Experience
the Dickinson Law Community

Penn State Dickinson Law’s choice to seek entering classes of no more than 75 students means you’ll study in an intimate environment that allows for greater interaction, with personalized attention from your professors. Plus, our location affords a diverse selection of career-building opportunities with private law firms, local, state, and federal government, private corporations, and non-profit entities. You’ll also begin to serve the public through membership on community boards, our Miller Pro Bono Matching Program, and student organizations.

A Message from the Dean

Dean Gary GildinI simply love to teach. I particularly enjoy watching my students acquire the analytical, problem-solving, and persuasion skills they’ll use on a daily basis while serving their clients. But as much as I like being in the classroom, my favorite part of the day is joining students around a table in the Commons for informal discussions about topics inside and outside the world of the law. I sincerely believe that the moments I treasure represent the distinctive features of Penn State’s Dickinson Law—what we teach, and the environment in which our students learn. More from Dean Gildin.

Mission Statement

I.  To vest in our students the entire range of concrete lawyering skills necessary to most effectively perform as legal professionals at the local, state, national, transnational, and international levels in the 21st Century. 

These skills include, but are not limited to, research and analysis; mastery of legal and database resources; written and oral communication; negotiation skills; project management; due diligence; problem solving; implementation of transactions; and advocacy, both in courts and other formal adjudicatory institutions, as well as through complementary dispute resolution fora such as mediation and arbitration.  To teach these skills, we will draw upon legal knowledge and knowledge from other disciplines. 

II. To engage in a constant quest for knowledge and wisdom that we can share not only with our students, but with the legal profession, scholars, policy makers, and others, consistent with Penn State’s role as a world-class research university.  

We believe that our scholarly and teaching missions should be complementary.  As engaged scholars, we believe that having both a solid understanding of existing theory and the ability to develop new  theories is indispensable to our students’ ability to operate as legal professionals in an increasingly global, diverse, and sophisticated legal environment.

III.  To willingly contribute our services to the university and to local, state, national, and international efforts to improve global understanding and the lives and well-being of our students and the worlds in which they will live.

IV.  We pledge that on a daily basis we will strive to foster a sense of community and mutual support between and among faculty, students and staff, and in our interactions outside the Law School. 

We not only view community as a proper ethos but also believe that cultivating the interpersonal skills, respect, and tolerance that promote community will enable our students to more professionally and sensitively counsel their clients and accomplish their professional goals.