As a Duquesne Law alum, you are a part of a community of professionals who work towards the pursuit of justice and the betterment of all. Our alumni carry with them these high ideals of the law profession. They remain inspired by our Spiritan tradition and our Law School motto, "Salus populi suprema lex" (the welfare of the people is the highest law). Incredible pursuits and ideals start at Duquesne University School of Law and continue into professional careers. The below alumni are a snapshot of how our mission is carried forward.
Lisa Brunner L'14
Brunner is an Assistant Federal Public Defender, Capital Habeas Unit-District of Nevada, Las Vegas. This is her dream job, as she always wanted to advocate for those who could not advocate for themselves. "Starting law school with the laser-targeted mission to become a public defender, I knew that I needed to be at a university with the maximum offerings in criminal law. I can truly say that the knowledge, experiential opportunities and connections that I made at Duquesne have opened many doors." Brunner is also an accomplished violinist, playing in three community orchestras while in Pittsburgh.
Gabrielle Kolencik L'22
During her final year at Duquesne Law, Kolencik was named Best Advocate and Best Opening Statement at the National Trial Advocacy Competition, the first time a student had ever won both awards during a competition. She was also recognized as the Best Advocate among 112 law student competitors at the Buffalo-Niagara National Trial Competition. Additionally, Kolencik won the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) health law and anti-racism graduate writing competition, traveling to Philadelphia to present on her paper at the "Health Law and Anti-Racism: Reckoning and Response" symposium hosted by ASLME and the University of Pennsylvania. Finally, she was also one of two recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Student Awards at commencement.
Brazitte Poole L'19
Poole is an attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. She often presents on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. "Diversity, equity and inclusion are critical to virtually every aspect of life", says Poole. "The workplace, particularly law firms and other workplaces in the legal profession, are not exempt from that truth. The legal field remains one of the least diverse professions. As a Black woman attorney, I am committed to doing my part to help push the needle forward and help the profession become more accessible and inclusive."
Jonathan F. Smith L'15
Smith currently is a wealth manager in BNY Mellon's Wealth Management division. Throughout his career, he is often the only person of color in the room, and many people that he interacts with professionally do not have much exposure to individuals of diverse backgrounds. Smith's advice for law students is to get involved and try to make time to participate in events and to enroll in clinics and externships. The value of those activities and experiences continue to contribute to his professional and personal success and fulfillment.