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Debtís Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America, an excerpt from a new book by Prof. David A. Skeel, Jr.

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Bridging Law & Technology 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

The Law School seeks to develop international distinction in the field of law and communications and information science.

Strategic Plan of the
University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1997

Information science and technology are transforming the world, our lives and our understanding of who we are at a pace that grows faster every day. The University of Pennsylvania leads in fields relating to information science and its impact on society, and is well positioned to grapple with issues relating to the societal impact of information technology.

Lawyers build the institutional infrastructure upon which commercial enterprise is created. As business ventures become increasingly focused on technology, lawyers must have the skills to address the unique legal and policy issues that advancing technology raises. Current research indicates that highly trained and skilled lawyers are a critical aspect of the development of a business environment that attracts and nurtures high technology companies.

As business ventures become increasingly focused on technology, lawyers must have the skills to address the unique legal and policy issues that advancing technology raises.

In order to play this vital role, lawyers must be properly trained. The traditional repertoire of skills and knowledge required for success in the legal profession has been largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Sound analytic reasoning, the ability to develop arguments, rhetorical skills, and an approach that balances public good with client objectives remain the baseline from which good lawyers operate.

But to participate in the development of a high-tech legal infrastructure, lawyers must have additional tools, such as: a working familiarity with a diverse array of technology; the ability to effectively communicate with (and on behalf of ) engineers and scientists; creative approaches to solving problems; and, a knowledge of the extant legal rules governing the development and exploitation of high technology. Accordingly, the legal profession (as well as the business community) is calling for adjustments and enhancements to legal education to meet these new challenges.

 
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