Funding Priorities - Programmatic Support
Writing Programs: Concise, persuasive writing is among the most important tools of an attorney's trade. To better prepare students for the bar exam and the practice of law, the School has significantly enhanced its writing program. Improvements have included the appointment of a nationally-renowned faculty member who serves as writing director, the implementation of a new legal research curriculum, and the opening of the state-ofthe-art Bridget and Alfred Peláez Writing Center.
Specialists work closely with all law students from the first year through graduation, helping them learn to craft convincing legal arguments in briefs, motions and other documents. Already, the results have been impressive, with bar passage rates rising to among the highest in Pennsylvania and Duquesne's legal research and writing programs ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News and World Report for three consecutive years.
Increased private support is needed to maintain and build on this momentum. Funding opportunities are available to underwrite current costs, such as faculty compensation and teaching materials. Substantial endowment funding is ultimately needed to build the program to its full potential and perpetually sustain it.
Law Clinic Programs: The Law School houses clinical education programs that offer students the opportunity to apply the legal skills learned in classes to real cases involving real clients, under the guidance of supervising attorneys. Current clinics include:
- Bill of Rights/Civil Rights Litigation Law
- Civil and Family Justice Law
- Community Enterprise Law
- Criminal Advocacy
- Unemployment Compensation Law
- Urban Development Law
The School also has developed a first-in-the-nation E-Discovery Simulation Course.
Duquesne's Unemployment Compensation Clinic received a 2010 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award for exemplary handling of 87 cases. The Bill of Rights Clinic has received regional honors from the NAACP and recently had students present oral arguments before the federal courts in Pittsburgh.
Campaign support will aid the expansion of these programs and the growth of new offerings, serving more students and clients in keeping with Duquesne's historic commitment to outreach.
Moot Court Competition Endowment: Duquesne law students hone their trial and appellate advocacy skills by participating in intramural moot court competitions, with the best students selected to represent Duquesne in prestigious regional and national contests. In 2009-10, our students placed first in the region and tied for fifth in America in the National Trial Advocacy Competition, and won the regional Arbitration Championships, extending a remarkable record of recent success.
In the fall of 2010, Duquesne will host the National Institute of Trial Advocacy "Tournament of Champions." This highly selective competition invites only the top 16 law school teams nationwide; Duquesne won the NITA Tournament title in 2008.
As with any competitive endeavor, these achievements require both talent and resources. A dedicated Moot Court Competition Endowment will ensure Duquesne's ability to cover training and travel expenses and support participation in even more events.