Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law Celebrates Milestone 10th Anniversary

School of Law

The Thomas R. Kline School of Law welcomed its 10th class in August, marking a milestone anniversary that will be observed throughout the 2016-17 academic year at Drexel University.

Since opening in 2006, the Kline School of Law has been a pioneering force in the legal academy, combining theory and practice in new and innovative ways to ensure that students gain intensive experience in professional practice prior to graduating.

There will be a number of events held over the course of the academic year in celebration of the school’s 10th anniversary, the first two will be:  

  • Oct. 13, 2016: Philadelphia City Solicitor Sozi Tulante will give the Oxholm Colloquium lecture, which will focus on the practice of law in the public interest.
  • Oct. 14, 2016: Drexel Law Review will host a symposium, “20 Years After the 1996 Immigration Laws: Revisiting an Experiment in Comprehensive Severity,” featuring leading immigration scholars.

As of June 2016, Kline students collectively accrued  510, 362 hours of experience in  placements with co-op partners that include global law firms, federal and state courts, Fortune 500 companies, federal and state agencies and public interest law organizations as well as our  clinical program, which has permitted students to argue cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals, testify at government hearings and provide legal guidance that helped entrepreneurs start successful businesses.

In the Kline School of Law’s first decade, students completed more than 125,000 hours of pro bono service, providing legal assistance to those who often struggle to find able advocates.

The Kline School of Law was the first to convene the Transactional LawMeet and the Intellectual Property LawMeet, unprecedented competitions that allow students to prove their mastery of deal-making skills, just as mock trial and moot court competitions demonstrate their abilities in the courtroom. LawMeets are now held across the country, with both regional and national rounds convened each year.

“The transformative $50 million gift from Thomas R. Kline, who is noted among the nation’s most respected trial lawyers, serves as an affirmation of the school’s success as well as an inspiration for future growth,” said Founding Dean Roger Dennis. “The development of the Thomas R. Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy, that will be located in the restored 1916 Horace Trumbauer-designed building, located just footsteps away from Philadelphia’s legal community, is a testament to our commitment to growth and excellence.”

Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy—that will be located in the historic Beneficial Bank Building—will significantly enhance the law school’s activities. It will advance courtroom simulation for the JD program and co-curricular programming and will create a new platform for faculty interaction with students who undertake advocacy-based co-ops and clinical work. Additionally, it will support the development of post-graduate LLM and continuing legal education trial and appellate advocacy programs.

Kline faculty members are the authors of numerous books published by leading scholarly publishers, with articles appearing in the nation’s most prestigious legal journals.  They hold leadership posts with the American Bar Association Business Law Section, the American Law Institute Council, the American Psychological Association and the Association of American Law Schools.  Their insights on legal matters frequently appear in major national and international news outlets.

“Drexel’s stature as a leader in experiential learning, combined with its commitment to advancing legal education, has helped us achieve very ambitious goals in just a decade,” said Dennis. “We’ve attracted stellar faculty who include nationally and internationally recognized scholars, as well as exceptionally accomplished practitioners.”

The Kline School of Law has attracted students who are especially focused and entrepreneurial, taking on leadership roles within the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, winning myriad mock trial, moot court and other competitions, and providing pro bono service that far exceeds the school’s graduation requirements.

Since its launch in 2006 with a traditional 3-year JD, the Kline School of Law has expanded its programmatic offerings to serve a growing variety of domestic and international students who seek diverse careers in the law, providing them with options for the timeframe to complete their studies:

  • Accelerated 2-year JD
  • Summer Start 3-year JD
  • Global JD for internationally trained law graduates
  • LLM in American Legal Practice for internationally trained law graduates
  • Master of Legal Studies
  • Master of Science in Biomedicine and Law

Kline alumni have been hired by global law firms, federal judges, major corporate offices and leading public interest organizations.  They have been elected to leadership posts in organizations including the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Barristers Association.