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History

A Higher Calling

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.