School Broadens Intellectual Scope, But Retains Trademark Warmth
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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.
Student wedges into old stacks.
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
“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
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.
citations is a snap now in Biddle Law Library.
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