Gary S. Gildin

Emeritus Dean; Professor of Law, Hon. G. Thomas and Anne G. Miller Chair in Advocacy; Director, Center for Public Interest Law and Advocacy

Gary S. Gildin joined Dickinson Law’s faculty in 1979 after graduating from Stanford Law School and spending three years as a civil litigator with Sonnenschein Carlin Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons) in Chicago, Illinois. He served as dean of the Law School from 2013 to 2019.

Throughout his career at the Law School, Professor Gildin completed three sabbaticals, including a U.S. Canada Fulbright Grant to serve as visiting chair in international humanitarian law, University of Ottawa; assistant public defender, Public Defender Office, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; and law clerk to the Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo, United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. Over his career, Professor Gildin has taught Trial Advocacy, Civil Liberties Litigation, Protection of Individual Rights under State Constitutions, Legal Argument and Factual Persuasion, Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Professional Responsibility, Remedies, Comparative Civil Liberties (summer program in International Law in Florence, Italy), and Law and Medicine (Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center). Professor Gildin also has taught Legal Methods, Research and Writing as part of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity Pre-Law Summer Institute.

Professor Gildin has continued to engage in pro bono litigation on behalf of people alleging infringement of their constitutional rights, including arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bowen v. Roy, and before the Third Circuit in the racial profiling case Raphael Christopher v. Frederick Nestlerode et al.

Professor Gildin received has analyzed draft law assessments for the Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Armenia, and the Ukraine. He regularly teaches in international, national, and statewide continuing legal education programs that enhance the trial skills of practicing attorneys and has given more than 60 lectures on a variety of legal topics at universities, industry association events, and conferences around the country.

Professor Gildin has authored more than 40 books, book chapters, articles, continuing legal education publication chapters and book reviews. He co‐authored the second edition of Trial Advocacy Basics, published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Roscoe Pound Foundation’s Jacobson Award for excellence in the teaching the art and skills of trial advocacy. He has held several board and committee memberships, such as serving as a discipline peer reviewer in law for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars Fulbright Scholar Program.

Gary S. Gildin


Phone  717-240-5238

CV Curriculum Vitae


Prof. Gildin’s News and Activity

Prof. Gildin in the Media

Faculty Impact

J.D., Order of the Coif, Stanford Law School

B.A., honors, University of Wisconsin

Gildin’s Publications

Books and Book Chapters

TRIAL ADVOCACY BASICS (Third Edition) co-authored with Molly Townes O’Brien (National Institute for Trial Advocacy 2021)

CIVIL LIBERTIES LITIGATION: CASES AND MATERIALS — Penn State has chosen this e-book for inclusion in its Repository of Open and Affordable Materials (ROAM) website as well as in its Pressbooks Catalog

Cross-Examination at Trial: Strategies for the Deposition,” 35 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 471 (2012)

Redressing Deprivations of Rights Secured by State Constitutions Outside the Shadow of the Supreme Court’s Remedies Jurisprudence,” 115 Penn St. L. Rev. 877 (2011)

The Supreme Court’s Legislative Agenda to Free Government from Accountability for Constitutional Deprivations,” 114 Penn St. L. Rev. 1333 (2010)  

Strip Searches and the Silo Effect: Adopting a Holistic Approach to Charter Remedies,” in Taking Remedies Seriously (2009)

Allocating Damages Caused by Violations of the Charter: The Relevance of American Constitutional Remedies Jurisprudence,” 24 Nat’l J. Const. L. 121 (2009)

“Bankruptcy Pro Bono Legal Assistance Programs: An Update,” 16 Norton J. Bankr. L. & Prac. 397 (with Peter C. Alexander, 2007)

Catalog of Pro Bono Bankruptcy Programs and ResourcesAnnual Survey of Bankruptcy Law (co-edited with Peter C. Alexander under a grant from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Endowment for Education and the American College of Bankruptcy, 2007)

The Anatomy of a Lawsuit: Medicolegal Considerations for Fellows and Residents, co-authored Dr. Elias Rizk, Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, CONGRESS QUARTERLY (Winter 2023), published by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (forthcoming)

The Neuroscience of Qualified Immunity, 126 DICKINSON LAW REVIEW 769 (2022)

It’s the Story, Stupid, published in Collective Wisdom: One Bit of Advice, Jules Epstein ed. (National Institute for Trial Advocacy 2021)



Gildin’s Presentations and Panels

Social Media and the First Amendment: Two Visions, Free Speech in the Metaverse: Digital Media and the First Amendment, Federalist Society, Penn State Dickinson Law, October 13, 2022.

Neurosurgery Law Series, , Steps Neurosurgeons can take to Minimize the Risk of Being Sued and Held Liable for Malpractice, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine, October 4, 2022.

Neurosurgery Law Series, Cross-Examination of the Defendant

Neurosurgeon, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine, September 23, 2022.

Neurosurgery Law Series, Overview of the Trial Process, Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine, September 16, 2022.

The Supreme Court and the Declaration of Rights, Panelist, Symposium on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court at 300: Past, Present & Future, May 19, 2022.

The Neuroscience of Qualified Immunity, Symposium on Qualifying Qualified Immunity: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Dickinson Law Review, March 25, 2022.

Gildin’s Affiliations and Service to the Community

McNees Trial Academy
Designed, delivered lectures in, and presided over small group workshops for the McNees Trial Academy, an advocacy training program for litigators at McNees