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By Larry Teitelbaum
“CHANGE DOES NOT NECESSARILY ASSURE PROGRESS,BUT PROGRESS IMPLACABLY REQUIRES CHANGE.”
David Albert L’03 had an inkling about going to law school, but he delayed that decision. Instead, he took a circuitous route. It’s as if he traveled the Silk Road, a fabled Oriental trade route, to get to Penn. After college, Albert worked in Hong Kong for an Asian manufacturer of power tools. Tired of widgets, he studied International Affairs at Columbia University and later joined Henry Kissinger in an effort to improve U.S.-China relations.
Ten years after earning his undergraduate degree, and more the wiser, the prodigal son had come full circle to Penn Law. “I’ve had strong interests in business but also interests in politics and law and society,” says the 35-year-old Albert, a third-year law student who grew up in a suburb near Philadelphia. “I think the law school touches on all of those things.”
Albert's round-the-world trip parallels the journey Penn Law School has taken into a new era. Like Albert, many students are older. They're more mobile. They're more diverse - in gender and race. More career-driven. And they have more choices - not to mention obligations - than they did twenty years ago. In the early 1980s, there were no Public Service requirements. No Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies. And Intellectual Property courses were still developing.