Optional concentrations allow students to pursue a focused curriculum that corresponds to their particular areas of interest in the law. Duquesne University School of Law offers 13 concentration areas. A "major concentration" requires 14 hours; a "minor concentration" requires nine hours.
Students who have or develop a strong interest in practicing in a particular field may decide to concentrate. Students who want to take as broad a curriculum as possible may decide not to select a concentration. Concentrations are not tied to awarding the J.D. degree.
Concentration advisement corresponds to faculty specialization and depth within areas of the curriculum.
The following core requirements are common to all concentrations:
- Each concentration requires preparation of a professional-quality written project or the equivalent within the field of the concentration, unless a similar written work-product substitute is noted within a concentration description, and the project must attain a grade of "B" or better. This requirement would be satisfied by any of the following
- Project written to satisfy the student's Upper-Level Writing Requirement in effect at the time the project was written, including articles written for a journal;
- Professional-quality project of the same length and quality written for a course offered within the concentration;
- Independent Research project of the same length and quality; or
- Project written for one of the Advanced Legal Writing classes that is of the same length and quality.
- The topic of any project written for a concentration would have to be approved by a concentration advisor. The Civil Litigation Concentration permits preparation of a portfolio of litigation-centric documents in lieu of a paper; such a substitute would not relieve a student of otherwise fulfilling the Upper-Level Writing Requirement in some other manner.
- Clinical courses or Trial Advocacy cannot count for more than three hours toward any concentration, even if the course is credited for more than three hours.
- Courses from overseas programs offered during the summer may count, in total, only for a maximum of three credits toward a concentration, regardless of the credit hours otherwise awarded for such courses and programs.
- Independent Research credits may count toward any concentration, as long as the subject and/or paper has been approved by a concentration advisor.
- A student must achieve at least a 3.0 GPA within the courses used to satisfy the concentration; no course may count toward a concentration in which the student's grade is below a C.
- There is no bar to a student fulfilling more than one concentration; however, a concentration course may be used to satisfy only one concentration.
- Review concentration requirements and policies on the Office of the Registrar's curriculum pages.