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University of Pennsylvania (Penn Law School)




Penn Law’s strengths – a superior legal education enhanced through cross-disciplinary studies and our deserved reputation as a congenial and stimulating environment – are reflected in all that we do.

A First-Rate Faculty: Our faculty, an outstanding group of leading scholars in every major area of law, define Penn Law’s intellectual vitality. A majority hold advanced degrees and more than a third have joint appointments with other of the University’s great schools and departments. Penn Law faculty members are accessible to and engaged with their students, creating a dynamic learning environment.

Strength in Cross-Disciplinary Studies: Penn Law has created a cross-disciplinary program that is unrivaled among the leading law schools. Recognizing that lawyers of the future will be well-versed not only in legal tradition but also in the broader fields of our society, Penn Law has embraced its relationship with the finest array of graduate and professional programs in the nation. Our law students take classes and earn certificates or joint degrees at schools and programs such as Wharton, the Annenberg School for Communication, the Center for Bioethics program – the opportunities available to our students are bounded only by their imaginations.

Students Thrive at Penn Law: Penn Law ranked third in a national survey in student satisfaction. Our students overwhelmingly responded that if they had to do it over again, they would choose to come to Penn Law.

We offer a stimulating and invigorating first-rate legal education and the opportunity for cross-disciplinary study within this great University. When you combine this rich intellectual life with our hallmark collegiality and engaged student body, you have a vitality that few schools can match.

Our J.D. students have their undergraduate degrees and, oftentimes, advanced degrees in a broad array of disciplines; many have some work experience prior to attending law school. They come from across the country and include international students.

Our graduate students generally are international students who hold a law degree from outside the United States and wish to become more familiar with aspects of American law and legal institutions. They are lawyers, bankers, judges, business professionals, and recent university graduates who add much to the Penn Law Community. They take advanced classes with the J.D. students to further expand their legal expertise.

Penn Law students are an intelligent and interesting group of individuals who thrive on the intellectual energy of their faculty and classmates. The diversity of both our faculty and staff allows us to mix divergent political, intellectual, and philosophical perspectives; ethnic and racial backgrounds; varied life and work experiences – to create a myriad of viewpoints that stretch students’ minds and add immeasurably to their education.

We cordially invite you to visit. We have found that this is the best way to fully experience the intimate and supportive environment that is Penn Law. If your schedule permits, we recommend that you visit the Law School while classes are in session.

The best law schools in America will all offer you a fine legal education. You will learn to “think like a lawyer,” undergo rigorous intellectual training, and be stretched in ways that you never anticipated (or knew you were capable of).

Penn Law offers this – and much, much more. At Penn, your legal education will be enriched by our cross-disciplinary approach to legal study and by our warm and supportive environment.

We are committed to providing students with a legal education that reflects our world. In business, in legal practice, in the public sector and in government, lawyers increasingly need knowledge beyond legal principles and creative legal strategies. Law has never been an isolated discipline, and this is even more paramount today as lawyers navigate the intricacies of working with related fields.

To prepare our students, many of the Penn Law faculty approach their subject matter from a cross-disciplinary perspective, and we actively encourage and make it possible for our students to enroll in courses in the University of Pennsylvania’s many esteemed graduate and professional schools. Recognizing the diverse interests and professional needs among our students, we offer an extensive cross-disciplinary program and also allow students to customize an individual curricular program.

At Penn Law, we are dedicated to providing a supportive, collegial environment that complements this rich educational opportunity. Our success in creating the right experience for our students is evident. In February 2002, Penn Law ranked third nationally in the American Lawyer survey of law students’ satisfaction with their law schools as measured by the percentage of our students who would select Penn Law over again.

Penn Law is unique among the nation’s great law schools in offering an intimate law school experience within a dynamic University environment, while simultaneously having all of the benefits of a vibrant and exciting urban location.

At Penn Law, you will have the opportunity to engage not only in a vigorous legal education, but also in myriad student activities. You will be able to sing with the Light Opera Company, dance the salsa at a Latin Law Students Association party, participate in a joint event with Wharton, and eat international foods at the LL.M. students’ ethnic foods celebration. You will be able to engage in politics – at the Law School or the University, in Philadelphia, or at the national level. You will find opportunities to work on the Equal Justice Foundation Auction, (raising money to fund students working in public sector jobs), or to bring speakers to campus through one of the many substantive area student groups such as the Intellectual Property Association, or to select films for the Feminist Working Group film series. Every year, students bring new ideas for enriching the life of our community – and they receive our support and encouragement for making them a reality.

Penn Law’s academic program is unique. Students engage their rigorous legal studies with one of the nation’s most outstanding law school faculties, and at the same time have the opportunity to enrich this study with cross-disciplinary work at one of the world’s preeminent research Universities. There is no better modern legal education offered anywhere.

Our faculty is the core of the institution. They are world-renowned scholars and first-rate teachers. Their accessibility to students combine with their high academic expectations to create an intellectual climate and vitality that is highly conducive to the study of law.

Our cross-disciplinary program extends throughout the University of Pennsylvania, allowing Penn Law students to better prepare for their roles within the legal profession by expanding on their educations at the finest array of graduate and professional schools found anywhere. Penn Law students can study at Wharton or the Annenberg School for Communication, participate in programs at the Center for Bioethics, receive a joint degree with any of a variety of schools – much more information on this topic is available within these pages. Penn Law’s academic program is also unique in allowing law students the flexibility to craft a graduate legal education that reflects their own intellectual interests and professional goals.

Penn Law has a vibrant intellectual community with a robust and exciting academic program.

The Law School’s campus is beautiful, with four connecting buildings surrounding a green, and adored, courtyard. And you are steps away from the amenities of the University of Pennsylvania, with its activities for graduate and professional students, its state-of-the-art gym and health club, and its many libraries, museums, theatres, lectures, and events.

And all of this in one of the nation’s top cities! Philadelphia, with its wonderful residential neighborhoods (many convenient to the Law School), its booming restaurant scene, its art and theatre life, excellent shopping, and its great sports teams – all centrally located and served by our public transportation system – offers professional students an affordable, accessible, and exciting lifestyle.

At Penn Law we have been, are and will continue to be committed to diversity in our community. This commitment includes diversity in all of its manifestations: culture, intellectual perspective, philosophy, race, politics, socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation, work experience, and much more. Having a rich tapestry of people teaching and learning in our classrooms enhances the process of legal education and contributes greatly to the Penn Law experience.

Penn Law has been and is successful in matriculating a diverse student body. In 1883 we graduated our first woman, Carrie Kilgore, and in 1888 our first African American, Aaron A. Mossell, both of whom went on to stellar careers in the law; today, students of color represent fully 38 percent of the J.D. class of 2008 and women represent 46 percent of the class.

We also seek to enroll students from a broad geographic distribution. In a typical year, J.D. students come from more than 35 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and numerous foreign countries, and from more than 100 undergraduate institutions.

Additionally, Penn Law welcomes some 70 to 80 internationally trained lawyers to our graduate programs. These students participate fully in the Law School, adding an international component to classroom discussion and providing opportunities to form relationships with lawyers from all over the globe.

Penn Law students are actively involved in numerous Law School and University student groups and organizations, reflecting the broad diversity of their interests and affiliations. Penn Law prides itself on providing a welcoming and open environment. But don't take our word for it – click on the students and alumni pictured above to read their perspectives on diversity at Penn Law.

Student activities at Penn Law cover a wide spectrum of academic interest areas, identity groups, political affiliations, intramural sports, publications, moot court activities, and service organizations.

Penn Law student groups provide opportunities for students to work, socialize and play together in groups founded and managed by students. Faculty and administrative support is available when requested, but our emphasis is on students managing student activities

Student groups bring in prominent attorneys speaking on various practice areas and politics. They arrange sports competitions. They provide legal service to the community in areas ranging from unemployment compensation to child custody and support. They field moot court teams at a number of national competitions. Students from various ethnic and racial backgrounds host conferences and social events, and provide mentoring from upper-level students over the course of the year. Our student government maintains an active presence, representing students' points of view to the faculty and administration.

In any community as well rounded as ours, a host of interests and activities are represented. The attached list shows the current array of groups here at Penn, with new groups forming periodically, depending on the interest of current students.

Penn Law's faculty is unparalleled in the depth and breadth of their intellectual interests, the quality and magnitude of their scholarship, and their dedication to teaching. This group of scholars, diverse in philosophy, approach, and background, combine to create a sharp and stimulating intellectual environment. A majority of our faculty hold joint degrees and many hold joint appointments on campus, evidencing not only their individual expertise but also the Law School’s interest in a cross-disciplinary approach to modern legal education.

Philadelphia’s central location between New York City and Washington, D.C. enables us to attract top governmental leaders, members of the judiciary, practicing attorneys, and business leaders – all luminaries in their respective fields – as adjuncts and lecturers to supplement our core curriculum and present a variety of special lectures and symposia.

As leading scholars in every major area of legal study, Penn Law faculty are actively engaged in the issues of the day – with print and broadcast media seeking their counsel and expertise.



School name:University of PennsylvaniaPenn Law School
Address:3400 Chestnut Street
Zip & city:PA 19104-6204 Pennsylvania
Phone:215-898-7483
Web:http://www.law.upenn.edu
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