Penn State Law, located on Penn State’s University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania, offers all of the resources of a world-class, public research institution together with challenging and innovative classroom study and ample opportunities for learning by doing.
From orientation day to commencement day, the Penn State Law faculty guides students as they learn the law, refine analytical, writing, and communication skills, and apply new knowledge in clinics, externships, and problem-based courses.
Our Location on Penn State’s University Park Campus
Penn State Law is deeply connected to the greater University Park campus and works together with the rest of the internationally ranked University to provide a vast array of interdisciplinary opportunities to prepare law students to contribute to solving real-world problems. The law school creates integrated learning opportunities by partnering on University-wide initiatives like Invent Penn State and the Happy Valley LaunchBox, a business startup accelerator program that includes Penn State Law’s Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic and Intellectual Property Clinic. Penn State Law is also a prominent part of the University’s new Center for Security Research and Education, the new Center for Energy Law and Policy, and Penn State’s initiative to combat the opioid addiction epidemic.
Small Classes, Big Opportunities
Penn State Law students study in small classes, allowing them to build relationships with each other and with our faculty of prominent legal scholars, leading practitioners, and engaging educators. Students choose from among a variety of elective courses in traditional and emerging practice areas as part of our rigorous and practical curriculum, providing them with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to thrive in the legal profession.
Through Penn State Law’s unique Externships Everywhere program, second- and third-year law students can step out of the classroom and spend a semester working in a legal office in practically any location around the world without interrupting their studies. Plus, they can earn up to three more credits through independent study or by participating in a class in University Park through the law school’s advanced audiovisual technology. This allows our students to get the kind of experience they need and in the location where they want to launch their careers.
Back on campus, students have the opportunity to gain experience while providing legal services to underserved populations through Penn State Law’s nine legal clinics and practicum. Penn State Law also offers traditional externships with state and federal judges and public interest organizations. Students can also spend a semester in Washington, D.C., or extern in the University’s administration in the Office of the General Counsel, Athletic Compliance, Student Legal Services, and more.
From the time they commit to Penn State Law, incoming students are matched with mentors in the legal field so they can immediately begin making professional connections and learning from successful practitioners—before they even begin their law school careers. Our Mentorship Program also matches mentors and mentees later in students’ law school experience so they can connect with professionals working in the practice areas and cities where the students want to work. Our Minority Mentor Program matches students from groups that are typically underrepresented in law school and the legal practice with Penn State Law faculty and administrators as well as practicing attorneys to help the students achieve academic success and emotional well-being during law school and after entering the legal profession. More info is provided here.
University Park Resources
Our location on Penn State’s University Park campus provides convenient access to graduate-level courses and joint degrees in Penn State’s nationally ranked programs in business, education, information science and technology, agriculture, health care, international affairs, and many others. Penn State Law students can take part in dozens of active law student organizations and hundreds of University-wide student groups and activities. Our students study hard, but when they’re ready for a break, they can take advantage of NCAA Division I and intramural sports, convenient fitness facilities, outdoor recreation activities, and a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Our hometown of State College, Pa., is a safe, welcoming, and diverse college town within a three- to four-hour drive from New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. With more than 45,000 Penn State students on campus, there are affinity groups, cultural activities, and social events for nearly every interest.
Networking and Career Services
In addition to our flexible curriculum designed to help students accomplish their individual goals, our dedicated Career Services staff partners with students from day one to help them understand the legal profession, make connections, and build a professional network. The professionals in our Career Services Office have relationships with employers across the country, resulting in a robust on-campus interview program and the posting of more than 1,500 positions annually. They also help students participate in a variety of job fairs in several major markets, including special events for diverse students and those pursuing public interest careers.
At commencement, Penn State Law graduates instantly join the powerful Penn State alumni network of more than 700,000 graduates worldwide. Penn State Law graduates enter the legal marketplace with knowledge of the law, highly developed critical thinking, communication, and legal practice skills, a built-in professional network, and the preparation and confidence to achieve their professional goals.