At Home in the CourtroomBy the time he took his first class in law school, Joe McPeak, Class of 2012, had already logged thousands of hours in federal courtrooms.
McPeak took a job after college making computerized recordings of trial proceedings at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which demystified the litigation process.
"Seeing it go on made lawyers seem less intimidating," McPeak said.
Once a law student, McPeak found one of the swiftest pathways back to the courtroom by registering for the Criminal Litigation Field Clinic, which the law school operates in partnership with the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
Among the AngelsLaw students sit around a massive table in a spacious conference room, listening closely and scribbling notes as prospective investors pepper entrepreneurs with questions about their ventures.
Think "Shark Tank," minus the make-up and TV cameras, plus dozens more potential investors, and you've got a picture of the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic meetings that several business-minded law students attend every month.
The forum's Mid-Atlantic chapter is part of a global network of venture capitalists and "angel investors," who give entrepreneurs the funds to establish or expand their businesses.
"We are the 800-pound gorilla in the angel investment community," said Howard Lubert, area president of the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic.
The students learn a lot by hearing the questions of investors on the cusp of committing their hard-earned money to untested ventures.
When a Passion Becomes a CallingThe universe can seem like a random place, but not so much for Lisa Krestynick, whose career path features footsteps that flow seamlessly from one to the next.
After graduating from college, Krestynick worked briefly in human resource administration, an experience that piqued a curiosity about legal obligations that exist between employers and employees.
That interest led Krestynick directly to law school, where she landed a co-op placement that would give her experience handling employment law. Among the projects Krestynick handled through her placement with the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was an employment discrimination case.
Krestynick played a key role on the team tasked with defending the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development against an employee's claims, gaining tremendous experience by writing motions filed with the court and preparing a witness for trial.
Pursuing Justice Near and FarAs a third generation lawyer, Professor Pam Saunders just might have a trace of ink from The Bluebook coursing through her veins.
Law is a family tradition for Saunders, whose trail-blazing grandmother attended law school in the 1930s and then went on to represent Japanese-Americans after World War II. Saunders' father also devoted himself to a legal career in public interest, serving as a public defender in the Bronx.
"My father was deeply committed to the principles of a system in which every person has a right to counsel and to a fair trial, even as he was well aware that the existing legal system was fraught with flaws," said Saunders, who joined the law school faculty on a permanent basis in the fall after teaching here as a visiting professor for two years. As she grew up, Saunders' outlook reflected her family's commitment to using the law to advance social justice.
Lecture Honors Memory of Intellectual Property Law Professor J. Hunter TartStudents, faculty and alums gathered on April 6 for a lecture organized to honor Professor J. Hunter Tart, whose tenure on the faculty was cut tragically short by a brief illness in early 2012.
Judge John Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for whom Tart had clerked in 2006-07, gave the April 8 lecture, "The Changing Role of a District Court Judge."
Despite a steep drop in the number of civil and criminal trials in district courts, federal judges face a host of new challenges, Koeltl said.