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Law Courses for Penn Students & Staff

Current University Students and Staff - take a class at Penn Law!

Penn Law welcomes students enrolled in professional and graduate programs at Penn, and upper-class undergraduates, to take a class at the Law School. Penn faculty and staff are welcome to take the Master in Law courses (ML).  

We appreciate the voices of those with varied backgrounds in the law school classroom. Whether you are interested in exploring the future possibility of law school or in complementing your career or studies in another discipline, we are certain you will find Penn Law courses and programs of study that interest you and meet your needs.

Penn graduate students, Penn faculty and Penn staff - consider enrolling in the Master in Law degree from Penn Law, providing a strong signal that you possess expertise in the legal issues that intersect with your professional field and academic interests.

Students in any of Penn’s graduate or professional schools who wish to incorporate a legal perspective into their programs of study are invited to pursue a Certificate in the Study of Law.

Master in Law Courses 

Master in Law courses are specifically designed to offer background and expertise to students and staff who are not pursuing a traditional law degree (JD, LLM, LLCM, SJD).

All Certificate and Master in Law degree students must take LAW 511: Introduction to US Law and Legal Methods, offered each semester.  Master in Law students must take at least three additional foundational courses. 

To enroll in a course follow the instructions below under How To Request Enrollment in a Penn Law Course. 

Course descriptions are available on the Law School’s Course Finder.  

Summer 2018:

ML: Intro to US Law and Legal Methods (Grogan) LAWM511301 (1CU)

TR 5:30PM - 8:00PM at Penn Law, room TBD

This course meets during a special session: (06/05/18 - 07/26/18)

The first day, June 5, 2018, at 5:30 PM is an onboarding session consisting of summary skills session with Penn Law Academic Success Director and Professor Jessica Simon and an introduction to legal research and resources available to you at our Biddle Law Library given by one of our Research Librarians.  Class with Professor Grogan will officially begin on June 7, 2018.

Now more than ever a basic understanding of U.S. legal principles is indispensable across a wide array professional and academic landscapes. This survey course introduces non-law students to all aspects of U.S. law through a combination of case law and the Socratic method, both techniques unique to legal education. This methodology stimulates critical thinking and can be valuable whether you decide to enter law school or not. The course explores the structure of government and the constitutional foundations of the U.S. legal system and covers a wide range of topics in the areas of civil, criminal, and administrative law. The course will incorporate recent cases of note into the curriculum and provide an overview of legal issues which impact professionals in a variety of fields, including but not limited to law. JD, LLM, and LLCM students are not permitted to take this class.

To register for for this course, please submit the registration form available here.

Fall 2018 - tentative:

ML: Fundamentals of US Legal Research - Online LAWM536301 (1CU)
Online (Greenlee)

ML: Intro to American Constitutional Law -  LAWM505301 (1CU)
W 5:30-8:15 (Gerhardt)

ML: Intro to General Business Law - LAWM528301 (1CU)
M 5:30-8:15 (Reavis)

ML: Intro to Health Law and Policy - LAWM530301 (1CU)
F 1:30-4:15 (Scielzo)

ML: Intro to Technology Law and Ethics - LAWM506301 (1CU)
W 5:30-8:15 (Gowen)

ML: Intro to US Law and Legal Methods - LAWM511301 (1CU)
Th 5:30-8:15 (Soven)

ML: Navigating the Regulatory State -  LAWM529301 (1CU)
T 5:30-8:15 (Petersen) 

Upper-Level JD Courses

Penn graduate and upper-class undergraduate students can request enrollment in JD courses (first-year courses are for JD students only) on a space available basis. You can review course offerings and course descriptions on the Course Finder (fall 2018 courses will be available in late May).

Fall 2018 - Course Spotlight:  

The Development and Diversity of American Criminal Law (Robinson)
M,T 9:00-10:20, Room TBA

Criminal law’s rules, and its very conceptual foundations, have shifted significantly over the past century and more. And those developments have played out differently in different parts of the United States. This course explores the nature of criminal law’s development as well as the substantial diversity among the states that exists today.

The course is open to non-law students. It does not require any prior expertise in criminal law, and has no course prerequisites. The vehicle for studying the criminal law’s development is several dozen cases involving well-known persons or events from history, which are contrasted with modern cases of a similar sort. The case studies include such people and events as the Marquis de Sade, Oscar Wilde, Billy the Kid, Aaron Burr, Lewis Carroll, the shootout at the OK Corral, Lincoln’s assassination, Vanderbilt’s market manipulation, Mafia boss Joe Bananas, the Hatfields and McCoys, entertainers Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Ike and Tina Turner, and pornographer Larry Flynt.

The course is designed to promote an appreciation of the role the criminal law plays in the social development of a society, as well as developing student skills in doctrinal and theoretical analysis and familiarity with a wide range of criminal law issues.

Non-law students are encouraged to enroll and will be able to directly register for this course in Penn InTouch or can email the Law Registrar at to request enrollment.

Course materials are provided in PDF. In addition, background readings may be assigned from Robinson & Cahill, Criminal Law, 2nd Edition (Wolters Kluwer 2012). The course has two midterms and a final examination. (Students who have taken Professor Robinson’s introduction to criminal law course are not eligible to register for this course.)

How to Request Enrollment in a Penn Law Course

  • If you are enrolled in a degree program at Penn, or have previously taken a course at Penn Law, please submit a Request to Take a Law Course Form.
  • If you are Penn Staff/Faculty and are not enrolled in a degree program at Penn and have not previously taken a course at Penn Law, please complete the Staff/Faculty request to Take a Master in Law Course Form.  
  • Course enrollment may, in some cases, require the permission of the Penn Law faculty member. If so, you will be notified as to how to follow up once you submit your request.
  • Students should consult with their departmental advisor about acceptance of Penn Law credits.
  • Enrollment will be based on a space available basis with priority given to degree candidates in the Master in Law program.

Tuition and Fees for AY 2017-2018:  

Link to AY 2017-2018 rates

Master in Law Candidates (per CU)
- tuition: $6,868
- general fee: $372
- tech fee: $122

Penn Graduate Students
- tuition is based on your home school’s tuition policies for courses taken outside of your program. 

Penn Faculty and Staff  (per CU)
Master in Law Courses (designated LAWM and section 301)
- tuition: $6,868
- general fee: $372
- tech fee: $122

For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the Financial Information page.

More About Our Programs:

  • Penn Law is conveniently located at 3501 Sansom Street between 34th and 36th Streets, a short walk from all University departments.
  • Currently, Penn Law’s upper-level curriculum is based on a semester hour system, where 3 semester hours are equivalent to 1 CU.
  • For a closer look at Penn Law’s many other education programs, including Continuing Legal Education for practicing attorneys, see our section on Legal Education Programs.

For additional enrollment and course information, contact the Registrar’s Office:
215.746.7822 /