Penn State’s Board of Trustees Friday approved the appointment of Gary S. Gildin as dean of Dickinson Law, one of The Dickinson Schools of Law, effective immediately.
Gildin, a professor of law and current interim dean, will remain in this leadership role until a comprehensive national search to fill the position is conducted and concluded, anticipated for during the 2018-19 academic year, according to a news release from the school.
Gildin has served as interim dean since May 2013 after the school’s unified, two-campus law school was separated into two distinct accredited law campuses of the Dickinson School of Law. In June 2014, the American Bar Association approved the university’s proposal to operate two independent and fully accredited law schools: Dickinson Law in Carlisle and Penn State Law at State College, both of which began operating as independent law schools starting with the class admitted in fall 2015.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my interim dean position has been to partner with the faculty, with the advice and wise counsel of our alumni, to reinvent a curriculum designed from the very first day of law school to produce profession-ready graduates,” said Gildin, who also is the Hon. G. Thomas and Anne G. Miller Chair in Advocacy and director of the Center for Public Interest Law and Advocacy at Dickinson Law.
Gildin joined Penn State’s faculty in 1979 after spending three years as a civil litigator with Sonnenschein Carlin Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons) in Chicago. During his time at Penn State, Gildin completed three sabbaticals, including a U.S. Canada Fulbright Grant to serve as visiting chair in international humanitarian law, University of Ottawa; assistant public defender, Public Defender Office, Cumberland County, PA; and law clerk to the Hon. Sylvia H. Rambo, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania. He has taught substantive law courses including trial advocacy, evidence, civil liberties litigation, criminal procedure, protection of individual rights under state constitutions, legal argument and factual persuasion, constitutional law, professional responsibility, remedies, comparative civil liberties (summer program in international law, Florence, Italy), and law and medicine (Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center). He also has taught legal methods, research and writing as part of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity Regional Summer Institute.
“We are very pleased to appoint Gary Gildin as dean until a comprehensive national search to fill the position is conducted and concluded, anticipated for during the 2018-19 academic year. He has shown tremendous leadership since the establishment of Dickinson Law as a separately accredited school, and I welcome him continuing in the dean’s role as Dickinson Law continues to move through this important transitional period,” said Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones.
Throughout his career at the Law School, Gildin has continued to engage in pro bono litigation on behalf of people alleging infringement of their constitutional rights, including arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bowen v. Roy. He regularly teaches in international, national and statewide continuing legal education programs that enhance the trial skills of practicing attorneys and has given more than 60 lectures on a variety of legal topics at universities, industry association events, and conferences around the country.
Gildin has authored more than 40 books, book chapters, articles, continuing legal education publication chapters and book reviews. He recently co-authored the second edition of Trial Advocacy Basics, published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (2016). He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Roscoe Pound Foundation’s Jacobson Award for excellence in teaching the art and skills of trial advocacy, and has held several board and committee memberships.
Gildin earned his juris doctor from Stanford Law School, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his bachelor of arts from University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he graduated with honors.