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Fri, 03/01/2024 - 3:54pm -- szb5706

For up-to-date information regarding the reunification of Penn State's two law schools, please click here.

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Law School Reunification

Penn State University is in the process of reunifying its two law schools - Penn State Law in University Park, PA, and Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, PA – into a single law school with two locations. The reunification process has been a collaborative effort between faculty, staff, students, and alumni, consultants from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), and University leaders. The reunified law school, which will be known as Penn State Dickinson Law, will have J.D. and LL.M. cohorts in both locations, in addition to programs to increase access to legal education across the Commonwealth.

The reunified Penn State Dickinson Law will be led by current Dickinson Law Dean Danielle M. Conway, with its primary location in Carlisle and a substantial presence in University Park. Each campus will have residential student cohorts, including J.D. students at all levels, LL.M. students, and S.J.D. students. Students in both locations will have access to top-tier legal academics, career services, bar preparation, experiential opportunities, and more.  

Until the reunification is complete, each school will continue to operate as a separately accredited law school. The timeline for reunification is not yet final, and both schools are enrolling separate classes in Fall 2024. Phase two of planning for reunification is currently underway. 

For additional background about reunification, please visit these news releases: 

If you have additional questions about the reunification process or how it may impact you, please contact the following offices: 

Frequently Asked Questions
(Updated April 2024)

1. Why are the two schools unifying? What are the benefits of reunification? 

Reuniting the two schools allows the University to advance legal education at Penn State and offer law students a more robust law school experience. With an extremely competitive marketplace for legal education and nine law schools in Pennsylvania, the University’s current two-law-school model is not the best approach for achieving excellence in legal education. Ultimately, concentrating the best of both existing programs into a single school will allow the University to build a stronger law school. Additionally, over time, the University expects to see budget savings from combining the schools’ programs. 

2. Is Penn State Law in University Park recruiting students for Fall 2024? 

Yes. Throughout the reunification process, Penn State Law will remain a separately accredited law school and is recruiting a 1L J.D. class as well as LL.M. and S.J.D. students for Fall 2024.

3. If I am admitted to Penn State Law and enroll in Fall 2024, where will I graduate from?  

Students entering Penn State Law in Fall 2024 who successfully complete their academic programs will graduate from Penn State Law. While they may be enrolled after reunification is complete and share resources with students of the reunified Penn State Dickinson Law, their degree will be from Penn State Law. 

4. If I’m admitted to Penn State Law in Fall 2024, will I have to move campuses to complete my legal education? 

No. Applicants admitted to Penn State Law will be able to complete their program of legal education in University Park. There will be no need to transfer between Penn State’s two law campuses to complete your J.D. or LL.M. degree. Penn State University is committed to providing students with a seamless and uninterrupted legal educational experience at both law school locations through reunification. 

5. If I am applying for admission in Fall 2024 and want to apply to Dickinson Law and/or Penn State Law, do I need to apply to each school separately? 

Yes. Applications are not shared between the law schools and each school has its own admissions process for Fall 2024. 

6. If the reunification is completed after I have already been admitted to Penn State Law, how will it affect my enrollment? 

You will not have to change campuses, and you will be able to share resources with students of the reunified school. Penn State will continue to work to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, the impact of reunification. The University will continue to provide an outstanding, fully accredited legal education, as well as professional development opportunities including bar exam preparation and Career Services. 

7. After the reunification, will students still be able to attend law school in University Park? 

Yes. The University Park law campus will continue to offer a three-year residential J.D. program and LL.M. and S.J.D. programs with full access to campus community resources including Career Services, bar preparation support, experiential learning programs, and extracurricular activities. 

8. What is the timeline of the unification process? When will we have a clearer picture of what the unified program will entail? 

University and law school officials are working closely with the ABA to receive the requisite approvals to proceed with President Bendapudi’s recommendation for reunification of Penn State’s two law schools. We hope to recruit students to the reunified Penn State Dickinson Law for enrollment in Fall 2025.