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The information on this page was provided by the law school in spring 2017.

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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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.


Our faculty members are among the country’s most distinguished legal scholars. But they are also passionate teachers who enjoy the personal give and take of the classroom. Pitt Law professors have defined bioethics, illuminated discrimination, and clarified intellectual property disputes. They advise the founders of new democracies and provide perspective on civil liberties in the United States. Pitt Law has led the move to free worldwide online sharing of legal and judicial scholarship with JURIST, publishing international news and primary source documents. The school also sponsors legal symposia for industries from health care to natural gas and brings experts to campus for formal lectures and informal debate.

With small class sizes and personal interaction, Pitt Law students engage with their teachers and benefit from their broad professional networks. On the lighter side, Pitt Law faculty auction their talents and donations annually to benefit the Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation, a student group that raises scholarship funds for classmates electing public-interest summer internships

Library and Physical Facilities

Originally conceived as both a law library and a research center, the Barco Law Library is located on the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the Barco Law Building. The fourth floor is the library’s nerve center, containing the circulation desk, reference desk and reference collection, group-study rooms, printing and photocopying services, two computer labs, and the IT department. The current collection includes all of the major legal databases as well as 468,000 volumes and volume equivalents.

Among the Barco Law Building’s features is the oak-paneled Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom, which includes a seven-seat judges’ bench, jury and press boxes, counselors’ tables, judges’ chambers, and a jury room. Recently, construction was completed on the student lounge, which provides a multipurpose space for students to study and socialize. This space houses a Starbucks, a student organization office suite that offers both collaborative and private work environments, student lockers, and a comfortable seating area with ample electrical access for laptop use.

In 2017, the Barco Law Building’s $6.2 million renovation commenced. This renovation, as part of the university’s Facilities Master Plan, will modernize the building with new finishes, flooring, and classroom improvements. Significantly, the renovation will enable the Legal Clinics to again be housed in the main Barco Law Building, thereby bringing theory, doctrine, and practice ever closer. In combination with the “green” rooftop patio, our modern library, and our ground-floor student lounge, the building is a state-of-the-art facility that will leave a distinct impression on current and prospective students as well as visitors to the law school.

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

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

Joint-Degree Programs

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

Semester in DC

Through the Semester in DC program, students work as full-time externs with members of Congress, in federal agencies and courtrooms, and in nonprofit agencies throughout Washington. Students gain broad experience in public policy, litigation, regulation, and lobbying, while reserving summers for work in other legal settings. In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), Pitt Law is the only law school in the country to offer students a Semester in DC Program in conjunction with a graduate policy school.

Innovation Practice Institute (IPI)

Pittsburgh is incubating the companies that will power the 21st-century economy. Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute (IPI) connects students with the city’s vibrant entrepreneurial sector. The IPI trains law students to be and to serve innovators and entrepreneurs.

Coursework in the IPI includes copyright, trademark, and patent law; law and entrepreneurship; understanding the legal services marketplace; entertainment and social enterprise law; and commercializing new technologies, all offered with the university’s Katz School of Business. The IPI places students at dozens of innovation enterprises in Pittsburgh and beyond—for example, Pitt’s Innovation Institute, Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation, the Coulter Program at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, and Ashoka—an international network of leading social entrepreneurs. Our students compete in the university-wide Big Idea Competition, which annually awards $20,000 prizes to fledgling firms. The IPI also leaps campus boundaries with opportunities to network with fascinating partners.

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.

Student Activities

The University of Pittsburgh Law Review, the Journal of Law and Commerce, and the Journal of Technology Law and Policy are among the journals published by law students.

More than 30 law student organizations thrive at Pitt Law, reflecting the diverse social and intellectual interests and experiences of our students. They include the Asian Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association, the Environmental Law Council, the Federalist Society, the Hispanic Law Society, the Jewish Law Students Association, the Lesbian-Gay Rights Organization (OUTLaw), the Pitt Law Women’s Association, and the Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation, among others.

The Office of Professional and Career Development

The Office of Professional and Career Development (OPCD) is dedicated to providing students and graduates with the information and tools necessary for successful career development and advancement. The 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 nontraditional 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 OPCD helps educate students and graduates for a lifetime of successful career management.

The OPCD also serves as an intermediary between prospective employers and law students. By posting job vacancies, scheduling on-campus interviews, sponsoring programs, and participating in and promoting off-campus job fairs, we provide a range of employment prospects. Through ongoing outreach, the OPCD staff endeavors to create ever-increasing employer interest in Pitt Law students and graduates.

Admission and Financial Aid

Apply for the Pitt Law JD program from September 1 through our deadline of April 1. Applications are considered only for the current year for the fall semester, and students are accepted for full-time, three-year enrollment. We require all applicants to submit their applications online through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

Pitt Law is highly competitive, and admission decisions are based on many factors. The committee carefully evaluates graduate work, professional experience, and an applicant’s undergraduate GPA. Applicants are required to register with the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) through LSAC and must take the LSAT.

The Pitt Law admission committee employs a rolling admission process. Students may request Priority Decision and have an admission decision within 14 business days. Scholarship decisions are made at the time of acceptance.

Pitt Law offers exceptional value: approximately 70 percent of the student body receives scholarship funds from Pitt Law in the form of merit- or need-based scholarship awards. Every admitted student is considered for merit scholarship awards at the time of admission to Pitt Law. The merit scholarships are renewable for the second and third years of law school, provided the recipient maintains a cumulative grade point average of 2.8. Students may also take advantage of other aid, including guaranteed loans.

Life in Oakland and Pittsburgh

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.

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Contact Information

3900 Forbes Avenue
Barco Law Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Phone: 412.648.1413
Fax: 412.648.1318
ABA Data:

Applicant Profile

The following grid includes applicants who were admitted for all terms in academic year 2017. By comparing your LSAT score and GPA with those of the admitted applicants whose data is reflected on this grid, you can get a general sense of your competitiveness at this school.


  1. Law schools consider many other factors beyond the LSAT score and GPA.
  2. The data in the grid is from a previous application year and may not reflect fluctuations in applicant volume that affect admission decisions.
  3. The data includes deferrals. Deferrals are defined as “admitted applicants who were granted a postponed enrollment for a subsequent term.”
3.74 Apps
3.74 Adm
3.49 Apps
3.49 Adm
3.24 Apps
3.24 Adm
2.99 Apps
2.99 Adm
2.74 Apps
2.74 Adm
2.49 Apps
2.49 Adm
2.24 Apps
2.24 Adm
Below 2.00
Below 2.00
175–180 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
170–174 2 2 3 1 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10 5
165–169 12 9 10 8 13 4 2 2 6 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 47 26
160–164 52 43 50 35 37 22 28 16 10 4 10 4 4 1 3 0 0 0 12 2 206 127
155–159 53 41 96 69 90 65 69 41 44 21 20 10 9 3 0 0 0 0 14 4 395 254
150–154 56 23 97 26 102 31 88 19 61 10 31 4 10 0 8 0 0 0 17 0 470 113
145–149 34 1 58 3 81 6 66 1 57 1 25 1 24 0 5 0 2 0 13 0 365 13
140–144 14 0 20 0 24 0 19 0 21 0 13 0 10 0 6 0 0 0 5 0 132 0
135–139 4 0 8 0 12 0 8 0 6 0 10 0 4 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 57 0
130–134 2 0 3 0 3 0 4 0 5 0 4 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 25 0
125–129 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
120–124 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 229 119 345 142 364 129 287 79 211 39 113 19 66 5 24 0 4 0 67 6 1710 538

Apps = Number of Applicants
Adm = Number Admitted
Reflects 100% of the total applicant pool; highest LSAT data reported.