Pennsylvania State University - Dickinson Law
|Parent school||Pennsylvania State University|
|Established||1834(as the Dickinson School of Law)|
|School type||Public law school|
|Dean||Gary S. Gildin|
|Official name||Dickinson Law|
|Designated||October 20, 1949|
According to Penn State Dickinson Law's 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 59.6% of the Class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.
The Law School offers J.D. and LL.M. degrees in law and hosts visiting scholars. The law school was opened by Judge John Reed in 1834 as the law department of Dickinson College, named for Founding Father John Dickinson. It received an independent charter in 1890 and ended all affiliation with the college in 1917.
In 2000, Penn State and The Dickinson School of Law completed a merger that began in 1997. From 2006 until 2014, Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law operated as a single law school with two campuses – one in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and one in University Park, Pennsylvania. In the summer of 2014, Penn State received approval from the ABA to operate the two campuses as two distinct law schools (now known as Penn State Law and Dickinson Law), both of which share the history and achievement of The Dickinson School of Law.
Lewis Katz Hall
Lewis Katz Hall is named in honor of philanthropist and businessman Lewis Katz for his $15 million gift to the Law School as the principal donor to the construction and renovation project that began in January 2008. Completed in January 2010, the transition marked the end of a two-year, $52 million construction project which included the addition of the elegant, new Lewis Katz Hall which leverages advanced high-definition, digital audiovisual telecommunications systems to connect Dickinson Law to not only Penn State's University Park campus but to locations around the world.
The project included an extensive renovation of historic Trickett Hall, the Law School's home since 1918, which houses the Law School's library, named in honor of H. Laddie Montague, Jr., a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and trial attorney who has committed $4 million to the school. As a design companion to Penn State Law's Lewis Katz Building, Dickinson Law's Lewis Katz Hall was renovated and rebuilt to comply with LEED Silver standards, the facilities feature state-of-the-art classrooms, a new courtroom/auditorium, an exterior courtyard, and an environmentally friendly vegetated green roof.
In 2014, Penn State Dickinson Law announced a revitalized curriculum in which students are required to participate in hands-on training, beginning in the first year of the program with client-intake interviews and culminating in 12 credits of experiential learning upon graduation. This is in addition to required courses that include two semesters of research and writing.
During their first year, 1Ls must complete courses in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Legal Argument and Factual Persuasion, and Torts. 1L's also take Practicing Law in a Global World: Context and Competencies I, Problem Solving I: The Lawyer and Client, and Problem Solving II: The Lawyer as Writer. Only two courses are required after completion of the first year: Problem Solving III: The Lawyer as Persuader and Practicing Law in a Global World: Context and Competencies II. Students' remaining credits are to be filled with electives and required upper-level experiential learning requirements, for example: a certified legal internship within one of the Law School’s four in-house legal clinics; an internship with a government, nonprofit or private office; or full immersion in the Semester-in-Practice program in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. or an international venue.
Dickinson Law Programs
- Semester-in-Harrisburg Program
- Semester-in-Washington, D.C. Program
- International Justice Program at the Hague, Netherlands
- Miller Center for Public Interest Advocacy
- Community Law Clinic
- Children's Advocacy Clinic
- Legislation and Government Clinic
- Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic with Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Dickinson Law features three scholarly journals, including the Dickinson Law Review. The Law Review was founded in 1897, and is one of the oldest continually published law school journals in the country.
- Dickinson Law Review
- Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs
- The Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation
Penn State Dickinson Law has the following student organizations:
- Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
- Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Criminal Law Society (CLS)
- Federalist Society
- International Law Society
- Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA)
- Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA)
- Military Law Caucus (MLC)
- Moot Court Board
- Phi Alpha Delta — Burr Chapter (PAD)
- Public Interest Law Fund (PILF)
- Speakers Trust Fund
- Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
- Student Bar Association (SBA)
- Women’s Law Caucus (WLC)
The school participates in a number of moot court competitions including the prestigious Willem C. Vis Moot Commercial Arbitration Moot Court, held each year in Vienna, Austria and the National Environmental Law Moot Court held at Pace University in White Plains, New York.
Students at Penn State Dickinson Law are active in intramural sports leagues, including flag football, basketball, and volleyball. Dickinson Law also sponsors a softball team that competes in a national tournament each spring along with nearly 1,500 law students from across the country. Also, students have coached soccer, lacrosse, track, swimming, and field hockey teams at the nearby Dickinson College and other local youth leagues.
According to Penn State Dickinson Law's official 2015 ABA-required disclosures, 59.6% of the class of 2015 obtained full-time, long-term, J.D.-required employment nine months after graduation.
The total cost of attendance (including tuition and related expenses) at Penn State Dickinson Law for the 2016-2017 academic year is $67,656.
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- Christopher Conner, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Pedro Cortés, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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- J. Steward Davis, Baltimore trial lawyer and first Afro-American valedictorian at Dickinson
- J. Michael Eakin, Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
- John Sydney Fine, former Pennsylvania Governor (1951–1955)
- Mike Fitzpatrick, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Jim Gerlach, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Kim Gibson, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- Milton W. Glenn (1903–1967), represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district from 1957–1965
- Rick Gray, current mayor of Lancaster, PA
- T. Millet Hand (1902–1956), represented New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1945–1957
- Daniel Brodhead Heiner (1854–1944), U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania
- Arthur Horace James, former Pennsylvania Governor (1939–1943)
- Charles Alvin Jones, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
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- Paul E. Kanjorski, former United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Lewis Katz, former owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team
- Jack Keeney, career U.S. Department of Justice attorney
- Tom Marino, U.S. Congressman representing Pennsylvania's Tenth Congressional District and former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- John Pettit, long-time district attorney of Washington County, Pennsylvania.
- Sylvia H. Rambo, first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania Governor (1995–2001), former Assistant to the President for Homeland Security (2001–2003), first United States Secretary of Homeland Security (2003–2005)
- Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs
- Andrew Sacks, Pennsylvania trial lawyer, one of the few U.S. attorneys who has handled two cases in excess of $1 billion
- Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1995–2007)
- Lansdale Sasscer, 1914, U.S. Congressman for Maryland's 5th District
- Ronald A. Sell, Wisconsin State Assemblyman
- D. Brooks Smith, class of 1976, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Donald William Snyder (LLM, Commerce and Taxation), Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 1981-2000 and Majority Whip
- Thomas I. Vanaskie, class of 1978, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and current judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals
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