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University of Pittsburgh (School of Law)

For 110 years, the School of Law has prepared students to become excellent attorneys and leaders in both the legal profession and in society. For us, our Web site's title, "The Next Generation of Leaders," is more than a catch phrase. Instead, it represents the mission we pursue each day.

At Pitt Law we train the next generation of leaders by providing students with both traditional law school classroom experiences designed to develop and hone analytical and communication skills and with experiential learning opportunities in one of our six clinics, which range in subject area from Environmental Law to Family Law to Health Law. Students who wish to focus their studies can enjoy the numerous benefits of enrolling in one of our five certificate programs, with their opportunities for international externships, instruction in litigation skills by teams of top practicing litigators, or membership on an intellectual property moot court team. And Pitt Law students can serve as editors at JURIST, the only online real-time legal news and research service, which is hosted right here at the School of Law.

Of course, no matter how broad a range of learning opportunities a law school provides, the quality of the legal education that students receive depends heavily on the quality and commitment of the law school faculty. The faculty at Pitt Law is made up of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who share a common commitment to educating their students. This group of nationally recognized teacher-scholars brings the law alive for Pitt Law students by challenging students to explore the relevance of law to the issues confronting our society and the world today ... and tomorrow. This is the education of the next generation of leaders.

All this happens in Pittsburgh, a city whose rolling hills today are "clean and green" and that offers a wide variety of social, cultural, and athletic amenities, as well as a highly sophisticated practicing bar, many of whom are Pitt Law alumni who remain actively engaged in the life of the School. The School of Law is situated in Oakland, the diverse and vibrant neighborhood that is home not only to institutions of higher education, but also to the Carnegie Museums and the grassy lawns and playing fields of Schenley Park. With all it has to offer, Pittsburgh remains an affordable, accessible, and welcoming city.

The Faculty of the School of Law has adopted the following mission statement:

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is a diverse community of learning whose essential mission is to help lawyers and legal institutions to meet the demands of a rapidly changing legal and professional environment. We perform this mission through three critical functions:

1. We prepare a diverse and talented pool of students to meet the challenges of demanding legal careers whether as advocates, counselors, planners, or policy makers and to meet the leadership responsibilities lawyers are called upon to perform in their personal and professional lives. Our central focus in this effort is the preparation of students for the first professional degree in law.
2. We are a center of legal scholarship, whose members work to enlarge society's understanding of law and its underlying policies, legal institutions, and legal processes.
3. We provide expertise, support and service to governmental units at all levels, to local and national organizations engaged in law reform and policy analysis, to the legal profession, and to the people of Western Pennsylvania, both through the work of our graduates and through efforts to foster improvements in all aspects of the justice system.

In serving our students, we are committed to an active and inclusive spirit of community and to the effective, efficient and congenial provision of service. We seek to model a diverse community characterized by fairness, professionalism, and respect for the dignity and contributions of all persons. We aspire, with regard to our teaching, research, and public service, to conduct all of our programs in a manner consistent with the highest standards of professionalism, and at a nationally prominent level of quality that adds luster to the legal and business communities of Pittsburgh; that makes us relevant to the key needs of this region's private, public, and nonprofit sectors; and that distinguishes us as one of the finest public urban law schools in the United States.

The law school is one of 17 schools and programs comprising the University of Pittsburgh. It is located in Oakland, the educational, medical, and cultural center of Pittsburgh. Located within several blocks of the Law Building are Hillman Library, Carnegie Public Library, and several special libraries of the University, including the business, medical, and public and international affairs libraries. Oakland is also home to three other colleges and universities, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Carnegie Institute and Museum, the Scaife and Frick Art Galleries, and the 429-acre Schenley Park with its tennis, golf, and swimming facilities. Downtown Pittsburgh, with its state and federal courts, government offices, county law library facilities, law firms, and corporate headquarters, is only 10 minutes from the law school by car or public transportation.

The law school occupies a modern, six-story building designed to accommodate the many activities that contribute to the development of responsible attorneys. The largest element in the building, the Barco Law Library, serves as the "laboratory" for the work of both students and faculty and is an important information center for practicing lawyers and for scholars from other disciplines. A permanent endowment helps ensure that the school can maintain excellence in law library services to respond fully to the teaching and research missions of the law school, as well as to provide a continuing learning resource for practitioners in the law.

The Barco Law Library's location on floors three, four, and five provides the desired remoteness from the main flow of student and visitor traffic and helps create an environment conducive to individual study. Faculty offices ring the perimeter of the library on floors three and five. This encourages ease of interaction between students and faculty.

Conceived as both a law library and a research center, the Barco Law Library includes individual reading carrels for most of the student body in close proximity to the open stacks. The fourth floor is the library's nerve center, containing the circulation desk, the reference desk and reference collection, modern indexing tools, group-study rooms, a microform room, an audiovisual room, and the Harold Obernauer Computerized Legal Research Center. The Obernauer Center, opened in 1987, gives Pitt Law students access to personal computer equipment for research, word processing, and programmed courses of instruction.

The current collection numbers some 325,000 volumes and volume equivalents and has a seating capacity, in both the individual carrels and in private reading areas, of over 400. It will serve well for years to come for the dual purposes of learning and constructive research in the law.

The assembly areas are the next largest element of the building. The facilities are all on the first floor with direct circulation to the main entrance. The spatial arrangements make it possible for the four main classrooms, situated on this floor, to fill and discharge swiftly and without interference with other activities in the school.

A special feature of the Law Building is the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom on the ground floor. The courtroom, named for the late Benjamin H. Teplitz, includes a seven-seat judges' bench, jury and press boxes, counselors' tables, judges' chambers, and jury room. It is used primarily by trial tactics classes and by the growing number of moot court programs. It is equipped to handle special sessions of the Commonwealth and Federal Appellate Courts and hearings before various administrative tribunals. A focus of visual interest is the large (24 by 36 foot) mosaic mounted on the wall behind the judges' bench. Designed and created by the University's Virgil Cantini, the mosaic is a dramatic compound of 126 porcelain-on-steel pieces and represents the artist's conception of the harmony of the law and the rich tapestry of the American legal system. The moot courtroom, with its oak-paneled appointments and its spaciousness and simplicity of design, evokes in the spectator a respect for the dignity of the court.

The ground floor of the building is the center for student activity. The large and comfortable student lounge provides relaxed surroundings for students seeking respite from the rigors of their studies. Refreshments are available in the vending machine area just off the lounge. Lining the north wall are three student activity rooms designed for more formalized gatherings. On the opposite side of the lounge is the locker area, where each student has an assigned locker. Most of the school's student organizations have offices on the ground floor. Three--the Moot Court Board, the Law Review, and the Journal of Law and Commerce--are located on the fifth floor to afford them easy access to both faculty counselors and the library.

The administrative offices, named in honor of William Wallace Booth, are located on the second floor, where they can be reached from all parts of the building with ease. The faculty lounge, furbished in part by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation, is adjacent to the administrative suite and may be entered either directly or through the administrative offices.

Other design features of the Law Building include a pedestrian bridge connecting the School of Law with Litchfield Towers dormitories, Lawrence Hall, and Forbes Quadrangle.

Law School and reality meet head-on in Legal Clinics. For the first time, you will wrestle as a lawyer with ethical issues involving real people. Students are eligible to enroll in a Legal Clinic beginning with the second semester of the second year of law school.

In our Tax Clinic, for example, you might represent low- or moderate income taxpayers in disputes with the IRS. Experienced tax practitioners will be your mentors as you do the necessary research, interview, counsel and represent your clients before the IRS and the Tax Court.

As a student in our Environmental Law Clinic, your client focus shifts to community organizations and individuals involved in environmental litigation.

As a student in the Family Law Clinic, you will represent selected clients in the Allegheny County Family Court Division. Over the course of two semesters, you will develop skills in client interviewing, negotiation, research and drafting, custody mediation, and custody and support litigation.

The Community Economic Development Clinic provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in business and tax law. In the CED Clinic you will represent individuals who are starting small businesses, but are unable to afford legal representation.

If you enroll in the Civil Practice Clinic you can select a focus on Health Law or Elder Law. With a supervising attorney looking on, you will do it all - pretrial preparation, negotiation, litigation, and counseling your real-life clients about their legal concerns.

A focus in Health Law makes you an advocate for the legal-medical needs of people of all ages in poor health, people with mental retardation, AIDS, depression and other physical and mental health problems. You will build case theories, study medical records and represent clients seeking Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability benefits and challenging the denial of coverage by managed care companies of prescribed medical care." You'll act as lead attorney from the initial interview to the hearing before an administrative law judge through various levels of appeals, including the Third Circuit.

Elder Law zeroes in on issues confronting an aging society as well as aging clients. You'll learn from experts in Sociology, psychology, psychiatry, and medicine as you examine age discrimination and legal capacity in connection with medical treatment, mental health law, estate planning, contractual relations and property management. You'll grapple with ethical and controversial issues such as "protectionism vs. self-determination" and the "least restrictive alternative," as you represent elderly clients or their families in a variety of legal contexts.

School name:University of PittsburghSchool of Law
Address:3900 Forbes Avenue
Zip & city:PA 15260 Pennsylvania

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