Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Widener University Commonwealth Law School

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Basic Information

Widener University Commonwealth Law School was founded as the Harrisburg campus of Widener University in 1989. It became a stand alone law school in 2015. 

It is the only law school in the Pennsylvania capital, giving it unique opportunitites for externships. The Law & Government Institute is the school’s signature program, and it is dedicated to exploring law that defines the structure and operation of government, and to the relationship between individuals and government.

The school places an emphasis on experiential learning — an approach that leads to practice-ready graduates. The Harrisburg Civil Clinic, in operation since 1991, provides opportunities for students to advocate for indigent clients in family law, administrative law and bankruptcy cases.

The school also provides multiple outlets for students to support pro bono attorneys with non-credit hands-on assistance that pays in experience. Programs like Wills For Heroes and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts expose them to client relations, and a myriad of small business, intellectual property and estate planning legal needs.

The school excels on the bar exam. It's Class of 2015 reported a 95.12 percent pass rate within the first four tries. It outperforms its expected pass rate, based on incoming LSAT scores, by 10 percent. It also improved its job placement rate from 61.5 percent in 2011 to 72.95 percent in 2017, among the top improvements nationwide. 

It is a top law school for environmental law. 

Admission Profile
Application Deadline: 
Application Fee: 


75th Percentile1503.45
25th Percentile1452.87
Financial Profile
Tuition Part-time$30,316$30,316
Living Expenses
Median grant$11000
Percent receiving grants92.00%
Estimated net tuition
Employment & Bar Exam Profile
Post-grad employment 89.80%
NJ Employment72.95%
Bar Passage67.74%
Academic Profile
Business, Corporate, Banking
Environmental/Natural Resource Law
Governmental Affairs and Regulations
Trial Advocacy