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Duquesne University School of Law

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As a student of the Duquesne University School of Law, you will be trained to a high degree of professional skill with a Catholic sensitivity to ethical and moral concerns. Graduates of our school know the law in a comprehensive fashion and, increasingly, in a range of specialized areas such as corporate law, litigation, environmental law, energy law, health law, intellectual property, and international law. But what truly sets a Duquesne lawyer apart is a deep understanding of the difference between what the law allows us to do and what is the ethical course of action that best serves our system of justice. In an era where ethical concerns are among the most important questions facing the legal profession, we train our graduates to make contributions to society on a grand scale. Duquesne University School of Law has, for more than a century, reflected the university’s unique emphasis on justice and service to others.

Recognized as one of the best cities in which to practice law and a center for corporate and legal headquarters, Pittsburgh is a leading metropolis for high technology ventures and a thriving arts and cultural community, with major-league sports entertainment.

Library and Physical Facilities

Located at the center of Duquesne University’s 50-acre campus, the School of Law is within blocks of federal, state, and county courts and numerous law firms and corporate offices. Duquesne’s location in downtown Pittsburgh makes the law school library a major source for legal research and information services. The Duquesne law library has assumed management responsibility of the Allegheny County Law Library, resulting in one of the largest collections of legal materials in Pennsylvania.

Our facilities include a state-of-the-art moot courtroom, technology-aided classrooms with ports and power sources at every seat, an upgraded lounge area with a café, faculty and administrative offices, student locker areas, a conference room, and a wireless computer lab.


The course of study offered at the School of Law is sufficiently broad to prepare students for practice in all states. Three years are required for completion of the course of study in the full-time division, four years in the part-time day and evening divisions.

While emphasis is placed upon skills such as 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 fields and explore the contemporary problems of law and society.


Bachelor’s degree required. Priority application deadline: March 1. Early decision deadline: December 15. LSAT and registration with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) required.

All candidates for admission must take the LSAT, register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS), and have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university before enrolling in the law school. One letter of recommendation and a copy of your résumé are also required. The admission process is selective. Most applicants apply well in advance of the deadlines. 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, rank in class, and the overall academic performance. The LSAT is considered an important factor. Graduate study, work experience, extracurricular activities, and recommendations also contribute to the committee’s assessment.

Joint-Degree Programs

The School of Law offers the following joint-degree programs: JD/MBA, JD/MS-Environmental Science and Management, JD/MA-Healthcare Ethics, JD/MA-Philosophy, and JD/MA-Divinity.

Clinical Opportunities

The School of Law operates several clinical programs and dozens of externships. The Civil Rights Clinic offers students an opportunity to work with clients before the Human Relations Commission, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the US District Court for Western Pennsylvania, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Unemployment Compensation Clinic provides representation to clients before unemployment compensation referees in hearings, and on appeals, to the Board of Review. The Education Law Clinic provides legal services to assist youths in navigating school disciplinary, suspension, and expulsion hearings, as well as alternative education placements. In the Juvenile Defender Clinic, student attorneys represent children in juvenile delinquency court, handling every aspect of cases including pretrial motions and litigation, investigation, admission or trial, disposition and post-disposition motion, and hearings. Students may appear in court to accompany clients, according to cases and class schedules. The Urban Development Practicum provides a range of legal services associated with real estate development occurring in several distressed communities in Greater Pittsburgh. Students also represent clients in the Federal Litigation Clinic, Family Law Clinic, and Veterans Clinic. Externship opportunities include the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Public Defender Adult and Juvenile Programs, and the Criminal Prosecution Program. New externship opportunities are also available in the Netherlands; Washington, DC; Atlanta; and Harrisburg.

International Programs

Duquesne Law offers a one-year LLM program for foreign attorneys, and hosts three study-abroad programs. The Law School has established a summer program in China where students will visit four cities: Beijing, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. Students will study Family Law, Criminal Justice Reforms, and Chinese Language, Culture, Legal History, and Law. Duquesne also has an outstanding ABA-approved summer program of study on Human Rights Law, Law of the EU, and International Arbitration in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland. Finally, a European Law program gives students the opportunity to study at the University of Cologne and experience different cultures in Cologne, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg, while spending three weeks of summer in Europe. This three week program offers modules in European Public Law, Corporate Governance, and European Intellectual Property Law. The study-abroad programs offer optional international externship placements after the conclusion of summer coursework.

Student Activities

Duquesne University School of Law encourages students to become involved in one of the many student organizations at the law school. The Student Bar Association maintains a liaison between students and faculty and sponsors social and professional activities for the student body. The various student organizations host speakers, organize fundraisers, and participate in community service activities.

Membership in the Duquesne Law Review is based on the demonstrated academic ability of the student, as well as his or her interest in becoming active in this publication. Juris, the law school news magazine, is an ABA award-winning publication containing articles of current interest to the entire legal community. Students also publish the Duquesne Business Law Journal.

Financial Aid

Duquesne consistently strives to ensure that the outstanding private legal education provided by the law school is within the reach of all qualified students. Merit scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants, and loans are available to cover the cost of attendance. Merit scholarships for incoming students are renewable for all three years of law school, as long as the student remains in good standing; conditional scholarships are not awarded. Incoming students do not have to apply for merit scholarships, as those awards are made on the basis of the admission application. Additional scholarships are awarded each academic year to 2Ls and 3Ls on the basis of exceptional academic achievement. There are also a number of endowed funds that current students can apply for after they have matriculated at the law school.


Law students have access to an array of affordable housing options throughout the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities. Students who wish to live on campus can live in graduate student apartments in Brottier Hall or in dormitories in Vickroy Hall. Brottier Hall is on the Duquesne University campus just across the street from the law school and offers studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as covered parking, utilities, a fitness facility, and optional meal plans. Vickroy affords students the opportunity to share a suite with friends. Vickroy Hall has laundry facilities on each floor, a multi-purpose room that is available for study groups, a kitchen, and a small fitness room.

Most law students choose to live in off-campus housing, often sharing apartments with other law students. The South Side of Pittsburgh is a popular location as students can walk to campus or take the university’s South Side Shuttle bus. Many other students choose to live in nearby Pittsburgh neighborhoods such as Downtown Oakland, Shadyside, or Squirrel Hill.

Career Services

The Career Services Office offers assistance to students and alumni who are interested in obtaining full-time, part-time, and summer employment. The office offers a fall and spring on-campus interview program in which 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.

The 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. The law school has nearly 7,500 alumni throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

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Contact Information

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

Phone: 412.396.6296
ABA Data:

Applicant Profile

The law school recognizes the different strengths presented by our full-time and part-time students and acknowledges that the diversity in the groups cannot be accurately or completely represented in a single grid of average undergraduate GPA and LSAT scores. Graduate degrees, personal and professional accomplishments, and extensive employment experience predominate in all divisions. These factors are considered crucial to an individual assessment of admissibility. Applications are reviewed individually, and factors such as leadership experience, community service, and other nonacademic experiences are considered. In recent years, the middle 50 percent of the class scored between a 150 and a 155 on the LSAT and had between a 3.2 and 3.7 cumulative undergraduate GPA. Applicants should view the Entering Class Profile for specific information on the current year's class. Applicants are encouraged to visit the law school to take a student-guided tour and sit in on a law class. Visit the School of Law website for details.