Widener University School of Law
Widener University School of Law
Established 1971
School type Private
Parent endowment $58,431,563
Dean Linda L. Ammons
Location Wilmington, Delaware

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US

Enrollment 1,646
Faculty 141[1]
USNWR ranking 2nd Tier, unranked[2]
Bar pass rate 92.31%.[3]
Annual tuition $34,890 (full-time)[4]

$24,610 (part-time)[5]

Website law.widener.edu
ABA profile Wilmington Campus Profile

Harrisburg Campus Profile

Widener University School of Law is the ABA accredited law school of Widener University. The school, founded in 1971 as the Delaware Law School, operates on two of Widener's campuses, one in Wilmington, Delaware, and the other in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Contents

History

Originally founded in 1971 as the Delaware Law School, the institution became affiliated with Widener University in 1975 and graduated its first class of 267 that year. The school's name was officially changed to Widener University School of Law in 1989 when the Harrisburg campus was added. With a current enrollment of over 1600 students, Widener Law has grown to become the largest of all Pennsylvania area law schools.

Campuses

Delaware

Strategically located in Wilmington, the corporate capital of the world,[6] Widener's 40 acre campus is home to nearly 1,100 students.[7] The campus offers numerous degrees, many with an emphasis on corporate law.

Harrisburg

The Harrisburg campus is located minutes from the state capitol building and downtown Harrisburg. The 22 acre campus is home to the Widener Law & Government Institute, which specializes in the study and improvement of government law. The Harrisburg campus boasts a total enrollment of approximately 500 full time and part time students.[8]

Academics

Overview

Widener provides a comprehensive legal education program including offering its students the opportunity to work on court cases through legal clinics. The clinics specialize in environmental law, criminal defense, and civil law; which includes bankruptcy, family law, and legal assistance on veteran benefits cases. Another opportunity provided to its students is the Trial Advocacy Institute which offers an eight-day training program that teaches students how to conduct themselves properly in a courtroom trial.

In addition to legal clinics and the Trial Advocacy Institute, Widener offers certification in specialized fields of study. At the Delaware campus it offers special certification from the Health Law Institute, the Institute of Delaware Corporate Law, and Trial Advocacy Institute. At the Harrisburg campus special certification is available through the Law and Government Institute.[9]

Both campuses offer a variety of pro-bono work or community outreach opportunities through the Public Interest Initiative on the Harrisburg campus or the Public Interest Resource Center on the Delaware campus.[10] Students also have the opportunity to participate in extra and co-curricular activities such as Moot court, Moe Levine Trial Advocacy Honor Society, and three law reviews; The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law, The Widener Law Journal, and The Widener Law Review.

Degree programs

Grading curve

Widener's grading policy is self-described as rigorous.[15] Unlike most law schools, Widener's policy allows the average grade for first-year courses to be set as low as 2.3, which equates to a grade point average between a "C" and a "C+." The average grade for upper level courses purports to be only slightly more lenient.[15] This low grading curve has been the source of controversy for some students. According to a 2007 student survey conducted by the Princeton Review and sanctioned by the school, "Widener's C grading curve is also a source of frustration. Students worry that their curved grade point averages might not stack up to their competitors, 'causing us to lose out on job opportunities.'" In the same survey, students insist that the current grading policy requires some much needed reform.[16]

Ranking

In the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Law School Rankings, Widener is classified as a "Second Tier" law school and is not given a numerical value.[17] The median LSAT score and the median GPA for the class entering in 2010 were 151 and 3.14 respectively.[18]

Study abroad

Study abroad is offered through the Summer International Law Institute. There are five institutes available to students; Kenya, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and the most recent addition of China. While abroad students sometimes have the ability to go out on internships with international organizations.

Post-graduation

Bar passage

Since 1998, over 3,600 Widener Law graduates have been admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar – more than any other Pennsylvania area law school.[19] Recently, Widener Law has experienced a steep upward trend in its bar passage rates. Notably, first time takers from both campuses have achieved all-time high passage rates on the Pennsylvania Bar Exam; Harrisburg in July 2009 with 94.32%,[20] and Delaware in February 2011 with 92.31%.[3]

Employment statistics

Class of 2010

  • Nine Month Employment/Advanced Degree Rate: 93%[21]
  • Working in Private/Business Sector: 57%[21]
  • Working in Public/Non Profit Sector: 43%[21]
  • Median reported private sector salary: $66,750[22]
  • Median reported judicial clerkship salary: $45,000[22]
  • Median reported government salary: $42,000[23]

Class of 2009

  • Nine Month Employment/Advanced Degree Rate: 79%[24]
  • Working in Private/Business Sector: 61%[24]
  • Working in Public/Non-Profit Sector: 30.4%[24]
  • Median reported private sector salary: $65,000[25]
  • Median reported public sector salary: $45,000[25]

Student loan debt

Widener's Class of 2010 graduated with an average debt of $111,909.[26] This places Widener in the mid-range of student loan debt compared to Pennsylvania's other private law schools (Villanova, $122,410;[27]Dickinson, $117,989;[28] Penn, $105,297;[26] Duquesne, $88,908;[29] Drexel, $32,260[30]) and only slightly above the national average.[31]

Partnerships

Undergraduate programs

Qualified undergraduate students at Widener University are eligible to apply to the law school under three special admissions programs.[32]

  • Express Admissions Program - Students in the top half of their class who score in the top 50th percentile on the LSAT are eligible to apply for express admission to the law school.[33]
  • 3+3 Fast Track Program - Government and politics students can earn their undergraduate degree and law degree in just six years.[34]
  • Legal Studies and Analysis Minor - This minor partners the undergraduate college with the law school to help prepare Widener students for the LSAT.[35]

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

Since 1998, Widener Law's Harrisburg Campus has partnered with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to offer streamlined admissions and scholarship opportunities to highly qualified students and alumni from the 14 state universities.[36]

  • Express Admissions Program - PASSHE students and graduates are eligible to apply for express admission to the Harrisburg Campus.[37]
  • 3+3 Early Admissions/Joint Degree Program - PASSHE students can earn their undergraduate degree and law degree in just six years.[38]
  • Dixon Scholarship Program - A 30% tuition scholarship is available to students admitted under the Express Admissions Program or the 3+3 Early Admissions/Joint Degree Program.[39]

Stockton College

Beginning in 2009, Widener Law has offered an express admissions option to qualified students and alumni from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.[40]

  • Express Admissions Program - Stockton students and graduates are eligible to apply for express admission to either campus.[41]

Notable faculty

Notable alumni

As of 2010, the School of Law has more than 13,000 alumni practicing around the world.[43]

  • Dawn Marie Addiego (19--), New Jersey State Senator (R)
  • Peter J. Barnes III (19--), New Jersey Congressman (D)
  • Hon. P. Kevin Brobson (1995), Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court (R)
  • Mark B. Cohen (1993), Pennsylvania Congressman (D)
  • Hon. Alan N. Cooper (1985), New Castle County Family Court[44]
  • Hon. Deborah E. Curcillo (1987), Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas[45]
  • Bryan Cutler (2006), Pennsylvania Congressman (R)
  • Peter Daley (1993), Pennsylvania Congressman (D)
  • Carl Danberg (198-), former Delaware Attorney General (D)
  • Hon. Alan G. Davis (1999), Chief Magistrate, Delaware Justice of the Peace Court[46]
  • Hon. Susan C. Del Pesco (1975), Delaware Superior Court
  • Eugene DePasquale (19--), Pennsylvania Congressman (D)
  • Domenick DiCicco (19--), New Jersey Congressman (R)
  • Hon. Scott A. Evans (1981), Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas[47]
  • Jon D. Fox (1975), former U.S. Congressman (R-PA)
  • Hon. Todd A. Hoover (1979), Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas[48]
  • Tom Houghton (199-), former Pennsylvania Congressman
  • Hon. Richard A. Lewis (19--), Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas[49]
  • Matthew McGrory (dec'd), actor
  • Patrick J. Murphy (1999), former U.S. Congressman (D-PA)
  • William Nettles (1992), U.S. Attorney, District of South Carolina [50]
  • Pat Quinn (198-), former NHL Coach and General Manager
  • Hon. Robert J. Rebstock (1983), Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas[51]
  • Cynthia R. Ryan (1979), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency General Counsel
  • John Sabatina (1997), Pennsylvania Congressman (D)
  • Curt Schroder (1989), Pennsylvania Congressman (R)
  • John C. Sigler (1987), former National Rifle Association President
  • Hon. Howard H. Sherman (1975), New York Supreme Court[52]
  • Todd Stephens (politician) (2000), Pennsylvania Congressman (R)
  • Brian Tierney (1987), former publisher of the The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News
  • Terry Van Horne (1993), former Pennsylvania Congressman (D)
  • Rebecca Walker (politician) (19--), Delaware Congresswoman (D)
  • Mike Missanelli (19--), Philadelphia sports radio personality

References

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  4. ^ "2011 Full-time Tuition". USNWR. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/school-of-law-03028. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
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  8. ^ "Office of the Dean, Harrisburg Campus". Widener University School of Law. http://www.law.widener.edu/about/dean_hb.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
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  39. ^ "Stockton Partnership". Widener Law. http://law.widener.edu/Admissions/ApplyasaJDStudent/HigherEducationPartnershipPrograms.aspx. Retrieved 2011-04-18. 
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