Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of varies credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.Div. (Juris Doctor/Master of Divinity in conjunction with Pittsburgh), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in taxation), and J.D./M.S.E.S.M. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in environmental science and management).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, international law, labor law, litigation, securities law, tax law, torts and insurance, intellectual property, and health care. In addition, clinics, which are considered all upper-division classes worth 3 credits, include the U.S. Attorney’s Program, District Attorney’s Program, and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources Program. Also open to upper-division students are internships and seminars, both worth 2 to 3 credits. Seminar topics include labor arbitration, collective bargaining, and trial tactics. Upper-division students are eligible to serve as faculty research assistants. Special lectures are given by the guest speakers who visit the school throughout the year. Law students may request permission to participate in study-abroad programs offered by other ABA-approved law schools. There are summer study-abroad programs in China, Ireland, and Vatican City. The Black Law Students Association sponsors a tutoring program. Special interest programs are offered by the Public Interest Law Association, Health Care Law Association, Law Review, Juris Magazine, Black Law Students Association, Corporate Law Society, and Women’s Law Association.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 86 total credits, of which 56 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure I, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure (second year for evening students), Legal Process and Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, Property (second year for evening students), and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of Basic Federal Income Taxation, Commercial Transactions I and II, Constitutional Law, Corporations, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students consists of 1-1/2 days of sessions on requirements in the first year and handling stress. The students meet with their faculty adviser and student mentors.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 3.0 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 192 enrolled. Figures in the above capsule and in this profile are approximate. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 66; the median GPA was 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include academic achievement, LSAT results, life experience and occupation and professional work experience. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, TOEFL for foreign students, a nonrefundable application fee, and 2 letters of recommendation. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis. Check with the school for current application deadlines. The law school uses the LSDAS.
In a recent year, about 80% of current law students received some form of aid. Awards are based on need and merit, along with minority status. Required financial statements are the FFS, the CSS Profile, and the FAFSA. Check with the school for current application deadlines. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students consist of scholarships and grants. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
About 44% of the student body are women; 4%, minorities; 3%, African American; 1%, Asian American; and 1%, Hispanic. The majority of students come from Pennsylvania (23%). The average age of entering students is 22; age range is 20 to 48. About 25% of students have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 2% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 95% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Duquesne Law Review; Juris, a newsmagazine; and the Duquesne Business Law Journal. Moot courts include a trial moot court, an appellate moot court, a corporate moot court, and a tax moot court. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Environmental Law Association, the Intellectual Property & Technological Law Society, Health Care Law Association, Phi Alpha Delta, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and ABA – Law Student Division.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 4 years. For part-time students, courses are offered both day and evening and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 5-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.