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      Commonwealth Law News

      Professors Integrate Commonwealth Court Oral Arguments into Classroom

      A Rare Opportunity

      Students participate in a Q&A with Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania judges.

      Sarah Rothermel was glued to her seat when the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania heard arguments at Widener Law Commonwealth.

      "As with anything, there is a distinction between theory and practice. Reading about how the court functions in theory and actually participating in the courtroom setting, even in a limited capacity as observers, are two separate entities," she said. "It is easy to think you understand something in theory, but easier still and longer lasting to learn by doing."

      Three judges from the Commonwealth Court, Hon. Mary Hanna Leavitt, Hon. P. Kevin Brobson '95 (Harrisburg Campus), and Hon. Anne E. Covey '85 (Delaware Campus), sat at Widener Law Commonwealth this September to hear a dozen cases.

      Commonwealth Law, Peter Ruth

      From Student to Lawyer

      Peter Ruth, a Commonwealth Law alumnus, argues before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in the very room he was once a law student.

      Several professors encouraged their students to observe the Commonwealth Court oral arguments. Afterward, Widener Law Commonwealth students had the opportunity to talk with the judges during a question-and-answer session. During these sessions, they covered a range of topics, including career paths, civil procedure and professionalism.

      "The student experience is so important to all of us at Widener Law Commonwealth," said Jill Family, Commonwealth professor of law and government. "I'm so pleased we were able to bring the court to our students and integrate the cases into our courses."


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