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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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Opportunities for Penn Staters interested in a law degree from Penn State Law

Penn State students at all campuses who are interested in pursuing a law degree are eligible for several opportunities through Penn State Law on the University Park campus.
Katz building

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa — Penn State students at all campuses who are interested in pursuing a law degree are eligible for several opportunities through Penn State Law on the University Park campus. These include a Blue & White Alumni Grant, a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) waiver, and an accelerated bachelor’s/J.D. program. Penn State Law in University Park is currently enrolling full, residential student cohorts for fall 2024 for its juris doctor (J.D.), master of laws (LL.M.), and doctor of juridical science (S.J.D.) programs.

“We want to make our inclusive law school accessible and affordable for everyone — especially for the students in our own backyard,” said Victor Romero, interim dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs, Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar, and professor of law.

“They come, we teach them, and they get jobs,” he continued. “There’s a reason why 92.6% of our 2022 grads are employed in 'gold standard' jobs where bar passage is required or where a J.D. is preferred. Penn State Law produces the next generation of legal leaders in the industry.”

Three ways to save

Penn State Law’s Blue & White Alumni Grant gives admitted students who have a Penn State degree, or who will earn a Penn State degree, an annual $20,000 tuition grant. This tuition discount is automatically applied (no need to fill out extra paperwork) and is guaranteed to any person (including faculty and staff) who graduates from any Penn State campus, and who is admitted by April 1. This special alumni tuition grant can be stacked with other awards.

While all law schools require an admissions test, some Penn State undergraduates can save on paying for this test with an LSAT waiver. Application requirements for qualifying undergraduates can be found here.

The third way to save on a J.D. degree at Penn State Law is through the Accelerated Bachelor’s/J.D. program. This option allows undergraduate students who are not yet in their last year of their program, from any Penn State campus, in any major, to apply to Penn State Law and complete their undergraduate degree with credits from the law school. Enrolled students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor within six years.

Above and beyond

The faculty of legal experts in specialized fields build on the reputation of Penn State Law, whose current, diverse, J.D. class and LL.M. classes, each well over 100 students, make up robust classrooms inside the Lewis Katz Building community.

Penn State Law offers students 11 legal clinics that promote experiential learning in a variety of focus areas, including the recent addition of the Manglona Lab for Gender and Economic Equity, and a multitude of externships that augment courses taught within the walls of the Katz Building with hands-on experience in the real world, with real clients. 

Penn State Law students are granted a well-rounded, comprehensive legal education that also provides pro bono services to the underserved in the community and teaches law students valuable skills for legal practice.

Professor Michele Vollmer, associate dean for clinics and experiential learning and director of the Veterans Clinic, oversees Penn State Law’s Clinical Program. “We cultivate aspiring, young lawyers to serve in public interest jobs or provide pro bono services during their careers to decrease the access to justice gap,” Vollmer said.

Legal education continues in University Park

Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi accepted the recommendation of a reunification panel to reunite its two law schools — Penn State Law in University Park and Dickinson Law in Carlisle. The reunification process is expected to take several years. 

Post-reunification, the law campus in University Park will continue to offer a three-year residential J.D. program with full access to resources like career services, bar preparation support, experiential programs, and extracurricular activities.

Read more: Frequently asked questions about the reunification

Both campuses will focus on innovation and leadership and leverage Penn State’s historic leadership in remote and hybrid instruction in legal education. Each campus will continue to explore new ways to showcase cutting-edge scholarly research while providing students with opportunities that will prepare them for their legal careers.

“We’re excited about the journey Penn State is embarking on to provide our law students the best legal education,” said Amanda DiPolvere, associate dean for enrollment, career development, planning and transition. “Legal education across two campuses means more opportunities for students who are at University Park and in Carlisle.”

During this time of reunification, students who are admitted to Penn State Law will not be required to transfer between Penn State’s two law campuses to complete their J.D. or LL.M. degree. Penn State Law in University Park is committed to providing every student with a seamless and uninterrupted educational experience.



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