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Summer 2011
Deans China Summit
Penn Law Dean Michael Fitts and Vice Minister Liu Yandong

Penn Law Convenes First U.S.-China Deans Summit

Following an unprecedented summit on June 20-21 in Beijing between deans from leading law schools in the U.S. and China, participants in the first Sino-U.S. Deans Summit issued a joint statement outlining shared principles, including recognition of and support for the rule of law, and the objective of establishing ongoing two-way collaboration between top U.S. and China law schools.

The Summit, convened by Penn Law Dean Michael Fitts at the suggestion of then-U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, focused on the present state and future needs of legal education in both countries; the role of law schools in society and in building the rule of law; and modes of collaboration among law schools to support academic and institutional goals. The deans agreed to form a working group with five deans from each side to develop new programs that will foster multilateral exchanges between law schools, and to explore new initiatives that focus on substantive areas of law such as public health, the environment, and leadership. More »

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Campaign Corner

Robert and Jane Toll Give Additional $2.5 Million for Penn Law's Public Interest Programs

Jane and Robert Toll

The gift will support student pro bono initiatives, allowing the Law School to guarantee summer funding for public interest work and supporting the School's loan forgiveness program. More »

Bold Ambitions Donations

Raised To Date    Goal    Percentage
Student Aid
$47.4M $60M 79%
Faculty Support
$31.5M $36M 88%
Cross Disciplinary Initiatives
$6.2M $4M 155%
Unrestricted/Annual Giving
$25.2M $27.7M 91%
Renovations/Capital (Golkin Hall, Classroom Upgrades)
$33.8M $38M 89%
Restricted Support (ILE, Biddle, Clinics, etc.)
$7.3M $9.3M 78%
Endowments TBD
$12.2M 0 0%
$163.6M $175M 93%

PLES Hamburg 2011

European alumni touring Hamburg's HafenCity

For over 20 years, Penn Law LLM alumni from Europe have gathered in a different European city for a June weekend of social events, tours, and academic panels. Originally formed as an annual dinner in London, the Penn Law European Society (PLES) Conferences have grown to include alumni from over 10 countries and a range of graduation years. This year's Hamburg weekend included a welcome reception at the home of organizers Freda and Alexander Wehowski GL'95, a guided tour of the city's new HafenCity district, lunch at the Maritime Museum, a boat cruise to dinner at the Anglo German Club and brunch at a rowing club. Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs Matthew Parker L’00 and Dr. Hariolf Wenzler, Provost of Bucerius Law School, presented a panel on “The Impact of Globalization on Legal Education.”

Next year's PLES will be in Prague, organized by Lukas Jaroch GL'06. All European alumni are invited; please contact Nancy Rasmussen at for more information.

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Strengthen your connection to former classmates, faculty, and current students by joining Penn Law on your social media site of choice. News, stories, photos and video are being posted on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Flickr, Goodreads, and LinkedIn every day, and we invite you to contribute your thoughts and feedback to the conversation.


Alumni Awards: Submit Your Nominations

Alumni Awards

On October 6, 2011, Penn Law will honor the 2011 Law Alumni Society’s Alumni Award recipients. Please send your nominations to Nancy Rasmussen at by July 31 and include a paragraph of background information. The awards are: the James Wilson Award, given for service to the law profession; the Distinguished Service Award, for service to Penn Law; the Alumni Award of Merit, recognizing professional achievement and service to the Law School; the Young Alumni Award, given to a graduate within the past 10 years for his/her professional achievement; and the Howard Lesnick Pro Bono Award, given to a graduate who has embodied the spirit of the Public Service Program through a sustained commitment to pro bono and/or public service throughout a private sector career.

Reunion 2011

Alumni Reunion Video
Watch the video of the Gala Dinner and see photos from all the activities

Over 725 Penn Law alumni and their guests participated in Alumni Weekend 2011 on May 13 and 14, visiting campus, enjoying social and academic activities, and catching up with classmates.

Friday’s celebrations began with the Senior Partners Society, a group of alumni from the classes of 1960 and earlier, who enjoyed their annual luncheon and a video clip of the Senior Partners Oral History Project, an ongoing venture to collect and archive memories from alumni throughout the history of the Law School.

Two alumni-faculty CLE panels tackled key legal issues in major league baseball and the progress of financial reform post-Dodd Frank.  Following the Deans’ State of the Law School address, individual classes held cocktail receptions throughout the building and in Center City Philadelphia.

After sold-out tours to the Barnes Foundation, alumni gathered in the newly renovated Goat Lounge for Saturday’s Family Picnic, complete with a face painter, DJ and traditional picnic fare.

Alumni Reunion
Reunion Gala at the Phila. Museum of Art

The highlight of the weekend, the Reunion Gala, was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for all reunion classes.  A record-breaking 585 alumni and their guests were treated to cocktails in the Museum’s Great Hall while enjoying music by the Brazilian band, Minas; a seated dinner in the Museum’s galleries; and dessert and dancing back in the Great Hall.

We look forward to welcoming graduates from class years ending in 2’s and 7’s at Alumni Weekend 2012 on May 11 and 12. Please mark your calendars now!

Alumni Clubs/Events

Alumni Group
NYC alumni celebrate the club's third anniversary

From Boston to Los Angeles, our Penn Law alumni clubs are planning several events this summer and fall. From casual summer gatherings with alumni, summer interns, and admitted students to receptions with alumni and faculty speakers, you'll find a range of events where you'll see old friends, make new ones and enjoy this special Penn Law bond, wherever you are. Check out the alumni events page for an up-to-date listing.

More on alumni »


Faculty & Student News

Video: The Road to the Keedy Cup Finals

Keedy Cup

Earlier this semester, four students stood before federal judges Jose A. Cabranes, Karen Nelson Moore, and Stephen R. Reinhardt ready to stake their claims to the 2011 Edwin R. Keedy Cup in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, a challenge to the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007. More »

Stephanos Bibas Argues Two Cases before SCOTUS; Students in Penn Law's Supreme Court Clinic Assist
Illustration of Stephanos Bibas in court

In March, Bibas argued Turner v. Rogers, which involved whether an indigent defendant has a right to court-appointed counsel when faced with being sent to jail for failing to pay child support. He returned to the Court in April to argue Tapia v. United States, which addressed whether a court can give a defendant a longer prison sentence in order to promote the defendant's rehabilitation. More »

Penn Law Celebrates Public Interest Service

Seth Kreimer

David Rudovsky presented the inaugural faculty Beacon Award to Seth Kreimer, whom he described as the go-to source for lawyers facing the toughest issues in public interest and civil liberties litigation. More »

Q&A with KP Krishnan on Market Regulation: India vs. the U.S.

KP Krishnan

Dr. Krishnan is Secretary of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of India. He spent the semester at Penn Law as a Bok Visiting Professor. More »

Faculty in the Media

Anita Allen discusses the widespread celebration of Osama bin Laden's death in the United States. Time.

Cary Coglianese offers a solution for narrowing the political chasm over regulation. Los Angeles Times Op-Ed.

Jill Fisch explains the limitations of attempts to plan for “black swan” events. Business Insider.

Dean Michael Fitts extols the value of political compromise to solve the major problems the U.S. faces today. CNN.

Stephen Morse discusses neuroscience and criminal responsibility. ScienceDaily.

David Skeel writes on the long-term effects of the auto bailouts. Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.