|Penn Law School’s Asylum/Human Rights Clinic
September 8, 2009,
Volume 56, No. 02
University of Pennsylvania Law School students will get more opportunities to advocate for human rights and asylum protection with the creation of a new clinical program. The Sheehan Asylum/Human Rights Project is the result of a $1 million gift from the New York City firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in honor of 1969 Penn Law alumnus Robert Sheehan.
The Sheehan Project will be part of Penn Law’s Transnational Legal Clinic, in which students work with clients across cultures, languages, borders and legal systems on human-rights litigation and advocacy.
“We are honored to receive this gift, which will benefit our students and the clients they represent tremendously,” Dean Michael Fitts said. “Bob Sheehan is not only one of the world’s most respected law firm leaders, he is a longtime and influential advocate for human rights.”
Mr. Sheehan, founded Skadden’s Financial Institutions Mergers & Acquisitions Group and was executive partner from 1994 to April 2009. He oversaw the firm’s global expansion and spearheaded community-service initiatives, including pro bono work.
“People from many parts of the world suffer in unimaginable ways simply because of their political and religious affiliations,” Mr. Sheehan said. “Guiding them through the US legal system so they can escape persecution is one of the most valuable services we as lawyers can provide.”