawyers, addressing a variety of issues that affect Drexel’s neighbors in Mantua and Powelton Village.

Students represent individual clients and families facing legal issues, provide training to community residents who face common problems and publish reports that advocate for policy changes that would promote justice and equality for Drexel’s neighbors.

We have helped residents by:

  • Restoring Social Security benefits to disabled residents
  • Preventing foreclosures for low-income homeowners
  • Restoring utilities for senior citizens
  • Obtaining property titles for people who inherited their homes
  • Filing employment discrimination claims.

Projects have included:

  • Publishing Pandemic in PA’s Prisons, which recommends the release of vulnerable and elderly incarcerated individuals in an attempt to stop COVID-19 from running rampant across the state
  • Filing an amicus brief in support of the ACLU’s case challenging the systemic abuses of cash bail in Philadelphia 
  • Conducting workshops to teach local residents about topics such as their rights as job applicants and ways to clear complications in property title
  • Creating Zoning Matters, an educational handbook for community members that explains important aspects of the zoning process
  • Publishing a report on the lack of running water in residents’ homes, which was presented at a public hearing convened by the City of Philadelphia and covered by NBC10
  • Educating community members about the process for voicing concerns about development projects in their neighborhood
  • Recommending reforms to the compassionate release law that permits early release of incarcerated individuals who are terminally ill
  • Filing a report on police shootings in Philadelphia with a United Nations committee.

Professor Rachel Lopez

Rachel E. Lopez

Director of the Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic

Rachel López is an Associate Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University and the Director of the Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic. She is currently a Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has also held visiting fellowships at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge, the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. In 2016, Professor López researched transitional justice in Guatemala and Spain as a Fulbright Scholar. From 2015 to 2019, she served as a Commissioner on the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission, as an appointee of Governor Tom Wolf.


Phone: 215.571.4704

Full Bio