Ricardo Falcon, SJD Candidate
2003, MSc In Financial and Commercial Regulation, The London School of Economics and Political Sciences
2001, LL.B., Universidad Catolica Andres Bello
What I Did Before Law School:
As a foreign lawyer, I came to Penn Law after little more than 9 years of law practice, most of which I spent as an in-house attorney at an international corporation, with significant industrial and commercial operations in Venezuela and the Andean region. As part of a legal team, I came to be in charge of all contractual relationships and assisting management in the negotiation and drafting of contractual relationships, as well as many other corporate matters.
Why I Chose Penn Law:
Penn Law is an easy selection for a lawyer with my interests and background, with an interest in practicing law in areas that have deep underpinnings in other fields of knowledge as economics, political science and other related areas.
In my experience, a lawyer’s ability to understand the context and realities of its clients is what makes his advice actually meaningful.
The complex world that we live in requires lawyers to use their legal reasoning to provide creative solutions as well as accurately assess risks. Therefore, the interdisciplinary approach to legal education that Penn Law stands for is a definitive edge.
My Best Experience at Penn Law:
As it is hard to pick a particular experience, I would highlight the various public debates, lecture and conferences that are promoted by student groups as well as by specialized institutes within the Law School.
I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the arguments for and against particular legal propositions as well as to enhance my understanding of these topics by witnessing the brightest minds in their legal fields of expertise deliberating in the most constructive scholarly fashion that in my view is at the top level in world academia.
Having that said, I value the opportunity I had to be present at the farewell address given by Honorable William b. Chandler III, after stepping down as Chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court.
I cannot forgo the opportunity to say that I also participate in the Pub Crawl, a tradition that involves running and having a quick beer every couple miles, that is rigorously kept by the Law School Running club. An experience on par with those already referred and that, surprisingly enough, was occasionally remembered by foreign LLMs that came to Penn Law almost 20 years ago!
Professor Who Influenced Me Most:
I honestly can’t give a definitive answer, as all of the professors to which courses I’ve had the opportunity to attend are frontrunners in their fields and mind provoking in their approaches to Law.
If you allow me to spell a singular strength of some of them, I would say that Professor William Ewald is capable improving your understanding of 18th century legal writings and related literature by keeping your focus on the era/period and its main developments as well as in the characters, interests and social context surrounding and influencing each particular writer. Professor Michael Wachter has an unparalleled depth and experience in the corporate world that brings real meaning to the subjects covered. Professor Reed Shuldiner is kind of a wizard in the way he masters each and every topic addressed, and the way he relates previous topics covered and current issues related to Income Tax and tax policy in general to the topic under discussion, that actually takes the most out of you in order to keep to his mental pace, what is at the end very rewarding. Professor Harry Reicher masterfully links recent world history and crises with human rights law in a way that gives coherence to the many sources that conform the current system of human rights and exposes its weaknesses and how can they possible be worked out.
My Favorite Course:
By narrow margins, I would be inclined to choose Federal Income Tax, only because it incorporates economic policy issues and the law. I would have to praise the attention to detail that Professor Shuldiner devotes when discussing cases as well as his critical view of the tax opinions set in the judicial and administrative precedents, being able to persuade about the weaknesses or flaws of many propositions that are generally taken as correct.
My Favorite Philadelphia Moment:
When we brought our daughter to the Penn Caring Center, where she is attending pre-k, after some thought she happily and expressively said that we were both going to Penn!
What I’m Most Proud Of:
Although I would expect many personal accomplishments to come true in the near future, I could bring to attention the very detailed work that I’ve done with the Journal of International Law in reviewing and perfecting the quality of some high caliber research with Spanish sources.
My Extracurricular Activities at Penn Law:
I contribute as International Editor/Translator in the Journal of International Law and participate in the student running club, (With All Deliberate Speed!).
I will definitely be involved in one of our many pro-bono activities in the next semester, with special interest in finding a way to serve the Hispanic community in greater Philadelphia.
My Favorite Place or Activity on the University Campus:
Lunch at Houston Hall food fair is a must. Lots of quality alternatives, at reasonable prices.