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Law School offers summer courses and professional development programming to students

May 20, 2020

Because the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many students’ summer plans, the Law School will offer new and innovative free summer courses and programming over the summer of 2020.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is offering a wide range of new and innovative free courses and professional development programming to its students over the summer.

Whether they were planning to work in a law office or study for the bar exam, many JD and LLM students’ summer plans have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Faculty and staff across the Law School have responded by creating new courses and skills development programming that will help students continue to build their legal knowledge and practice skills over the summer.

Summer courses

Every law student and Class of 2020 graduate has the opportunity to take one remote course during a newly created special summer session. To date, 362 students and Class of 2020 grads have enrolled to take or audit summer course offerings. No tuition will be charged for these courses.

The courses span a variety of subjects, including essential doctrinal areas like Corporations and Evidence and more thematic courses that address issues arising from the current environment, including “COVID and the Law” and “Bankruptcy, Financial Distress, and Economic Crises.”

“Through the unprecedented events of the Spring semester, the Law School faculty has done a tremendous job of adjusting to teaching in the remote world, and they are now looking forward to further helping students through these additional summer course offerings,” said Ted Ruger, Dean and Bernard T. Segal Professor of Law. “We hope that offering these classes for credit during the summer will open up students’ ability to take more advanced or experiential courses during the academic year and give them a chance to explore some of the legal ramifications of the current crisis.”

Although the Law School regularly offers academic summer programs targeted to specialized degree programs, this will be the first time it has offered summer courses to the JD student population more broadly. The remote format gives faculty the ability to reach more students than they would be able to in a fully in-person summer session.

Legal professional development and skills programming

In addition, staff from across the Law School have put together an innovative and challenging array of remote legal skills development programs for our JD and LLM students and graduates. This program, called “Skills Series: Summer 2020,” was developed with students’ summer experiences in mind, focusing on the practice skills that junior lawyers are called on to use the most. It includes offerings from Penn Law’s Legal Practice Skills faculty, JD-trained law librarians from the Biddle Law Library, the Center on Professionalism, the Career Planning & Professionalism office, and the Future of the Profession Initiative.

“Over the last semester, our students responded with great resilience and fortitude to an immense educational challenge,” said Joe Glyn, Director of the Law School’s Center on Professionalism. “With ‘Skills Series: Summer 2020,’ we aim to provide our students with the knowledge and support they might need to overcome potential challenges in their career and professional development, whether in a temporary summer position or as a new attorney, and stand head and shoulders above the rest.”

The Law School’s additional summer programming is supported by the generosity of the W. P. Carey Foundation.

To view the Law School’s virtual celebration of the Class of 2020, please see the full video featuring Dean Ruger, faculty, and special guests, the Honorable Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (ret.) and Senator Elizabeth Warren.