President Ken Gormley, Dean April Barton, Tom Kline and Hon. Maureen Lally-Green, smiling

President Ken Gormley, Dean April Barton, Tom Kline and Hon. Maureen Lally-Green on Oct. 6.

School of Law News

Tom Kline L'78: A Leader and Advocate

By Erin Volz, 2L

Some people may know Thomas R. Kline as a prominent personal injury attorney from Philadelphia, Pa. Others, may know Tom Kline as their classmate from Duquesne University School of Law's graduating class of 1978.

On Oct. 6, Kline returned to Duquesne Law, where he was welcomed by friends, faculty and current law students excited to relish in his wisdom. Although Kline visited Duquesne two years prior, for him each visit has been "stimulating and invigorating" and "heartwarming to be back on campus."

As a first-generation attorney, Kline devoted 43 years to perfecting his career. His biggest achievement is giving his victims purpose and hope as not only their attorney, but as their ally and advocate. Aside from his thriving firm, Kline & Spector, PC, Kline's greatest triumphs include the Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education at Duquesne University, and the Thomas R. Kline School of Law and Thomas R. Kline Institute of Trial Advocacy, both at Drexel University.

With his quick wit and humor, Kline instantly lit up the room. Standing on stage, he encouraged students to ask him anything!
Kline reflected on his time at Duquesne Law by sharing how it provided him with "nuts and bolts" of lawyering essentials. He emphasized Duquesne Law's strength in cultivating successful lawyers with its consistently superior bar preparation and commitment to diversity.

As Kline spoke with the current Leadership Fellows, he shared insight into what makes a great leader. He encouraged the students to bring their best selves to every situation, outlining his core values as honesty, integrity, strong beliefs and remaining grounded.
Kline spoke of the satisfaction he receives from teaching and mentoring law students. He takes pride in being a role model and exploring ways to instill confidence and creativity in students.

Duquesne Law thanks Kline for his great contributions to the education of aspiring lawyers and eagerly awaits his next visit.


The School of Law was proud to host its 107th Commencement exercises on May 16. The day began with a livestreamed Baccalaureate Mass. The Commencement ceremony was held in-person at the Cooper Fieldhouse, with masking and social distancing requirements. This event was also livestreamed.

Dean April Barton presided while Duquesne President Ken Gormley, former dean of the Law School, conferred the degrees. 157 students participated. Hon. Kim Berkeley Clark L'83 was the event's distinguished speaker.

Professor Jalila Jefferson-Bullock was the recipient of the Dr. John and Liz Murray Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship. The student recipient of the Murray Award was Stanley Marciniak.

Duquesne Law is looking forward to welcoming back to campus the class of 2020 for their own in-person graduation ceremony on December 17, 2021. 

Visit our Flickr page to view photos from commencement 2021.

Expanding Law Horizons: Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential Program

The School of Law is pleased to partner 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 which began in the fall 2021 semester. Seth Oranburg directs the program.

"Business acumen and financial tools are critical components of modern law practice. Our collaboration with the School of Business ensures our law students receive this unique skillset expanding their possibilities in law," said Dean April Barton.

The program, developed to expand horizons of law students, is open to students who are enrolled in Duquesne's School of Law Juris Doctorate (JD) program. This is an additional way to diversify career opportunities. Those who are enrolled in the micro-credential program and who wish to work toward an MBA degree will receive six credits toward that professional degree.

Students must have completed the first third of their JD coursework and be in good standing. Law students who enroll in the Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential program are required to take nine credits. Those credits include four graduate courses from the School of Business and one from the School of Law.