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Age of Bucerius
In the arc of history, the study of Comparative Law is a relatively recent development. Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts compares the phenomenon to a century ago, when the school revised its curriculum to reflect changes in law practice. Before motor and air travel, people and businesses stayed put. With improved transportation and increased interstate commerce, Penn law graduates, who generally practiced law in Philadelphia and environs, had to know more than just Pennsylvania law; they had to know federal regulations and how state statutes applied to them. Fitts says Penn Law had to adapt.
“A similar process has occurred today on the international level, where the heightened movement of people and businesses and the development of international legal regimes informs much of the legal work students will he called upon to do,” Fitts says.
The action these days is in commercial law, and no one wants to be where the action is more than Stephanie Prevost L’03. A psychology graduate from the University, she quickly figured out where the gaps where in her resume when she decided to attend law school. Prevost settled on a career in real estate law, but she did not have a business background. Kein (No) problem. She acquired the requisite tools at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg,Germany.
Bucerius, the first private law school in this hub of European finance and trade, provides a grounding in broad-based business law to American, Australian, Asian and European students who aspire to international careers in commercial law.
During the fall 2002 semester, Bucerius became Penn Law’s first partner in an exchange program. Bucerius sends two German students here per semester and Penn reciprocates. Prevost, former senior editor of the Journal of International and Economic Law, was among the first two students to participate.
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