Spring 2000

Fall 1999

A Message from the Dean

Cities at the Horizon
Communities at the Horizon
Eastward from Our Horizon: U.S., China & Russia
Beyond the Horizon: Innovation and Technology

ILE Lecture: Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. L'60
Profile: Richard E. Rosin L'68
Profile: Pamela Daley L'79
Profile: Professor Jason Johnston
Profile: Howard Chang
Profile: Robert A. Gorman
Oral Legal History Project

Snippets of History
Faculty Notes
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam

Penn Law

Herewithin lies the final installment in a brief history of the Law School, celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding and the 100th anniversary of the construction of Silverman Hall.

Jefferson Fordham:
18 Years of Progress

Jefferson Barnes Fordham (1905-1997) arrived at Penn in 1952 with a vision for the Law School more ambitious than any Dean since Lewis. A graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School, he had taught at the law schools of West Virginia, Louisiana State, Vanderbilt and at Ohio State University as dean.

Fordham believed Penn Law’s student body should grow fifty percent, to 550 and the full-time faculty double to 35. Increasing emphasis on LSAT scores should achieve steadily rising admission standards, and the Law School would attract the best students by raising funds for financial aid. Institutional support for faculty research would further enhance the stature of an appointment at Penn. To accommodate this growth, a long-range development program would provide for the enlargement of the physical plant.

In the decades following World War II, the Law School became a national leader in transnational law and interdisciplinary programs. The first was a bundle of related subjects which had come to the fore with the assumption of international leadership by the United States. The second arose from research which recognized common ground between law and closely related social sciences, such as economics, but which grew to include the behavioral sciences, journalism and urban expansion.
In 1953 Fordham established the Institute for Legal Research to “encourage institutional research activity and provide administrative service for research projects.” The Ford Foundation provided a large grant in the 1950s to underwrite international legal studies, legal research and interdisciplinary cooperation.

Expanding Faculty, Diverse Student Body

Two early appointments reflect Fordham’s commitment to strengthen the faculty with prominent scholars. Clarence Morris (1903-1985) joined in 1953, produced Morris on Torts, and became active in research on law and the behavioral sciences. He subsequently taught and published in legal philosophy, Chinese legal thought and the judicial process. Covey Oliver (1913-  ), an acclaimed scholar of international law, moved from Berkeley in 1956 and later co-authored the ALI Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (1963) and The International Legal System (1973).
Among Fordham’s appointments who remained for many years were Curtis Reitz, a 1956 Penn Law graduate; Richard Lonsdorf, who taught psychiatry and law; Howard Lesnick; Almarin Phillips; Robert Gorman; and Robert Mundheim, corporate finance and securities regulation. By 1970 the standing faculty had grown to 29, two-thirds again as large as in 1952.

The goal of 550 students was reached by 1967, when the entering class LSAT scores averaged in the 90th percentile. More than forty percent of the student body enjoyed some form of financial aid. In 1967 the Law School also first committed itself to increasing the presence of women and minorities in the student body. Within seven years, the number of women had tripled and that of minorities had increased seven times over.

A $3.1 million building campaign was inaugurated in 1954. Construction of student dormitories and a dining hall began in 1957, with major assistance from the United States Housing and Home Finance Agency. They opened the following May as the Owen J. Roberts and George Wharton Pepper Dormitories and the Horace Stern Dining Hall.

Three years later, work started on two wings attached to the rear of the main Law School building, housing five amphitheater classrooms, three seminar rooms, twelve  faculty offices, and the present administrative office suite. The third and final stage was the renovation of Lewis Hall, the 1900 landmark building. A new moot court and a new faculty lounge were placed on the first floor, along with two seminar rooms and 33 offices. More important, the library was enlarged to five floors with space to house 400,000 volumes.

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