Proposal for separate accreditation sparks questions - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

Proposal for separate accreditation of Dickinson Law sparks questions

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Standing prominently in the borough of Carlisle since 1834, the Dickinson School of Law has executed it's long standing mission, to "educate common, ordinary individuals to become lawyers to represent common and ordinary people in the community."

For 178 years, that mission has been passed down from generation to generation. However, in recent decades, there have been some changes.

In 2000, the school merged with Penn State University. Under that agreement, Penn State is required to continue to operate a three year law school in Carlisle until 2025.

Still, there has been recent discussion of changes to how the school is operated. First, there was a proposal to send all first year law students to the University Park campus in State College.

Then, apparently, Dickinson Law School Dean Philip McConnoaughay told students those plans would be taken off of the table but, instead, each campus would pursue separate accreditations.

There are mixed reactions among students, alumni, and community members about how this decision might effect the Carlisle community.

Local lawyer and Dickinson Law School graduate Jason Kutulakis said he has many questions, but sees the potential for positive and negative outcomes.

"Will the campuses be treated differently? Will they be treated identically? Will the public and the legal system believe that one location is better than the other? Those things remain to be seen," he said.

Some students said there have already been talks of organizing student groups to get involved in the process. So far, no word from Penn State officials as to when this proposal could be decided upon.

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