Students at Penn State's Dickinson Law have a breadth of opportunities to get involved with their campus community. Below are just some of the opportunities that await you. The Student Bar Association frequently forms new groups and holds events based upon student interest.
Student Bar Association (SBA)
The Student Bar Association (SBA) is Dickinson Law's student government organization. Composed of all law students, the SBA is led by an executive board elected by the student body. The SBA oversees and allocates funding for student organizations and events, and it is the formal liaison between students, faculty, and administration.
Reflecting their diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and passions, Dickinson Law students explore shared interests and advance common causes through a variety of student organizations.
2017-18 Student Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
The purpose of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) is to foster community involvement and professional development of its members. Our goal is to promote a greater understanding of APA issues and culture within Dickinson Law and provide opportunities for students to engage with the APA community. APALSA is dedicated to advocating for Asian American leadership in all areas of law by encouraging the sharing, networking, and cooperation between all ethnic groups. APALSA is open to Dickinson Law students of every background.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
BLSA at Penn State's Dickinson Law serves as the leading advocate for black law students and is dedicated to the development of talented, involved black attorneys. Founded in 1968, the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), was formed to promote the needs and goals of black law students and effect change in the legal community. The largest entirely student-run organization in the United States with nearly 6,000 members, NBLSA is also comprised of chapters or affiliates in six different countries including The Bahamas, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Business Law Society
Dickinson Law’s Business Law Society is a student organization dedicated to enhancing Dickinson Law students’ legal education by promoting interdisciplinary work in law and business. The Business Law Society works with Professor Samantha Prince to help emerging start-ups within the Penn State University LaunchBox program and across Pennsylvania by hosting workshops and lectures designed to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in pre- and post-venture stages of start-up development with the legal tools necessary for success. Members have an opportunity to forge professional relationships within the business legal community, submit blog posts for Inside Entrepreneurship Law, and gain real-life experience needed to facilitate entrepreneurial growth after graduating law school.
Criminal Law Society
The Criminal Law Society is dedicated to preparing students for careers in criminal prosecution and criminal defense through networking, professional education, and promoting dialogue to address current issues. The organization provides learning opportunities for students by arranging professional speakers, coordinating trips to agencies of interest, and apprising students of relevant professional trainings; aids the development of professional contacts among student members and attorneys practicing in the field of criminal law; and seeks to instill in its members respect for and commitment to the virtues and values necessary to the fair and impartial functioning of the criminal justice system. The Criminal Law Society will endeavor, in conjunction with classes, professors, and the school Career Services Office, to help all interested students explore, prepare for, and succeed in careers in criminal law.
Dickinson Law Review
The Dickinson Law Review is the Law School’s flagship journal. It is one of the oldest law reviews in the country and is credited with having the first woman law review editor, Julia Radle, in 1898. Its commitment to excellence and student opportunities has remained steadfast over its 120+ year history. Students who have completed their first year of law school have the opportunity to be selected for law review. Participation on law review is a two-year commitment, which includes writing a scholarly comment that will potentially be published. Students who participate on law review earn course credit and have a tremendous opportunity to advance their writing, editing, and leadership skills. Visit Dickinson Law Review for more information.
Environmental Justice Law Society
The Environmental Justice Law Society is rooted in the belief that all people, regardless of income, race, national origin, or gender, deserve the dignity of living in a healthy and safe environment. This objective is advanced by providing communities equitable and meaningful voices in ensuring the development of sustainable and healthy places to live, work, and play.
Through focusing on community education about the legal intersections and solutions to environmental injustices, professional development, and active engagement, the Environmental Justice Law Society is committed to building a legal community with the tools to ensure our societies have an equitable and meaningful voice in the health, sustainability, and future of our neighborhoods.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society's main purpose is to sponsor fair, serious, and open debate to ensure that legal principles that have not been the subject of sufficient attention for the past several decades receive a fair hearing.
Health Law and Policy Society
It is the mission of the Health Law and Policy Society (HLS) to provide learning and experiential opportunities to law students with an interest in the legal, ethical, and political issues that affect health care. The organization educates students on health law issues by sponsoring health law related programs that will benefit our members, the law school community and the general public. In order to serve this purpose, the Society invites speakers to discuss issues relating to health law including health care reform, fraud and abuse, quality care, risk management, compliance, access to health care, financing and organization, bioethics, medicine, and private health. Panel discussions and presentations enable students to learn about issues in the health law field in the absence of a formal course. Additionally, the Society coordinates programs to increase the wellness and health of the law students by interacting with Student Services. The Society strives to encourage and empower its members, as future lawyers, to become informed and talented health care advocates.
International Law Society
The mission of the International Law Society is to explore issues of importance to the international legal community, assist students in pursuing legal careers with an international component, promote awareness of international legal topics, and increase the understanding of the international law practice.
Dickinson Law Intramural Sports aims to encourage students to engage in healthy activity, foster relationships with other students outside of the classroom, and enjoy some relief from typical law school stress in a structured and fun environment. Thanks to ample student participation, we are able to host a variety of sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, and even sponsor an annual trip to Charlottesville, Virginia for University of Virginia Law’s annual softball tournament.
Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA)
The Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA) seeks to remedy the underrepresentation of Latinx in all segments of the legal community. To achieve this goal, LLSA assists the Admissions Office on recruitment and retention matters and strives to provide enrolled Latinx students with strong academic and social support. Furthermore, LLSA welcomes ALL individuals who are interested or curious to learn about Latin culture and legal issues specific to our communities.
Military Law Caucus (MLC)
The mission of the Military Law Caucus (MLC) at Penn State's Dickinson Law is to organize and support all law students who are former veterans or current members of the United States Armed Forces, (United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps, and United States Coast Guard), students who are interested in pursuing legal careers in the military, and students passionate about veterans rights. MLC seeks to promote and raise awareness of the career possibilities found in the United States Armed Forces as well as partner with veterans organizations that seek to educate the public on veterans affairs and provide veterans legal assistance. The MLC welcomes all students with interest in the military, military law, veterans affairs, or global strategic policy.
Moot Court Board
Dickinson Law students also participate in national moot court competitions. Team members, chosen each year through an intra-school competition, advance their writing, problem-solving, and advocacy skills under the guidance of faculty members and experienced lawyers. We sponsor moot court teams in a variety of areas such as labor law, environmental law, securities law, constitutional law, and transnational law. View our Moot Court Board Constitution and Bylaws.
OutLaw is a student organization interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) legal issues, employment concerns, and the fostering of tolerance and awareness on campus. OutLaw provides a network for professional and social interaction between LGBTQ and ally students, faculty, and legal professionals, and for the education of the Law School community about issues facing LGBTQ individuals.
OutLaw concentrates on increasing awareness and discussion of such issues as hate crimes against lesbian and gay men, discrimination on the basis of HIV status, and the legal aspects of today's changing conceptions of family and domestic partnership.
Phi Alpha Delta — Burr Chapter (PAD)
Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) is the premier international professional law fraternity. Its members seek to serve one another, the law school, the legal profession, and the community. The Core Values of PAD are Integrity, Compassion, Courage, Professionalism, Service, Diversity, and Innovation.
The Burr Chapter of the Dickinson Law campus in Carlisle also provides numerous benefits to its members, including: Professionals Night and Judges Night, Mentorship program, Academic resources, and International membership in Phi Alpha Delta International.
Phi Alpha Delta has existed for over a hundred years and its alumni are to be found in all areas of the legal profession. Attorneys and potential employers will know and recognize PAD on your résumé.
Public Interest Law Fund (PILF)
The Dickinson Law Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) is dedicated to the legal and social aspects of public interest work. PILF promotes awareness and understanding of public interest work through education, fundraising, and social activities. Each year, PILF also raises money for the Degenstein Foundation and Cherie M. Millage Fellowship program, which supports law students who work for public interest organizations.
Speakers Trust Fund
The Speakers Trust Fund of the Student Bar Association shall provide a forum for the equitable distribution of the Speakers Trust portion of the Student Activities Fee. It shall maintain an open door policy for every student organization and every member of the student body at The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. The Trust shall promulgate an agenda for the student body that shall include, but not be limited to, providing students with a slate of speakers that will enhance the quality of life at the school and encourage diversity of ideas.
The Speakers Trust shall review student organization and individual student proposals for speakers in an objective, nondiscriminatory manner. It shall encourage student organizations and individual students to sponsor speakers of premier quality and esteem with various backgrounds and experiences to reflect the growingly diverse student body. While student organizations and members of the student body may invite speakers with controversial, and even offensive, ideologies, the Trust does not necessarily endorse these speakers.
Women’s Law Caucus (WLC)
The Women’s Law Caucus (WLC) seeks to promote an awareness and understanding of the legal and social issues facing women today through discussion, education and networking. The WLC is open to the entire law school community. The WLC sponsors lectures, fundraisers and social activities in an effort to expose law students to the gender issues we all face. Each year the WLC is committed to raise money for local women’s shelters and other organization. The WLC also sponsors the Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo Award Dinner, which honors an outstanding woman in the legal profession. The award is given in honor of Chief Judge Sylvia Rambo of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. All of our events are open to the entire Dickinson School of Law community.