To the Penn Law School Community:
Recently, I was in Roberts Hall and passed by the portrait of one of
Penn Law’s most legendary figures, Louis B. Schwartz L’35.
I have walked by that portrait countless times, but it caught my particular
attention on this occasion. As I studied it more closely, it led me to
think about Professor Schwartz’ legacy. Louie, as he was sometimes
called by his students, began his pioneering work in anti-trust by collaborating
with his colleagues from the Wharton school. This work, across disciplines,
was quite avant-garde at the time. Today, it is the hallmark of Penn Law
As we continue to follow Louis’ lead, our linkages with other schools
and fields have become part of our everyday curriculum. Our faculty regularly
introduce other disciplines and perspectives in their classrooms and scholarship.
Our students are able to crisscross campus and take advantage of classes
at the university’s other law-related professional schools –
pedagogical opportunities no other law school can match. This emphasis
on interdisciplinary study has been formalized for our students in our
joint and certificate programs. In addition, we are now preparing to launch
the Levy Scholars Program next fall, which will provide unprecedented
financial support – and encouragement – to gifted students
who wish to delve deeper into law-related fields of inquiry.
In this issue, we also describe the law school’s evolution –
from a more regional law school to one that attracts international students;
from a rather confined campus to one that is more adequately suited to
today’s curricular demands; and from a friendly, nourishing and
stimulating environment to … well, some things never change. In
some respects, we are a brand-new law school, but, in others, we are not
that different, ever-mindful of our past.
Not a week had gone by, after I passed that portrait, when I learned that
Professor Schwartz had passed away. In this issue we pay tribute to him
and to Professor Martin J. Aronstein L’65, a revered teacher and
commercial law expert at the Law School, who also died this spring. They
and countless others were the genesis of Penn Law today.
It has been my privilege, as professor and dean, to observe the amazing
evolution that has occurred at Penn Law through the years. Penn Law is
at the forefront of teaching and scholarship today, just as it was when
Louis Schwartz first began writing and teaching. I hope you enjoy the
issue, which catalogues many of those changes. My best wishes for your
continued success. If you find yourself near the Law School, I’m
always happy to host any member of the Penn Law family.
- Michael A. Fitts, Dean