Dwayne J. Bensing
Symposium Editor, Vol. 14; Associate Editor, Vol. 13
Juris Doctor, University of Pennsylvania, 2012
Bachelor of Arts, University of Arkansas, 2007
Science or Stigma: Potential Challenges to the FDA's Ban on Gay Blood, 14 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 485 (2011)
Truman Scholar, Arkansas 2006
LGBT Bar's 40 Under 40, 2014
Current Career Placement/Highlights:
Dwayne is a Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section, focusing on the Section's desegregation docket as well as discrimination claims by transgender students. Prior to joining the DOJ, Dwayne was an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP, in Washington D.C. While with Fried Frank, Dwayne worked on two asylum matters and represented a transgender client in a federal discrimination case. Dwayne joined Teach for America and taught middle-school Science and Social Studies in inner-city Philadelphia before attending Penn Law. While at Penn, he interned with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Committee on House Administration in the U.S. House of Representatives, co-founded the Penn Civil Rights Law Project, and was President of Lambda Law.
What Do You Miss Most About Serving on the Journal of Constitutional Law:
Friendship through adversity. At 9:51pm the night before our 15th Anniversary Symposium, and while the Philadelphia area was under a winter weather advisory, my keynote speaker backed-out because he had learned that another professor's scholarship was critical of his work. Under other circumstances, this may have caused a panic; but, Vol. 14 had already dealt with a string of seemingly never-ending obstacles leading up to our big event: hosting the event off-campus because of unplanned construction, dealing with late-night phone calls from testy professors, and other more typical "emergencies" that come with the territory. Working with Dean Fitts and our Editor-in-Chief Vivian Lee, we concocted a last-minute alternative for our lunch-time programming and the show went on swimmingly. I know the experience brought our Journal closer together and we felt as though we had really accomplished something. I'll never forget the camaraderie we gained through working together on JCL.
Favorite Experience While on the Journal of Constitutional Law:
My favorite experience while on JCL would be working with Professor Lee and our JCL board to publish my comment. It was on a topic that I had felt strongly about for quite some time, and it felt validating to have my peers appreciate my work and my faculty mentor guide me through the legal obstacles and opportunities available to challenge a discriminatory ban on gay men's blood. When I interviewed for my current position at DOJ, little did I know that I had cited one of my interviewers in a footnote, proving how small the world is and how influential JCL's reach is. The experience made me feel like a true legal scholar for the first time.
Reflection on Penn Law Experience:
Penn Law had been my home from the time I joined my partner Christopher at his1L Orientation Banquet at the Constitution Center in 2007 until Christopher, as an alumni, handed me my diploma at my graduation in 2012. In some ways, Penn Law will always feel like home because of those five years we spent there, gaining lifelong friendships, mentors, and memories. I'm always proud to return to Penn Law and meet current law students who are on JCL or involved with Lambda Law or work on the Civil Rights Law Project, because we are able to make an immediate bond forged by our experiences shared while students at Penn Law.