Duquesne Law Dean April Barton

Dean's Message

One of my favorite times of the year on The Bluff is autumn, with the brilliant color of the trees and cooler temperatures. This fall has been especially beautiful with our students having returned to campus for in-person instruction and events. It has been a delight to see them return along with our faculty and staff.

The past nearly two years have been unlike any we have been through before. Our students and recent graduates weathered not only COVID, but completed their legal education via online and HyFlex learning and then sat for remotely administered bar examinations. In spite of all the challenges, I have been inspired and heartened at the consistent display of resolve, flexibility and dedication of our graduates, students, faculty and administration.

We were thrilled to host an in-person commencement for the Class of 2021. We were honored to have Judge Kim Berkeley Clark, our alumna and President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, deliver the keynote address. It was a wonderful day to celebrate with our grads and their families, and we plan on doing the same for the Class of 2020 this December.

I am incredibly proud of recent bar results from our newly minted alumni. In the Pennsylvania area, our graduates outperformed the statewide average by almost 11%! Our "first-time" taker pass rate exceeded the statewide average by more than 7%. We placed a solid third among 11 Pennsylvania-area schools. Our graduates also achieved a 100% first-time bar passage rate in the following UBE jurisdictions: West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Arizona, Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Georgia. Additionally, our most recent Ultimate Pass Rate, which tracks the bar pass success of our graduates for two years after graduation, was 93.33%.

Despite the challenges of the last months, Duquesne Law has continued to expand our Vision with a number of new initiatives. Our Leadership Fellows Program is in its third year of training our students to think about great leadership and what that means in our system of justice. We are partnering with Duquesne's Palumbo-Donahue School of Business to offer our law students a business perspective with the Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential program, directed by Professor Seth Oranburg. We also welcome Dr. Dana Neacsu from Columbia University as the new director of the Duquesne Center for Legal Information as well as two assistant visiting professors, Dr. Linh Dai and John Rice Towers.

In this issue, you will read also about our 110 years as a Law School along with wonderful profiles of our distinguished evening division alumni.

None of this is possible without the support of you, our generous and supportive alumni. I am blessed to be your dean, and take pride in all that Duquesne Law has accomplished.

Be Well and God Bless!

April Mara Barton
Dean and Professor of Law