Duquesne University School of Law

Civil Litigation

Students at Duquesne University School of Law have the opportunity to pursue a practice-centered Civil Litigation Concentration. As with all concentrations, students have the option of obtaining a major (14 credits) or a minor (9 credits). For either the major or minor, a minimum of 4 credits must be from a listed and approved skills, competition, or clinical course.

Because the goal of the concentration is to better prepare students to draft the type of documents they will see in a civil litigation law practice, students in this concentration are required to submit a portfolio to a faculty advisor, in lieu of a paper, for review and approval. These documents need not be documents actually filed in litigation, but may have been drafted for a course if the documents are approved as sufficient by a faculty advisor.

The contents of the portfolio must contain, at a minimum:

  • A pleading (a complaint or answer drafted for a state or federal court, or the equivalent prepared for a hearing before an administrative agency).
  • A sampling of the discovery documents drafted by the student.
  • A brief written in support of, or in opposition to, a motion; or an appellate brief (which shall not be the brief written in the first-year Legal Research and Writing II course).

Strongly Recommended Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice [2 credits starting with Spring 2016; 3 credits before Spring 2016] 
Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques [2 or 3] 
Alternative Dispute Resolution [2] 
Deposition Skills [2] 
Expert Evidence [3] 
Negotiation Skills [2] 
Pleading and Discovery Skills [2] 
Trial Advocacy [3, limited] 
Trial Advocacy I [3, limited] 
Trial Advocacy II [3] 
Trial Team [2, limited]

Other Courses

Doctrinal Courses

Administrative Law [3] 
Appellate Practice & Procedure [2] 
Bankruptcy [3] 
Civil Rights Litigation [3]
Complex Litigation, Class Actions, & the Adversary System [2] 
Conflict of Laws [2] 
Corporate Governance in the For-Profit and Non-Profit Spheres [1]
Employment Discrimination [3] 
Family Law [3] 
Federal Civil Procedure [3] 
Federal Courts and the Federal System [3] 
Fundamentals of Intellectual Property [3] 
Independent Research [1 to 3, paper - with approval] 
International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution* [1.5] 
Pennsylvania Civil Procedure [2] 
Practice before the Minor Judiciary [2] 
Remedies and Damages [2]
Remedies at Law and in Equity [2] 
Social Media and the Law [1]
Trade Secred Law [2]

Skills Courses

Advanced Legal Writing: Basics of Litigation [2 credits] 
Advanced Legal Writing: Drafting [2 starting Spring 2016, 3 before Spring 2016] 
Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice [2 starting Spring 2016, 3 before Spring 2016] 
Capstone Course: Lawyering Skills [2]
Civil Law Research [1]
E-Discovery, A Practical Course [3] 
In-House Counsel in Modern Corporations [2] 
Medical Malpractice Litigation Skills [2] 
Pleading and Discovery Skills [2]

Clinical Courses

Civil Rights Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical]
Civil and Family Justice Externship Program [3 limited credits, clinical] 
Family Law Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical]
Federal Litigation Clinic [3 limited credits, clinical] 
General and Specialized Externship Placement and Seminar [3 - with approval, limited credits, clinical] 
KidsVoice Program [3 limited credits, clinical]
Unemployment Compensation Clinic [3, limited credits, clinical]

Competitions

Moot Court (classroom component) [1] 
Appellate Moot Court [2] 
Trial Advocacy [2]

Notes for the Civil Litigation Concentration

A minimum of 4 credits must be from a listed and approved skills, competition, or clinical course, but clinical courses cannot be counted for more than 3 hours each for purposes of meeting the elective requirement course. The remaining credits may be from any other elective group listed; however, the following are highly recommended:

        Family Law
        Remedies and Damages

The following courses are limited enrollment courses:

        Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques
        Alternative Dispute Resolution
        Negotiation Skills
        Pleading and Discovery Skills
        Writing in Law Practice

Students may not count more than one course of these three towards the concentration hours: Advanced Pretrial Litigation Techniques, Pleading and Discovery Skills, and Advanced Legal Writing: Writing in Law Practice.

Students in this concentration are required to submit a portfolio to a faculty advisor, in lieu of a paper, for review and approval. These documents need not be documents actually filed in litigation, but may have been drafted for a course if the documents are approved as sufficient by a faculty advisor. The contents that the portfolio must contain, at a minimum: 

  • A pleading (a Complaint or Answer drafted for a state or federal court, or the equivalent prepared for a hearing before an administrative agency)
  • A sampling of the discovery documents drafted by the student
  • A brief written in support of, or in opposition to, a motion; or an appellate brief (which shall not be the brief written in the first-year Legal Research and Writing II course)

* This course is taught as part of the Ireland Summer Study Abroad Program, but grades do not count within a student's overall GPA.

Learn More

View additional concentrations offered at the School of Law.