The Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University's Tribone Center for Clinical
Legal Education is comprised of community-focused clinics, externship opportunities,
a pro bono program and fellowships. Clinical education is one of the instructional
cornerstones of the Duquesne Kline's Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education.
All of these programs provide student attorneys with hands-on client experiences and
often include opportunities to appear in court, while serving the public and earning
The goals of the Clinical Legal Education program are threefold:
See attached chart for students' opportunities and requirements for clinics and programs.
If you have question(s) about a special clinic/program or general registration, please
email S.%20Beth%20Licciardello so an appointment may be made for you with a professor.
Externship Students Share their Experiences
Clinics and Programs
Students in the Family Law Clinic work under the supervision of a family law attorney
to represent income-qualified clients with cases involving domestic abuse, divorce
settlement, child support and child custody.
Students have opportunities to fully engage in client representation under Pennsylvania's
student practice rules in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The clinic
provides live-client experiences and teaches students the skills of interviewing,
counseling, negotiation, drafting pleadings and advocating before the court with a
strong emphasis on ethical standards.
The Federal Litigation Clinic focuses on the litigation of actual cases pending before
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania. Many of the cases involve the representation of
inmates in cases that the federal courts have identified as potentially meritorious.
The representation is undertaken pursuant to the courts' student practice rules, with
the consent of the clients and subject to the supervision of an experienced attorney.
Students who participate have a strong interest in constitutional law, criminal law,
and federal civil and appellate procedure. The clinic involves an average workload
of 10 hours per week but this may be concentrated into certain portions of the semester
based on court deadlines.
The Re-Entry Legal Services Clinic is a yearlong clinic that offers income-qualified
clients legal assistance with gubernatorial pardons. Students participate in weekly
seminars that address substantive and procedural law issues, then experience hands-on
training in case intake and interviewing, client counseling, fact investigation, case
analysis, mediation, negotiation, research and drafting of complaints and documents.
Students also assist individuals with the completion of the complex Pennsylvania Board
of Pardons’ clemency application and compete filings with the Board. After the lengthy
Board investigation process, students prepare clients who have been selected for public
pardon hearings through mock hearings.
The Urban Development Practicum provides a broad range of legal services related to
real estate and economic development in distressed communities in the region. Students
in the practicum are gaining practical experience by working on both real and simulated
projects and cases.
Services provided by student attorneys include general real estate matters, title
searches, negotiation and drafting of development agreements, preparation of land
use cases, appellate land use practice and attending and participating in public meetings
and hearings. Some of the unique topics addressed through the work with clinic clients
include conservation easements, land acquisition, zoning issues and “greening initiatives.”
While providing pro bono legal assistance to neighborhood and regional urban renewal
organizations, student lawyers are acquiring and sharpening fundamental lawyering
skills critical to addressing community needs and professional responsibilities.
The Veterans Clinic provides assistance to veterans accepted into the Veterans Court
of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Eligible students are certified by
the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to appear in court.
The clinic trains law students in a holistic approach to the law focusing on the problem-solving
philosophy and recidivism-reducing techniques. Many of the clients served suffer from
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries and other mental health
disorders and/or addictions. The students prepare and present cases for disposition
and stay in touch with the clients to ensure that the veterans are following court-ordered
treatment plans offered as alternatives to incarceration.
The clinic uses a simulation, called “hearing voices training," to help students understand
specific challenges faced by people with psychiatric disabilities. Students also visit
the HOPE Pod in the Allegheny County Jail and the Veterans Service Unit located at
State Correctional Institution, Pittsburgh, both of which prepare veterans to reenter
This clinic focuses on assisting low-income clients with Wills, Living Wills, Advance
Directives, Memoranda regarding Conduct of Funeral and Burial or Cremation and Healthcare
and Financial Power of Attorneys. Students receive valuable hands-on training in:
Drafting Wills and Advance Health Care Directives
One-Semester Graded Course
3 Credits (classroom and non-classroom)
Enrollment: up to 8 students
Clinic Hours to Be Completed: Minimum of 10 Hours per Week
Class Meeting Time: Friday - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Youth Advocacy Clinic provides a unique opportunity for 2L & 3L students to represent
children in both delinquency and education matters. Students will interview, advise,
and represent clients from the inception of the case and, once-certified, be able
to represent clients in court and administrative proceedings. In delinquency matters,
the clinic will handle: traditional delinquency cases, juvenile record expungement
matters, and Protection From Abuse matters in which minors are defendants. In education
matters, the clinic will handle: both informal and formal school discipline matters
and special education matters including, but not limited to: identification, evaluation,
placement and discipline in the context of students with disabilities.
Both juvenile defense and education law are specialized areas of law, and students
will be trained accordingly, with an intensive training period at the beginning of
the school year and important trainings throughout the life of the clinic. Students
will be the advocates for their clients, but the clinical professor will be present
in the courtroom or hearing room at all times while the student is before a judicial
or hearing officer.
The clinic will operate as a holistic representation model, with the overall goal
of the representation being to meet as many of the client's needs as possible, not
solely the single legal issue that brings them to the clinic. The clinic features
an ongoing partnership with masters-level social work students from the University
of Pittsburgh and doctorate-level school psychology students from Duquesne University's
School of Education. Students from all disciplines will work in interdisciplinary
teams on most cases in order to implement the holistic model. Students will be trained
on the model and there will be ongoing assessment throughout the academic year to
determine students' learning around the model.
The clinic seeks to keep minors in school and out of detention centers, juvenile justice
placements and jail. To that end, the clinic engages in policy and advocacy work around
issues pertinent to our clients' cases. When appropriate, the clinic performs community
education workshops, attends community meetings, and meets with relevant stakeholders
to determine ways to provide legal information. Students who take this clinic will
be immersed in issues related to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.
Hours of Legal Service by Students (May 2022-May 2023)
Hours of legal service to the public through the law clinics
Hours of legal service to the public through student externships
Hours of legal service to the public through pro bono programs
One-Semester and Summer Externships
There are two types of externships. If you are interested in our year-long externship
programs, please search for Clinics and Programs. Below describes our one-semester
(including summer) externships:
The Duquesne Kline School of Law Externship Programs offer one-semester and summer-session
externship placements in county, state and federal judicial offices; and legal aid
offices; and in private practice or in-house counsel settings. Available opportunities
Students should search for current open opportunities in DuqLawConnect/12-Twenty Platform
under job postings and search specifically for externships. Applications are accepted
There are over 350 placements already approved for externships. If a student has
a placement in mind but not sure if it is already approved or wishes to get it approved,
please contact Professor Grace Orsatti at orsattigFREEDUQUESNE.
Yearlong externships feature on-site placement combined with classroom instruction
and classroom credit.
The Criminal Prosecution Program provides students with an on-site externship at the
Allegheny County District Attorney's Office and classroom instruction in criminal
law. The weekly classroom seminar covers all facets of criminal law from a suspect's
arrest through the trial and post-trial stages. Students rotate through the DA's office
in accordance with the topics being covered in the classroom.
This yearlong externship program provides students with an opportunity to directly
work with Neighborhood Legal Services. Students will develop an understanding of the
legal and non-legal hurdles that older Pennsylvanians face in civil legal matters.
By working directly with clients and attending a weekly seminar, students will be
able to assist individuals on legal issues such as evictions, mortgage foreclosures,
debt collections, tangle titles, and other elder law issues. Students have the opportunity
to meet with clients, prepare and file legal documents, argue at hearings or other
court proceedings, and provide legal advice. In addition, students will work with
the supervising attorneys to develop additional resources, such as a pro se handbook
for handling small estates or other informational legal materials, that would assist
older individuals facing civil legal issues to provide guidance to clients through
a holistic service model.
• Yearlong Pass/Fail Course • Credits 6 Credits (3 classroom credits, 3 non-classroom credits) • Enrollment 4 Students • Clinic Hours to Be Completed 270 Hours (minimum of 10 hours per week) • Class Meeting Time: Thursday, 4:00 - 5:45pm • Class Location: Room 208, Tribone Building or at NLSA
Students of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University have a special
opportunity to work as externs or volunteers with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.
The statewide program works to exonerate those who have been convicted of crimes they
did not commit and to prevent the innocent from being convicted.
Duquesne Kline School of Law students assist the project’s legal staff and volunteer
attorneys to investigate innocence claims and pursue judicial appeals. During case
work and accompanying course work, students gain skills in interviewing, investigation,
and legal writing as well as an understanding of the uses of DNA and other scientific
evidence and the state and federal rules governing admissibility.
The initiative began from a single office in Philadelphia. With Pennsylvania now one
of the top 10 states in total number of exonerations, the project expanded to Duquesne
Kline School of Law’s Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education. The project is
based the first floor of the Tribone Building, within walking distance to the law
school and both of Duquesne’s law libraries.
Duquesne Kline School of Law students collaborate with the University of Pittsburgh
Law students having an equal number of student externs working together each semester.
This clinical program offers students the unique opportunity to exercise their lawyering
skills by reviewing and investigating actual claims of innocence on behalf of Pennsylvania
inmates and, where appropriate, pursuing legal avenues for exoneration and release
from prison. Each student will be assigned cases under the supervision of the director
and managing attorney of the Project. In the course of investigating factual claims
and researching legal issues, students will review criminal files, interact with investigators,
communicate with other attorneys, interview the client and witnesses, gather documentation
and prepare legal documents and legal memoranda. Although most claims will be resolved
by written pleadings and briefs, any court appearances will also involve students.
Each student will also review new applications of a valid and viable claim. As a consequence
of this work, students will have many opportunities to develop and hone their lawyering
skills in interviewing, fact investigation, factual and legal analysis, legal writing
and problem-solving. The classroom component will cover topics including the definition
of a claim of innocence, investigating and raising claims of innocence under Pennsylvania
law, preservation of innocence claims for federal review, post-conviction discovery
rules, state and federal post-conviction procedures and problems, investigative techniques
and skills, the nature and uses of DNA and other scientific evidence and the state
and federal rules governing admissibility of such evidence. As the semester progresses,
students will explore the substantive and procedural issues in the context of the
actual cases on which they are working as well as discuss the ethical issues common
to these areas of practice.
Students meet in room 310 in Hanley Hall on Friday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00
noon each week. In addition to the two-hour weekly seminar, students are required
to perform at least 10 hours per week at the Project office. Hours are tracked in
the 12Twenty system and each Friday, students will submit weekly timesheets to the
managing attorney documenting their hours. Over the course of the semester, this means
that each student should log a total of 135 hours of practice or work time, not including
the two-hour classroom presentations.
This yearlong externship program is designed to provide students with an understanding
of the process of criminal defense while offering practical, hands-on experiences
with actual persons accused of a crime.
Students will learn the stages of a criminal case involving an adult, specifically,
the impact that the criminal justice system has on the accused. This knowledge and
exposure to real cases will allow students to interactively participate in the criminal
courts with the prerogative of assisting clients and limiting potential consequences,
both direct and collateral. To that end, students will have the unique opportunity
to prepare, file and argue various motions, handle preliminary hearings before district
justices and participate in diverse interactions in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny
The pro bono program features an attorney/student matching program and direct work
with public interest organizations.
Students who meet the non-mandatory 50-hour requirement will receive a Pro Bono Service
Recognition Certificate. Students dedicated to further service will be honored based
upon the total number of hours completed. Those completing 61-120 hours will receive
a Pro Bono Service Honors Certificate and 120+ will receive a Pro Bono Exemplary Service
Pro Bono work may be done in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Erie, Fayette, Washington
and Westmoreland Counties, to name a few. In addition to these locations, individuals
can seek approval and certification of hours worked on pro bono projects arranged
by the student, subject to review by the Clinical Legal Education staff.
Several of the organizations and programs partnering with Duquesne Law through the
Pro Bono Program include:
Allegheny County Bar Foundation & Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership Projects
Our clinical education program started in 1995. Originally named for a donor, the
Hugo L. Black Law Clinic, in 2013 was renamed in honor of Thomas Tribone, Chief Executive
Officer of Franklin Park Investments, a major donor. Mr. Tribone, a 1985 graduate
of the Duquesne Kline School of Law and a 1981 graduate of the Donahue-Palumbo School
of Business, emphasized the positive influence that the University has had on both
he and his wife, Michele's families.
"Duquesne has had a significant impact on three generations of our family on both
sides," said Tribone. "The law clinic combines education and public service in a way
that was attractive to us, and when we realized the enthusiasm of everyone at Duquesne
for this project, we decided to be part of it."
Additional funding for the Center for Clinical Legal Education was received and the
center was upgraded in 2015. This was provided in part through a $500,000 grant from
the state's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and a $250,000 Community Infrastructure
and Tourism Fund grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County.
Unique Location and Building Features
Located in a three-story building at 912-914 Fifth Avenue, the Tribone Center
for Clinical Legal Education is easily accessible to clients and provides much-needed
services to residents of Pittsburgh and the region. "Our clinic, just blocks away
from the courthouses and public agencies downtown, opens up remarkable opportunities
to help underserved clients and families while allowing Duquesne law students to tackle
real-life legal problems that will give them unmatched experience," said President
Gormley. The center features: Client meeting rooms, conference rooms,classrooms,
work rooms, Moot courtroom and technology lab.
If you need to send us a fax, please fax: (412) 396-5287