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Civil Litigation

Students at Duquesne University School of Law have the opportunity to pursue a practice-centered Civil Litigation Concentration. As with all concentrations, students have the option of obtaining a major (14 credits) or a minor (9 credits). For either the major or minor, a minimum of 4 credits must be from a listed and approved skills, competition, or clinical course.

Because the goal of the concentration is to better prepare students to draft the type of documents they will see in a civil litigation law practice, students in this concentration are required to submit a portfolio to a faculty advisor, in lieu of a paper, for review and approval. These documents need not be documents actually filed in litigation, but may have been drafted for a course if the documents are approved as sufficient by a faculty advisor. The contents of the portfolio must contain, at a minimum:

  • A pleading (a complaint or answer drafted for a state or federal court, or the equivalent prepared for a hearing before an administrative agency).
  • A sampling of the discovery documents drafted by the student.
  • A brief written in support of, or in opposition to, a motion; or an appellate brief (which shall not be the brief written in the first-year Legal Research and Writing II course).

Strongly Recommended Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice [3 credits]
Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques [2 or 3]
Alternative Dispute Resolution [2]
Deposition Skills [2]
Expert Evidence [3]
Negotiation Skills [2]
Pleading and Discovery Skills [2]
Trial Advocacy [3, limited]
Trial Advocacy I [3, limited]
Trial Advocacy II [3]
Trial Team [2, limited]

Other Courses

Skills Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Basics of Litigation [2 credits]
Advanced Legal Writing: Drafting [3]
Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice [3]
E-Discovery, A Practical Course [3]
In-House Counsel in Modern Corporations [2]
Medical Malpractice Litigation Skills [2]
Pleading and Discovery Skills [2]

Clinical Courses

Civil Rights Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]
Federal Litigation Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]
General and Specialized Externship Placement and Seminar [3 - with approval, limited credits, clinical]
Unemployment Compensation Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]

Competitions

Moot Court (classroom component) [1]
Appellate Moot Court [2]
Trial Advocacy [2]

Doctrinal Courses

Administrative Law [3]
Appellate Practice & Procedure [2]
Bankruptcy [3]
Complex Litigation, Class Actions, & the Adversary System [2]
Conflict of Laws [2]
Employment Discrimination [3]
Family Law [3]
Federal Civil Procedure [3]
Federal Courts and the Federal System [3]
Fundamentals of Intellectual Property [3]
Independent Research [1 to 3, paper - with approval]
International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution* [1.5]
Pennsylvania Civil Procedure [2]
Practice before the Minor Judiciary [2]
Remedies and Damages [2]
Social Media and the Law [1]

Notes for the Civil Litigation Concentration

A minimum of 4 credits must be from a listed and approved skills, competition, or clinical course, but clinical courses cannot be counted for more than 3 hours each for purposes of meeting the elective requirement course. The remaining credits may be from any other elective group listed; however, the following are highly recommended:

  • Family Law
  • Remedies and Damages

The following courses are limited enrollment courses:

  • Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Pleading and Discovery Skills
  • Writing in Law Practice

Students may not count more than one course of these three towards the concentration hours: Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques, Pleading and Discovery Skills, and Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice.

Students in this concentration are required to submit a portfolio to a faculty advisor, in lieu of a paper, for review and approval. These documents need not be documents actually filed in litigation, but may have been drafted for a course if the documents are approved as sufficient by a faculty advisor. The contents that the portfolio must contain, at a minimum are noted above.

* This course is taught as part of the Ireland Summer Study Abroad Program, but grades do not count within a student's overall GPA.

Learn More

Read about concentrations at Duquesne University School of Law.