Market Ready Professional
BOLD AMBITIONS advanced professionalism as a key goal of every education. We have greatly expanded the first-year and upper-level curricula and added faculty and staff to support professional skills as a shared priority. Penn Law teaches students a broad array of transferable skills.
- Nearly 300 graduates and alumni clerked nationwide over the last four years, including two clerkships for Chief Justice John Roberts.
The first-year curriculum, expanded through the Campaign, covers legal writing comprehensively and introduces a range of real-world legal communications. Students become adept writers, analysts, and communicators by working through practice simulations. A broader upper-level curriculum offers additional opportunities to practice these skills, including work on law journals by the vast majority of students. Helen Eisner L’12, former senior editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law, recently extended Penn Law’s streak of 11 consecutive Burton Distinguished Legal Writing Awards. “New space and staff have a major impact on first-year legal skills training,” says Eleanor Barrett L’07, Associate Dean for Legal Writing and Communications. “Professional instructors with recent practice experience can give students detailed, individualized attention with a focus on readiness for practice.”
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES START HERE.
In 2012, Penn Law saw nearly 57 percent of the graduating class landing sought-after positions as first-year associates in AmLaw 250 firms. Of 1,065 graduates between 2008 and 2011, 98.9 percent were successfully placed in jobs. “We saw the market shift and stayed ahead of the curve,” says Heather Frattone L’98, Associate Dean for Office of Career Strategy. “Employers need first-year lawyers who are practice-ready. We must train graduates to solve increasingly complex problems in increasingly sophisticated settings.” This success reflects Penn Law’s deep commitment to professionalism. The Campaign invested in more staffing and resources to help students develop professional identities; new skills-focused classes and clinics; and a more robust, integrated role for the Center on Professionalism. “Integration is key,” says Frattone. “We provide the best core analytical and doctrinal education, as well as unparalleled opportunities for our students to hone their legal practice skills on campus and in the world. We must continue aligning other skills— teamwork, communication, management— so every Penn Law graduate is ready to engage in in a meaningful, fulfilling career.”