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Law School to increase student options in two locations

The Law School is preparing to operate as two separately accredited, but collaborative, campuses.

The Carlisle and University Park campuses will offer curricula and opportunities that reflect the strengths of each faculty and location, creating a clearer choice for students considering Penn State for law school. The plan was brought forward in October by the faculties of the two law school campuses and endorsed by the Penn State Faculty Senate. Both campuses will continue to operate under the name The Dickinson School of Law of the Penn State University, but will be differentiated by their location and educational programming. The University is working through the American Bar Association accreditation process.

“The dramatic changes over the past several years in the markets for legal services and legal education require new approaches that focus on high quality programs, affordability, meaningful jobs for graduates and a global reach,” said Dean Philip J. McConnaughay. “It’s important to understand that both Dickinson School of Law campuses are and will remain fully part of Penn State and that both enjoy the full support of the University going forward.”

The dean and faculties of each campus will establish separate missions, identities, programs and admissions policies. The Carlisle campus, for example, will focus its programming to take maximum advantage of its proximity to Harrisburg, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The University Park campus will offer opportunities facilitated by its close relationship with Penn State’s School of International Affairs and the University’s top graduate programs.

For prospective students, the change will begin in the 2015-16 academic year, with a gradual transition to two independent campuses in the 2017-18 academic year following the graduation of the last class admitted to the current unified two-campus law school.

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