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Penn State-Dickinson School of Law from Humble Beginnings Still Expanding

published September 29, 2009

By Harrison Barnes, CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 38 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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In 1834 Penn State-Dickinson School of Law opened under the direction of Judge John Reed and history has records that when the law school opened there was not a single book in the law library. In October 1890, the first classes were held at the newly- reopened Dickinson School of Law. The new Dean, William Trickett, was obliged to revamp the law library so he began by giving books from his personal library and more donations came in from the law school's president and members of the board. The law school also obtained funds through its first foreign student from Tokyo, Japan who in the 1890's sponsored a fair in the fashion of one given in the Japanese Empire. The fair raised $450 for the purchase of new library books. In 1893 the library was reported to have seven or eight hundred volumes that graced the library walls. In 1918 the law library was growing and reportedly contained 6000 volumes for the law students. In those early days it was deemed to be quite a collection and no lawyer in the state could boast having access to anything its equal.

The school began employing professional law librarians in the 1950's after years of the law library being serviced by a professor and law students. In the year, 2000 a merger of the Dickinson School of Law with the Penn State resulted in the increase to the library's possessions to well over four million volumes. This history sets precedence for phenomenal growth at Penn State-Dickinson School of Law.


Penn State-Dickinson School of Law continues to expand as millions are being spent for new facilities and the support of new faculty and programs. In addition to already scheduled developments, the University will be establishing a School of International Affairs within The Dickinson School of Law. This graduate school is destined to become one of the world's greatest Schools of International Affairs.

Currently the U.S. News and World Report ranking of all ABA-approved law schools, has Penn State-Dickinson School of Law in its Top 100 ranking. The Law School remains as one of the most diverse and has improved its rank to number eight in the Top Ten Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs.

Admissions to Penn State-Dickinson School of Law

Admissions to Penn State-Dickinson School of Law are not solely based on LSAT and GPA because there are no minimum LSAT or GPA requirements. The scores are an important part of the application for law school, however the admissions decision will be determined based on all criteria presented in the applicant's file.

Tuition for the current academic year is $33,600. This only includes tuition, so when all expenses are calculated the law student's cost totals at about $55,000. There is no difference in the cost for in state or out of state residents. Financial aid is available through the student's own funding, grants based on needs, merit aid, and School loans. Tours can be set to visit Penn State-Dickinson School of Law, a well-ranked school of law that is still growing.

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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