The University of Pennsylvania Law School, one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished law schools, offers a distinctive cross-disciplinary legal education – drawing on the depth and breadth of the University of Pennsylvania – and a supportive intellectual community for our scholars, staff, and students alike.
Penn Law seeks to appoint a full-time (in a renewable term position) Associate Dean to its faculty to lead and teach in our highly acclaimed Legal Practice Skills (LPS) Program. The LPS Program builds on Penn Law’s foundational curriculum in ways that prepare students for the realities of modern legal practice. It seeks to encourage students to recognize practice readiness and skill development as central to their Penn Law experience and offer opportunities for them to build those skills over the course of their three years here.
The Associate Dean for LPS is the curricular chair of the Program and, along with LPS faculty colleagues, designs and implements hands-on, practical, in-depth teaching and practice of the written and oral communication and presentation skills required of lawyers in today’s increasingly technological and inter-disciplinary practice. The Associate Dean ensures a best-in-its-class curriculum that is connected to the world of legal practice and continually innovates in ways that improve student learning and reflect the changing nature of practice. The centerpiece of that curriculum is the first-year Legal Practice Skills course, a mandatory, year-long, six-credit course, with four credit hours offered in the fall and two in the spring. The Associate Dean teaches one section of the first-year LPS class to a group of approximately forty students.
The Associate Dean also designs and implements, with appropriate colleagues, both upper-level writing and experiential courses that build on the required first-year program while recognizing the varied types of practice skills used by lawyers in diverse settings and an introductory writing course for Penn Law’s international LLM students. The Associate Dean oversees Penn Law’s intramural moot court competition.
As the director of the Legal Practice Skills program, the Associate Dean identifies and implements educational opportunities to enhance practice-ready skills broadly across the Penn Law experience. The Associate Dean works closely with colleagues to coordinate and integrate learning opportunities in analytical and doctrinal courses, clinical and practice courses, externships, pro bono learning, and the Penn Law Center on Professionalism programming. The Associate Dean is a member of the Experiential Learning Committee and collaborates in efforts to broaden and deepen Penn Law students’ practice skill development.
Outstanding teaching is a hallmark of the LPS Program. The Associate Dean manages the identification, hiring, and professional development of five Legal Practice Skills faculty colleagues. A successful Associate Dean will value and promote a culture of collaboration among LPS faculty and high expectations for the program more generally.
The Associate Dean conceives and manages a budget for the Legal Practice Skills program.
The Associate Dean represents Penn Law to colleagues in the educational community both internally and externally. The Associate Dean presents reports on the LPS Program upon request by the Dean, including to the Law School’s Board and to faculty.
The successful candidate must possess substantial practical experience in and a deeply-rooted passion for excellence in legal practice generally and written advocacy, drafting, and communication skills in particular. He or she must present an inspiring vision for the future direction of a premier legal writing and communication skills program with a goal of educating Penn Law students to be skilled, experienced, reflective, cross-disciplinary practitioners.
Penn Law seeks candidates with strong practice experience, distinguished academic and professional achievement, dynamic teaching and supervisory skills, a track record of excellent team skills, and a collaborative approach. Penn Law recognizes that such candidates may come from a wide range of background and bring diverse experiences to the job. Candidates must have a minimum of five years of relevant practice experience; prior teaching and/or substantial experience mentoring new attorneys is desirable but not required. Candidates must hold a J.D. degree and be a member of a state bar.
About University of Pennsylvania Law School
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.
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