Temple Law School recently played host to a panel of alumni currently serving as policy-makers with Philadelphia City Council. Joining the Law and Public Policy Scholars for the evening were:

  • William Carter LAW ’00, City Council COO;
  • Rosalie Leonard LAW ’80, Senior Attorney, Technical and Planning Staff;
  • Hadji Maloumian LAW ’10, Legislative Aide, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown;
  • Folasade Olanipekun-Lewis LAW ’92, City Council CFO;
  • Donna Bullock LAW ’03, Special Assistant to City Council President Daryl Clark; and
  • Steve Cobb LAW ’11, Director of Legislation, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson

Each panelist described their official job duties and then discussed what that looks like from day to day. Several noted the opportunity to become “the” expert on a wide range of issues: Olanipekun-Lewis, for example, has been immersed recently in the proposed sale of PGW, but is also the point person for pensions, the airport, and the Actual Value Initiative. “Spending drives policy,” she remarked, calling her work “an incredible opportunity to see the impact of public policy on individuals and communities.”

Hadji Maloumian also focused his remarks on how his work impacts real people. In addition to working on environmental and educational policy initiatives, Maloumian “has a lot of direct constituent contact. In fact, helping people is the most fun part of my job.”  Donna Bullock agreed, but also noted that “constituents inform legislation.” That’s why no matter what your title, “everyone has to answer the phones and be prepared to do everything.”

All of the panelists agreed that writing and professionalism were very important skills to have, but that what mattered most was “being the valuable person – the one who gets things done.”

The Law and Public Policy Program, directed by Professor Nancy J. Knauer, trains students in how to initiate policy change at the local and national levels. For more information about the program, please visit