Lawyers of Color has long been impressed with Penn State Dickinson Law, which boasts a tenure and tenure-track faculty with 24% African Americans as of July 2020. But for the first time, Lawyers of Color considered grant giving in our ranking methodology and Penn State Dickinson Law placed first with nearly all students receiving at some scholarship or grant award, and nearly half receiving more than full tuition. The law school’s giving spirit starts at the top. Last August, Penn State Dickinson Law Dean Danielle Conway made a $125,000 gift to the school to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We aren’t the only ones who’ve taken note. Above the Law ranked them #1 in law schools that help students with tuition and also included Dickinson on its list of law schools to attend if you want to get a job.
We asked Penn State Dickinson Law to tell us more about their institution. Here’s what they told us:
Penn State Dickinson Law, located in historic Carlisle, PA, is the oldest law school in the Commonwealth and one of the oldest law schools in the United States, opening its doors in 1834. Dickinson Law operated independently until 1997 when it joined with The Pennsylvania State University from its Carlisle, PA location.
As a brand, The Pennsylvania State University is strong. Because of the strength of that brand, its two separately ABA-accredited law schools—Penn State Dickinson Law (Carlisle, PA) and Penn State Law (University Park)—benefit immensely. Penn State Dickinson Law distinguishes itself with its mission to Practice Greatness, an approach to legal education that intentionally prepares students for practice through the delivery of experiential, skills-based training across the curriculum, as well as its intentionally small class sizes, which ensure that each student receives individualized attention, training, and support from staff, faculty, and administrators in an intimate environment backed by the resources of a public research university.
Black law students at Penn State Dickinson Law enjoy a small but powerful community of student colleagues and broad support from allies. The Black Law Students Association serves to connect black law students for social, academic, and professional engagement. Black law students and allies alike are intentional about offering mentorship, resources, and guidance. Black law students who present new ideas for programs and opportunities, including those related to diversity and inclusion, are met with enthusiasm by allies, staff, faculty, and administrators.
Black law students at Penn State Dickinson Law enjoy successful student experiences that translate into professional successes upon graduation. Dickinson Law graduates have diverse practices nationally and internationally, in the private sector and in government, in federal and state clerkships, in honors programs, and in house. Black law students serve on law review, SBA, moot court, and clinics, and graduate with honors.