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Penn Law Journal Archive


A Home for Inalienable Rights (Fall 2013)

For years, Penn Law has been at the epicenter of the gay rights movement, leading by example, as documented in our cover story.
Also in this issue:

  • The tale of Michael Smerconish L’87, who quit conservative talk radio to start a centrist show on satellite radio
  • The iconoclastic Richard Walden C’68, L’72, who runs a small, independent disaster relief organization that eschews federal money
  • A Hong Kong entrepreneur by the name of Joanne Ooi L’93 who prices her online jewelry under the laws of supply and demand

The Perils of Push Button War (Summer 2013)

The growth of the military industrial complex, the expansion of wartime executive power, and the availability of new pinpoint technologies to take out enemies have conspired to raise questions about how far the government should go, and how much privacy and due process we should sacrifice, to protect national security. Penn Law’s new interdisciplinary Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law was established to debate these and other freighted subjects such as the use of drones and cyber war. The Center, led by professor Claire Finkelstein, is the subject of our cover story, in which we detail how CERL is working to inform, and ultimately lead that debate. In a lighter vein, we introduce you to senior executives of the four major sports. Whether the ball bounces, the puck drops, the pigskin sails, or the ball travels, Penn Law has it covered. Finally, we take you inside the colorful life of Lynn Toler L’84, the judge on the television show, The Divorce Court. Her advice on marriage is spunky and priceless, and you get it here for free.

The Get Real Generation (Fall 2012)

There has been a lot of commentary about the world that Millennials will inherit. But there should be even more talk about the kind of world they will shape, because their time to lead is coming. This issue examines the motivations of a slice of twenty-and early-thirtysomething Penn Law students. What we found is a mobile and diverse group interested in multiple careers and committed to work and lives that are socially meaningful. For those at a different stage of life, we indulge in nostalgia, bringing back pictorial blasts from the past, one populated by gas stations across from the Law School, tennis courts on campus, and cafeteria-style dining rooms. We also hail the humanity of Rick Silva L’90, the president and CEO of Checkers and Rally’s restaurants who gained a moment of TV stardom when he disciplined an abusive manager of one of his eateries during an episode of a reality series. He’s doing a great job as well running a budding fast food empire. Plenty of food for thought.

A Solution for Underwater States (Summer 2012)


It is the financial equivalent of California falling into the ocean – only it’s an ocean of red ink. In our cover story, Professor David A. Skeel documents the budget crises besetting the State of California and several of its cities. He recommends a controversial solution: state bankruptcy. Steel thinks that an orderly and manageable bankruptcy procedure would put a dent in debt and take taxpayers off the hook. Leo Strine L’88, the subject of a long profile, does not have the power to create a new state bankruptcy law, but he does have a lot of say in shaping corporate law. As chancellor of the Delaware Court of Chancery, Strine brings a striking intellect and withering wit to a range of issues surrounding corporate governance and deal-making. We also profile Peter Schlessel L’86, who presides over one of the most successful so-called mini-major movie studios in America. FilmDistrict continues to earn top box office just two years after its founding. Finally, back in April we celebrated (and document in this issue) the opening of Golkin Hall in the presence of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. What a week.

9/11/11: 10 Years of Grief, Resolve, and Change (Fall 2011)


The 9/11 attacks shook the country to the core. On the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, we reach out to alumni and faculty for reflections of that day and the lessons we learned.

Also in this issue:

  • Four alumni authors tell stories about themselves
  • The inventive mind of Peter Detkin EE’82, L’85, patron of the new Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic

Penn Law’s United Way (Spring 2011)

Penn Law’s vaunted culture forms the backbone of this issue, in which we define the things that make the school a great intellectual and social destination.

Also in this issue:

  • A look at Gary Clinton, Dean of Students
  • Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, Michael Richter L’93
  • Judy Shen L’05 and her work with poor rural children in China

The New Digital Divide (Fall 2010)

The digital age is upon us and with it new questions about the application and limits of current intellectual property law. In the Fall 2010 Penn Law Journal we examine emerging issues through the eyes of two alumni – R. Bruce Rich L’73 and Michael J.Boni L’88 – who have been on opposite sides in some of the most important cases involving electronic publishing.

More from the Fall 2010 edition:

  • Four Penn Law alumni making a name for themselves in music
  • New recruits for our international program
  • Tributes to Noyes Leech C’43, L’48 and Elizabeth “Liz” Slusser Kelly HOM’85

The Obamacorps (Spring 2010)

Four Penn Law alumni find themselves at the center of power in Washington as part of the Obama administration.  We tell their stories of youth, idealism, and being caught up in a powerful moment in history.

Also in this issue:

  • Two alumni whose idealism helped them rise from the streets
  • A dreamer and devoted sports fan who grew up to own a piece of the New York Yankees