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

Consolidation in the 1970s

Though Penn Law faced disruptions in the 1970s resulting from the social upheaval of the previous decade, it continued to move forward as a major player on the national scene. Law School graduate and professor Bernard Wolfman followed Fordham as dean in 1970. “There is no question that students must play an important role in most aspects of their education,” he announced. “We have a good working relationship here at the Law School – there is no other law school I know of with so little friction.”

Experimentation in the curriculum increased, including eight-week mini-courses and increasing emphasis on small-group work and on writing. The School’s involvement in social issues continued with the 1972 establishment of the Prison Research Council. The following year the clinical program came under a single coordinator and new clinical courses were added.

Among the new faculty, criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, a member of the Penn sociology department, accepted dual appointment at the Law School; Judge A. Leon Higginbotham began his long association as a lecturer in 1974; and the School added one of its most storied scholars when Clyde Summers, an expert in labor law and comparative law, came from Yale.

Wolfman’s successor, Louis Pollak, had come to Penn the previous year from Yale Law where he had served fifteen years on the faculty, five as dean. Though applications and legal employment were dropping nationally, at Penn Law, placements remained level and applications rose. Pollak’s term saw the election to the faculty of the first African American male member, Ralph Smith, in 1975, and the first African American woman, Regina Austin L’73, in 1977.

In 1979, the baton passed to Pollak’s former student at Yale, James Freedman, who served only until 1982 when he became president of the University of Iowa. A new small business clinic was established and the Institute for Law and Economics (ILE) opened.

Growing into the Present

Following Freedman’s move, Robert Mundheim, Penn faculty member and financial law scholar, became dean. His seven-year tenure provided the School with renewed administrative stability. He announced that he would stump aggressively for funding for faculty salaries, financial aid, technology and facilities. The quality of the student body continued to increase. LSAT scores reached the 96th percentile and applications were up, bucking a national drop. By 1985, the incoming class included 42 percent women and sixteen percent minorities.

New faces on the faculty included present members C. Edwin Baker; economist Michael Wachter to oversee the ILE, current Dean Michael A. Fitts, Friedrich Kübler, Charles W. Mooney, Jr., Susan Sturm, Bruce Mann and Stephen Morse, along with Michael Moore and Heidi Hurd in legal philosophy.

Mundheim – a strong proponent of legal ethics – developed a program in professional responsibility and the legal profession for all first-year students. In 1989, the faculty voted to adopt a public service requirement of 35 hours in each of the second and third years – still the most extensive public service requirement of any law school in the nation.

Mundheim also oversaw the start of a capital campaign which, under his successor Colin Diver, who arrived in 1989, financed the $23 million construction of Tanenbaum Hall, a new, technologically wired home for the library, run by professor and librarian Elizabeth Kelly.

Diver came from Boston University, where he had served as associate law dean, then dean. The faculty expanded at a rapid rate. Geoffrey Hazard moved to Penn from Yale in 1994, and the School’s strength in international and comparative law was further increased by the additions of Jacques deLisle and Kim Lane Scheppele. Most dramatically, Diver encouraged the assembling of one of the world’s most impressive faculties in legal theory and legal philosophy, with the additions of William Ewald, Leo Katz, and Stephen Perry to bolster Hurd and Moore. 

Under Diver, a firm believer in community and public service, a series of new academic concentrations took shape, particularly in conjunction with the Wharton School: joint teaching and research, along with dual-degree programs. Graduate studies too were put on firmer footing, especially increasing the number and quality of Asian students enrolled in the LL.M. program.

In 1995, University President Judith Rodin requested the development of a long-term strategic plan for each School. Diver promoted Penn Law as the Leadership Law School, a designation which stressed interdisciplinary study and promoted Penn Law as the educator not only of lawyers, but of corporate and civic leaders.

Clearly, the legacies of James Wilson, George Sharswood, William Draper Lewis, and Jefferson Barnes Fordham are being carried forward into the 21st century.