Duquesne Law School Jumps Significantly in U.S. News Ranking

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Press Release from Duquesne Law:

Duquesne University’s School of Law leaped 23 spots in the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2015 Best Graduate School Rankings.

Last year, Duquesne placed among top-tier law schools for the first time in a decade. This year, Duquesne jumped up to the 121st spot, shared with seven other institutions, including DePaul University in Chicago.

The Law School was also ranked 12th best Legal Research and Writing program in the country, continuing a recent trend of dominance in this area, and advanced to No. 48 nationally in part-time law programs.

“This significant rise in our ranking demonstrates that Duquesne Law School is being recognized as a first-rate name in legal education,” said Dean Ken Gormley. “Despite declines in enrollment nationally, we’ve insisted on sticking to our high standards.  The University has strongly supported us in insisting on excellence rather than compromising our standards to fill seats. It’s rewarding and humbling to receive this positive endorsement from our peers around the country.”

Duquesne’s School of Law, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, has continued to garner regional and national attention over the past year. In September, it opened the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education in Uptown to provide expanded legal services to underserved individuals and valuable skills training to students. The clinic doubled its spaced and launched several new programs, including a Veteran’s Clinic that was recently touted in Stars and Stripes newspaper as a model for others.

Students recently won an important case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, through Duquesne’s Federal Litigation Clinic.  A group of students will handle a federal jury trial this month-including opening and closing statements and examination of witnesses-a rare experience for young practicing lawyers, let alone for law students.

During the past months, Duquesne law students have racked up an impressive string of victories in trial and appellate advocacy competitions regionally and nationally, including first place in the 41st Academy of Trial Lawyers Mock Trial Competition Championship for the coveted Gourley Cup, besting law schools including Penn, William & Mary, Pitt and Catholic University.  This past weekend, Duquesne’s Appellate Moot Court team brought home a best advocate and a best brief award in the elite American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition in New York.

This year, the law school’s Director of Legal Research and Writing, Jan Levine, became the first professor in the United States to be honored with the two highest legal writing awards in the same year.

Other Duquesne School of Law highlights have included:

  • Welcoming U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for a nationally televised public program and a private lecture for law students, and hosting two other U.S. justices and the U.S. Attorney General for major events.
  • Increasing scholarship support so that almost 70 percent of the current first-year class received aid.
  • Creating a new endowed fund for career services initiatives to enhance employment opportunities for students, developed by the Duquesne Law Alumni Association; and instituting the McGinley Fellowships for Public Service to support students interested in pursuing a wide array of public service positions in all three branches of government.
  • Being named “No. 4 best value among private law schools” by National Jurist magazine.

U.S. News reviewed 194 accredited law schools based on 12 factors, including quality assessment and peer ranking, selectivity, placement success, faculty resources and specialty rankings. Stated Gormley, “As the legal profession continues to evolve, Duquesne Law School is finding new ways to do what it has always done best: train excellent, ethical lawyers.”

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