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School Broadens Intellectual Scope, But Retains Trademark Warmth 1 - 2 - 3 - 4- 5- 6

Library Stacks
Student wedges into old stacks.
The setting was a bit antiquated as well. Students headed to cramped, dark and musty stacks to study and search manually through card catalogs. Today, students go to Biddle Law Library – with its high ceilings, good lighting, and computerized retrieval systems.

Jo-Ann Verrier L’83, a former student and current administrator, is in prime position to catalog the changes at Penn Law. “Where maybe 25 years ago forty percent of the class stayed here in Philadelphia, today only about twenty percent of the class stays in Philadelphia,” says Verrier, assistant dean for student affairs and director of career planning and placement. “We have students who began their careers internationally,” she says. “Never heard of that even five years ago.”

“A lot of learning and thinking occurs between fields,” says Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts. “Penn is at the forefront of this academic effort. The law school is better positioned than any other law school in the country to take advantage of its other professional schools.”
Computing in Biddle
Finding citations is a snap now in Biddle Law Library.
Two years, let alone five years ago, the law school did not even have a Graduate Studies Department for international students. Denise McGarry, director of graduate programs, says enrollment in the masters’ program has doubled – to nearly 80 this year – in the 13 years she has been at Penn Law School. That growth created the need for the department.

What accounts for the growth? More students are coming from Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, McGarry says. “Because the Asian countries are doing more and more business with the United States, they (Asian workers) have a greater need to learn about the U.S. legal system.” The influx of
 
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