A Message from the Dean
Made For TV
Law School is One-Stop Shop for Clerkships
In Career-Defining Case, Adelman Put Hinckley away
At Reunion, Sadler Flashes Back 40 Years
The Brief
Graduation/Reunion
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Philanthropy
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
Case Closed
 
A Message from the Dean  

To the Penn Law Community:
MICHAEL A. FITTS
Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law

EVERY YEAR it becomes more apparent that this law school is a departure point for a myriad of career opportunities. It is as if we are a liberal arts college in professional garb.

Penn Law alumni may start in traditional law practice, but they end up in an incredible range of interesting and challenging jobs. You run multinational companies, head health care institutions, advise government officials, forge market-changing mergers, develop real estate, and so on.

But one profession that may not immediately spring to mind is communications — to be more specific, television. Law school is wonderful preparation for operating a network or presenting the news. In law school, students learn to articulate their views and develop business acumen (particularly so at Penn Law, where one third of last year's class earned a certificate from Wharton).

I make these points as prelude to our cover story, which features six alumni who followed their muse into television. This diverse group includes Van Toffler L'83, president of MTV; Henry Schleiff, C'70, L'73, chairman and chief executive officer of Court TV; Mark Haines L'89, host of CNBC's "Squawk Box"; Renee Chenault-Fattah L' 82, anchor at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia; Henry Hoberman C'82, L'85, ABC's lead litigator; and Matthew Apfel L'90, who develops reality television shows.

Roger Adelman, on the other hand, has no interest in appearing on television — though he has had plenty of opportunities. Twenty-four years ago, we all watched in horror the televised images of President Reagan being shot.

Roger participated in that saga. He prosecuted John Hinckley in a case that stretched over a year. During that time, Roger resisted the impulse to become a talking head, preferring to concentrate on his work. A quaint notion in this age of round-the-clock television coverage and celebrity culture. In this issue, Roger recounts how he found himself squarely in the cross-hairs of an era-defining story.

Speaking of big stories, by the time you read this John Roberts will likely be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and will have taken his place on the Court as the new Chief Justice. He will do so just in time for this year's opening session — in which case he will have to quickly hire clerks, the backbone of any judicial office.

I clerked for Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. It was a formative experience, nourishing in every way. I highly recommend it.

From that perspective, I am delighted that Penn Law (see story on page 28) is devoting so much attention and resources to encouraging more students to further their educations in what literally is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This,  too,  is  wonderful  career  preparation,  no  matter  which  path  you pursue.