Penn State to merge with Dickinson School of Law (S)
What does a major university do if it is interested in adding a law program, but does not want to increase the number of lawyers entering the job market each year?
That is the situation Pennsylvania State University in State College has faced for years. Last Friday, it solved the problem: its board voted to merge with an existing institution, the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, about 100 miles away.
The merger gives Penn State a way to educate those students in-house, and it gives Dickinson Law access to Penn State's formidable fund-raising operation and electronic information system. Beginning in July, Dickinson's 520 law students will receive Penn State degrees, and Dickinson employees will be placed on the university payroll.
The merger of the two institutions will leave intact Dickinson Law's governing board but will give Penn State a voice in naming the next dean. Dickinson Law was not in any financial trouble but wanted help on future capital campaigns, said Christy Rambeau, a Penn State spokeswoman. The law school will remain in Carlisle.
The 163-year-old law school, one of seven law schools in Pennsylvania, brings to 24 the number of post-graduate programs at Penn State, which also offers degrees in medicine, engineering and business.
"The one component we've always felt we missed is the law," said Bill Mahon, a spokesman for the university, which was founded in 1855. JACQUES STEINBERG