How to Apply
Dickinson Law awards both the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. Our reimagined J.D. program merges theory, doctrine, and experiential learning to produce practice-ready lawyers. Our LL.M. program gives students and lawyers trained outside of the U.S. a high-level understanding of the American legal system.
A student in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school may apply to complete their final two years of legal education at Penn State's Dickinson Law. To earn a J.D. from Dickinson Law, a transfer student must attend the Law School for at least four of the six semesters for which residence credit is claimed and earn at least 56 credits from Dickinson Law. A total of 88 credits are required to earn a J.D. from Penn State's Dickinson Law.
Prospective students may apply to Dickinson Law’s J.D. program through the Law School’s regular decision process or the binding early decision process. The regular decision application opens on September 1 and closes on June 30 and the early decision application opens on September 1 and closes on December 1. Students who apply through the Law School’s early decision process will be notified of a decision by December 30 and, if admitted, these students agree to (1) withdraw any pending applications to other law schools; (2) not initiate any new applications to other law schools; and (3) enroll at Dickinson Law in the Fall semester. Additional details about these types of applications can be found here.
Dickinson Law is a paperless office and applicants must apply electronically through LSAC. Dickinson Law’s admissions team reviews completed applications only and renders decisions on an ongoing basis. Although our office will attempt to notify candidates whose files are incomplete, it is ultimately the applicant's responsibility to ensure timely submission of a complete application.
To be deemed complete and ready for review, an application must include (1) a personal statement that addresses factors that have been significant in the development and identity of the applicant, experiences or circumstances that may distinguish the applicant from other candidates, any special achievements or accomplishments about with the applicant is especially proud, or a topic of the applicant’s choosing; (2) a current resume addressing any previous employment, professional experiences, extracurricular activities, skills and/or interests; (3) at least two (but no more than four) letters of recommendation submitted through LSAC’s Letter of Recommendation Service; (4) a valid LSAT score; and (5) a CAS report that includes an official undergraduate transcript that reflects the conferral (or anticipated conferral) of a Bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation at Dickinson Law. Applicants who provide an affirmative response to any of the character and fitness questions must provide an addendum that includes the details surrounding the incident(s).
Although not required, applicants may also include (1) a brief additional statement outlining their specific interest in Dickinson Law; (2) an additional statement discussing how they will contribute to the diversity of thought and experience at Dickinson Law; or (3) any additional supplemental information that they would like to be considered. The Admissions Office attempts to notify candidates whose files are incomplete, but ultimately, applicants are responsible for ensuring timely completion of their applications. These requirements are included on the Law School’s application, and Dickinson Law provides an application checklist for the convenience of prospective applicants.
Dickinson Law conducts a holistic review of each file received. During the review process, the admissions team considers LSAT score, academic history (i.e., grade trends, breadth and rigor of curriculum, advanced coursework if applicable), writing ability, work experience, personal background, service, leadership, and any other factors that would positively contribute to the Law School and legal community.
Please note that applicants and current students have an ongoing obligation to disclose any information that would change the response to any question on their application including questions regarding arrests and criminal history, disciplinary action, pending criminal charges or investigations, and professional misconduct. Once students matriculate at Dickinson Law, this obligation to disclose continues through graduation.
If the Admissions Committee determines that an applicant has provided false, incomplete, incorrect, or misleading information during the admissions process, or if new information is not provided in a timely manner, Dickinson Law reserves the right to revoke an offer of admission and report the applicant to LSAC's Committee on Misconduct or Irregularities in the Admission Process.
Admission to Dickinson Law does not guarantee admission to any bar. In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.