I wrote here around this same time last year, with the same dilemma—papers still to write, and exams still to study for, and zero worries in the world. Not much has changed, and my life is certainly less stressful now than it ever has been. Pretty much what you’d expect from a 3L. I have a great position lined up at Shearman & Sterling in New York City, and, save from the wonderful adventure of studying for the bar, I am very much looking forward to the summer and my future job.
However, I am going to miss being here so much. I do so many fun and rewarding things at Penn Law that simply can’t be recreated once I leave. I have tried to make the most of my last relaxed year to do some fun things, both recreational and academic. Here are some of the highlights:
These fine looking gentlemen you see here were the representatives from the University of Pennsylvania in the UCLA-Villanova inaugural Sports Case Competition, a moot-court like transactional meet that tested teams’ abilities to handle a real-world sports industry issue through client service and negotiation.
Every team was required to have at least one business student and one law student, and we split our team down the middle. Jarren Ginsburg L’14 recruited Akshay Khanna and Eric Sherman, two first-year MBA students at Wharton, to join us. The University helped to fund our trip to Los Angeles, where we presented a business plan to keep the San Diego Chargers in San Diego while increasing profitability, and negotiated with another school’s team on various lease terms should the Chargers move to Los Angeles instead. While there, we also had the opportunity to chat with important sports executives and personalities, such as Peter Guber, Eric Johnson, Andrew Brandt, Gillian Zucker, Irwin Raij, and many more attorneys and business professionals in the industry.
The best part, besides escaping to sunny Southern California in February, was that our team came in 2nd place! It was a great experience to represent our school and come away as big winners.
These four make up the greatest band you’ve never heard of. I took one last opportunity as a student and played with three undergraduates (Madhavi Muralidharan, Bart Buurman, and Maxwell Presser) in a chamber group, the Penn Saxophone Quartet. I am not sure how much I’ll be able to play when I start working, so I made an effort to continue to do so while I was still in school. I highly recommend keeping your hobbies active while you are in law school; law school is not an all-consuming event where you have to lose yourself! For me, playing saxophone is a huge part of who I am. Also, don’t forget that your education and extracurriculars do not have to be limited to just the law school; the University as a whole is so big, and you can find a group doing something that interests you.
Don’t discount how impressive and fun so many of the undergraduates are! I’ve had a lot of fun playing with these three and I will miss it greatly. Both semesters we have played very challenging classical music, and it has been very rewarding to improve even in my twenties at something that has always been merely a hobby.
This guy, Andrew Morris L’14, is way more impressive than me. He finished the Philadelphia Marathon, along with several other classmates. I decided to cheer him on with some friends and watched him cross the finish line (and then immediately eat a banana). I bring this up because it was one of many instances that I really enjoyed supporting my friends in their various adventures—from running a marathon, to putting on a killer rendition of Rent (no seriously it was awesome).
It is part of the whole Penn Law community we talk so much about—we don’t hole ourselves up in our own activities and call it a day. This community is so much more rewarding when you participate in the things your colleagues are doing as well.
For three years, I have been a part of the esteemed Penn Law Bowling League as part of the spirited “Motion to Strike” squadron (members: Max Blum L’14, yours truly, Alex Batoff L’14, and Devon MacLaughlin L’14, pictured with “The Replacements”: Jarren Ginsburg L’14, Brendan Lane L’14, Dan Janovitz L’14, and Kenneth Simon Jr. L’14). It’s been covered at length at various points, but it definitely is worth bringing up again.
While we never came close to winning a title in any semester (best finish was 5th of 20 fall semester of 1L), it is all handicapped, so every team has a chance at winning. But, the main point is to have fun at a random bowling alley every Wednesday night—escape the class, escape the cold calls, escape the books, and just roll. The memories are countless after 60+ bowling nights. The 1L participation was fantastic this year, and I know they will have the same feelings about the weekly excursions to West Philadelphia after three years of fun.
Don’t forget about celebration the holidays in style! Lambda Law throws a fantastic Halloween party every year, and here I am with my roommate Philip May L’14 dressed as Price is Right contestants (what we lacked in exquisite costumes we made up for in enthusiasm).
From St. Patrick’s Day to Cinco de Mayo, the holidays are another great time to escape the law school and do something fun. I remember hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner for all of us who couldn’t go home during 1L year.
The last event before graduation is the Graduation Gala for 3Ls and LLMs. Taking place in the Penn Museum for Archaeology, it was an amazing time dancing and drinking among the artifacts.
The event certainly made me reflective on all of my three years at Penn Law School. Seeing everyone I had met over these three years—dressed to the nines, of course—certainly brought back of memories of when I first met that person, or a special experience we shared. Graduation will certainly be an emotional time for me, because it will be extremely sad to see people travel in different parts of the world.
I am certainly going to miss being in school at Penn Law. The experiences and events never stop coming, and it forges new bonds while reinforcing old ones. However, I know that I will always be a part of the Penn Law community forever, as evidenced by the alumni I talk to. Everyone is always so willing to reach back and contribute to the current student body, and that has been really valuable to a student such as me.
In college, I was extremely involved outside of the classroom from acting in plays to student government, and I knew that when I came to law school I would want to engage in my school’s community in the same way. For this reason, Penn Law looked like the perfect place for me.
Although I learned about some of the student group and extracurricular activities while researching the school to make my choice (having a musical theatre group was obviously essential to my decision), I did not realize the breadth and depth of the opportunities available until I arrived.
As early as the first week of classes, the law school held a student activities fair, where 1Ls could check out all of the different activities to get involved in. Beyond that, emails went out advertising 1L representative positions available in different affinity and interest groups, as well as general meetings to learn more about membership in these various organizations. From the start, Penn Law made it extremely easy to get involved and satisfy my broad range of interests.
In my first semester I chose three activities/organizations that I wanted to immerse myself in: The Penn Law Women’s Association (PLWA), The Penn Law Post-Acceptance Committee (PAC), and the Penn Law Light Opera Company (basically, a law school musical!). I applied (and auditioned) for various roles within these different groups and soon became a 1L representative for the PLWA, a committee member of PAC, and a performer in the musical, RENT. I was excited to start my rich and rewarding responsibilities outside of the classroom.
As a 1L Rep of the PLWA, I serve as a member of the overall board. I am responsible for advertising events to my 1L classmates and taking part in overall decision for the organization. I have enjoyed getting to help out with the creation, planning, and marketing of events, as well as getting to know the diverse and dedicated group of 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls on the board. Getting so involved with the organization this year has enabled me to secure a leadership role on the board for my 2L year as the Mentorship & Alumni Chair. I am so excited for the opportunity to improve and expand the organization that has so significantly shaped my law school experience thus far!
My experiences with PAC and the law school musical enriched 1L year as well. Participating in both activities, I was able to develop friendships with tons of new people who shared the same interests as me. I got to spend time with other 1Ls outside of my section, as well as with upperclassmen who were always willing to share advice, wisdom, and support about surviving law school and beyond. These activities – especially the musical, which is completely unrelated to law or law school (aside from the super talented future lawyers in the cast and crew, of course) – provided me with a nice reprieve from the daily stresses of 1L life.
Looking back as the school year winds down, although it was oftentimes really hard work to balance my schedule between rehearsals, meetings, and study time, I would not trade my extracurricular experience at Penn Law for anything.
When I was deciding which law school to attend, faculty was the last thing on my mind. I figured I’d be cold-called no matter where I went, so better to focus on aspects that actually distinguish between law schools. Some of the factors I considered were proximity to a major city, employment prospects after graduation, and a sense of community. Of the schools I was considering, Penn Law had the best combination of the three, so I happily sent in my deposit check. Now that I’ve been here for nearly a year, I realize I should’ve considered a fourth factor: faculty. Luckily for me, Penn Law’s faculty is one of its best features.
If you came to Admitted Students Weekend or Preview Day, you’ve heard all about Penn Law’s focus on cross-disciplinary education. True, Penn Law has over 30 joint- and dual-degree and certificate programs, but Penn Law’s cross-disciplinary commitment really starts with its faculty. An astounding 70 percent of our faculty hold advanced degrees in fields other than law and nearly half hold joint appointments at other schools within the University of Pennsylvania. Of my first year professors, two are economists, one is a philosopher, and one is a legal historian. If you’re interested in learning about the economics of crime and punishment, how intellectual property laws can spur or hinder innovation, or the philosophical underpinnings of contract law, Penn Law is the place for you.
Just as importantly, our faculty care about building relationships with students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Each year, Penn Law’s Equal Justice Foundation holds an auction to benefit students pursuing job opportunities in public interest and government. In addition to vacation packages and tickets donated by Penn Law alumni and friends, some of the hottest items up for bid are opportunities to hang out with professors. This year, some of the most popular items were a tour of Professor Morse’s art collection, dinner with Dean Fitts and Dean Clinton, and a night of pizza, beer, and Rock Band with Professor Abrams. While a group of friends and I just missed out on winning the night with Professor Abrams, it was probably for the best as losing to a law professor in Rock Band would’ve done irreparable damage to our self-esteems.
No matter what your interests are, you’ll find someone on the faculty ready and willing to mentor you. As you visit different schools throughout your decision-making process, I encourage you to ask current students for their thoughts on the faculty. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a school with a more well-rounded faculty than ours.
Spring signifies new life, especially in the northeast United States, and in particular this year, where the winter doldrums have been memorably severe. Each spring for the past three years I have had the pleasure to serve as the Chairperson of the Penn Law Post-Acceptance Committee (PAC). As a group our raison d’être is to extend a warm and gracious welcome to those students who have survived a multitude of academic blizzards to be admitted to one of the premiere law schools in the country. The opportunity to open our doors to potential colleagues and their families, as they make what we know from experience is a life-changing decision, is a privilege the entire Penn Law community embraces with an enthusiasm surpassed only by that of our guests.
The admissions cycle is long and arduous, but Admitted Students Weekend (ASW) is in earnest the beginning of the end. ASW is the beginning of a journey unlike any other, one that will feature emotional struggles, academic achievement, difficult decisions, community engagement, and enduring relationships. For many years the members of the Penn Law incoming class have convened on campus for ASW to listen, learn, and decide whether to accept our invitation to begin a lifelong relationship with this remarkable institution. The members of the Penn Law Class of 2017 are no different in this regard, although this year’s class is unique because they will join our community at a time when we begin anew with a change in leadership.
As my Penn Law education has reinforced, there are a variety of perspectives from which you can approach any issue, so this is an appropriate time to acknowledge that while the new is often exciting there is also some measure of uncertainty involved. Fortunately, the Penn Law Class of 2017 is exploring the new at one of the oldest and most consistently successful legal institutions in the country. As sure as night turns to day and winter turns to spring, Penn Law graduates young lawyers to tackle the challenges of the day and welcomes exceptional students to be part of our community and to experience what is so special about this place. #PennLawLife
As a member of the Penn Law Class of 2014, I want to encourage the newest members of our community to explore every opportunity offered at Penn Law because you will enrich your experience exponentially. As the outgoing Chairperson of PAC, I want to say congratulations again for all you have accomplished thus far and wish you many more successes as you begin a new chapter. Finally, as a soon-to-be Penn Law alumnus, I implore you to embrace the network of alumni spread throughout the world who are available to support you, and ask that you continue to foster the culture that makes Penn Law a truly special place.
#PennLawLife: Top 10 Things to Do During Admitted Students Weekend
Admitted Students Weekend starts in just a few days! Here’s a preview of the “Top 10 Things to Do During Admitted Students Weekend.”
1. Visit the Goat
“The Goat” refers to the space around the courtyard at Penn Law, named for the statue of a goat, Penn Law’s semi-official mascot. The Goat is a popular student hangout and is used for studying, club meetings, group projects, or just catching up with classmates. During Admitted Students Weekend, this space will be home to various events including a “Welcome to Penn Law” reception on Thursday evening and the Registration Breakfast on Friday morning.
2. Have Lunch with Faculty
One of the aspects of Penn Law that makes it so “collegial” is the connection between its students, faculty and staff. See these relationships up close by dining with a mix of current students, admitted students, faculty and staff at our lunch in Levy on Friday.
3. Experience Philadelphia’s Restaurant Scene
Philadelphia is well known as a foodie city, from Stephen Starr restaurants to BYOB holes-in-the-wall, with menu prices far less than comparable restaurants in other cities. Enjoy the first of what is hopefully many affordable Philly dining experiences with a group of current and admitted students on Friday night – your stomach (and your wallet) will thank you!
4. Attend a Live Class
Have you wanted to attend law school ever since you watched Elle Woods eloquently describe the difference between malum in se and malum prohibitum in Legally Blonde? Well, here is your chance to compare that scene to what you will experience if you attend here next year! Penn Law is proud to provide admitted students the opportunity to view a live 1L Criminal Law class with Professor Robinson.
5. Take a Tour of the Law School
One of the most unique aspects of Penn Law is the physical shape of our school, which is comprised of four connected buildings surrounding a central courtyard. Not only is it beautiful (especially our newly minted Golkin Hall), but it is also a great way to see all of the facilities and spaces students can take advantage of while they are attending law school.
6. Watch March Madness
Wait, what? You read that right. Penn Law is sympathetic to the fact that you are sacrificing precious NCAA basketball binging to join us this weekend, so we have planned not one, but two student socials at local sports bars that have promised to provide us with TVs prominently featuring this weekend’s games. Join us at City Tap House on Thursday night, and Field House on Friday to make up for the fact that your bracket has completely fallen apart by building new friendships with potential classmates!
7. Connect with Affinity Groups
Penn Law sponsors various affinity groups that help students from different facets of our society to cultivate relationships throughout law school. Meet with the group that you associate most with on Saturday morning for brunch!
8. Learn More About Penn Law
Admitted Students Weekend is mostly fun and games, but we try to fit some educational content in there too! There will be various panels and info sessions throughout the weekend on topics such as Judicial Clerkships, Financial Aid, Public Interest, International Law, Clinical Programs and more!
9. Tour Philadelphia
We are proud to call the City of Brotherly Love home and are excited to show it off to you! Take a trolley tour on Saturday morning to see the sights of the city, and attend our housing panel directly after to learn more about in which neighborhood you should start your apartment search!
10. Get to Know Our Students
For all of the other fantastic things about Penn Law, most students say that the number one thing that attracted them to this school were the current students. Come up to any PAC member (we will be wearing the maroon shirts!), or any current student for that matter, and ask us about our experience. We would be happy to share! You will also have an opportunity to ask questions about life at Penn Law during our Student Life Panel on Friday afternoon.
Becoming a 2L comes along with new freedom to truly tailor your Penn Law experience. This year I have had the opportunity to choose and take classes in areas of the law that interest me, take on leadership roles with projects I’m passionate about, and build on the many wonderful experiences I had 1L year.
One aspect of law school that is largely unique to 2L year is participation on a journal. Penn has six highly respected journals that focus on various areas of the law including constitutional, business, and international law. 2L journal members serve as associate editors, performing mostly research and editing tasks on articles to prepare them for publication. Although the work can be tedious at times, it’s pretty cool to think that we as law students have the opportunity to shape legal scholarship and work with some of the most respected scholars across the country.
Beyond the actual “work” of being on a journal, there’s a great social aspect as well. My journal, Law Review, organizes several events every semester. We’ve had dinners, pizza parties to celebrate the release of new issues, and even an awesome weekend getaway to the Poconos. In a few weeks we’ll be competing as a team in the annual Bluebook Invitational, a flag football competition between law review members at Penn, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. From what I’ve heard from the 3Ls, the event can get quite competitive so it’s sure to be a weekend to remember!
Bhayana and friends at the Penn Law Review flag football scrimmage against Columbia.
This year I’ve also had the chance to expand my involvement in extracurricular activities available at Penn. After serving as a 1L representative of the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, I became an executive board member this year. Last month we held Penn Law’s first ever Sports Law Symposium which was a great experience. I’m also in the midst of rehearsals for Rent as a member of the Law School Light Opera Company. I certainly didn’t expect to be putting on musicals as a law student but it has been a great way to get to know other students while doing something completely non-law related. I always look forward to putting the books away for a few hours to sit around and sing with my talented fellow students!
The 2013 Light Opera Company production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Some of the best times I’ve had this year though have just been spending time in and out of school with the incredible people I’ve met here at Penn. Whether it’s getting all dressed up for Barrister’s Ball, enjoying happy hour in Center City, or just scouring campus for the best study spot, there are always good times to be had and amazing company to spend it with. I can only imagine 3L will be even better and I look forward to all the experiences to come!
Crimeans cast their votes in yesterday’s referendum on whether the region should secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Meanwhile, Russia raised the threat of invasion by gathering troops, equipment and artillery on the Ukrainian border. This morning on Radio Times, we’ll talk about the fate of Crimea and Ukraine, U.S. relations with Russia, and how the crisis threatens geopolitical alliances. Our guests are STEVEN PIFER, former ambassador to Ukraine and former State Department official WILLIAM BURKE WHITE.
I came to the decision to go to law school late in the college game, but once I finally figured out what [I think] I want to do with my life, the decision-making didn’t end. Like many 20-somethings, I liked having options, and the same was true when it came to choosing a law school.
What stood out about Penn was that my options wouldn’t run out once I got here. Not only was I going to receive a great legal education at Penn Law, but I was also going to have the rest of the University of Pennsylvania available to me. During Admitted Students Weekend, I lost count of the number of times I heard the word “cross-disciplinary.” Students talked about joint degrees and certificates as if it were typical to study simultaneously at two graduate/professional schools at the top of their respective fields. Today, there are 21 joint and dual degree programs and nearly a dozen certificate programs, not counting those available ad hoc.
Initially, the JD/MBE in Bioethics appealed to me, as I had come from a STEM background and taken a couple of bioethics courses in college. I also thought about getting a certificate with the Wharton School – because, well, it’s Wharton. Ultimately, though, in a plot twist of sorts, I applied to Penn’s Graduate School of Education (GSE).
Between college and law school, I was a high school math teacher, and I became very interested in education policy. It just so happened that there was a joint degree offering at GSE for an MSEd in that very department. (The other formal JD/MSEd program is in higher education.) I believe the MSEd will help prepare me and give me added credibility for any future roles I may pursue in K-12 education or policy.
This year, as a 2L, I began my coursework at GSE and will finish my degree next year, at the same time I finish my JD. My GSE classes are small and very much discussion-based, similar to law school seminars, and I have met a wide range of students from different GSE programs and other schools at Penn. I would encourage all Penn Law students to go for a certificate or a joint degree if there is a program that speaks to them. It’s likely the last time any of us are ever in school again, and I am all for taking advantage of the academic options that a university like Penn provides!
Penn Law has so many amazing things to offer, one of which includes being located in the most underrated city in the world – Philadelphia. Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia but going to college in Pittsburgh, I never really had the opportunity to explore the city I’ve always called home until coming to Penn Law.
Rachel and friends braving the winter elements in front of City Hall.
Penn itself offers many opportunities to get to know the city. During orientation, one of the big events is a dinner at the National Constitution Center, which is a great way to experience one of the many historical landmarks in Philly. From the National Constitution Center to the Liberty Bell, Philly is an incredible place to live if you’re into history. Old City is a really great area that’s ripe with history, adorable cobblestone streets, Penn’s Landing, and not to mention some of the coolest bars and restaurants around.
Speaking of which, if you’re into the bar/social scene like myself, one of the awesome things Philly is known for is its BYO-scene. BYO restaurants are a great place to go with a big group and a bottle (or four) of wine. Also, if you’re a beer-connoisseur, Philly has some of the oldest beer gardens and cheapest beer around. I’ve gotten to explore many of the cool bars throughout the city by going to Bar Review, social events planned by law students every Thursday night. Philly also has an amazing brunch scene (best meal of the day) that I never forget to take advantage of.
Rachel and other students participating in the Bar Review tradition.
After all the work that goes into studying, it’s really amazing to be in a city where you can forget all about that. One of my biggest concerns about going to law school was the effect I thought it would have on my social life, but that has seriously not been an issue at all. With old friends and new, we always find time to explore this amazing city.
Does the President have the authority to target and kill American citizens overseas? In 2011, with approval by the President, the CIA launched a lethal drone attack on Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. born cleric and leader of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. Since then, serious questions have been raised about executive power and military force, the legal justification for targeted killings, secrecy surrounding drone attacks, and the morality of their use. We’ll explore all this issues with law professors CLAIRE FINKELSTEIN and MICHAEL W. LEWIS. Finkelstein is Director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. Lewis teaches international Law and the Law of War at Ohio Northern University and served in the U.S. Navy from 1987-1995.
When I started my 2L year in August, one of my top priorities for the year was to take advantage of as many of the extracurricular events offered at the law school as possible. The last two days were among the busiest, yet most exciting days of the spring semester.
Thursday evening featured the Equal Justice Foundation auction, one of the premier student-run annual fundraising events for public interest initiatives at the law school. This year’s event did not disappoint. A huge (and lively!) crowd turned out to participate in the live and silent auctions. Attendees enjoyed a variety of fantastic foods, drinks, and live entertainment. It was a great event for a truly important cause.
15 minutes till the 2014 @PennLaw Equal Justice Foundation auction! Tweeting from the event as part of #PennLawLife blog
A late night led to an early Friday morning. The Penn Law Entertainment and Sports Law Society put on their inaugural symposium, which featured discussions of issues surrounding college athletics, student athlete compensation, and the transition from amateur to professional status. The well-crafted selection of panels and speakers provided for hearing a wide range of viewpoints, experiences, and ideas surrounding the future of collegiate and professional athletics. The event also allowed ample opportunity to mingle with a range of participants including practicing attorneys, sports industry professionals, and students from other legal institutions. The student organizers ran an incredible event from start to finish. This year’s event was a sell-out, and I am certain it will only continue to grow in size and impact in future years.
@Rand_Getlin Thought ur remarks were right on point. Had many of the same experiences at Maryland as you did at Oregon. #plsls14
After all of the fun and learning the last two days, it’s that time again to get back to the books. Count me in for both events again next year. See more tweets and pictures from these events and follow me @reardonkevin.
During my time as a 1L at Penn Law, I’ve learned as much outside the classroom as I have inside. I attribute this to my experience as a member of the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC), a program run by Penn students through the Toll Public Interest Center to help low-income Philadelphians with custody, child support, and protection from abuse issues. Starting in my very first weeks as a 1L, I met with clients and was entrusted with clients’ most important and personal problems. I heard about child abuse, domestic violence, parents withholding children, and more. But instead of simply listening, now I was in a position to do something.
Under the supervision of an attorney at Philadelphia Legal Aid and with the help of 2L and 3L students who have participated in CASAC for over a year, I learned how to advise and manage my own clients. Although I had just begun my 1L classes, I was able to explain the family court system to my clients and prepare them for hearings and conferences. I was given a great deal of responsibility and each case presented new legal challenges. As I met with each client, I learned more about family court and family law.
It was the most rewarding feeling when the first motion that I wrote on behalf of a client was granted by the court. Whether a client called me to share her success at a custody hearing, or when clients simply called me to thank me for my help, I felt I was making an impact.
My experience at CASAC taught me how unique Penn’s commitment is — not just to learning, but also to pro bono work and the surrounding Philadelphia community. In such a short time, I have gained professional skills and learned the value of teamwork. CASAC taught me that as an aspiring lawyer, I had the ability to change people’s lives. I am only excited to continue with pro bono work as I carry on into my second and third years and beyond.
Hello all! My name is Tom Wheeler; I am a 2L at Penn Law from San Diego, CA. And most importantly, I love Penn Law and I want to help you love it, too. That’s why I’m involved with the Post-Acceptance & Orientation Committees, and that’s why I’m writing to you all today.
Penn Law is a top-notch institution where you will get an excellent legal education, but I want to focus instead on why Penn Law is a great place to go to school. And to do that, I want to tell you about what I do outside of the classroom – and trust me, this is only touching the surface of what you can do yourself.
Much of becoming a lawyer is about getting more exposure to legal practice and different ideas. This continues outside of the classroom, and I have found Penn Law has given me so many great opportunities to do so. Currently:
I am helping Professor Rulli write a paper on the shortcomings of the current Rules of Professional conduct in allowing lawyers to help poor clients.
I am participating in the Intramural Mock Tournament in which I am working with two fellow 1L students over three weeks on a real-life case that’s already been decided.
I am writing a brief for Keedy Cup – the Penn Law intramural appellate tournament in which we brief a Supreme Court case with the winner proceeding to a full mock trial at the Law School next year.
I am on the board of the Federalist Society, in which I help bring interesting speakers on a wide variety of topics to speak at Penn Law every week – and also provide delicious free lunches.
But much of being a student at Penn Law is also about getting new life experiences and enjoying your time in Philadelphia. Since I came to Penn Law:
I have been and remain an avid member and supporter of the Penn Law Bowling League – in which 26 teams of 4 Penn Law students each go and take over a bowling alley every Wednesday.
I knew that I wanted to go to law school for some time, but I never truly could see myself as a lawyer. It felt so “adult” and completely out of the scope of my abilities. After spending a year and a half at Penn Law, I’m starting to come around to the idea.
My 1L year was challenging but simultaneously extremely interesting. I learned a lot about the law, and a lot about myself. I made fantastic friends who saw me through the entire experience, and I had an overall great year. But I still felt like a student. Then came the summer.
This past summer, I had the unique opportunity, thanks to our career services center, to work with the Alliance for Justice, tackling progressive policy issues through a legal lens. I actually applied the things I’d learned my 1L year, using them to write policy briefs and memos that were used by the organization. It was the first time I felt the reality of what I had been working towards all through my first year—building a career.
As half of 2L year has passed, that feeling has only grown. Penn Law offers such fantastic opportunities to really focus on the practice of law. From clinics to highly specialized classes and offerings, the school makes it very simple to become a lawyer without even knowing it. My favorite class, Constitutional Litigation, allowed me to explore the nuance of civil rights litigation, and I found myself engaging with extremely complicated material in a way that I never thought I would. Needless to say, it’s been another challenging and interesting semester, but with the added advantage of knowing that what I’m learning is actually meaningful, applicable-to-the-real-world stuff.
I don’t know that I could say this if I were at any other law school, but I can safely say that as I approach the latter half of my legal education, I am confident that I will be prepared to be a real, walking, talking lawyer.
On January 1, the Philadelphia Police Department implemented changes to the way homicide suspects are interviewed. Now all interrogations will be videotaped and there are limits to how long a suspect can be held. This new policy was the result of collaborations between The American Civil Liberties Union and the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Chief Commissioner CHARLES RAMSEY has earned praise for his willingness to reform policing policies like this and others including updating the department’s hot pursuit policy and rethinking the way it conducts police line-ups. At the same time challenges remain. Problems persist with the Department’s stop-and-frisk policy and a rise in police-involved shootings is being investigated by the Department of Justice. This morning on Radio Times, we’ve invited Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey to our studio to talk about efforts to reduce crime and improve policing in Philadelphia. ThenDAVID RUDOVSKY, civil rights and defense attorney, joins us to provide his perspective on policing reform in Philadelphia.