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Arlene Rivera Finkelstein to Lead the Boards of CLS and PLA

Arlene Rivera Finkelstein to Lead the Boards of CLS and PLA

Community Legal Services (CLS) and Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) have elected Arlene Rivera Finkelstein as President of their overlapping Boards of Directors. Ms. Rivera Finkelstein is Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Toll Public Interest Center at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  She directs the Law School’s wide array of public interest programs, including one of the longest-standing and most rigorous pro bono graduation requirements in the country.

Said Ms. Rivera Finkelstein, “I am humbled and excited to lead the Boards of such dedicated volunteers, and to support the work of two such outstanding organizations. Their staff members are experts who are fiercely dedicated to ensuring justice for all – not just for those who can afford it. It has never felt more important to protect access to justice for low-income communities. I am deeply grateful to all of our supporters, and I look forward to making sure that we maintain and build upon this broad coalition of support.”

“Arlene has been a tremendous supporter of CLS and a strong leader in the public interest community,” said CLS Executive Director Debby Freedman. “I am thrilled that our boards will benefit from her wisdom, and I am excited to begin this next stage of our partnership. Arlene’s thoughtfulness, determination, and commitment to the public interest will make her an excellent Board president.”

Said PLA Executive Director Anita Santos-Singh, “Arlene is a well-respected community leader who is held in high esteem by the legal community as well.  She is fully invested in our success for the benefit of our clients.”

The other elected Officers are Jason Leckerman of Ballard Spahr, Vice President; John P. Lavelle, Jr. of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Secretary; and Kimberly Takacs of Chubb, Treasurer.

Founded in 1966, CLS is Philadelphia’s oldest and largest nonprofit law firm devoted to ensuring the access to justice for low-income people.  PLA has been Philadelphia’s federally-funded civil legal services provider since 1996.