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Duquesne University (School of Law)




Duquesne is a Catholic law school, we teach the same basic courses at Duquesne as other law schools, but we do present them with an ethical and a moral perspective that most law schools lack. We also enrich our curriculum with courses that can build your personal and ethical perspectives, such as Law and Philosophy, Law and Religion, Jewish Law and Canon Law. These courses are optional, but they will offer you a chance to enlarge your personal horizons as a lawyer. Being Catholic also affects the way we treat our students. We believe in the God-given dignity of every human being, and, as a result, the teaching and learning of law at Duquesne is never a dehumanizing process.

Duquesne is a teaching law school, our focus is on the classroom that is our learning laboratory. The assistant deans all teach at Duquesne. The Chancellor of the University, Dr. John E. Murray, Jr. the nationally renowned contracts scholar, teaches a six-credit course on Contracts. Every year, we survey our students anonymously on the teaching effectiveness of the faculty, and every year, our students rate our faculty at 4 to 5 on a five-point scale.

The Law School operates three live-client, in-house clinics in Criminal Law, Economic Development Law and Family Law, in some of the most modern, best-equipped clinical spaces in the nation. In addition to these real client opportunities for our students, our clinical externship program provides more than 200 placement sites in judges’ offices, in public law offices (district attorneys, public defenders, federal prosecutors, environmental agencies, etc.) and in the law departments of numerous public charities (hospitals, colleges, church organizations).

The deans and professors will know you from the day you walk in the front door, and you will know them. Classes are small. Professors are easily accessible to students and spend many hours with them. You can see any of the deans, including me, on a drop-in basis. There are no fences, no class system that separates us from our students. Together we learn, we produce scholarly works, and we make a different in our community and in our world. We are truly partners in Duquesne's success.

We opened the first summer school for American law students in Beijing, China in 1995. In 2000, we opened a Dublin-based program in partnership with members of the law faculty of University College Dublin, and have expanded that program to include faculty from The Queen's University of Belfast. In 2001, we became the first American law school to offer a summer program in Vatican City State. Since then, we have added an exchange program with the University of Cologne, Germany, and begun discussions with Cuyo University in Argentina, and the People's Friendship University in Moscow. In 2005 we were proud to launch our LLM Program for Foreign Lawyers. Duquesne University School of Law is committed to legal education without borders because we know that your generation of lawyers will be practicing law on an international basis.

Our alumni have achieved top leadership positions in government and in business, and have excelled in private practice. We are proud of the number of graduates who have attained judicial office, not only in Pennsylvania, but in New York, California, and many other states. We are grateful to have active alumni who contribute time, talent and resources on behalf of their law school alma mater and our current students.

Finally, there is one factor that distinguishes our law school, and that, quite simply, is the fact that we are part of Duquesne University, an institution focused upon moral, ethical and spiritual values. In an era when ethical concerns are among the most important questions facing the legal profession, Duquesne University’s School of Law has, for nearly a century, reflected the University’s unique emphasis on justice and service to others.

This unequaled combination of attributes, along with the convenience of full-time day, part-time day and evening programs, and a surprisingly affordable tuition rate, leads thousands of students to apply each year. The resulting mixture of backgrounds and experiences among those chosen brings an atmosphere of openness and diversity to the school’s academic and social settings.

It is the mission of Duquesne University School of Law to train lawyers to a high degree of professional skill with a special, Catholic sensitivity to ethical and moral concerns.

The Duquesne lawyer knows the law both in a comprehensive fashion and increasingly in a range of highly specialized areas such as tax and corporate law, litigation, environmental law, international law and the law of electronic commerce.

The Duquesne lawyer is well-trained in the law, but also understands the difference between what the law allows us to do and what we should do — the difference between what is legal in a given situation and what is right.
He or she will always be highly competent in the details of the law, but more than that, will temper this technical skill with wisdom, compassion and prudence.
We train professionals in the law at Duquesne, but we also train professionals with a sense of justice.

From the beginning, Duquesne has been a law school with a difference.

Pittsburgh Catholic College was founded in 1878 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit to offer the children of Pittsburgh’s hard-working immigrants an opportunity for higher education and advancement beyond the region’s mills and mines. In 1911, it became the first Catholic institution in Pennsylvania to be chartered as a university. Renamed Duquesne University, it established its first professional program – a School of Law – in that same year. Every one of the initial 12 students graduated in June 1914 and successfully completed the Pennsylvania Board of Law examination.

The Duquesne University School of Law has earned a prominent position in legal circles – throughout Western Pennsylvania, across the Commonwealth, from coast to coast and around the world. In the Spiritan tradition, Duquesne’s School of Law was a pioneer in making quality legal education available to working-class students, minorities and women.

Our proven record of excellence is the result of a unique mission, outstanding faculty and facilities, and the availability of Day, Evening and Part-Time Day programs.

In pursuing Duquesne University’s educational philosophy, the Law School espouses the belief that the product of education is the person who thinks, judges and acts constantly and consistently, with right reason and a view to one’s ultimate end. We aim to facilitate the development of purposeful character, intellectual accomplishment, emotional and social maturity and professional efficiency. We understand that the preparation of a student for the legal profession involves the development of a special character, competency and disposition.

The particular objectives of Duquesne’s Law School are:
• To direct and assist students in the acquisition of fundamental principles of law and an awareness of the influence of political, social and economic forces on particular applications of such principles;
• To stimulate and encourage students to form habits of sound judgment based upon complete analysis, thorough research and proper evaluation;
• To develop facility in legal research by acquainting and familiarizing students with the proper use of computer-assisted legal information systems and legal publications, including the various citators, digests, encyclopedias and case annotations;
• To awaken in students a proper respect for civil authority, a sincere love of truth, a deep sense of justice, a tempering spirit of equity and an enduring habit of fortitude;
• To develop facility in legal writing through the preparation of legal memoranda, pleadings and various forms of legal documents;
• To engender in the student an abiding consciousness of the social obligation of the attorney as an officer of the court, of the fiduciary nature of the client/attorney relationship and of the moral responsibility of the individual attorney.

The Duquesne University School of Law is approved by the American Bar Association through the Council of its Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. The School is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. These recognitions reflect the School’s continuing maintenance of high standards relating to entrance requirements, faculty, library and curriculum.
Graduates of Duquesne University School of Law are eligible to take Bar examinations in all jurisdictions of the United States. In planning their courses of study, students are advised to consult with Bar examiners in the state in which they wish to practice to determine if any specific curricular criteria or registration requirements exist for admission to the Bar in that jurisdiction.

Juris Doctor Degree
Day Division:
This program offers a three-year curriculum in residence, designed for students who wish to devote full-time effort to the study of law. Day Division students are discouraged from holding outside employment.

Evening Division:
Prospective students who cannot devote their full time to the study of law may apply to the Evening Division, a complete program of study leading to graduation after four years in residence. Courses are scheduled Monday through Friday evenings and occasionally on Saturdays. In addition to regular class attendance, students must allow sufficient time for studies outside of class hours.

Part-Time Day Division:
This unique program allows students to pursue legal studies within a well-defined time frame convenient to individuals with early morning, late afternoon or evening family commitments. Students in this division may complete their degrees by taking classes scheduled between 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Part-Time Day students may also enroll in other day, evening, Saturday or summer classes.

Duquesne’s law school curriculum prepares students to become effective, competent members of the legal profession. This requires the development of analytical ability and associated fundamental skills. Later, in professional situations, our graduates turn to these problem-solving techniques as they face the daily challenges of legal work.

The program recognizes the importance of basic intellectual ability in a lawyer’s training, while simultaneously illustrating the vital roles of common sense, prudent judgment, sensitivity and concern for others, self-motivation, and an appetite and capacity for sustained, hard work.

While basic concepts of the law are constant, professional practice and legal education constantly evolve to meet changing needs and address new issues. The Duquesne faculty annually reviews the curriculum to ensure that its foundations are maintained and strengthened while changing situations are accommodated.

The required courses are sufficiently broad to provide all students with the requisite skills to become competent attorneys in any field of practice, while a wide selection of elective courses, seminars, and in-house and external clinics allows students to focus on specialized legal fields and explore contemporary issues.

Nearly 4,000 square feet of space on the sixth floor of Fisher Hall houses the Law School’s Clinical Legal Education Programs. The marble walls, wood furnishings and client-friendly, professional meeting rooms replicate a corporate setting, promoting a tradition of respect for the practice of law. Housing clinical programs in a facility separate from the Law School provides a physical and emotional break from textbook study, reminding students that they are changing out of traditional student roles into budding lawyer roles, putting legal skills into practice.

Clinic offices are just two blocks away from downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Courthouse, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds and hundreds of law firms. This proximity and access strengthens students’ ability to experience legal practice firsthand. It is common for clinic students to walk to hearings or to file documents between, before or after classes.

The Law School operates two in-house, live-client clinics: the award-winning Economic and Community Development Law Clinic (ECD Law Clinic) and the Civil and Family Justice Law Clinic. These opportunities expose students to many aspects of practice, including legal research and writing, document preparation, legal filings, trials, hearings, depositions, client counseling, title searching and conveyancing, zoning and environmental regulation, and law office management. The year-long clinical programs require students to complete 10 hours of field work or practicums and two hours of classroom presentations or workshops a week, combining academic and skills training.

The goals of the Law School’s clinical programs are threefold. The clinics serve the community by providing good counsel; they train students in the actual practice of law; and they promote the rewards of public service. These rewards are infectious; students typically carry an inclination for pro bono work into their legal careers.

For a law school founded on the premise Salus Populi Suprema Lex, “The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law,” educating attorneys in the time-honored tradition of pro bono service is a natural and critical part of the Law School experience.

Full-time and adjunct faculty and supervising attorneys instruct and guide students enrolled in clinicals. An impressive list of alumni and other attorneys share their experiences and expertise as guest lecturers throughout the year, including Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, nationally recognized forensic pathologist Dr. Henry Lee, and renowned trial attorney Stanley Preiser.

Teamwork is an important element of clinical legal education. Practicing law is often a collaborative process involving other lawyers, consultants and support staff. The clinical experience underscores this by placing students in an environment where cooperation is a necessity. Clinics stress the importance of time management and dependability to students who come to realize that the rights and welfare of clients are at stake.

Duquesne's proximity within blocks of the Pittsburgh region's legal center makes its law library, the Center for Legal Information, one of the area's major sources for legal research and information services. The Center's facility spans three floors within Hanley Hall and houses a growing collection of nearly 250,000 volumes.
The Center provides students and faculty with excellent access to electronic legal resources. The Web, as well as key legal databases such as LEXIS, WestLaw, and HeinOnline, may be accessed from any of the Center's 78 student computers. Law students with laptop computers may access the Web from anywhere in the Center through the wireless network program.

Students have access to ample study space throughout the Center. In particular, the first floor features a spacious reading room with study carrels, tables and an informal popular reading area. Additional seating is available on the second and ground floors. Group study rooms are also available.

The Center's physical collection features a comprehensive Pennsylvania law collection, a core collection of American and English law, together with leading treatises, textbooks, loose-leaf services, and international law materials. The Center is also a United States Government Depository.

To help students and legal practitioners make the most of electronic and traditional legal resources, the Center's professional staff conducts systematic and continous training programs in all aspects of legal research.

In 1999, Duquesne University entered into an historic agreement with the Allegheny County government to manage its 137-year-old County Law Library, one of the largest county law libraries in the country. As a result, Duquesne law students have direct access to this historic and rich collection and the reading room facility of the ACLL.

The Law School is housed in the recently renovated Edward J. Hanley Hall and newly constructed Dr. John E. Murray, Jr. Pavilion at the heart of Duquesne University’s hilltop campus. The combined structures occupy nearly 125,000 square feet and are the hub of a Duquesne Law student’s experience. Administrative and faculty offices, classrooms of various sizes, two courtrooms, study areas and a multilevel law library are all under one roof, along with a locker room, café, lounge area and offices for student organizations.

Offices and conference areas for the School’s in-house clinics are located in nearby Fisher Hall. Law School facilities feature state-of-the-art computer and audio/video technology for teaching, research and administrative functions.

Law School students also have full rights and privileges to use all of the other amenities on Duquesne’s modern 47-acre campus, including computer laboratories, the University’s Gumberg Library, dining services and extensive recreational facilities.

Duquesne’s campus offers the best of both worlds – a safe, private enclave for academic pursuits located only steps away from Pittsburgh’s vibrant urban center.



School name:Duquesne UniversitySchool of Law
Address:600 Forbes Avenue
Zip & city:PA 15282 Pennsylvania
Phone:412-396-6300
Web:http://www.law.duq.edu
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