Duquesne University School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


The School of Law at Duquesne University is a private institution located on a 50-acre campus in downtown Pittsburgh, one of the top ranked cities in the U.S.  Our Law students benefit from the university’s proximity to law firms, clinics, externships in the downtown area, within walking distance of the campus.

The J.D. degree is offered full or part-time. Our faculty are accomplished, experienced legal professionals, who have been recognized for their accessibility to students, as well as their excellence in teaching, focus on preparing students to be practice-ready lawyers. The highly ranked Legal Research and Writing program requires students to hone their expertise in this critical area, while optional concentrations in Business Law, General Practice, Government, and Litigation can provide an focus on specific practice areas.

Learn more about Duquesne Law

The JD Program

The School of Law at Duquesne University is a private institution in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1911, Duquesne University School of Law adheres to the values inspired by being the only Spiritan, Catholic law school in the nation. The Spiritan commitment to serving the disadvantaged is enhanced by the focus on educational excellence, ethical values, and openness to diversity. This inspires the School of Law to educate ethical, practice-ready lawyers. Our commitment still resonates today as we grapple with complex issues in society and the law. Dean April Barton recognizes, “Now more than ever, society needs skilled lawyers who advocate with integrity and compassion, and who are committed to lead in our ongoing quest for justice.”

Our location in Pittsburgh, steps from the downtown legal, financial, and tech community, offers Duquesne Law students the opportunity to reside and study in one of the most liveable cities in the United States. Law students at Duquesne benefit from the university’s urban location to pursue valuable experience through various clinics in and around downtown courts and take advantage of numerous externship options at firms, corporations, and government entities—many of which are a short walk from campus.

Our faculty are accomplished, experienced legal professionals, who have been recognized for their accessibility to students, as well as their excellence in teaching, focus on preparing students to be practice-ready lawyers. The highly ranked Legal Research and Writing program requires students to hone their expertise in this critical area, while optional concentrations in Business Law, General Practice, Government, and Litigation can provide an focus on specific practice areas.

We focus on building a solid foundation of legal knowledge through the core curriculum while providing extensive elective courses in many areas, including Intellectual Property, Litigation, and Public Interest. While emphasis is placed upon legal research and writing and trial advocacy, the required courses are sufficiently broad to provide all students with the requisite skills to become competent lawyers in any field of practice. A wide selection of elective courses, seminars, externships, and clinics allows students to focus on specialized legal areas and explore the contemporary problems of law and society.

Duquesne Law is committed to providing an exceptional education to a diverse student body. We understand the need to prepare lawyers from all backgrounds to practice in our increasingly diverse society. Duquesne Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

Learn more about the JD program at Duquesne Law

Experiential Learning

Clinics, Externships, and Pro Bono

Confirmation of our commitment to public service is found in the nearly 27,000 hours of legal service that Duquesne University Law students have provided through law clinics, externships, and pro bono programs, during the past year.

Clinics

Duquesne Law faculty and experienced attorneys instruct, support, and supervise law students as they participate in live client experiences and appearances in court.

The Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education enables Duquesne students to serve the community while working for credit and receiving practical legal education.

Clinical opportunities include:

  • Civil Rights Clinic
    The Civil Rights Clinic offers income-qualified clients legal assistance with record expungements. Students also assist individuals with completing the complex Pennsylvania Board of Pardons' clemency application and complete filings with the Board.
  • Family Law Clinic
    Students in the Family Law Clinic work under the supervision of a family law attorney to represent income-qualified clients with cases involving domestic abuse, divorce settlement, child support, and child custody.
  • Federal Litigation Clinic
    The Federal Litigation Clinic focuses on the litigation of actual cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Many of the cases involve the representation of inmates in cases that the federal courts have identified as potentially meritorious.
  • Wills and Healthcare Decisions Clinic
    This clinic focuses on assisting low-income clients with Wills, Living Wills, Advance Directives, Memoranda regarding Conduct of Funeral and Burial or Cremation and Durable Power of Attorney matters.
  • Unemployment Compensation Clinic
    The Unemployment Compensation Clinic provides representation to low-income clients before unemployment compensation referees in hearings and appeals to the Board of Review.
  • Urban Development Practicum
    The Urban Development Practicum provides a range of legal services associated with real estate development occurring in several distressed communities in Greater Pittsburgh.
  • Veterans Clinic
    This clinic assists veterans accepted into the Veterans Court of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Eligible students are certified by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to appear in court. The clinic trains law students in a holistic approach to the law focusing on the problem-solving philosophy and recidivism-reducing techniques.
  • Youth Advocacy Clinic
    The Youth Advocacy Clinic provides a unique opportunity for students to represent children in both delinquency and education matters.

Externships

In partnership with the legal community, the externship program enhances our strong academic tradition by incorporating real-world experiential learning into the curriculum to cultivate skilled and knowledgeable students ready to join the workforce with the competencies, knowledge, and professionalism to excel.

Single Semester Externship Placements

The School of Law offers one-semester and summer-session externship placements in county, state, and federal judicial offices; city, state, and federal government agencies; legal aid and non-profit organizations; and private practice or in-house counsel settings.

Available opportunities include:

  • Government externships
    Students at government placements gain criminal law exposure through assisting public defenders and prosecutors and work in the legal departments of federal and state agencies in matters related to employment, tax, and environmental law, among others.
  • Judicial externships
    For judicial externs, opportunities are available to work with both the federal and state courts at trial and appellate court levels.
  • Non-Profit externships
    Non-profit externs serve legal aid providers and in-house legal departments of large and small non-profit organizations in matters ranging from child welfare to environmental protection, immigration, housing protection, and health law.
  • Private-sector externships
    Students interested in private practice can gain experience in various fields, including civil litigation, family law, estate planning, immigration, bankruptcy, alternative dispute resolution, general commercial law, and more.

Yearlong Externship Programs

Yearlong externships feature on-site placement combined with classroom instruction and classroom credit.

Available opportunities include:

  • Criminal Prosecution Program
    The Criminal Prosecution Program provides students with an on-site externship at the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and classroom instruction in criminal law.
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
    Duquesne Law students have a unique opportunity to work as externs or volunteers with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. The statewide program works to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit and prevent the innocent from being convicted.
  • Public Defender Program
    This year-long externship program is designed to provide students with an understanding of the process of criminal defense while offering practical, hands-on experiences with actual persons accused of a crime in district courts and the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

Pro Bono

Pursuant to the School of Law’s mission of service, students are encouraged to participate in pro bono activities, including assisting with a court information hotline, offering wills clinics to the community, assisting with protection from abuse cases, and participating in the name change project. Students also regularly partner with various local legal service providers and pro bono attorneys who offer low-cost or no-cost legal assistance to the community.

Study Abroad

Students interested in an international experience may participate in Study Abroad programs in Ireland and Europe.

  • Duquesne has outstanding ABA-approved summer programs in Human Rights Law, Law of the E.U., and International Arbitration in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland.
  • The European Law program allows students to study at the University of Cologne in Germany and experience the different cultures in Cologne, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg. This three-week program offers modules in European Public Law, Corporate Governance, and European Intellectual Property Law. Students will also benefit from optional international externship placements after the conclusion of summer coursework.

Multidisciplinary Education

Students who wish to acquire a multidisciplinary background may choose from a variety of joint degree programs, concentrations and specializations, and the Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential program.

Joint Degree Programs

The School of Law offers the following joint-degree programs for students who wish to acquire a structured, multidisciplinary background:

  • JD/MBA
  • JD/MS-Environmental Science and Management
  • JD/MA-Healthcare Ethics
  • JD/MA-Philosophy
  • JD/MA-Divinity

Concentrations

By providing students with an opportunity to focus on specific practice areas, the concentrations play a role in achieving the School of Law’s learning outcomes, focusing on developing student knowledge, skills, and professional identity.

Optional concentrations for law students are available in four areas of practice:

  • Business Law
  • General Practice
  • Government
  • Litigation

Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential Program

Offered in collaboration with Duquesne's Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, the innovative program provides business acumen and financial tools to serve lawyers in modern practice. Credits earned in the program also may be used toward earning a joint JD-MBA degree.

Student Life

Student Organizations

Student Organizations

The various student organizations host speakers, organize fundraisers, and participate in community service activities.

  • American Bar Association/Law Student Division
  • American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • Animal Law Society
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Corporate Law Society
  • Criminal Law Association
  • Duquesne Italian-American Law Society
  • Education Initiative for Individual Diversity
  • Education Law and Policy Society
  • Election Law Society
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Family Law Society
  • Federalist Society
  • First Generation Society
  • Health Law Society
  • Hispanic American Bar Association
  • International & Immigration Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Lambda Law Society
  • Labor & Employment Law Society
  • Military Law Society
  • Older and Wiser Law Students
  • Phi Alpha Delta 
  • Public Interest Law Association 
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Society
  • Student Bar Association
  • Women's Law Association

Housing

Law students who wish to reside on-campus can live in graduate student housing in University Residence Halls. Most law students choose to live off-campus, often sharing apartments with other law students. The neighborhoods of Pittsburgh provide an array of affordable housing options for law students. Pittsburgh’s South Side is a popular location because students can walk to campus or take the university's South Side Shuttle bus. Many other students live in nearby Pittsburgh neighborhoods such as Downtown, Oakland, the North Shore, Shadyside, or Squirrel Hill.

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is consistently ranked as one of the top cities in the nation to live, work, and study. Being located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh is one of the best advantages we have to offer law students. When students enroll at Duquesne Law, they become part of the School of Law community and the greater legal community. Federal, state, and local courts, law firms, corporations, and tech companies are all within walking distance of the School of Law. This proximity to the legal community provides our students with a uniquely comprehensive experience.

Community

For more than a century, Duquesne Law has offered a rigorous legal education, with an emphasis on justice and service to others. Duquesne Law students work hard and are driven to do their best, but are collegial and work cooperatively with faculty and their peers.

The School of Law fosters an environment that encourages students to reach their potential while remaining committed to ethics and working for the greater good. Our consistently high bar pass rate and employment outcomes verify that ours is a formula for success.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Career Services

The Career Services Office (CSO) assists students and alumni in obtaining full-time, part-time, and summer employment. The CSO offers a fall and spring on-campus interview program where law firms, government agencies, corporations, and accounting firms conduct individual interviews. Additional programming includes résumé and cover letter review, Alumni-Student Mentoring Match, mock interviews, judicial clerkship presentations, and networking events.

Duquesne University School of Law is a member of the National Association for Law Placement, the National Association for Public Interest Law Publication Network, and the Allegheny County Bar Association Minority Job Fair.

Employment statistics can be viewed on our website.

Bar Studies

According to the American Bar Association, bar-passage rates are “the single best outcome measure...in assessing whether a law school is maintaining a ‘rigorous program of legal education’”. Our nationally recognized Bar Studies program ensures that students are thoroughly prepared for the bar examination.

During every year of study, you can take advantage of academic excellence programs, followed closely by comprehensive bar preparation. Duquesne Law’s bar services offer you a rigorous curriculum taught by acclaimed professors, a nationally ranked legal writing program, hands-on learning gained through unique clinical programs, and special bar preparation options.

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Duquesne Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$52,332.00
Fees
$1,084.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$70,060.00

Duquesne consistently strives to ensure that the exceptional private legal education provided by the School of Law is within reach of all qualified students. Through the generosity of our dedicated alumni and the university's efforts, Duquesne Law has been able to offer generous merit scholarships to enrolling students. Combining generous merit scholarships with outstanding outcomes on the Bar exam and employment makes Duquesne Law an excellent value in legal education.

Incoming students do not need to submit a separate application for Merit Scholarship awards. Once a student is accepted, the application will be reviewed for Merit Scholarship consideration. Dean’s Scholarship Awards provide full tuition to select applicants each year. Dean’s Scholarships and Merit Scholarships are renewable for three years of law school (4 years for part-time students) as long as the student remains in good academic standing. Duquesne Law does not award conditional scholarships. 

Students are admitted only for the fall semester. In evaluating applications, the complete academic record is reviewed with consideration given to the competitiveness of the undergraduate institution, rigors of the curriculum, rank in class, and the overall academic performance. The LSAT is considered an essential factor. Graduate study, work experience, extracurricular activities, leadership, and recommendations also contribute to the committee's assessment.

Learn more about tuition & aid at Duquesne Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

 In evaluating applications, the complete academic record is reviewed with consideration given to the competitiveness of the undergraduate institution, rigors of the curriculum, rank in class, and the overall academic performance. The LSAT is considered an essential factor. Graduate study, work experience, leadership experience, extracurricular activities, and recommendations also contribute to the committee's assessment.

Learn more about admission at Duquesne Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Duquesne:

3.18 to 3.67

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Duquesne:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Duquesne:

3.18 to 3.67

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Duquesne:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Duquesne:

3.18 to 3.67

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Duquesne:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Edward J. Hanley Hall, 900 Locust Street,
Pittsburgh, PA 15219,
United States