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A Campus Crossroad
BY LARRY TEITELBAUM
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One undergraduate who contributed to the ferment in Burke- White’s public international law class was Jaymin Patel. A political science major, Patel participated in the Penn in Washington Summer Internship Program. He worked in the Office of the Inspector General, helping to prepare a progress report for Congress on Iraqi Reconstruction. Now entering his senior year, Patel hopes to spend a few years in government. Like Segal, he regarded his class as a test run for law school.

Reading Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and thinking through how he would have handled the case as a government lawyer was utterly fascinating to him, as were discussions on the use of torture on so-called enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. He says the class parsed a memo on the latter subject from the U.S. attorney general to the president. Then Burke-White asked students whether they could have supported the practice despite misgivings about its legality. Patel loved the introspective exercise. “That’s something that you don’t really get to experience in undergraduate school — What would you do being a lawyer? It was more of a pre-professional type class, but with a lot of theory.”
 
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