Why is law school diversity important?

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) advocates for diversity in law schools. They believe—as do we in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University—that access to justice is essential for a democratic society, and diversity in the legal profession increases the likelihood of access for people from an increasingly diverse population.

Further, diversity in law schools enables individuals from a wide range of backgrounds to add their perspectives to the greater legal community.

Duquesne Kline School of Law is dedicated to creating a truly diverse community of scholars. Today, our students have more opportunities than ever to study with future colleagues from a multitude of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. They learn from professors who bring diverse experiences into the classroom—and they experience firsthand the U.S. legal industry transforming into a more diverse profession. 

At Duquesne Kline School of Law, Diversity Matters.

Law Affinity Groups and Events Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Duquesne Duquesne Bias Education Response Team Harvard Project Implicit Bias Test

All are welcomed at Duquesne Kline School of Law

Duquesne Kline School of Law is proud of its historic, and forward looking, commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession:

  • We had the first black dean of a major American Law School.
  • The first woman admitted to our School was in 1914.
  • The first man of color to graduate from our School was in 1925.
  • Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education opened in 2013 and provides student attorneys hands-on client experiences which impacts diverse communities.
  • Impactful speakers have been welcomed on campus including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Upcoming Law Events

on campus info session

Admissions On-Campus Information Session

Please join us on Friday, January 5, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. (EST) for a Thomas R. Kline School...

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Lawyers on Location - Neighborhood Legal Services

All law students are invited to attend a "Lawyers on Location" luncheon with Neighborhood...

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Table Talk Tuesdays - ACBA Young Lawyers Division

The Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD) will be tabling in the...

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Law Diversity Event Recaps

Graduate Students of Color Dinner with Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh
Held April 24, 2023 at Duquesne University Power Center

View photobooth photos from the event.

Graduate Students of Color 2023 Dinner

Graduate Students of Color 2023 Dinner

Graduate Students of Color 2023 Dinner

Graduate Students of Color 2023 Dinner

Black Law Students Caricatures Food Networking Event
Held April 21, 2023 at McGuire Woods Law Firm

Duquesne Kline Law students at BLSA Caricatures event

Duquesne Kline Law students at BLSA Caricatures event

Duquesne Kline Law students at BLSA Caricatures event

Women's Law Association Woman of the Year Reception
Held March 29, 2023 at Duquesne University's UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse

Group photo at Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University's Woman of the Year Reception

Second Annual Future Voices of the People Event for High School Students
Held March 24, 2023 at Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University

Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University faculty and staff at Future Voices of the People event for high school students

More than 50 high school students attend the event, led by Sam Coyne, Dr. Valerie Harper, and Janine Macklin of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University.

Justice Cynthia Baldwin (retired) and Judge Dwayne Woodruff provided opening remarks, along with Warner Macklin who served as a panelist. Crystal McCormick Ware and Quincy Stephenson gave a message, while Bill Generett welcomed guests.

Additional faculty and staff members who contributed to the success of the event were Associate Dean Schiavone, Professors Glencer, Kaufman, and Orsatti, Assistant Dean Stokan, CJ Green, Taj-Aya Barnes, Associate Dean Willke, Savannah, Mary, Dawn, Nicole P, Taryn, and Carrie Samarin for ensuring that all details were seamlessly covered. 

A highlight for the high school students was the opportunity to attend a real law school class. Professor Meredith hooked them by using the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to teach a short, interactive course on the rule of law. 

Duquesne Kline law student volunteers included Kebron Assefa, Tiffeny Ayoola, Victoria Bedick, Chelsea Bruce, Antonio Cheatom, Jeffrey Chmay, Chloe Clifford, Fallon Howard, Roshni Master, John McFarlane, Maggie McIlroy, Claire Neiberg, Rachel Schade, Michaela Smith, and Jamilah Wesley.

How to Make Your Summer Internship a Success: Why Mentoring and Networking Is Crucial
Held Feb. 15, 2023 at Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University

Group photo of Duquesne Kline Law students who are part of the Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition

The Pittsburgh Legal Diversity & Inclusion Coalition sponsored a panel presentation and interactive breakout session on how you can make your summer internship a success by leaning into networking and mentoring.

The panel was from 5 to 6 p.m. and moderated by PLDIC Executive Director Ena Lebel. Panelists included ACBA Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Kellie Ware, practicing attorneys Erin Ickes, Taylor Gillan and Eric Cottle, and Eckert Seamans’ Employee Relations & Inclusion Manager Danielle Mundekis. After the panel presentation, students had the opportunity to ask individual questions and role play networking and mentoring scenarios in facilitated small group breakouts. Email Ena with any follow-up questions about the event.

Graduate/Professional Students of Color Dinner
Held Feb. 8, 2023 at University of Pittsburgh

Duquesne faculty and staff at Graduate Students of Color dinner.

A celebration of community and culture, this event was sponsored by Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition (PLDIC)

September 1, 2022 at City of Asylum, 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

  • 2L/3L Mentoring Program – In partnership with the Allegheny County Bar Association, University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the Duquesne Kline School of Law of Duquesne University, and the Pittsburgh Black Lawyers Alliance
  • 2L/3L Mentoring Program Kickoff Event

First meeting of the semester between students and experienced lawyers, welcoming all.

Additional programs (virtual sessions):

  • Government Jobs with Judge Nicola Henry-Taylor and AUSA Jacqueline Brown – Sept. 19, 2022 
  • Giving back to get Back-How Getting Involved in Our Community Helps you Gain a community-ACBF Board Chair Keith Whitson and ACBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee Chair Nick Bell – November 9, 2022 

Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving Dinner

November 16, 2022

Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving dinner
Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving dinner group photo

  • Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving dinnerCarnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University. The 2022 dinner was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University.

  • This event has been held for 31 years. Duquesne University rejoined this year. The next event will be hosted by Pitt, then Duquesne University.

  • Students received a delicious dinner, listened to an excellent graduate speaker, and received free professional headshots.

CEIR (Pittsburgh Corporate Equity Inclusion Roundtable) Conference

November 16, 2022

Duquesne University, Power Center Ballroom

  • Re-imagining Pittsburgh as a Region of Equity, Inclusion, and Impact for African Americans
  • Initiated by the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)
  • Tim Stevens, Chairman & CEO
  • Various companies presented their outreach to meet equity, equality, and justice within their hiring and employment process

Kline Duquesne WLA and FedEx Ground Women’s Attorney Forum

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Students were invited to learn about working as in-house counsel from the perspective of women & diverse attorneys. In a speed networking format, students had a chance to meet and learn from the attorneys from FedEx Ground.

  • Supported by Career Services and Inclusive and Excellence Office.

PBA (Pennsylvania Bar Association) Minority Bar Committee, Western Region Social Gathering

November 2, 2022

Fogo de Chao, 525 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 

An informal evening for fellowship, collegiality, and fun:

  • PBA President, Jay N. Silberblatt, PBA Secretary, Jacqueline B. MartinezMBC Co-chair Anthony D. Cox, MBC Co-Chair Su Ming Yeh

ACBA Diversity Law Student Reception

October 18, 2022

Koppers Building, Pittsburgh, PA

  • A Kick off event – diverse students invited to attend a reception and mingle with attorneys and judges

ACBA 1L/1E, Summer Clerkship Program Information Session/Making Meaningful Connections

October 26, 2022

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Law School Mentoring Program for diverse/underrepresented first-year students

  • A national organization of more than 400 corporate general counsel and law firm managing partners to support the success of diverse students. Mentees are partnered with experienced lawyers in their city.

Meet the Leaders of Commissions, presented by the PBA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Team

October 24, 2022

Virtual event

This DEI Team advises Governor Tom Wolf on issues related to various traditionally underrepresented constituencies:

  • Luz B. Colon, Latino Affairs; Moriah Hathaway, Women Affairs; LaDeshia Maxwell, African American Affairs; Henry Sias, LGBTQ Affairs; Stephanie Sun, Asian Pacific American Affairs

Black Law Student Organization, Bonfire, Putt Putt, and Music Event

October 21, 2022

Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA

This was a celebration of camaraderie while enjoying togetherness and support.


Celebrate Sukkot with Jewish Law Student Association

October 13, 2022

Duquesne Kline School of Law

This was a celebration ceremony outside the law school with Rene Balderas and Rabbi Shmuel Weinstein.

Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Speaker Series Month, virtual
  • Cristina Carrasco, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, When Cooking Becomes Political: Documenting Spaces of Resistance by Latinx Chefs, September 27, 2022
  • Solange Munoz, University of Tennessee, infrastructure framework to explore the migratory strategies and experiences of Latin American woman and mothers who were forced to migrate, October 12, 2022

Black Law Student Association, Networking, Tips & Tricks for Building Key Relationships for Legal Careers

October 5, 2022

Duquesne Kline Law School

Lawyers from various law firms attended.

Black Law Student Organization, first year law students, Resume and Cover Letter Workshop

October 19, 2022
Duquesne Kline School of Law

Assisted by the Career Service Office 

Diversity Luncheon

September 27, 2022

Duquesne Kline School of Law

  • Bobbi Britton Tucker, Partner at Cozen O’Connor, guest speaker

Diversity and Inclusion In the Profession: Past, Present, and the Future, sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law

September 15, 2022

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, US Steel Building, 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Panelists explored the importance of promoting and increasing racial diversity and inclusion in the profession and how to overcome barriers and full participation in the practice of law.

  • Justice Cynthia Ackron Baldwin; Martha Richards Conley, JD,1971; Derek Illar-Antonucci, JD, 2009; Aubrey Jones, JD, 2007; Tony Thompson, JD, 2006

Student & Alumni Highlights

Tiffeny M. Ayoola headshot in front of Tucker Arensberg, P.C. law office

Tiffeny M. Ayoola, 2L

Tiffeny recently served as a law clerk at Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

Joseph Segar headshot

Joseph Segar, 2L

Joseph worked at Sitko Bruno, LLC, this past summer.

Hannah Dean headshot

Hannah Dean, 2L

Through the ACBA Summer Clerkship Program, Hannah was a bankruptcy intern for Neighborhood Legal Services.

Jordan Jiles headshot

Jordan Jiles, 2L

Jordan worked at Fisher Phillips, LLP, this past summer.

Chelsea Bruce headshot

Chelsea Bruce, 2L

Chelsea worked for Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, this past summer.

Jurry Bajwah headshot

Jurry Bajwah, 2L

Jurry interned in the legal department at Highmark, Inc., this past summer.

Kay Will headshot

Kay Will, 2L

Kay recently completed a law internship for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Elijah Tait headshot

Elijah Tait, 2L

Elijah worked at Zimmer Kunz, PLLC, this past summer.

Joe Leckenby headshot

Joseph Leckenby, 2L

Joseph landed a legal intern position with BNY Mellon. He was also a Summer Clerk with the Allegheny County Bar Association.

Kebron Assefa headshot

Kebron Assefa, L'23

Kebron is attending medical school in Missouri.

Tiere J. Phillips headshot

Tiere J. Phillips, L'23

Tiere is a first-year associate for Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

Olamide Owoeye headshot

Olamide Owoeye, L'23

Olamide returned to JacksonKelly PLLC, as an Associate Attorney.

Dana Aboud headshot

Dana Aboud, L'23

Dana is an Associate in the Securities & Capital Markets (Corporate) for McGuireWoods, Pittsburgh Office.

Jamilah Wesley headshot

Jamilah Wesley, 3L

Jamilah was a risk management internship this past summer with Freddie Mac in McLean, VA.

Roshni Master headshot

Roshni Master, 3L

Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote and the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University named Roshni Master as the 2023 recipient of the Trial Skills Diversity Scholarship.

Fallon Howard headshot

Fallon Howard, L'23

Fallon is an Associate Attorney for Cole, Scott & Kissane in Orlando, FL.

Headshot of Adger Drummond II

Adger W. Drummond II, 3L

Adger was an Associate Attorney for Ogletree Deakins this past summer.

Heather L. McCutcheon headshot

Heather L. McCutcheon, 2L

Heather worked for the law firm Caroselli, Beachler, and Coleman this past summer.

Jocelyn Brooks-Ezelle headshot

Jocelyn Brooks-Ezelle, 2L

Jocelyn interned this past summer at the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office in the Domestic Violence Unit.

Isabel Dobbs

Isabel Dobbs, 2L

Isabel worked at Osterhout Berger Disability Law this past summer.

Diversity Resources

Explore our internal and external resources related to diversity and the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University.

Duquesne University, led by the Holy Spirit and guided by its Catholic values, is committed to fostering and maintaining authentic relationships with every person.

In support of this commitment, the University has implemented a process that enables students, faculty, staff, and alumni who identify by a name other than their given (legal) first name to use a chosen first name for University systems where a legal name is not required ("Chosen First Name").
Learn more
According to Pronouns.org, "...often people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not."

Learn more at Pronouns.org

Director of Inclusive Excellence

Meet Dr. Valerie J. Harper

In September 2022, Dr. Valerie Harper was named the Director of Inclusive Excellence for the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University.

Dr. Valerie J. Harper headshot