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The reasons Penn alumni chose to become law professors are varied. The Penn Law faculty tapped Curtis R. Reitz, C’51, L’56, while he was still in his third year. Now the Algernon Sydney Biddle Professor at Penn Law, Reitz has spent 47 years on the Penn Law faculty and is a highly admired scholar and counselor on commercial law, an influential senior commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and a respected, forward-thinking legal mind.

“I think back on my career and I’m just enormously grateful that I’m in it,” says Reitz. “We are, I think, extraordinarily privileged to be able to work in a great law school. The opportunity to work on legal development, research and advancing ideas is something the ordinary practitioner couldn’t do, doesn’t have the time or the resources to do.” At the same time, says Reitz, “It’s been a joy for all these years [to teach]. It never fails to produce a new surge of energy and thought.”

For Edward B. Rock L’83, the Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics at Penn, there was an opportunity to move from an adjunct teaching position to a full-time one.

Seth Kreimer, currently associate dean and professor of law, first encouraged Rock to teach antitrust as an adjunct several years after he graduated. At the time, Rock was an associate at Fine, Kaplan & Black in downtown Philadelphia.

Rock, who is also a professor of business and public policy at the Wharton School, is a member of a Penn Law class that turned out one of the largest contingents of professors.

One of them is Ann Laquer Estin, professor of law at the University of Iowa. She came to Penn Law with an undergraduate degree in anthropology and an interest in Indian rights. After a clerkship for the U.S. District Court of Colorado, she worked for a few years at a small litigation firm in Denver, and then began teaching at the University of Colorado. Although she has primarily taught family law and contracts, she says she has “wandered back” to her roots in anthropology, focusing on international and comparative family law. “One of the great pleasures of academic life,” she says, “is the opportunity to shift from one field to another over time.”

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