Law Schools

Penn State Dickinson Plans to Cut JD Enrollment, But Will Keep Both Campuses


Corrected: Joining a number of other law schools that have announced similar plans amidst an apparent paradigm shift in the nation’s legal industry, Penn State Dickinson School of Law is planning to trim total enrollment from about 660 to 500 students.

However, the institution plans to keep both its flagship University Park campus near State College, Pa., and its Carlisle campus, the Central Penn Business Journal reports.

To help adjust for reduced tuition revenue because of the cut in class size, the law school may put all first-year classes in University Park, dean Philip McConnaughay said. This would also allow Penn State Dickinson to enhance some of its other Carlisle offerings, such as a children’s law clinic.

High-speed audiovisual technology makes it possible for the law school to teach second- and third-year classes simultaneously on both campuses.

“We’re diversifying,” the dean said. “We think it’s a way to meet the changing circumstances of law schools in the United States successfully in a way that advantages our JD students and maintains the vibrancy of both our campuses.”

An earlier story by Centre Daily Times notes that 170 students are expected to law school there this fall, compared with about 185 in 2011.

Related coverage:

Centre Daily Times: “Penn State law school sees ‘hefty decline’ in applicants”

Patriot-News (op-ed): “Dickinson Law Dean: We’re staying in Carlisle “

Sentinel: “PSU may alter role of Dickinson law school”

Updated at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday to change a reference from class size to total enrollment and add previous coverage from Centre Daily Times.

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