To learn more about Penn Law, please contact the
Penn Law Student Organizations
The University of Pennsylvania Student Organizations
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
3501 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204 215.898.7400 firstname.lastname@example.org www.law.upenn.edu/admissions/jd
University of Pennsylvania Non-Discrimination Policy and Safety Statement The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD). The University’s annual security and fire safety report is available at www.publicsafety.upenn.edu. The University of Pennsylvania must reserve the right to make changes affecting policies, fees, curricula, or any other matters announcement in this publication or on its website.
JONELLE SAUNDERS 2014 Hometown: Middletown, NY Carnegie Mellon University, BS, 10; MS, 11
Diversity at Penn Law encompasses more than just racial and ethnic identity; it includes diversity of thought and ideas. My favorite experiences at Penn Law have been both multicultural and
multidisciplinary. As an executive board member of the Black Law Students Association, I was the co-chair of the 25th Sadie T.M. Alexander Conference and had the privilege of bringing
together the Penn Law community to celebrate the life and legacy of one of the most important figures in African-American history. As a joint JD/MBE (Bioethics) student, I was given the
opportunity to be a teaching assistant for an innovative multidisciplinary course focused on preprofessional ethics in law, business, medicine, and politics. This experience allowed me to work
with undergraduate students with diverse points of view. Penn Law truly provides an enriching
student experience by integrating diversity into every aspect of legal education and embracing the varied perspectives that are necessary in our global society.
DAVID CONE 2015 Hometown: Atlanta, GA Georgia State University, BBA, 04
Prior to coming to Penn Law, I spent much of my life living and working in environments where being gay was something you kept to yourself in order to fit in. I can’t say that I ever worried that Penn Law would be another place where I would have to whitewash my personality to blend in. A part of me, however, questioned whether things like having an openly gay Dean of Students
and an LGBTQ affinity group would really make Penn Law the kind of place where it would be
easy to fit in and be accepted, not only by other gay people, but by everyone. I chose Penn because I thought that if even a part of what I had read about the school’s environment were real, I would
have an amazing time in law school. I made the right decision. I became involved in Lambda Law, Penn’s LGBTQ affinity group, and I also found that Philly was a great place to meet other gay law students and lawyers. More importantly, I discovered that everyone at Penn Law saw me as just
another law student. I’m gay, I’m a little older than many of my classmates, I’m from the South, and I fit right in at Penn.
ANNA HAN 2015 Hometown: Allentown, PA Pennsylvania State University, BS, 10
Before law school, I had never felt compelled to join affinity groups. As an engineering major,
I already had many professional role models, including my mother and other Asian-American
women I had known since childhood. The legal profession was a different story. I can’t remember ever meeting a female – or Asian-American – attorney before I applied to law school. I joined
the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and the Penn Law Women’s Association
(PLWA) right away because I knew that in the unfamiliar landscape of law school, I would need all the support I could get. Neither organization has disappointed, hosting trailblazing speakers
and also producing a healthy supply of 2Ls and 3Ls always willing to advise. My experience with affinity groups here further demonstrates that the collegiality of Penn Law is no myth.
JOSEPH MENSAH 2015 Hometown: San Jose, CA Brown University, BA, 10
I am proud to attend a law school that truly values diversity. In March 2012, I had the privilege
of visiting Penn shortly after my acceptance. Within minutes of my arrival, a number of friendly Black Law Students Association members greeted me at the entrance. They showed me around campus while graciously answering my questions about Penn Law. Their overall excitement for Penn was palpable. I became confident that this environment would be the right fit for me.
More than a year has passed since that visit, and my love for Penn has only grown stronger. In
addition to receiving an excellent education, I have also forged lasting relationships with a variety of my classmates. Penn facilitates this culture of collegiality and inclusiveness by admitting individuals who cherish diversity.
The reality of attending this school vastly exceeded my expectations. I am very happy with my decision to join the Penn Law family.
There is no pre-law educational requirement or even a specific recommended course of study for admission to Penn Law. Strength of character, breadth of knowledge, and intellectual maturity constitute the base upon which our legal education builds. As such, Penn Law seeks to enroll individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic success, who are intellectually curious, and who possess superior writing, oral communication, and analytical skills. Importantly, we also seek individuals who will positively contribute to the Penn Law community, and ultimately, to the legal profession, based on their diverse backgrounds, their personal and professional experiences, and any challenges or obstacles that they may have overcome. The Admissions Committee considers numerous factors in the admissions process, including the student’s academic record, course selection and grade trends, the LSAT score, letters of recommendation, leadership, community service, extracurricular activities, professional and life experiences, and the applicant’s examples of written expression (LSAT writing sample, personal statement, and optional essays). Importantly, the Admissions Committee bases its decision on all material submitted on behalf of each candidate. Though an applicant’s academic record and LSAT score are significant factors in the review process, they are not the sole factors. We do not have numerical “cut-offs” in the application process, nor do we employ the use of an admissions index.
HAIDER SULTAN 2014 Hometown: South Windsor, CT University of Connecticut, BBA, 11
As a Muslim law student, I could not be happier attending Penn Law. I applied to law school at
a time when fellow Muslim applicants were fearful of identifying their faith. I feared entering an environment in which I might be the only Muslim individual. But those fears proved groundless at Penn Law. Over the past two years, Penn Law has accommodated, promoted, and valued not only my faith, but students from all backgrounds. I am fortunate to attend a law school
that has one of the largest Muslim student populations in the country, that built a prayer room for all faiths, and that genuinely supports all affinity groups—both morally and financially. As
President of the Muslim Law Students Association, I attribute the success of our group to Penn Law’s whole-hearted desire to see us thrive. Penn Law is the only law school to host an annual,
national Muslim Law Students Association conference. I could not be happier being a part of this community.
VINDH YA ADAPA 2014 Hometown: Clarksville, MD University of Maryland, BS, 11
At Penn Law, I truly received the opportunity to connect with my South Asian identity in an
amazing academic and professional setting. As the President of the South Asian Law Students Association, I had the privilege of helping lead activities that allowed South Asian students to
bond and interact. We sponsored prominent speaker events where leading South Asian lawyers helped us understand firsthand how our cultural identities can interact with our professional
ambitions. Diversity at Penn Law takes many shapes, sizes, and roles. I am a trained Western
Classical singer and have been singing and performing ever since I was a child. To be a part of
the Law School’s theatre group has been an incredible blessing, and an experience that has greatly enriched my legal education in such an unconventional way. Whether you want to be part of an affinity group, love to sing and act, or have another passion, Penn Law has it all. All you have to do is find your niche and carve a space for yourself, and if there isn’t already a niche out there, Penn gives you the freedom to make your own.
JEREMY PETTIT 2014 Hometown: Savannah, MO Brigham Young University, BA, 02
Penn encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints. Fall Semester of my 2L year I took
Professor Sarah Gordon’s upper-level Church and State class. Much of our modern free exercise jurisprudence has been developed in the wake of nineteenth-century cases involving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), who were represented at the Supreme
Court by Penn’s own George Washington Biddle. As a Mormon student in the early twenty-first
century, I was encouraged to share my perspective. I enjoyed the frank exchange of viewpoints and opinions that Professor Gordon encouraged as she lectured and invited student commentary as a prominent Mormon ran for President of the United States. Having the opportunity to meet and
work with Professor Gordon as I worked on my comment has been one of the many highlights of being a Penn Law student.
PREETI KRISHNAN 2015 Hometown: McLean, VA Georgetown University, BA, 11
One of the things that makes Penn Law such a great place to attend law school is the strength
and uniqueness of our amazing community. After my first year, I have realized that every single
one of my peers has something different to offer—and that’s what makes us all get along so well.
We are such a multidimensional group of individuals, diverse in our experiences and our interests. The genuine desire that each of us has to learn and grow from one another makes Penn Law distinct from all other law schools.
ALEJANDRO ESPITIA 2015 Hometown: Bogota, Colombia North Carolina Central University, BS, 12
There’s nothing like being an international JD student. So few of us enroll in American law schools that it is natural to be concerned about whether you will fit in. But at Penn I felt
welcome from day one! I quickly realized the great importance that the Law School places on diversity. My background and ideas turned out to be one of the stones forming the incredible
mosaic of individuals from all walks of life who make Penn one of the most inclusive law schools in the land.