PHILADELPHIA –- Louis Rulli has been named director of the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Rulli will succeed Douglas Frenkel, who is stepping down as director on June 30. Frenkel will remain on the faculty at Penn Law, focusing on teaching, writing and dispute-resolution work.
Rulli, a practice professor of law who joined Penn Law in 1995, currently teaches clinical courses in litigation and legislation. He is a former executive director of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia and was a public interest lawyer for more than 20 years.
“Lou’s entire career has been spent in service to the public and in preparing law students for the practice of law,” Michael Fitts, Penn Law School dean, said. “His background, expertise and interests make him the ideal person to assume leadership of our clinic.”
"I am honored by the exciting opportunity to lead the Penn Law clinical programs,” Rulli said. “The clinic is the place where legal education and community needs intersect. This is an essential function for Penn Law and our students and a vital service for Philadelphia and its residents.”
Frenkel has led Penn’s nationally renowned clinical program since 1980.
Under his leadership, Penn Law has built a program that offers clinical courses in litigation, criminal defense, business/transactional representation, mediation, legislation, child advocacy and transnational lawyering, including partnerships with Penn’s Wharton School and the schools of Medicine and of Social Policy and Practice.
“During Doug’s tenure, the clinic program’s faculty, facilities, funding and enrollments have grown dramatically,” Fitts said. “Generations of students have benefited from Doug’s commitment to preparing the best possible lawyers.”
“I’ve been privileged to be able to do this work for the past 28 years and blessed with great colleagues in that effort,” Frenkel said. “The kind of lawyers and professional leaders that many of our program’s alums have become is a source of great pride.”