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
Symposium
Faculty Notes
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam

Penn Law


With the flip of a calendar page we find ourselves in the 21st century and the Third Millennium, standing at the horizon of a promising future that defies prediction. At this pivotal moment, the Penn Law School announces the appointment of Michael A. Fitts as its new Dean. The people of the City of Philadelphia have elected a new mayor. Our nation is in the throes of a campaign to elect a new leader. The dynamic of the world order has shifted with the emergence of new leaders in China and Russia. Advances in technology and innovation allow us to manipulate the genetic code, and to transact in a global environment from the comfort of our homes. Either everything’s up for grabs or everything’s within our grasp. That’s the wonder in times of change and transition. In this issue of the Penn Law Journal, we take a snapshot to capture this moment. The field of law includes both theorists and practitioners – the professors and the professionals. In speaking to the theorists – our faculty – and surveying the practitioners – our alumni – what we find is that the Penn Law School has succeeded in training students in the archetype of the 21st century lawyer – masters of interdisciplinary knowledge and oriented for leadership and entrepreneurial endeavors at home and on the world stage.

Considering the horizon that lies before us, we imagine the nature of politics in a post-Clinton era and the nature of governance at the sunset of the “American Century,” if it is indeed a sunset at all. Alumnus David L. Cohen L’81 puts it best, “You can’t be a first-class nation without first-class cities.” Professor Edward L. Rubin theorizes on the future of cities and the present nature of civic involvement, and alumni provide their perspectives from the trenches.


Professor Edward L. Rubin teaches a yearlong research seminar entitled Managing the Future. The course focuses on recent developments in technology that promise – or threaten – to transform the way in which we live, and on our identity as human beings. Taught jointly with Professor Peter Huang’s Law and Technology course, students examine political, administrative and personal responses to the oncoming changes. His forthcoming book, Onward Past Arthur, discusses a related issue: the new ways of thinking about law and politics that are required by the advent of the administrative state.

The Revival of Urban Life

The ability to attract people back into the city is a measure of an urban administration’s success. There are only a limited number of things an executive official at any level can point to as a sign of success. If you’re the president, it’s the economy. If you’re a mayor, particularly of a midwestern or northeastern city, it’s going to be the level of urban revival that occurred during your term in office. Mayors will take credit for whatever policy they instituted that’s related to that revival, but it’s hard to know whether their policies are really responsible for the result. After all, demographic movements are not necessarily within the control of urban administrations.

Look at Philadelphia. You can take Ed Rendell as an example of someone who has made his reputation as a successful mayor. His success is based on the slight uptick in employment but, more dramatically, it’s based on the revival of downtown Philly which means that suburban people are moving back in. But who knows whether Rendell’s policies are responsible for this? People moving back into the cities is one of the demographic trends of the nineties and beyond. People are doing that because they are making balanced assessments of their lifestyles and the services available. I think a whole generation of people has grown up who remember being bored out of their skulls when they were kids growing up in the suburbs, and now they are motivated to move back into the city and give their own kids a different kind of life experience.   ...continued...

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