University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


The JD Program

Founded in 1895, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law is a globally respected institution preparing students to become excellent attorneys and leaders within both the legal profession and society. The curriculum applies legal scholarship and skills to contemporary issues, from international conflict resolution to intellectual property and technology. Beginning in the first year, our students balance rigorous core and specialty courses with immersion in clinics, practicums, networking opportunities with local law firms, and exposure to local innovators.

Pitt Law’s superior preparation begins with small classes. The average class size is fewer than 20 students. But Pitt Law’s reach as a pillar of a public research university with more than 10,000 graduate students in 14 graduate and professional schools creates deep opportunities for law students. The university’s reputation as a center for biotechnology, engineering, energy research, business, public policy, and health care illuminates the pathways for law careers. Our next-door neighbor, Carnegie Mellon University, complements Pitt’s strengths with advances in robotics, computer science, entertainment technology, public policy, and more.

That synergy creates a clear advantage for Pitt Law students: Those admitted to law as well as to other graduate programs may complete both degrees in less time than two consecutive degrees would normally require.

Pitt Law’s mission to encourage talent includes a commitment to providing scholarships for highly qualified students through all three years. Nearly 70 percent of all students receive financial aid.

Learn more about the JD program at Pitt Law

Clinical Programs

Law school and reality meet head on in Pitt Law’s in-house legal clinics. Under the supervision of full-time faculty who are practicing attorneys, you will wrestle as a lawyer with legal and ethical issues involving real people. Students are eligible to enroll in a legal clinic beginning in the second semester of their second year of law school. Clinics include:

  • Taxpayer Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic
  • Environmental Law Clinic
  • Family Law Clinic
  • Health Law Clinic
  • Immigration Law Clinic
  • Securities Arbitration Clinic

Programs of Specialized Study

One way to prepare for law practice in a society facing information overload and increasingly complex legal issues is to concentrate your academic study in a particular field of law. Pitt Law students who choose this route have the advantage of pursuing any of six different specialized areas of study, each of which offers students the opportunity to take sharply focused courses leading to a designation on the transcript verifying completion of a concentrated course of study. Specialized areas of study include

  • Environmental or Energy Law
  • Health Law
  • Intellectual Property, Technology, and Innovation Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Public Policy Concentration
  • The John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program
  • Tax Law

Faculty in areas of law where we have no standing certificate program have developed curricular pathways to guide students on classes they might take to broaden their expertise.  Specifically, we have developed the following “pathways”:

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil Rights

Joint-Degree Programs

Pitt Law welcomes students who choose to pursue simultaneous degrees at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

  • JD/MPA, JD/MPIA, or JD/MID in Law and Public Administration, Public and International Affairs, or International Development with University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • JD/MSISPM in Law and Information Security Policy and Management with Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College, School of Public Policy and Management
  • JD/MBA in Law and Business Administration with University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business; Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business
  • JD/MPH in Law and Public Health with University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
  • MSW/JD in Law and Social Work with University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
  • JD/MA in Law and Bioethics with University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Bioethics and Health Law
  • JD/MSPPM in Law and Public Policy and Management with Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College, School of Public Policy and Management
  • JD/MAM in Law and Arts Management with Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College, School of Public Policy and Management

Semester in D.C. Program

Pitt Law’s Semester in D.C. Program offers you a different kind of semester. If you want to gain real world, full-time experience working in your specialty area, have a particular interest in policy or government-related work, or would like to work in Washington, D.C. after graduation, the Semester in D.C. Program could be for you.

Through the Semester in D.C. Program, you get a semester's hands-on experience practicing law and policy by interning in Washington, D.C. for a government or non-profit employer. You'll also obtain training and credentials in your field, meet regularly with your assigned alumni mentor and other Washington-area alumni and practitioners, and learn about the incredible range of jobs in government agencies, on the Hill, and in lobbying firms, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and private firms and companies. 

Center for International Legal Education

At Pitt Law, both professors and students need their passports.

Our faculty includes global authorities in conflict resolution and international trade law who regularly advise diplomats and corporations. Our students enhance their Pittsburgh coursework with study and service in nearly two dozen nations.

Pitt Law students take advantage of scholarships for overseas experience each year. They may work with refugees in Southeast Asia and Africa or earn credits at European universities. Pitt Law teams have competed in the Vienna-based rounds for the Vis Moot for more than 20 years. Upon graduation, many choose posts with the US State Department, US Agency for International Development, or nongovernmental organizations in international capitals.

The university’s Center for International Studies offers area studies certificate programs that combine foreign language training and multidisciplinary courses for cultural competence. Pitt Law students can complete an area studies certificate concurrently with the JD program without adding additional time to their schooling.

Publications

Selection to a law review or journal is one of the highest scholarly accomplishments a law student may attain. The University of Pittsburgh has: the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and the Journal of Law and Commerce, a peer-reviewed journal, the Pittsburgh Tax Review, and the Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law & Policy. 

Experiential Learning Opportunities

At Pitt Law, students not only gain theoretical knowledge but also practical experience through participation in clinics, practicums, externships, the Semester in D.C. Program, moot court and mock trial competitions, and other opportunities for hands-on learning.

The City of Pittsburgh and Oakland

Oakland is an innovation hub, brimming with the creativity of students, researchers, inventors, and visitors from around the world. With most of its residents under age 30, the neighborhood pulses with intensity. Business incubators, health researchers, the RAND Corporation, Disney, IBM, and Microsoft share this intellectual hub.

UPMC, an international health care system, maintains four teaching hospitals on the Pitt campus and dozens throughout the region. It is closely affiliated with Pitt’s medical school and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a world-class center for bioengineering. Experts in public health and public policy from all over the world mingle here, lecturing and learning. Historians, novelists, and authors read their works in the popular Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures series at the nearby Carnegie Music Hall, also a busy concert venue.

Pitt Law sits at the heart of the university campus, a few steps from the cafés and green space of Schenley Plaza. We share a border of the 456-acre Schenley Park with Carnegie Mellon University and two of the city’s four Carnegie museums. The Carnegie Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History are renowned for their magnificent collections, while local eateries feature global cuisine.

Oakland’s proximity to downtown Pittsburgh keeps students close to major attractions such as the Steelers’ Heinz Field, the Pirates’ PNC Park, and the Penguins’ Consol Energy Center. Downtown’s cultural district teems with galleries and theaters such as the renowned Wood Street Galleries and the Harris Theater. Outside of downtown, the vibrant neighborhoods and night life centers of Lawrenceville, the South Side, and Shadyside are a short bus ride away. The university’s seamlessness with the city means students don’t have to feel locked away on a campus.

Pittsburgh’s value in housing, commuting, and entertainment makes the town a law student’s best friend.

Student Life

Student Bar Association (SBA)

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the governing body for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law student body and acts as a liaison between the administration and students. The SBA is controlled by the SBA President, which is elected by the student body, and the Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Our mission is to increase student involvement in the law school's operation, to protect student rights, to promote student standards of professional responsibility, and to contribute to the Pitt Law community.

Student Organizations

Pitt Law offers a wide variety of student organizations to join, even as early as the 1L year.  Students can participate at whatever level they are comfortable.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

Professional Development Office at Pitt Law

The Professional and Development Office (PDO) is dedicated to providing students and graduates with the information and tools necessary for successful career development and advancement. Our office assists students and graduates in their pursuit of careers in a wide variety of settings, including private law firms, public interest organizations, government agencies, corporate and business environments, judicial clerkships, academia, and non-traditional careers.

Through an extensive array of services including individual counseling, educational programming, interviewing opportunities, printed and online resources, job posting databases, and a substantial alumni network, the PDO helps educate students and graduates for a lifetime of successful career management.

Bar Passage Success and Resources at Pitt Law:
Pitt Law offers formal assistance with bar exam preparation, free of charge, to its third year JD students.  Our Director of Bar Exam Services meets with our incoming 1L students during Orientation, introduces THEMIS to them and is a constant resource for all of our students. 

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Pitt Law

Tuition and Aid

Expense Cost
Tuition
$35,836.00
Fees
$1,800.00
Expected Cost of Attendance
$57,850.00

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

Admission applications for the Pitt Law JD program will be accepted starting September 1 through our deadline of May 1. Applications are considered only for the current year for the fall semester. We require all applicants submit their applications on-line through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The University of Pittsburgh School of Law strives to admit a class of highly qualified students who appear likely to succeed in and graduate from this law school and become productive members of the legal profession or related professions.  Pitt Law is highly competitive and our Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach that considers a myriad of variables, including GPA; LSAT score; rigor of undergraduate major; prior work and educational experience; commitment to justice; life experience; leadership ability or potential; demonstrated ability to overcome personal or structural barriers; evidence of discipline and responsibility; motivation to succeed at law school; and circumstances that put the applicant’s academic and personal achievements into context, including socioeconomic status, experience in a single parent home, family responsibilities, cultural background, race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, the language spoken in the home, and other information in the applicant’s file.

Learn more about admission at Pitt Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Pittsburgh:

3.22 to 3.76

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Pittsburgh:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Pittsburgh:

3.22 to 3.76

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Pittsburgh:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Pittsburgh:

3.22 to 3.76

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Pittsburgh:

155 to 161

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

3900 Forbes Avenue, Barco Law Building,
Pittsburgh, PA 15260,
United States