Welcome from the Dean
At Penn State Law, we want three things for you. First, we want you to get an amazing legal education. Second, we want you to have meaningful employment once you graduate. Finally, we want you to be a part of our vibrant, inclusive, Penn State community from the day you walk through our doors.
At Penn State Law, you will have all the resources of a world-class public research institution with small classes taught by a faculty of prominent legal scholars and leading practitioners who truly embrace providing students with a legal education for a changing society. You can choose to focus your studies in one of our many areas of strength, including advocacy and litigation; antitrust and competition law; arbitration, mediation, and negotiation; corporate law and practice; energy and environmental law; health law; intellectual property; international, foreign, and comparative law; law, science, and technology; national security, military, and veterans; and more. We also prepare our students to lead by exposing them to cutting-edge technology through our Legal-Tech Virtual Lab.
We recognize the importance of learning by doing and treat the broader world as our classroom. Our nine clinics and practicum provide you with a wealth of opportunities to explore practice areas and help underserved communities. Our students have worked on cases considered by the U.S. Supreme Court and have honed their advocacy skills through national and international moot court and trial competitions, including winning the 2019 world championship in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna. Our home, the state-of-the-art Lewis Katz Building, allows you the freedom to explore the world virtually from our classrooms and interview rooms. Our innovative Externships Everywhere program lets you pursue career opportunities anywhere in the world while participating via our advanced distance-learning technology in classes in University Park.
From the moment you choose Penn State Law, you join the Penn State community and have the resources of one of the world’s leading research universities at your fingertips. You can take graduate-level courses, or develop an individualized joint degree with one of Penn State’s many nationally ranked graduate programs.
Our professional Career Services staff will greet you at orientation and partner with you throughout your time in law school and beyond to help you discover and accomplish your career goals, make connections, and build your professional network. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, bar admission exams were canceled or delayed in many jurisdictions, thus making it more challenging for graduates to secure employment. Despite these challenges, 77.05% of our graduates secured full-time, long-term employment within 10 months of graduation that either requires bar admission or in which a J.D. provides an advantage for the class of 2020. At one-year post-graduation, this number was 83.61%. percent. These numbers only include graduates employed in full-time, long-term J.D. required or J.D. advantage positions.
We are committed to Penn State Law being a welcoming and inclusive environment for every member of our community, and to actively combatting bias and inequality at the law school, Penn State, and our broader society. We developed concrete diversity, equity, and inclusion action steps that we are implementing and will continue to build upon.
With our location on Penn State’s University Park Campus in State College, Pa., you will find a place that is vibrant, safe, and diverse, with dozens of active law student organizations and hundreds of university-wide student groups and activities. You will study hard, but when you’re ready for a break, you can take advantage of NCAA Division I and intramural sports, convenient fitness facilities, outdoor activities, arts and cultural events, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream, and a welcoming environment of more than 46,000 enthusiastic and friendly Penn State students.
They don’t call it Happy Valley for nothing.
When you graduate from Penn State Law, you will belong to the powerful Penn State alumni network of more than 725,000 strong all over the globe. I invite you to explore our program further here on our website (pennstatelaw.psu.edu) or in-person through a visit. We look forward to welcoming you to Penn State Law in University Park.
James W. Houck
Interim Dean, Vice Admiral JAG Corps U.S. Navy (Ret.), Distinguished Scholar in Residence, and Director, Center for Security Research and Education