Chapter 35 — Law in the College
[ Previous Chapter ] [ Table of Contents ] [ Next Chapter ]

THERE have been two distinct and separate developments of instruction in the law in Carlisle. One was under control of the College, 1834-1882; the other under a separate Board, 1890 to date.

The first of these developments was initiated by Judge John Reed in a letter to the college trustees in 1833. On the proposals of this letter he was elected Professor of Law in Dickinson College, and so remained till his death in 1850.

This Department of Law was vacant for twelve years after the death of Judge Reed, when Judge James Hutchinson Graham became its head, and so continued until his death in 1882. No successor toJudge Graham was ever elected by the College.

Eight years after the death ofJudge Graham the Dickinson School of Law was in 1890 chartered by the local courts, with its own Board of Incorporators, and with full charter powers as an independent institution.

The School of Law thus chartered had no legal connection with the College, though college students have always had the privilege of taking some law electives in the School. The name of the School, however, and the fact that the President of the College became its nominal head caused the general belief that it was a department of the College. This anomalous condition was somewhat changed in 1913 by similar actions of the Boards of the College and Law School, making the Law School a department of the College; and the two Boards are yet working out a modus vivendi under these new actions.

The Dickinson School of Law, thus chartered in 1890, has had a distinguished career for forty-three years. Many of its graduates occupy posts of professional honor and distinction. Two of its graduates were at one time Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of Pennsylvania, a record probably without parallel.

The friendly relations existing between the two institutions, and the distinguished services the Law School has rendered the legal profession, suggest the incorporation of some history of the latter in the story of the College. However, the limits of a story already possibly too long, forbid this. An additional word must suffice.

William Trickett, LL.D., of the college Class of 1868, was the original Dean and head of the Law School. Under his direction for nearly forty years, it grew to be one of the largest law schools in the country. Better than this, its graduates have maintained a high standard of professional probity and success.

From its revival in 1890 until 1918 the Law School occupied the building originally known as Emory Chapel at the corner of West and Pomfret streets. The School then acquired a site at the northwest corner of College and South streets and erected thereon a handsome and commodious brick colonial building, having the general design of Independence Hall. The building was appropriately named Trickett Hall. The site adjoins Mooreland, recently acquired by the College, and thus ties in the Law School property with the campus.

Walter H. Hitchler., LL.D., Dean of the School since 1931, has more than maintained its high character: he has made it for the first time virtually a graduate School of Law. Two years of college work are required for admission, but practically all students admitted are graduates of colleges.

The outlook for the School is so promising that the temptation to enter on its story is almost irresistible. Necessity, however, forbids.


[ Previous Chapter ] [ Table of Contents ] [ Next Chapter ]