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School of Law

DEAN'S PRIORITIES

Clinical Legal Education Building: A free-standing structure in Uptown Pittsburgh exclusively dedicated to clinical legal education. More details >

Public Service Law Fellowship Fund: This new initiative, launched in 2011, pays current law students to work in summer positions in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The program reaffirms the Law School's longstanding commitment to public service which advances our legal system and government, and raises the School's recognition among government officials statewide. Contributions to this fund will sustain the program into future summers and allow the number of annual participants to increase.

Distinguished Speakers Fund: The Law School has hosted a number of major events in recent years. Programs such as the School's 50th anniversary commemoration of Brown v. Board of Education and appearances by figures such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia attract national audiences to the Law School and showcase unique perspectives on issues of importance to students and alumni. Funds are needed to ensure the continuation of these types of signature events.

Lawyering Skills Program Fund: The School seeks to develop and implement a capstone course in lawyering skills for all students during their final year. This experience would train students in a wide range of practical areas such as client intake, development and "rainmaking;" conflicts checks and ethical issues that arise in representing clients; law firm management; and specific substantive aspects of practice. Such a comprehensive program will be costly to develop, but will enhance students' professional preparation and put Duquesne Law School on the cutting edge of a nationwide trend toward practical education.

Centers of Excellence: Funding is sought to develop unique educational opportunities in energy law, intellectual property law, health care law, criminal justice and other growing practice areas.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS

In keeping with the University's Spiritan heritage, the Law School also seeks to significantly increase endowed and revolving funds for scholarships and need-based aid. Our founders and sponsors were determined that the benefits of a Duquesne education should be available to all, regardless of ability to pay. Enhanced scholarship funding also ensures that Duquesne can attract and retain the most talented and motivated students. These exceptional applicants, with exceptional credentials and LSAT scores, are aggressively recruited by schools that are capable of offering sizable financial aid packages. By increasing the amount of scholarship money available, Duquesne can compete with the top law schools to enroll stronger entering classes, thus improving the Law School's academic vitality and national reputation. Particular emphasis is placed on minority grant funds, such as the Charles Hamilton Houston and Ronald R. Davenport Scholars programs, which benefit African American students and others who share a commitment to opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

PROGRAMMATIC SUPPORT

Other areas that are high priorities, to which donors may direct their support include:

Writing Program: 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 writing director, the opening of the state-of-the-art Alfred and Bridget Peláez Writing Center, and the hosting of major symposia that have garnered national attention. Already, the results have been impressive, with bar passage rates rising to among the highest in Pennsylvania and Duquesne's legal research and writing program ranked among the nation's best (currently sixth) by U.S. News for five consecutive years. Still, increased private support is needed to maintain and build on this momentum.

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 serve needy clients in civil rights litigation, civil and family justice, community development and other key areas.

Moot Court Program Funds: 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.

PUBLICATIONS

A law school's reputation is dramatically enhanced by outstanding student publications. Many of Duquesne's top graduates have honed their skills as editors and contributors to the Law Review, Juris, and more recently the Business Law Journal and Criminal Law Journal. These remain high priorities and contributions can be earmarked for this purpose.

UNRESTRICTED FUNDS

Unrestricted gifts allow the dean to direct resources to the School's most critical needs and to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.