Meet new JSPAN Board Member Jonathan Lipson

Author: 
Edward Hoffman

This interview first appeared in our December Newsletter. A full copy of the newsletter can be accessed in the Newsletter tab above.

- Jonathan, what do you do for a living?

I’m the Harold E. Kohn Professor of Law at Temple Law School.

- What do you teach?

I teach a variety of business law courses, almost all of which the students fear and loathe.  They include contracts, commercial law, bankruptcy, and an advanced workshop on corporate transactions.

- Were you in practice prior to coming to teach at law school?

I was a lawyer in New York for four years and in Boston for four years.

- What is your Jewish background?

My parents were Reform Jews.  Technically, I was raised Reform, was a bar mitzvah, but I don’t know that my parents were especially observant.  So we were culturally Jewish, and would celebrate the major Jewish Holidays, but that was about it.

- Did you grow up in this area, or elsewhere?

We moved around a lot.  I had no prior connection to Philadelphia.  I moved here from my job, but I mostly grew up in the D.C. suburbs and in Chicago.

- Are there particular progressive causes that interest you?

I’m especially concerned with the educational system, I guess for a variety of reasons, but it’s a very, very dysfunctional system and I think the dysfunctions will have huge consequences – they already do – until we try to fix the system.  I’m also very concerned with economic justice issues – pay for performance, at both the high end and the lower end of the spectrum.

- When you are not thinking about JSPAN, what are your other interests?

Well, I have a really fantastic family, my wife and two daughters.  Ellie’s the older one; she just had her bat mitzvah at Rodeph Shalom.  Maggie’s 8, and had fun helping her sister.  I spend as much time as I can with them. 

I play the drums moderately well, and the guitar badly.  I like to cook, I worked at a lot of restaurants, and I’m a two-time undefeated Iron Chef at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  So I guess I’m a competent cook.

- Thank you!

BOARD MEETING: JONATHAN LIPSON

BY EDWARD HOFFMAN

 

- What do you do for a living?

 

I’m the Harold E. Kohn Professor of Law at Temple Law School.

 

- What do you teach?

 

I teach a variety of business law courses, almost all of which the students fear and loathe.  They include contracts, commercial law, bankruptcy, and an advanced workshop on corporate transactions.

 

- Were you in practice prior to coming to teach at law school?

 

I was a lawyer in New York for four years and in Boston for four years.

 

- What is your Jewish background?

 

My parents were Reform Jews.  Technically, I was raised Reform, was a bar mitzvah, but I don’t know that my parents were especially observant.  So we were culturally Jewish, and would celebrate the major Jewish Holidays, but that was about it.

 

- Did you grow up in this area, or elsewhere?

 

We moved around a lot.  I had no prior connection to Philadelphia.  I moved here from my job, but I mostly grew up in the D.C. suburbs and in Chicago.

 

- Are there particular progressive causes that interest you?

 

I’m especially concerned with the educational system, I guess for a variety of reasons, but it’s a very, very dysfunctional system and I think the dysfunctions will have huge consequences – they already do – until we try to fix the system.  I’m also very concerned with economic justice issues – pay for performance, at both the high end and the lower end of the spectrum.

 

-         When you are not thinking about JSPAN, what are your other interests?

 

Well, I have a really fantastic family, my wife and two daughters.  Ellie’s the older one; she just had her bat mitzvah at Rodeph Shalom.  Maggie’s 8, and had fun helping her sister.  I spend as much time as I can with them. 

 

I play the drums moderately well, and the guitar badly.  I like to cook, I worked at a lot of restaurants, and I’m a two-time undefeated Iron Chef at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  So I guess I’m a competent cook.

 

- Thank you!