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What drew the Chicago native to Penn Law is exactly what the NCC hopes will draw visitors from the world over. "There is such a synergy between Constitutional law and Philadelphia -- the birthplace of our Constitution and the birthplace of our country," Abel says. It is also home to Penn Law's "top-rate faculty," exciting courses in Constitutional law, and the only journal of Constitutional law in the Ivy League. Altogether, Abel says, the combination of Penn Law's Constitutional expertise and the NCC, all situated in Philadelphia's cradle of liberty, creates "a trifecta of Constitutional scholarship that we're all lucky to have."



Penn Law is a major player in the partnership that was established in 1997 between the National Constitution Center and the University of Pennsylvania. Here are several highlights of the joint programs of Penn Law and the NCC:
  • Visiting Scholars Program: Each year two Constitutional law scholars may teach a seminar at Penn Law, give a public lecture on a constitutional topic, and engage in other activities that enrich both Penn Law and the NCC.
  • In February 2002, Michael W. McConnell (now on the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals) inaugurated the Visiting Scholars Lecture Series with his lecture, “Establishment and Disestablishment at the Founding.”
  • Recent and Upcoming Scholars:
    • Stanley N. Katz, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton, fall 2003
    • Professor Lillian R. BeVier, John S. Shannon Distinguished Professor of Law Class of 1963 Research Professor, University of Virginia School of Law, fall 2003
    • Sarah Barringer Gordon, Professor of Law and History, Penn Law, 2001 – 2002
    • Michael W. McConnell, University of Utah, 2001 – 2002
    • Kim Lane Scheppele, Professor of Law and Sociology, Penn Law, spring 1998 - 1999
  • Book Series: Professors Matthew Adler and Stanley Katz of Penn and Gordon Wood of Brown University are establishing a book series that focuses on Constitutional issues with the NCC.
  • The University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law: The NCC co-sponsored the journal’s first conference, provided educational materials to participants, and anticipates future joint conferences with the Journal.
  • Penn Law Constitutional Experts: Penn Law faculty experts are working with the NCC to provide news commentary on issues of the day.
  • Penn Law Symposia and Conferences: NCC patrons and participants are welcome to join select Penn Law events that delve into Constitutional issues or can learn about many of these events on the NCC’s website.
  • Penn Law Students: In addition to the interaction available through the symposia, visiting scholars seminars, and the Journal of Constitutional Law, the Law School anticipates creating additional opportunities for Penn Law students both to contribute their research and skills to the work of the NCC and to avail themselves of the resources of the NCC as this relationship develops.
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