VLS Community Mourns the Passing of Professor Penelope Pether

Penny Pether

The Villanova University School of Law community mourns the passing of Penelope Jane Pether, Professor of Law. Professor Pether was a respected educator, dedicated mentor and beloved friend and colleague. Her passion for teaching was immeasurable, and her death is a tremendous loss for the our community.

In 2005, Professor Pether joined the VLS faculty from American University Washington College of Law where she was Professor of Law and Director of Legal Rhetoric. During her tenure at Villanova, she taught a wide variety of constitutional law, law and literature, criminal law and criminal procedure courses. Professor Pether distinguished herself by the positive impact she has had on so many students over the years at VLS and the contributions she has made to the field through her scholarship. She will also be remembered for her work with the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which brings law students and incarcerated men and women together to explore and learn about issues of crime and justice from behind prison walls. Though she will be sorely missed, her legacy lives on through the students whom she instructed and inspired.

Professor Pether earned her undergraduate degree and LLB from the University of Sydney in Australia, where she won the Total Australia Prize and Walter Reid Memorial Grants in successive years. She later earned her Masters in Letters from the University of New England and her PhD in English Literature, also from the University of Sydney. Following law school, she served as an Investigation Officer and Executive Assistant (Police) in the Office of the Ombudsman, New South Wales, and was a solicitor in the Sydney office of the national law firm of Freehill, Hollingdale & Page. Professor Pether taught as a Lecture-in-Law at the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong, and was an Assistant Professor and Director of Lawyering Skills at Southern Illinois University School of Law.  She also was a visiting faculty member in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California-Irvine, and a visiting faculty member at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University prior to joining the faculty of Villanova Law.

Click here to read Professor Pether's obituary in The Philadelphia Inquirer.