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“He’s a life-long academic, so whether he’s on a drafting committee or whether he’s making comments on the floor, what he usually brings is what I would call an ‘ultra objective’ view,” says Charles W. Mooney, Jr. Professor of Law. “He always has an open mind …and tries to get a different view.”

Reitz’s work on Article Eight involved creating a new body of law to support the growing electronic securities market. He became a student of the subject himself, researching the workings of financial transactions and the stock market.

Reitz is at work now on a book on international trade and investment. “I’ve become fascinated with this major new body of law,” he says. “We’re in the process of creating a new legal system at the global level. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

And Reitz believes that today’s law students need to be prepared to practice in the global economy of tomorrow. “The traditional law school curriculum has very little international law in it,” Reitz says. “Increasingly people and organizations are involved in the world: They’re not just dealing locally. I don’t think our students are fully aware of the extent to which that change is accelerating … we have to develop a body of international law that is almost as full and as complex as the body of national law we’re dealing with, and that the students are learning all the way through.”

According to his colleagues, Reitz carries his international perspective into his relationships with students. He takes foreign-born students under his wing, and aims to meet “their expectations of what a classroom should be like.” That means scaling back on Socratic method. “They come from traditions where the professors profess and the students are passive,” he says. “The students from my early years would be very surprised if they came to my class now.”

Further, Reitz is a long-time trustee of International House of Philadelphia, a residence for students and professionals from the U.S. and abroad. As colleague Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Trustee Professor of Law, puts it: “He is a public citizen in his professional capacity, and he’s also a public citizen in his charitable work.”

 
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