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Fighting for the Children — Student Success Story

Stacie Tepe, Class of 2018

Stacie Tepe, Class of 2018

Having earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice, Stacie Tepe was drawn to the legal profession.

But when a fantastic job came through with the state Department of Child Services, Stacie put her law school plans on hold for several years.

In May 2016, Stacie launched her legal education as an accelerated JD student, which allowed her to graduate in May 2018.

Stacie said that years of experience in child welfare gave her a strong foundation to start law school.

“If I had come straight out of college, I don’t know that I would have done as well,” she said. “I treat school like a job that takes 40 hours each week.”

In the summer of 2017, Stacie completed a summer internship with the Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office, where she gained firsthand experience handling child welfare issues from the legal side.

Awarded an Oxholm Public Interest Fellowship that covered some living expenses during the internship, Stacie was grateful that the law school went the extra mile to help students who wish to work in the public sector.

“It’s something I’m excited about and passionate about,” said Stacie, who now represents abused and neglected children in child abuse hearings as a child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia.