Does anyone have any information on these two schools? It'd be great to hear something from anyone who has attended or knows someone who has attended.
I got to PSU-DSL in Carlisle. Just finished my first semester. Ask away.
Yes, the scholarship is over 3 years - $18,000 per year. I largely chose PSU because of the location. I was already living in South Central PA - my husband and I own a home here and we didn't want to move and make him give up his job. We will likely remain in this area after I'm done with law school. So my decision was largely based on personal reasons. That being said, I'm very happy with DSL. The school has a great sense of community. The faculty are impressive and very accessible. And despite what many people on here would have you believe, my fellow students are actually quite intelligent and hard-working. It is very easy to take classes at the other campus (although as a 1L, you have to take all your classes at one place). We have a pretty sophisticated video-conferencing system, and prof's frequently travel from campus to campus (so even if you're in a videoconferenced course, you'll likely be taught in person for at least some of the class sessions). The campus "specialties" are largely based on location - for instance, it makes a lot of sense to study sports law at the PSU main campus, and Carlisle is generally a better option for people interested in gov't work because of its proximity to the state capital.
So I just typed a very detailed reply to your post, and then something weird happened with my computer and it all disappeared...grrr...DSL has a great mentor program. It's not limited to gov't or to PA, but there are a lot of mentors who happen to be in Harrisburg and who happen to work either in the judiciary or in state or gov't. I just got matched up with a judge in Harrisburg, actually - he's a great guy, very helpful. DSL also has a field placement program that includes a lot of gov't positions. I'll see if I can get you a list (it's on the website, but I think it's on the secured portion, so you probably can't access it). I plan to do a field placement next year. They're similar to internships you might do over the summer, but you get credit for them, and they're positions that are reserved for DSL students. I imagine they're a great way to make connections and get a foot in the door. Aside from those programs (and I'm sure there are more that I don't know about), I think the greatest assets here are the alumni network and the Career Services Office. This area is really dominated by DSL alums, and they're very willing to help DSL students. The CSO is also quite helpful - they've got a lot of connections in state government and in the judiciary. Again, I'm only a 1L, so I have limited experience with the legal job search. From what I've heard though, if you want to work in central PA, a JD from Dickinson will help A LOT.