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|
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 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.
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).
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