Philadelphia is the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution. Millions around the globe are inspired by the decisions made here, which laid the bedrock foundation for the American legal system.
In 1790, James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, framer of the Constitution and member of the first U.S. Supreme Court, delivered the University of Pennsylvania's first lectures in law to President George Washington and all the members of his Cabinet.
Following this auspicious beginning, Penn began offering a full-time program in law in 1850, under the leadership of George Sharswood, an innovator in legal education. Since that time, Penn Law has been at the forefront of legal education in our country.
|Director of admissions||Renee Post|
|Application deadline||March 1|
|Approximate number of applications||5069|
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$58,918 per year|
|Room and board||$14,690|
The Law School's grading system consists of A, A- B+, B, B-, C and F grades, with a rare A+ awarded for distinguished performance. The 1L Legal Practice Skills course is graded on an honors/pass/fail basis.
University of Pennsylvania Law School students are not ranked in class. Employers should take care in comparing our system with those of other schools; our students are admitted under very competitive standards, yet our mandatory first year curve requires that some students fall into all grade categories.
At commencement, students with high academic standing may be awarded the JD cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. In addition, a multitude of honors and awards, a listing of which may be found at the Registrar's Office, are available to those having earned special recognition.
Penn Law has a proud tradition of excellent journal scholarship. Its six journals have each been recognized nationally for their high level of scholarship, integrity, and value to the profession. In addition, students who become members on these journals find that it provides an invaluable experience both in substantive law and skills in research, analysis and expression.
Law Review:The Law Review has both a professional and an educational mission. It serves the legal profession, the bench, the bar, and the academy by providing a forum for the publication of original legal research of the highest quality. We accept and scrutinize approximately 2,000 written submissions annually to select approximately twelve articles in each volume.
Journal of Business Law:Founded in 1997, the Journal publishes articles and comments on a broad range of business law topics including corporate governance, securities regulation, capital market regulation, employment law and the law of mergers and acquisitions.
East Asia Law Review:The East Asia Law Review provides a forum for scholars and students to discuss cutting-edge legal developments in East Asia.
Journal of Constitutional Law:The University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law provides a forum for the interdisciplinary study of and rigorous analysis of constitutional law. To that end, The Journal cultivates innovative scholarship, promotes critical perspectives, and reinvents the traditional study of constitutional law.
Journal of International Law:The Journal, formerly the Journal of International Economic Law, has broadened its focus to explore all issues at the forefront of general international law, but retains its strength as a leading journal of international business and economic law. In addition, expanding JIL's focus allowed the members of the former Journal of International Law and Policy, an unofficial journal at Penn Law, to join the staff of the Journal of International Law in 2007. The previous materials of the Journal of International Law and Policy can be found here.
Journal of Law and Social Change:We are a student-run journal and seminar that espouses an interdisciplinary scholarly approach to challenge social injustice. The Journal of Law and Social Change (JLASC) is unique among Penn Law journals both in our mission and our democratic article selection process. All journal members participate in decision-making by collectively reviewing, selecting and editing each piece of scholarship. Unlike other journals, JLASC members read article submissions as part of a weekly, student-run seminar. Through debate and discussion, JLASC decides democratically which articles to publish.
In House Moot Court Competition:The Law School's in-house Moot Court program, The Keedy Preliminaries, is open to all 2Ls. The winners of that competition become the Keedy Cup teams, the next highest placing group become members of the National Moot Court Competition team, and the next group are asked to join the Moot Court Board (see below).
External Moot Court Activities: A number of Moot Court Competitions are held around the country each year. Law schools are invited to field teams to participate. The Legal writing office provides information online about such competitions. When invitations, brochures, or announcements arrive at the Law School, they are placed online. Placement online does not indicate acceptance of these competitions as approved Law School activities. Students may seek academic credit and financial support under the system outlined below.
Our Civil Practice Clinic is where students represent indigent clients in state and federal courts and have an opportunity to develop their litigation skills under faculty supervision.
The Criminal Defense Clinic, in partnership with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, combines hands on trial experience with an educational seminar component tailored to developing litigation skills.
The ELC provides free transactional legal services to entrepreneurs. Through senior law students, we are able to service a limited number of entrepreneurial ventures. We like to think we can do almost anything that emerges from starting or running a business with a few exceptions. Because we have limited capacity, we give preference to ventures that impact society and communities in positive ways.
The Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic ("IPC") immerses students in a transactional interdisciplinary IP law practice.
The Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic (ICAC):Founded in 1983, the ICAC brings together law, social work, medicine and mental health to advocate across disciplines for vulnerable adolescents while teaching students fundamental lawyering skills.
Founded in 1997, the Legislative Clinic is one of only a handful of law school clinical programs in the nation devoted exclusively to legislative lawyering and the formation of public policy. The Clinic combines federal legislative fieldwork in Congress with a classroom seminar involving academic readings, simulations, guest speakers, and legislative drafting exercises.
Founded in 1986, Penn Law's Mediation Clinic was one of the first real case programs of its kind in the nation. With its cutting-edge technology-based instruction and breadth of sophisticated faculty-supervised fieldwork, it has maintained its preeminent place as a national model for mediation courses.
Founded in 2009, the Supreme Court Clinic allows top Ivy League students to assist on real Supreme Court cases, including recruiting, strategizing, researching, writing briefs, participating in moot court rehearsals, and attending oral arguments at the Court itself.
Transnational Legal ClinicStudents engage in the direct representation of clients and organizations in international human rights and immigration proceedings in the Transnational Legal Clinic, Penn Law's international human rights and immigration clinic.
Starting Salaries (2014 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$150,000-$160,000|
|Median in the private sector||$160,000|
|Median in public service||$58,000|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||98.2%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||97.8%|
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||3.6%|
|Public Interest Organizations||3.6%|
The goal of Penn Law's Externship Program is to supplement traditional classroom study and experiential study obtained through clinical courses by providing external opportunities for students to observe and participate meaningfully in lawyering at government agencies and non-profit, public interest settings.Externships are intended to offer students in-depth study in substantive areas, supplement experiential study provided in clinical courses, and explore experiential study of subjects or activities not currently offered experientially in the curriculum. Through such study, the program hopes to enhance the development of a broad range of lawyering skills, advance personal career goals, enable critical reflection of the legal profession and legal institutions, encourage self-directed learning through reflection, and promote core competencies and professional values that produce skilled and ethical lawyers and professionals in our society.
Students have participated in these externships over recent years: