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:

  • First black dean of a major American Law School
  • The first woman admitted to the School was in 1914.
  • First man of color to graduate from the 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

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Student PILA Auction

Buy tickets to win raffle baskets for the Public Interest Law Association's Student PILA...

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  • Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University
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31st Annual Woman of the Year Reception

Law students, law faculty, law staff, and law alumni are invited to honor the 2023 Woman...

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  • UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse
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What is Elder Law? You Are Advertising it…Are You Really Practicing it?

Presented by Colleen D. Bratkovich (L'08), Partner, and Justin Ellis, Associate...

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2023 Summer Judicial Internship Diversity Project

Apply at www.tfaforms.com by January 6, 2023

The SJID Project provides summer judicial internships to diverse law students from communities underrepresented in the legal community.  The project is national in scope and will replace law students as judicial in the chambers of federal appellate district, bankruptcy, magistrate, and select state court judges.

Questions: sjidproject@jtb.org

Pittsburgh Legal Diversity and Inclusion Coalition (PLDIC)

  • 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

Held September 1, 2022, 6 to 8pm, City of Asylum, 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

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

  • Virtual Session Programs – September 19, from 5 to 6pm, Government Jobs with Judge Nicola Henry-Taylor and AUSA Jacqueline Brown
  • November 9, 5 to 6pm – Giving back to get Back-How to getting involved in Our Community Helps you gain a community-ACBF Board Chair Keith Whitson and ACBA LGBTQ+ Rights Committee Chair Nick Bell.
  • November 17, 4 to 6pm, K&L Gates Center

Sandra Yamate, CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP), an organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession through its research and programs, reception following. Students and members were invited.

Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving Dinner

Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving dinner

November 16, 2022, 6:30 to 8:00pm

  • Graduate Students of Color Thanksgiving dinnerCarnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University. The 2022 dinner was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Rangos 2 and 3 in the Cohon University Center.
  • 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

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, Power Center

  • Re-imagining Pittsburgh as a Region of Equity, Inclusion, and Impact for African Americans, November 16, 2022, 9:00am to 1:30pm
  • 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, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Room 414 – Faculty Lounge

  • 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

An informal evening for fellowship, collegiality, and fun

November 2, 2022, 5 to 7pm, Fogo de Chao, 525 Smithfield Street, Pgh, PA 15222

  • 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

Koppers Building, Pittsburgh, PA, October 18, 2022, 5:30pm

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

ACBA 1L/1E, Summer Clerkship Program Information Session

October 26, 2022, 12:00 to 12:45pm, Law School, Room 303, making meaningful connections

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), LCLD Success in Law School Mentoring Program for diverse/underrepresented FIRST YEAR
  • 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

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

October 24, 2022, Noon to 1:00pm, Virtual

  • 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

Celebration of camaraderie while enjoying togetherness and support

October 21, 2022, Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA, 7 to 9:30pm

Celebrate Sukkot with Jewish Law Student Association

October 13, 2022, 12 Noon, Law School

  • 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, 4:30pm
  • 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, 4:30pm, Rockwell Hall Lecture 3

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

October 5, 2022, Noon to 12:45pm, Law School, Room 303

  • Lawyers from various law firms attended

Black Law Student Organization, first year law students, Resume and Cover Letter Workshop
  • Assisted by the Career Service Office, October 19, 2022, Noon to 12:45pm, Law School, Room 303

Diversity Luncheon

September 27, 2022, Noon to 1:00pm, 4th Floor, Faculty Lounge

  • 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, 5:30 to 7:00pm, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, US Steel Building, 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Panelists explore the importance of promoting and increasing racial diversity and inclusion in the Profession. 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
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

Duquesne staff and students at Graduate/Professional 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.

Held Feb. 8, 2023 at University of Pittsburgh

View photos from the Students of Color Dinner.

Student Highlights

Jamilah Wesley headshot

Jamilah Wesley, 2L

Jamilah has landed a risk management internship this summer with Freddie Mac in McLean, Va.

Roshni Master headshot

Roshni Master, 2L

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

Adger W. Drummond II

Adger W. Drummond II, 2L

Adger served as an Associate for Ogletree Deakins this past summer (2022).

Tiere J. Phillips headshot

Tiere J. Phillips, 3L

Tiere accepted an offer as a First Year Associate for Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

Antonio Cheatom headshot

Antonio Cheathom, 2L

Antonio accepted a position as a Summer Associate for CIPRIANI & WERNER PC for 2023.

Olamide Owoeye headshot

Olamide Owoeye, 3L

Olamide was a Summer Associate for JacksonKelly PLLC in 2022.

Dana Aboud headshot

Dana Aboud, 3L

After graduation this spring and passage of the bar exam, Dana will join McGuireWoods, Pittsburgh Office, as an Associate in the Securities & Capital Markets (Corporate).

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

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