President Bendapudi Calls For Penn State Law Schools To Unify As One In Carlisle

Penn State announced Tuesday that President Neeli Bendapudi is recommending the university’s two accredited law schools, Penn State Law at University Park and Penn State Dickinson Law, reunite as a single law school with a “primary” location in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

The new, merged school would be named Penn State Dickinson Law and led by current dean Danielle Conway. Penn State is canceling the search for the dean of its law program at University Park and appointing long-time faculty member Victor Romero into an interim position.

“It’s clear that bringing Penn State’s two law schools back together as one is the best way to serve law students,” Bendapudi said. “I want our law students to know that we are fully committed to you…For our faculty and staff, we recognize your tremendous talent and dedication to this University, and we will work closely with you throughout this process.” 

The university also cited significant savings along with building a stronger and more concentrated school amid a competitive in-state legal education marketplace as reasons for Bendapudi’s recommendation.

Bendapudi is convening a panel of students, faculty, staff, and alumni from both schools to recommend a structure of the united program to the Board of Trustees in the spring.

Current students, as well as students enrolling in fall 2023 at both programs, will continue to be “fully supported” through the education, bar exam prep, and job placement processes.

Penn State’s School of International Affairs, which is located alongside Penn State Law in the Lewis Katz Building, will remain “largely unchanged” as the university explores relocating it. A Penn State spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment regarding the future of the building, which is located north of Park Avenue next to the Arboretum.

The Lewis Katz Building opened for classes at University Park in 2009. Penn State previously had a one-school, dual-campus law school from 2006 until 2014 but split into two separately accredited schools in 2015.

The Dickinson School of Law was founded in 1834 and began merging with Penn State in 1997.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a redshirt senior majoring in business and journalism from "Philadelphia" and mostly writes about football nowadays. You can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9 or say hi via email at [email protected].

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