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Fall 2009

Robert C. Sheehan

More opportunities for students, more honors for professors, and more enhancements on the way

A $1 million gift from the Skadden Arps law firm in honor of 1969 graduate Robert C. Sheehan (pictured at left) will create new opportunities for students to advocate for human rights and asylum protection, and gifts from alumni and friends have enabled the appointment of five professors to endowed professorships in areas that integrate the study of law with healthcare, philosophy, business and public policy. All five professors are jointly appointed with another school in the University—a distinctive strength of Penn. Our cross-disciplinary focus and our international programming will be further enhanced by the appointments of Anita Allen, Cary Coglianese and Eric Feldman as deputy deans to lead a review of our curriculum and an expansion of our interactions with the world.

Campaign Corner

Bold Ambitions Donations

Bold Ambitions, the Campaign for Penn Law. To date, as a result of this Campaign:
  • we have grown our faculty by close to 50% - creating an integrated academic program with other University schools that is second to none;
  • we have increased financial aid exponentially, attracting the best and the brightest – 6400 applications for 240 spots this year;
  • we have been able to undertake a top to bottom renovation of our physical plant.
As successful as we’ve been with these critical programmatic efforts, there remains much to do, not the least of which is to replace Pepper Hall. With that final piece, we will culminate a ten-year transformation of the Penn Law campus.

Everything we do at the Law School, including the new construction, depends on the financial support of our Alumni. Please know how much that support is appreciated.

Click here to make your gift now!

Events Corner

Our busy November schedule includes panel discussions, a symposium, a debate and many other events.

November 5

Penn Law Women’s Association Judicial Panel.

November 7

Senior Partner

Are you a Penn Law Senior Partner?
(graduate of the Class of 1959 or earlier?)
If so, please join us at brunch during Homecoming Weekend!
Saturday, November 7th -11:30 AM-1 PM
Old Guard, Penn Law Senior Partners and Wharton Emeritus Society Brunch
Houston Hall, Hall of Flags
3417 Spruce Street
Come all ye loyal classmates! Penn Alumni invites our venerable Old Guard, Wharton Emeritus Society, and Penn Law Senior Partners alumni (Class of 1959 and earlier) to a free buffet brunch. Reminisce about the Woodland Avenue Trolley, Green Lane Camp, Horn & Hardart's, and the Mungermen. The Penn Band will stop by to lead "Drink a Highball," so don't miss it.

Alumni can register online, here: /homecoming2009 or by calling 215-898-7811.

November 13 and 14

Law Review Symposium: Trafficking in Sex and Labor: Domestic and International Responses. The Law Review will address trafficking in persons — the transportation of people across national borders, often through the use of force, coercion, fraud or duplicity. Panelists include leading practitioners and scholars from the U.S. and abroad. For more information, please visit /symposia/.

November 16

Anatomy of a Public Interest Lawsuit: Judicial Corruption in Luzerne County

November 17

Risk Regulation Seminar: Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Have a Future?

November 19

Federalist Society Debate: The legal future of the Guantanamo detainees.

CLE Programs at Penn Law

We continue to offer excellent opportunities for alumni to continue their legal education through our CLE programs. The November selections include “East Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and Current Global Financial Crisis,” “Disturbing the Universe” ( Speaker , William Kunstler) and “Nuremberg: The Nazis Face Their Crimes.” For more information, head to the web site


Alumni Awards

Six Alumni Honored

Alumni Awards

The Law Alumni Society Awards Ceremony and Reception, honoring six Penn Law graduates, was held October 7 at the Law School. Over 100 alumni and guests watched as Robert S. Blank L ‘65, The Honorable Randy J. Holland L ’72, David Richman L ‘69, Richard A. Sprague L ’53, Leba Tolpin L ’06 and Stella Ming Tsai L ’88 received their awards for professional achievement, service to the Law School, and pro bono/public service. To read more about the awardees, click here.

Alumni Clubs

19 + 4 = 23
Four new Penn Law alumni clubs were chartered by the Law Alumni Society this fall, bringing the total to 23 groups around the world. Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Southern California and the U.K. joined the growing list of Penn Law national, international and affinity alumni clubs. For a group near you, click here. Next in line: Northern California and Colorado/Rocky Mountain Region.

Alumni Weekend 2009

Alumni Weekend ~ May 15 and 16, 2009
On May 15 and 16, Penn Law School welcomed back alumni from class years ending in 4 and 9. Highlights of the weekend included an afternoon of CLE panel talks led by Penn Law faculty, which focused on globalization and the role of law in human rights, finance and education. Alumni and their families enjoyed tours of the Barnes Foundation and National Constitution Center, a luncheon honoring Penn Law's venerable Senior Partners (Class of 1959 and earlier), the Reunion family picnic, Dean's State of the Law School Address and Reunion class dinners.

Most importantly, Alumni Weekend was a chance to wander familiar hallways and see old Penn Law friends (and make some new friends), share festive meals with classmates and get a sneak preview of the new Sansom Street Building project!

more  »

Alumni Events…from Vienna to Wilmington

Check out Alumni Events to see if any of the six upcoming Penn Law alumni events currently listed are in/near your hometown. They range from the Penn Law Wilmington Alumni Club’s reception with Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland L ’72 to the Penn Law European Society’s (PLES) annual weekend in Vienna in June 2010. Or, if you’re in Chicago, dust off your bowling shoes for a networking and bowling night with other alumni.

Join us on The Great Journey Through Europe!

Europe Trip

Penn Law is partnering with Penn Alumni Travel for a special trip, The Great Journey Through Europe, July 2 - 12, 2010. The trip, through Holland, Germany, France and Switzerland, will feature Penn Law Professor Friedrich K. Kubler and an exclusive visit to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. For more information, contact Nancy Rasmussen at

Club Quarters Special Member Hotel Rates for Alumni

All Penn alumni, including our Penn Law alums, have an exclusive membership with Club Quarters, private full-service business hotels in 14 US cities and London. This membership may be used for personal and business travel by anyone or any organization associated with Penn. To take advantage of these excellent savings, call Club Quarters Member Services at 212-575-0006 or visit their website at with password: Penn. Based on availability, rates start at the NYC Midtown Club Quarters (four hotels in NYC) at $225 and in Philadelphia (at 17th and Chestnut) at $100.

More on alumni »


Student News

Welcome to our JD Class of 2012 and our LLM Class of 2010!
This year’s graduate students come from a record-high 44 nations; our new JD students represent 101 colleges and universities.

Center on Professionalism Helps Students Develop Skills
Professionalism Logo
Now more than ever, prospective employers want to know that our students are engaged, energetic, enthusiastic and efficient – and have the professional skills necessary to hit the ground running. This fall, we are launching new programming through our Center on Professionalism that will help students develop their skills in five key areas: communication; lawyering skills; organization and management dynamics; self-development; and strategic planning and problem solving. As part of this effort, all first-year students will work in their cohorts to learn the skills of legal research and writing and to understand more deeply and develop professional skills. Each cohort works with faculty and staff liaisons with whom they will meet as a group, and we are launching a special intranet site that will allow students to track their own professional-skills development throughout their Law School careers.

On Monday, September 21, we held a Professionalism Day for 1Ls that included an alumni networking lunch, meetings with the cohorts and their liaisons and a discussion of how students can embrace their legal education in ways that build upon their professional skills.  Participating in the alumni networking lunch were 36 graduates from the classes of 1999 to 2007, who came from New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Wilmington representing law firms, public interest organizations, and federal, state and local government. Each first year cohort lunched with two graduates and were given the opportunity to develop networking skills, to learn about the legal profession, and to gain a mentor.

Penn Law goes to Washington, DC
Students see their work argued at the Supreme Court as part of Penn Law’s new Supreme Court Clinic under Professor Stephanos Bibas.

Faculty News

Shyam Balganesh, Sophia Lee, Melanie McMenamin L’03 and Matthew Lister L’06 join teaching ranks.

The most important factors impeding black progress are behavioral, professor writes in new book.

Stephen Burbank tells the New York Times that Supreme Court ruling “is a blank check for federal judges.”

Anita Allen analyzes Sonya Sotomayor’s legal philosophy for Politico.

"Anyone who thinks that limiting liability would reduce health care costs is fooling himself,” Tom Baker writes in the New York Times.

Arrest of Henry Louis Gates was more about challenging authority than race, David Rudovsky tells the Christian Science Monitor.

News Around the Building

Planning moves ahead on new building to replace Pepper Hall.

Hiring Our Own
We began the 2009-2010 academic year with four of our alumni in new positions at the law school. We’re proud to welcome these graduates to our administrative staff. Gabriela Femeina L00, Beth McManus, L04, Kristin Eckert, L03 and Tory Messina, L05 are an impressive group and enhance Penn Law’s educational environment. more »

More in the newsroom »

Meet Me At The Goat: Penn Law Alumni Weekend, May 14 & 15, 2010. Celebrations for classes ending in 5 or 0.
Make your hotel reservations early!
For hotel room block information CLICK HERE