FALL 2000 ISSUE

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In six swift but busy years, Professor Matthew Adler has established himself as a dedicated and promising academician on the faculty of Penn Law. Though some academics prefer research to teaching, with a keen eye trained on scholarship trends and a love for the learning process, Adler readily admits to liking both equally.

"Research is of increasing importance," Adler says, "especially to career credibility, but it is an isolated endeavor. Now teaching is both wonderful socially - interacting with students at a very high level - and it's a great incubator for scholarly pursuits. It's gratifying to be able to combine both."

The native Philadelphian finds ever-increasing enjoyment in teaching both constitutional law and administrative law classes. "Seminars at this level are really like long conversations with my students. It's a tremendous pleasure." Part of that pleasure comes from the students' passion for the subject matter, which rivals his own. "The students are incredibly enthusiastic; there's a great degree of interest in class. I can't imagine just doing research and not having the time in the classroom." Adler finds the students at Penn to be "spirited, and very much engaged with the law. I'm impressed."

Adler breaks up the scholarly solitude furthermore by collaborating as much as possible with colleagues at Penn and other universities around the country. Last year he and Seth Kreimer, professor of law, co-authored an extensive study of federalism titled "The New Etiquette of Federalism: New York, Printz and Yeskey" (Supreme Court Review, 1998). A recent article for the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, "Expressive Theories of Law: A Skeptical Overview," was accompanied by a response by academics Elizabeth Anderson and Richard Pildes of the University of Michigan.

"This school was a great place to start out," Adler reflects. "It's been a great place for learning how to teach, how to do scholarship, and I came in with many other junior people with whom I've grown, which has made it nice."

Adler joined the Penn Law School faculty in 1995, following clerkships with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sandra Day O'Connor, and Judge Harry Edwards of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit, and a year spent in private practice. A summa cum laude graduate of Yale University (1984), he earned a master's degree from Oxford (1986), and a J.D. from Yale (1991). Prior to returning to Yale with his eye on a law degree and a career in academe, Adler spent two years in New York City as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman & Co., a strategy-consulting firm dedicated to the financial services industry. "I enjoyed my time in business enough, I guess, but I just didn't find the intellectual or academic stimulation there that I needed," he says. "It was then that I decided that my heart was really in the academy."