Peter G. Glenn
Professor of Experiential Learning
J.D., University of Pennsylvania, cum laude
B.A., Middlebury College, with high honors
Glenn on Teaching
I have engaged in a variety of legal work during my long career. I have been law clerk to a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, an associate and partner with a large international law firm, in-house general counsel for a 200-lawyer regional law firm, Executive Deputy General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, dean of this law school, and a member of the faculty at four other law schools. I have enjoyed all this work. However, I am very glad that in the late Autumn of my professional life I am concentrating on teaching law. I greatly enjoy planning law school courses, I take energy from classroom discussions, and I feel satisfaction from mentoring students. I am very lucky to have had all my legal experiences, but especially the opportunity to work with law students on a day-to-day basis, and in a community such as Dickinson Law in which the great majority of the faculty appreciates and respects the practice of law. This characteristic of our faculty distinguishes our school from many other schools in which many of the law teachers entered academia to escape from law practice, and in my judgment are sometimes ineffective role modules for law students.
My extensive experience in law practice affects my teaching in two ways: First, I tend to focus on the facts of situations rather than the memorization of legal rules. (Rules, in my judgment are mainly useful for what they teach lawyers about the relevance of types of facts to legal outcomes.) Second, I try to incorporate explicit attention in my courses to the decisions made by lawyers, in order to help students understand the difficult choices often facing lawyers and thus to help students visualize and develop their own professional identities.
Glenn on Scholarship
Although I was a law review editor in law school, most of the legal writing I have done has involved documents, including many briefs, prepared for clients rather than for review by academicians. However, as a practicing lawyer and teacher I have appreciated the opportunity to read and critique scholarly writing, and I believe that good law schools such as ours should encourage and nurture scholarship related to the teacher/scholar’s teaching interests. During the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years I will be working on two law review articles related to legal ethics and law practice management. This work is directly related to my occasional teaching of Professional Responsibility and my leadership of a Law Practice Management Seminar.
Glenn on Service
During my 25 years as a law teacher, I have devoted considerable time to committee assignments in service to law schools. I also have worked as a volunteer on state jury instruction projects, state and national bar association committees and projects, and to community organizations such as United Way, the Diabetes Association, and church committees. While in law practice, I have served as a member of the American Bar Association Law School Accreditation Committee, and as a member of several groups focused on continuing legal education. In short, a significant portion of my professional life has been devoted to service activities. The significance of this experience for me as a law teacher is that I can describe the satisfactions that come to a lawyer who engages in service to his or her community and the legal profession and can encourage law students to include service activities as important parts of their professional lives. Fortunately, Dickinson Law provides us with many opportunities for service and many of our students take advantage of these opportunities.
Glenn on Community
The legal profession is several communities, loosely or formally organized around legal specialties and geographic areas of practice. Engagement in one or more of these communities provides great satisfaction for most lawyers. Law Schools also are communities in which people interact with other toward shared objectives. Dickinson Law is a special community in which the bonds between faculty, staff, students, and alumni are tangible and very valuable. I have been associated with this law school in one way or another for 25 years and I have never failed to be impressed by the way in which members of the Dickinson Community support one another, share common interests, and establish and maintain lifelong friendships. Our community is special in ways that I have not observed in the other law schools where I have been a full-time member of the faculty. We are lucky to be a part of the Dickinson community.