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Penn State Dickinson Law

Penn State Dickinson Law

Penn State Dickinson Law


One of the world's preeminent research universities, The Pennsylvania State University combines strength in traditional academics with a forward-thinking, future-focused approach to interdisciplinary studies and internationalization. Consistently ranked in the top one percent of universities worldwide, Penn State is one of the largest and most respected universities in the United States.

Considered among the nation’s best law schools, Penn State Dickinson Law is the oldest ABA-accredited law school in Pennsylvania and one of the oldest in the United States. For over 185 years, Dickinson Law has produced some of the world’s finest attorneys, judges, government and corporate leaders, and legal scholars.

Throughout its rich 40-year history, the Master of Laws (LL.M.) program at Dickinson Law has welcomed legal professionals from around the world who have come to advance their legal careers through direct access to world-class litigators and legal scholars, professional specialization in specific areas or law, and innovative research and scholarship.

The LL.M. program is designed for both domestic and internationally trained legal professionals seeking specialized knowledge and advanced study in particular areas of law. During this flexible one-year program, students may enroll in a wide variety of courses that allow concentration in certain aspects of law or law-related topics. Students may pursue specific curricular or certificate tracks.

Why Penn State Dickinson Law?

Selecting the right institution is an important decision. Here are some of the many reasons why LL.M. students select Penn State Dickinson Law:

  • Our Campus. Dickinson Law offers LL.M. students an ideal environment with access to world-class resources and accomplished faculty. Our historic campus offers a state-of-the-art facility and a modern research library offering law-related resources and a wide range of services that support the advancement of legal scholarship.
  • Our Reach. Penn State boasts a vibrant university community with 24 campuses located throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a global alumni network of over 700,000 alumni that both prepares students to work in the global economy and ensures a Penn State connection almost anywhere in the world.
  • Our Faculty. LL.M. students learn from a distinctive and dedicated full-time faculty complemented by an adjunct faculty of practicing attorneys and judges. Our professors have spent years practicing law and engage nationally and internationally through practice, research and scholarship.
  • Our Curriculum. Penn State Dickinson Law offers a flexible one-year LL.M. program that can be started in the fall (August) or spring (January). Studying alongside J.D. students, LL.M. students can enroll in a wide variety of courses that allows concentration in certain types of law or law-related topics. The Dickinson Law curriculum provides all coursework necessary to sit for the New York bar examination.
  • Our Location. The Dickinson Law campus is located in Carlisle, which is strategically located close to Harrisburg — the capital of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania — and its judicial, legislative, and executive offices. Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore and New York City are all easily accessible by car or train. Carlisle continuously ranks as one of the country's most livable small towns in the U.S. due in part to the diversity of the people and institutions, amenities, and array of community activities. The cost of living consistently rates below the U.S. average, making it an affordable, cost-efficient option for attending law school. Generally, everything one needs is within easy walking or biking distance. Most LL.M. students find reasonably priced housing close to campus.

Campus Features

Facilities Dickinson Law’s completely renovated historic home in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been intentionally designed to further the Law School’s commitment to community. This LEED-certified facility features state-of-the-art classrooms and seminar rooms; a signature moot courtroom with a 200-seat observatory; a legislative hearing room; the three-story H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library; group-study rooms; the Ridge Commons; a courtyard; and a café. All classrooms are equipped with sophisticated audiovisual technology that allows students and professors to communicate in real-time with colleagues and professionals around the world.


    The LL.M. program at Penn State Dickinson Law is highly selective with a limited number of qualified students admitted each year. To be considered for admission, applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a first professional degree in law. This is generally a J.D. from an ABA-approved, U.S. law school or the equivalent to the J.D. from an international law school. Successful applicants are often licensed to practice law and have significant professional experience in legal practice.

    Dickinson Law maintains a holistic approach to admission. Successful applicants will have provided a clear and compelling rationale for pursuing an LL.M. degree and specifically at Penn State Dickinson Law. It is important that applicants have well-defined career plans and demonstrate the importance of earning an LL.M. degree in realization of those plans.

    For admission to the LL.M. program, applicants must submit an application via the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Dickinson Law does not assess any application fees.

    While most students seek to enroll in the fall semester (August), LL.M. students also have the option of beginning the LL.M. program in the spring semester (January).

    Visa Requirements

    Once enrolled, international students will receive notice from iStart, Penn State’s immigration management system for international student and scholar advising. Each student will receive a message from Pre-Arrival Admissions that will explain what is needed regarding immigration compliance. Once the student has submitted the necessary documentation into iStart, an I-20 (assuming an F-visa type) will be sent within 2-4 weeks. The I-20 is a “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status” that allows a student to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Students on other visa types, including J-1 visas, will require different paperwork but the visa process itself is generally the same.

    International students are supported by the Office of International Students and Scholars at Penn State Global for all immigration matters.

    Scholarships and Funding

    Penn State Dickinson Law is committed to providing every student access to a world-class legal education. All LL.M. applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships at the time of admission.

    For a breakdown of costs, including tuition, fees, books, and living allowances, click the link below. To reduce living expenses, most students establish a personal budget, opt to live with a roommate, shop at discount food stores, walk or bike to campus, bring their meals to campus, and more. Penn State offers student discounts on software, computers, clothes, and much more.

    Monthly LL.M. information session


    • Carlisle

      150 South College St., Carlisle, PA 17013, , Carlisle