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Over 90 students are enrolled for Penn Law's Master in Law program this year.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

The Master in Law program saw a 200% increase in enrollment during Penn Law School’s first ever fully remote summer term.

The summer cohort includes over 90 students from a variety of degree-seeking programs, such as Wharton MBA, Penn Dental, and Penn Veterinary Medicine students, who are pursuing joint degrees. 

The Master in Law is an eight-credit program that aims to provide professionals with an understanding of the legal issues relevant to their field. It is designed to provide students with a “solid understanding of how the [United States] legal system functions, coupled with specific knowledge of the law in their areas of interest,” according to Penn Law News

The “focuses” of students in the program this year include education, journalism, healthcare, entrepreneurship, finance, and technology.

Executive Director of the Master in Law program and 1993 Penn Law graduate Catharine Restrepo told Penn Law News the increase in summer enrollment is the product of situational factors, such as the influence of the pandemic on the academic environment, and participants' growing awareness of the strength of the program. 

Restrepo told Penn Law News the value of Penn Law’s alumni and their individual successes is building the credibility of the program and inspiring other students to pursue their Master in Law degrees. 

Beyond its alumni network, the program launched a “robust digital marketing campaign” and a series of community outreach efforts to prompt further enrollment, Penn Law News reported.

The economic and social crises the pandemic has inflicted upon society also bring light to the impact of the law in modern society, especially for students studying the influence of law in healthcare and related professions, Restrepo told Penn Law News.

Although he completed the program last year, Master in Law 2019 graduate Kiran Musunuru told Penn Law News he re-enrolled this summer to take the program's new remote course "Entrepreneurship and Startup Law," which he would not have been able to do in person because he is not living in Philadelphia. 

Although Musunuru told Penn Law News he misses some aspects of in-person learning, he spoke of the impact that virtual learning can have on a student’s academic career. 

“The experience of getting the [Master in Law] degree was instrumental in helping me start my biotechnology company over the past couple of years,” Musunuru told Penn Law News. “It’s clear that [remote classes] can be just as interactive an experience as in-person classes.” 

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