School Broadens Intellectual Scope, But Retains Trademark Warmth
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the Far East enriches American students and creates a cross-fertilization
that complements the law school’s emerging interest in promoting studies
across disciplines. “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
Students stroll in Tanenbaum Hall.
Next fall, for instance, the law school expects up to twenty students to
enter the new Levy Scholars Program, a groundbreaking effort that will give
incoming students a chance to expand their intellectual horizons and explore
their interests in law-related subjects such as real estate, finance, bioethics,
engineering and communications. Students can also cross campus to earn a
certificate in business and public policy at the Wharton School. Not only
are students studying at various professional schools, but professors from
those schools are teaching at the law school.
Fitts says the curriculum still features all of the traditional core courses,
such as civil procedure, contracts and property. And while it remains critical,
he says, to teach students the basics - how to gather facts, exercise critical
thinking, and build an argument - those are no longer enough for many students.
“We recognize now that lawyers are going to do more than simply analyze
cases,” Fitts says. “They negotiate. They run organizations.
They lobby. They analyze balance sheets. They do all of these things, and
it requires traditional lawyer skills, but it may be helpful to learn these
other abilities as well.”