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Penn Law

Annual Report

Attracting the Best & Brightest

Our well-deserved reputation as a singularly collaborative professional community nurtures the risk-taking and teamwork that prepares graduates to lead in the new legal landscape. Penn Law's cross-disciplinary focus provides a legal education that prepares students for their entire careers.

Applicants:

5,593

Average age:

24
years old

Enrolled:

244 students
from 33 states, the District of Columbia, and across the globe

Students come to Penn Law from:

115
different colleges & universities
We provide financial aid to more than 50% of J.D. students.

Monica Monroe

New Dean of Students
On her role at Penn Law:
It really is an honor and privilege to serve as the Dean of Students at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I see this as a role to be able to provide support and guidance for students, both professionally and personally. One of the things that drew me to Penn Law was its reputation for being a happy law school and a very collegial and collaborative community.

Monica Monroe

Class of 2016 by the Numbers
JD students who completed a joint-degree or certificate program
75%
# of LLM students from around the globe
115
Graduates in the first-ever Master in Law class
4

Careers & Service

Penn Law @ Work
From your first job through your entire career

Penn Law provides comprehensive career support to its students through the Office of Career Planning & Professionalism through a variety of programs and initiatives. The class of 2015 has a 97% employment rate and our graduates enter every field of law. The Toll Public Interest Center facilitates a wide array of pro bono and public service opportunities for students that focus on impactful service, personal enrichment, and professional skill development.

Penn Law @ Work

Five firms reached 100% in participation in our workplace-based giving program, Penn Law @ Work. In the two-month fundraising challenge, volunteers from each firm encourage their Penn Law colleagues to show support for the Law School through gifts to the annual fund. Interested in getting your firm involved? Contact Nicole Ford at nicford@law.upenn.edu.

# of student counseling appointments:

1,500

Worked with more than:

140 alumni
Class years 1966 through 2015

Prepared students for more than:

5,000
on-campus interviews

# of judicial clerkships this cycle:

87
students & alumni

I met a number of incredibly compassionate, thoughtful prosecutors who genuinely wanted to help people… I think that just being exposed to what lawyers in government do on a daily basis has made me more confident that I can succeed in that world.

- Kate Sell L'16, 2015 Leo Model Foundation Government & Public Affairs Initiative Summer Fellow

The Toll Public Interest Center - Community in Action

April 21, 2016

3 Business Skills to Build as a Law Student

Jennifer Leonard L'04, Director of the Center on Professionalism and Associate Director for Professional Development at Penn Law, details the top business skills law students should focus on building in an article for "U.S. News & World Report."

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October 02, 2015

Four Penn Law alumni named “D.C.’s Rising Stars”

Jason Abel L’03, Tara Elliott L’03, Manu Gayatrinath L’04, and Abby Wright L’06 made the National Law Journal’s list highlighting the most accomplished young lawyers in the Washington, D.C. area.

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April 12, 2016

Akbar Hossain L’18 receives Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Akbar Hossain L’18 has been named a 2016 recipient of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a national merit fellowship that annually supports immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.

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January 04, 2016

Center on Professionalism helps students become experts in legal technologies

Penn Law’s Center on Professionalism offers a slate of programming throughout the year that allows students to learn about the latest innovations as they prepare for their first legal work experiences.

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Curricular Innovation

A distinct approach

At Penn Law, we believe that the next generation of lawyers will be those who are not just superbly trained in law, but also have training in related fields — such as business, communications, health, technology, international studies, social work, and education — that complement and enhance their legal expertise.

Lucas Tejwani JD/MCIT '17

Cross-disciplinary Spotlight
On Penn Law's commitment to cross-disciplinary education:
The big defining characteristic was the fact that Penn Law really push the interdisciplinary and the cross-disciplinary offerings that they had. It seems to be infused in the Penn culture, the notion that in order to be a successful, practicing attorney now you have to know fields beyond law. You have to know technology in some cases, business in some cases, civil rights in some cases, and so the entire community embraces the idea that these different cross-disciplinary offerings would prepare you most for your practice.

Lucas Tejwani JD/MCIT '17

Elizabeth Levitan L'17

Cross-disciplinary Spotlight
On pursuing a SCAN Neuroscience Certificate:
I decided to pursue the SCAN certificate because I am interested in pursing a career in law that involves working with kids either through child welfare or through juvenile delinquency defense. There’s new movements in both of those fields to include more insights into child development and the impact of adverse experiences on the brain. I wanted to understand more about how the brain works and is supposed to function so I can make arguments and have a better understanding how the brain may or may not be functioning for kids I represent in the future.

Elizabeth Levitan L'17

Brett Peanasky JD/MCP’16

Cross-disciplinary Spotlight
How his joint-degree launched his career in and use and environmental law:
This dual-degree background gave me a very specific set of skills that were very attractive to the types of employers I was interested in working for. The opportunity to — in a way — design my own course was very helpful in getting the type of work I wanted to do.

Brett Peanasky JD/MCP’16

Penn Law's Master in Law program: Legal Knowledge Across Disciplines

Scholars with Impact

Leaders in legal scholarship, business, technology, and history

Our faculty engages in research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. They don’t stay in their lane — and that’s why they make so many important contributions to legal scholarship. Our faculty’s work goes beyond the classroom and academic journals. Through the 11 centers and institutes at Penn Law, faculty bring their research to bear on the important issues of the day, engaging with policymakers on issues ranging from regulation to international law while including students in the academic arena.

In March, Regina Austin L'73 spoke at the inaugural Penn Law Women's Summit panel, "Leading Social Change: Women in Politics, Policy, and the Private Sector."

In March, new research from Serena Mayeri explored the history of marriage supremacy.

In August, Stephanos Bibas was ranked among the top 25 lawyers cited by judges in a study on legal scholarship's judicial impact.

In May, Howard Lesnick taught his last class after 56 years at Penn Law. “Do not be daunted by the world’s grief,” he told the class in his parting words, “Illegitimi non carborundum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

Dorothy Roberts spoke at TedMed in February about her research on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and bioethics.

In July, Christopher Yoo trained a group of lawyers, engineers, executives, and members of Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission in Bangkok on the digital economy and telecommunications regulations in the U.S. and EU.

Ryan David Doerfler joined the Penn Law faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law in July.

In April, Sarah Paoletti and the Transnational Law Clinic led a Human Rights Commission hearing on refugee children & families.

In May, Louis Rulli continued his civil asset forfeiture advocacy in a letter in the "Philadelphia Inquirer" stressing the need for law to protect innocent victims.

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Globally Connected

Perry World House
Building bridges that deepen our engagement with pressing global issues

To prepare our students for today’s transnational legal practice, Penn Law has prioritized the development of novel and strategic global initiatives. Moving beyond standard law school offerings such as study abroad, journals, and coursework, Penn Law has taken a fresh approach to international legal training that distinguishes us from our peers.

Perry World House

Penn Law Prof. William Burke-White is director of the new Perry World House, a global policy research center that aims to advance interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the world’s most urgent global affairs challenges.

Maura Douglas L’18

International Spotlight
On her experience as a Penn Law International Summer Human Rights Fellow:
Not only does cross-disciplinary and international work provide a unique perspective on different areas of research or advocacy, but it allows immersion into a different community or culture. By living in London this summer, I was able to witness the dialogue, debate, and ultimate vote on the referendum to leave the European Union. Though this event was certainly discussed internationally, being present in the city was eye-opening and provided me tangible exposure to the U.K. political and legal systems.

Maura Douglas L’18

Leah Wong L’18

International Spotlight
On her summer international experience::
Over a year ago, I sat at Penn Law’s Admitted Students Weekend, my eyes wide with amazement as one student, now one of my personal role models, spoke about her 1L summer experience at the United Nations. What seemed like a far-fetched aspiration became a possibility and then became a reality — all of because of the Penn Law International Programs Office and network. It has been a great privilege to be an International Human Rights Fellow at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights.

Leah Wong L’18

Ruth-Helen Vassilas L’18

International Spotlight
On her experience in the Penn Law International Internship Program:
When I leave Argentina, I will take with me a long list of lessons. This experience showed me the importance of understanding business, finance, and taxation, and made me appreciate all of the cross-disciplinary options at Penn Law… after spending the past year in a small bubble in Philadelphia, the most invaluable part of this experience has been the beautiful reminder of how big the world truly is.

Ruth-Helen Vassilas L’18

Along with Professor Fernando Chang-Muy, 13 members of the Black Law Students Association traveled to Peru to evaluate Peru’s compliance with international obligations outlined in its conventions on children’s rights and eliminating discrimination against women for a report for submission to the United Nations.

In the “Disasters and the Law” Global Research Seminar, Professor Eric Feldman and 14 JD and LLM students travelled Japan to visit the Fukushima disaster site and met with government officials, lawyers, politicians, and members of NGOs.

In Professor Jill Fisch's “Comparative Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation” Global Research Seminar, Penn Law students had a chance to examine corporate governance and financial regulation from a global perspective, while teaming with German students to produce original scholarship.

Prof. William Burke-White and students from Penn Law attended the Salzburg Global Seminar Cutler Fellows program, a one-of-a-kind program for law students interested in international law and legal practice.

The International Human Rights Advocates, one of the Toll Public Interest Center’s pro bono projects, travelled to Greece to examine the refugee crisis and meet with families fleeing Syria. IHRA is creating a detailed report of the findings from their service trip and plans to maintain relationships with its organizational and community partners to provide legal research and assistance.

Students in Associate Dean Rangita de Silva de Alwis’ "International Women’s Human Rights" seminar presented two reports to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Women.

Alumni Engagement

The Goat
Colleagues for life

Whether you’re looking to catch up with an old friend or find out what's new at Penn Law, affinity and regional clubs around the world provide a Penn Law presence and a vibrant connection wherever alumni are and help the Law School community stay connected to you.

The Goat

Penn Law’s unofficial mascot, The Goat, resides in the Haaga Lounge. The ancient Chinese mythic animal has only one horn and is endowed with the faculty of distinguishing between the crooked and the upright. In the days of Shun (sage and ruler, circa 2200 B.C.) when the minister Kao Yao tried cases, he would order Hsieh-chai (the goat) to butt the guilty. Those who were guilty he would butt, whereas the innocent he would not.

03.22.16

Inaugural Women's Summit
Celebrating Women: From Carrie Kilgore to Today
Speakers:
60+
Panels:
15
Attendees:
200+

Outstanding women lawyers and leaders convened in Philadelphia March 22-24, 2016 to learn, network, and engage on topics critical to lawyers and professionals at the inaugural Penn Law Women’s Summit.

Sec. Hillary Clinton's remarks accepting Penn Law's Kilgore Award

Our alumni network is vast, strong, and proud.

Club & Affinity Group Events:

45+
both regionally & internationally

Highest Reunion Giving Participation Rate:

50%
Class of 1951

Highest Reunion Attendance:

109 alumni
Class of 2011

European Society Conference:

Held in Brussels, Belgium
Attended by 73 attendees from 17 countries and 3 continents
Giving at a Glance
Number of Donors
4,283
Total Cash Receipts
$13,837,134
Gifts of ≤ $1,000 resulted in
$800,000+
Most Reunion $ Raised (Class of 1966)
$2,600,816
Donate Today

March 05, 2015

W. P. Carey Foundation endows Francis J. & Wm. Polk Carey JD/MBA Program

In recognition of a $10 million endowment from the W. P. Carey Foundation, the JD/MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania will be renamed the Francis J. & Wm. Polk Carey JD/MBA Program. The endowment was given in memory of brothers Francis J. Carey C’45, G’47, L’49, former chairman and director of the corporate financing firm W. P. Carey, and William Polk Carey W’53, W. P. Carey’s founder.

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September 08, 2015

Penn Law receives $1 million gift from Michael J. Rotko L’63 to advance legal writing and communications

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has received a $1 million gift from Michael J. Rotko L’63 to endow the Denise A. Rotko Associate Deanship of Legal Writing and Communications. The endowment is in memory of Michael J. Rotko’s late wife, Denise A. Rotko NU’73, GNU’76, who received her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and taught at Penn’s Nursing School.

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September 10, 2015

$8.6 million gift establishes scholarships in memory of Owen J. Roberts

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has received a gift of $8.6 million from the estate of Elizabeth Hamilton, in memory of her father, Owen J. Roberts, a graduate and former dean of Penn Law and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The gift establishes a fund to provide financial assistance to Penn Law students in honor of Justice Roberts.

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September 17, 2015

Penn Law receives $2.5 million gift to advance public interest programs

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has received a $2.5 million gift from Robert Toll L’66 and Jane Toll GSE’66, which will further support the Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC) and public interest programming at the Law School. Toll, the Executive Chairman of the Board of Toll Brothers, Inc., the leading builder of luxury homes, and his wife, Jane, have been longtime benefactors of the Law School and its public interest programming.

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Thank You

It is impossible to capture all of the amazing work of our Penn Law community in one annual report, and the pride we feel in sharing all these incredible stories cannot be measured. Your loyal alumni support makes so much of what we do a reality, and we are so grateful for your commitment to Penn Law.