A Message from the Dean
Confidential Sources on Trial
Shelter From the Storm
Harrison Report: Post-World War II Bombshell
A Case of Political Descent
Clinic Hits Thirty
The Brief
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Philanthropy
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
Case Closed
 
In This Training Ground, Students Find Experience is the Best Teacher
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Since then, Penn Law’s program has dovetailed with the national movement to make the law school curriculum more relevant to the practice of law. “As you look back over the last quarter century to 30 years, this has probably been the most sustained curricular change we’ve had,” says Frenkel, who has been leading the clinic since 1980, following the first director, Mark Spiegel. “The first year is largely identical to what it was when I was in law school more than 30 years ago. The ability to study experientially, to have 60 percent of each class do that, has been a major difference.”

Carrie Menkel Meadow L’74, now the A.B. Chettle Jr. Professor of Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure at Georgetown University Law Center, was one of the first teachers in Penn Law’s clinical program. In the formative years, she recounts, the program was rather small — only four supervisors and 30 students. The school had eight students to a supervisor — the lowest student-faculty ratio in the country, she adds. Students also had a small caseload — five cases each. “Those cases were quite diverse, and that’s another thing that made Penn unusual,” says Menkel-Meadow. “Students experienced a full range of cases: prisoner abuse cases, prisoner civil rights cases, age discrimination, unemployment compensation, family law, workers compensation — everything from complex federal litigation to state court and administrative proceedings. In most other clinics, students specialized in one subject area.”
 
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