BOLD AMBITIONS fast-tracked our distinctively interdisciplinary global initiatives. We’ve brought the world to Penn Law and engaged our students with the world in compelling new ways.
- Every year some 100 students work, volunteer, study, or conduct research abroad.
- 27 experts from 12 countries have enriched our campus as Bok Visiting International Professors.
- 123 internationally-trained attorneys from 35 countries, including 113 in the LLM and 20 in the SJD graduate programs.
- New programs include the Bok Visiting Professors program, Global Research Seminar, Global Justice Fellowship, and Global Forum.
The Campaign has made global engagement a two-way thoroughfare. The Mead International Fellowships, made possible by a gift from Scott Mead L’82, catapult students around the world during their summers to work on projects that address the legal and business sides of global human rights. As part of the International Summer Human Rights Fellows cohort, Mead Fellows explore key development issues like building microfinance systems or investing in public-works infrastructures.
Traveling from the world to campus, the Bok Visiting International Professors teach and lecture on cutting-edge issues, and connect students to the legal framework of future global practice. The Law School has hosted 27 Bok VIPs from 12 countries since 2010. All are renowned experts in their fields, including former Chilean Judge Juan Guzmán Tapia, who taught a transitional justice course based on his experience leading the investigation of General Augusto Pinochet for human rights violations. “At Penn Law, international cuts across everything. Donor support helps expose students to the global dimension of law, from corporate and transactional practice to finance, health care, and human rights,” says Associate Dean for International Programs Amy Gadsden.
THE WORLD MAKES THE BEST CLASSROOM.
Experiential learning is a hallmark of the Law School. Rekha Nair L’12 arrived already curious about international human rights issues. During her 2L year, her exposure to the Sheehan Asylum/Human Rights Project/ Transnational Legal Clinic focused and inspired her interest. As co-counsel representing an asylum-seeking family from the Republic of the Congo, Nair learned immigration law from the ground up. In Haiti, she led a student team researching and drafting a report on restavèk child labor practices for United Nations review. Nair credits the Clinic with crystallizing her professional goal: to champion justice across legal systems by working on immigration cases based in the United States, while also engaging in systemic human rights advocacy. “The Clinic was my most important Penn Law experience,” she says. “It taught me how to affect meaningful change both domestically and abroad.” A gift by Skadden, Arps in honor of Robert Sheehan L’69 made possible the Clinic’s expanded work. “Asylum and international rights work requires a greater investment in travel, administrative support, and specific resources like interpreters and expert witnesses,” says Clinic Director Sarah Paoletti. “But the return on investment is great. It’s eye-opening the first time students have primary responsibility for navigating the law and legal systems while moving a client’s case forward. That experience can change the trajectory of a career.”