Catherine C. Carr is an Adjunct Professor at Penn Law School and the immediate past Executive Director of Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS) one of the most highly respected civil legal aid organizations in the country. She served in that role for 20 years, and was the longest serving executive director and the first female director. She took the position after eleven years as a public benefits litigator and advocate at CLS, and now serves as a consultant to the organization. Carr coordinates the Strategic Advocacy Initiative of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) and is providing consulting services to legal aid organizations, funders and directors across the country.
Carr has been in leadership roles in bar associations and public interest law organizations locally and nationally. Her current roles include service as the co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Task Force on Civil Gideon and Access to Justice, as chair of the Board of the Management Information Exchange for legal aid, as Secretary of the Independence Foundation Board and on the Oversight Board of the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. Carr is the recipient of numerous awards for her work on civil legal aid issues including the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s inaugural Louis H. Pollak Award, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Sandra Day O’Connor Award, and the NLADA’s Denison Ray Award. She is a member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a graduate with honors of both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Yale College, where she was the first graduate with a Women’s Studies major. She served as a law clerk to the first female judge in the courts of the Third Circuit, Norma Shapiro.