Pennsylvania State University, The Dickinson School of Law
Motto Making Life Better
Dean Philip McConnaughay
Academic staff 50 full time, 30 adjunct, 12 visiting
Location University Park and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
Colors Navy Blue and White
Mascot Nittany Lion
Affiliations Big Ten Conference
Penn State University Dickinson School of Law (also known as Penn State Law or The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University) is the law school of The Pennsylvania State University. Penn State Law, one of the specialized graduate schools of Penn State, operates as a unified two-location operation with facilities in both University Park, Pennsylvania and Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The two campuses function significantly as a single enterprise, with a single identity, single reputation & single stature. The University Park Campus is Penn State's main campus, and it preserves over 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Carlisle, around 80 miles (130 km) southeast of University Park, is the original home of the law school.
The law school was founded by John Reed in 1834, making it the fifth oldest law school in the US and the oldest law school in Pennsylvania. It is home to over 600 law students, most of whom are earning the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Master of Laws (LLM). Penn State Dickinson has a faculty and staff of over 100.
U.S. News and World Report, in its 2010 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools, ranked Penn State Dickinson 65th amid the nation's top 218 law schools.
In June 2007 Penn State established the School of International Affairs that is intimately linked with the law school. The School of International Affairs, which presents a professional master's degree in International Affairs with numerous specialty concentrations, is housed managerially within the law school. The two schools share like educational objectives and outstanding faculty counting Randall Robinson.
In 2005 a clash over whether to move the Dickinson School of Law to Penn State's University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania led to a dual-campus proposal. Under this proposal, Penn State plans to invest over $110 million in a law school that will operate out of both locations. The proposal was accepted by the law school's board of trustees before the 2005-2006 academic year.
The law school has now completely merged with Penn State, and has been integrated into the University's system. Opening in the fall of 2006, the law school began offering classes at its University Park location. Ground was broken for the Lewis Katz Building on January 18, 2007. The building opened for classes in January 2009.
In January 2010, students in the Carlisle location began attending classes in the new Lewis Katz Hall and the renovated Trickett Hall. The new facilities are the designs of Polshek Partnership Architects.
Lewis Katz Building
The Lewis Katz Building in University Park, Pennsylvania, opened for classes on January 9, 2009. The $60 million, 114,000-square-ft (10,600 m2) structure is the first academic capability to be built on the west side of Park Avenue, opposite from Penn State's main campus. It is contiguous to the Penn State Arboretum.
The Lewis Katz Building is LEED certified and equipped with sophisticated high definition digital audio-visual telecommunications capacity that facilitates the real-time delivery of classes and programs between the law school's Carlisle and University Park campuses & other joint projects and programs with schools and institutions worldwide. The second floor includes the glass-enclosed library, with a two-story information commons, four group study rooms and eleven offices amid the features. Library spaces include about 50% of the building.
In 2009, Judge D. Brooks Smith used the Lewis Katz Building's courtroom to hear an oral argument to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to the courtroom, the Katz Building includes a 250-seat auditorium, four specially designed 75-person classrooms, several seminar rooms, & a extremely advanced "board room" permitting electronic "face-to-face" contact with meeting participants worldwide.
Lewis Katz Hall
The showpiece of the Carlisle building project is the addition of a new, signature Lewis Katz Hall, named in honor of the principal donor to the project, philanthropist & businessman, Lewis Katz, for his $15 million gift to the Law School. finished in January 2010, the transition marks the end of a two-year, $50 million construction project which included the addition of the elegant, new Lewis Katz Hall which is totally interconnected with the University Park campus via the most advanced high-definition, digital audiovisual telecommunications system available.
The project included a wide 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 famous Philadelphia lawyer and trial attorney who has committed $4 million to the school. As a design companion to the Lewis Katz Building the Carlisle campus is renovated and rebuilt to comply with LEED standards, the facilities characteristic state-of-the-art classrooms, a new courtroom/auditorium, an exterior courtyard, & an environmentally friendly vegetated green roof.
Like many law schools, the first year program consists of 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, Criminal Procedure and Torts. Only 2 courses are required after completion of the first year: Professional liability and a Seminar. Students' enduring credits are to be filled with electives.
The law school is countrywide recognized for its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program.
Institutes, Centers & Programs -
Center for the Study of Mergers & Acquisitions
Headed by Samuel C. Thompson Jr., former director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions, the center examines corporate, securities, tax, antitrust, and other legal and economic issues that arise in mergers and acquisitions. An important part of the Center's mission is to sponsor continuing legal education programs addressing these issues.
Penn State Law and the New York City Bar co-sponsor the Institute on Corporate, Securities, and Related Aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions. The Institute, which has been co-chaired by Professor Thompson and H. Rodgin Cohen of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for a number of years, is held at the Bar's facility in New York City. Sessions provide penetrating analyses of recent developments in this very dynamic area; speakers at the Institute included some of the world's leading M&A attorneys, investment bankers, and governmental officials.
Institute for Sports Law, Policy & Research
Directed by Professor Stephen Ross, one of the nation's leading sports law scholars, the Penn State Institute for Sports Law Policy and Research is designed to:
promote dialogue between students of sport and major industry participants
aid scholars in policy-oriented research and facilitate the dissemination of this research to policy makers and industry participants, and serve as resource for journalists, lawyers and others connected about sports and public policy
The Institute is aided by an advisory board of prominent industry leaders, sports scholars from around the world, and Penn State faculty and alumni, all dedicated to advancing the study of sports. The Institute works closely with a faculty and staff from another of other disciplines on the Penn State campus, including the John Curley Center for Sports and Journalism, the Center for Sports Business Research in the Smeal College of Business, and the Departments of Kinesiology and Statistics. In addition, the Institute facilitates inter-disciplinary work with a variety of sports-interested faculty on the Penn State campus, sponsoring faculty colloquia and faculty/student reading groups. The Institute intends to feature programs that are of utmost importance to the field, including a speaker series featuring prominent industry leaders, private conferences to explore consensus approaches to difficult sports policy issues, and ongoing lectures to faculty and students.
Institute of Arbitration Law & Practice
The Penn State Institute of Arbitration Law and Practice was established in August 2005 to promote the study and scholarship of arbitration law and practice. Professor Thomas E. Carbonneau, the Samuel P. Orlando Distinguished Professor of Law, serves as faculty director and is widely considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on international and domestic arbitration.
The Institute's publications include the World Arbitration and Mediation Review, the Smit-Carbonneau-Mistelis Guides to International Commercial Arbitration and the student publication Beyond Litigation. The Institute also sponsors student participation in moot court competitions, including the prestigious annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria, and hosts the Montreal Summer Study Program in Arbitration at the McGill University Faculty of Law in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Affiliated Penn State faculty include William E. Butler, John Edward Fowler Professor of Law and member of the Russia International Court of Commercial Arbitration; Tiyanjana Maluwa, H. Laddie and Linda P. Montague Professor of Law; Philip J. McConnaughay, dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law; Panagiotis Takis Tridimas, professor of law and Sir John Lubbock Professor of Banking Law at Queen Mary College, University of London.
Other Penn State Law Programs
- Washington, D.C. Semester Program
- International Justice Program at the Hague, Netherlands
- Miller Center for Public Interest Advocacy
- Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
- Arts, Sports, and Entertainment Law Clinic
- Center for Immigrants' Rights
- Children's Advocacy Clinic
- Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
- Disability Law Clinic
- Elder Law and Consumer Protection Clinic
- Family Law Clinic
- Study Abroad
The Law School also features four academic journals, including the Penn State Law Review, formerly 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.
Penn State Law Review
Penn State International Law Review
Penn State Environmental Law Review
The Yearbook on Arbitration and Mediation
- The Law School maintains an extensive roster of student organizations, including:
- ABA/Law Student Division — PBA/Young Lawyers Division
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
- Alumni Relations Committee
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Amnesty International
- Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
- Association of Non-Traditional Students (ANTS)
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
- Books to Prisoners Project (B2PP)
- Christian Legal Society
- Corpus Juris Society
- Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity (Holmes Senate)
- Dickinson Democrats
- Dickinson Republican Council
- Environmental Law Society
- Federalist Society
- First Impression
- International Law Society
- Islamic Legal Council (ILC)
- J. Reuben Clark Law Society
- Jewish Law Students Association
- John Reed Inn of Phi Delta Phi
- Joint Degree Students Association
- Latino/a American Law Students Association
- Law, Economics and Business Society
- Law & Education Alliance at Penn State — LEAP
- Law & Philosophy Society
- Minority Law Students Association
- OutLaw (for LGBT students)
- The Penn State Dickinson Agricultural Law Society
- The Penn State Dickinson School of Law Blue and White Society
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Phi Delta Phi
- Project S.T.A.F.F.
- Public Interest Law Fund
- Real Estate Law Students Association
- Res Ipsa Loquitur
- Rugby Club
- Saint Thomas More Society
- South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA)
- Speakers Trust Fund
- Sports, Entertainment and Art Law Society
- Student Bar Association
- Student Health Law Organization
- Toastmasters International
- Trial Moot Court Board
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
- Women's Law Caucus
- WorkLaw Society
The school also 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 Law are active in intramural sports program. Current intramural sports include indoor soccer, flag football, volleyball, basketball and bowling.
Several students are also members of rugby and softball teams. Each spring, the school sends a softball team to participate in the University of Virginia Law School Softball Tournament.
- Christopher Conner, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
- Pedro Cortés, current Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- Andrew Curtin, Civil War Governor of Pennsylvania (1861–1867)
- 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)
- 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.
- Arthur Horace James, former Pennsylvania Governor (1939–1943)
- John E. Jones III, U.S. District Judge for United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, who presided over the ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District which states that the teaching of Intelligent design in public classrooms violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
- Paul E. Kanjorski, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
- Lewis Katz, owner of the New Jersey Nets Basketball Team
- Jack Keeney, career U.S. Department of Justice attorney
- Tom Marino, United States Congressman representing Pennsylvania's Tenth Congressional District and former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
- Sylvia H. Rambo, first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania for the Middle District
- 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)
- Rick Santorum, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1995–2007)
- Lansdale Sasscer, 1914, U.S. Congressman for Maryland's 5th District.
- 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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