Law Schools

Penn Law Raises Record $180M, Leading to Footprint and Financial Aid Expansion

Penn Law announced Monday that its capital campaign has raised a record $180 million, ensuring the school can continue to expand its physical footprint and retool academically to meet the demands of a “rapidly evolving legal landscape.”

“The campaign has ushered in an era of momentous change at Penn Law driven by the need to innovate in an increasingly complex legal environment and to best train the next generation of lawyers,” Dean Michael A. Fitts said in a press release announcing that the fundraising effort had surpassed its $175 million goal.

In an interview published Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fitts juxtaposed the ideal of the fictional small-town lawyer Atticus Finch with the competitive nature of law practice today.

Speaking of Finch, Fitts says the character was his role model. “He could stand up in court and cross-examine witnesses and get to the heart of a problem. But you think about a lawyer today, and that lawyer is not necessarily in a small town. They are dealing with people across the globe, across cultural issues,” Fitts is quoted saying. “They are dealing with clients who are experts in some other field. Many of these fields did not exist 50 years ago.”

As a result of the capital campaign, Penn Law has already increased financial aid by more than 100 percent, expanded faculty by 40 percent, added space and increased the number of joint degree offerings to 35, according to the news release and the Inquirer.

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