Duquesne University School of Law

Hillary Weaver

Hometown: 
Greensburg, PA
Graduation Year: 
2016

Undergraduate Institution 

University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 2013, political science 

Did you or do you intend to select a concentration? If so, which?

I intend to complete a Criminal Law Concentration.

What are your practice-area interests?

I am predominantly interested in criminal law. I am also interested in family law, specifically child advocacy.

Why did you choose Duquesne Law? 

I chose Duquesne Law because of the school’s outstanding reputation in this region and its commitment to public service. Because of the exceptional writing program and ample opportunities for practical and clinical experience, Duquesne graduates are very skilled and well-respected advocates in the legal community.

Are you involved with law student organizations or publications? 

I am executive student articles editor for the Duquesne Law Review and secretary for the Appellate Moot Court Board.  

How did you become involved in Moot Court? What has your experience been? Would you recommend it to other law students? 

I became involved in Appellate Moot Court Board because of how much I enjoyed writing an appellate brief and presenting an oral argument during our first-year Legal Research & Writing course. My experience on Moot Court has been great – both challenging and rewarding. Last year, several of us competed at the National Appellate Advocacy Competition in St. Louis, where we had the opportunity to argue in front of judges and practicing attorneys from the area. The experience gave us the opportunity to apply all the concepts we had learned in class to a factual scenario and get a glimpse of what it is like to practice in a real court of law. I would highly recommend this opportunity to any law student interested in litigation. Speaking in front of an experienced panel and learning how to effectively answer questions from the members of that panel is essential to becoming a successful lawyer who can zealously advocate on behalf of a client.

Tell us about your work at the District Attorney’s office.   

For the past year and a half, I have been working as a legal intern in the Homicide Unit of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. Working there has provided me with the opportunity to do the type of public service work that made me want to go to law school in the first place. Growing up, my dad was a Pennsylvania State trooper who investigated all types of crimes, including homicides. I learned from him that homicides are special cases; they are different than any other crime because the only chance the victim has for redress is through our court system. Working in the unit has been especially rewarding for me given the unique and serious nature of the cases. Each day brings new and interesting challenges that have further solidified my desire to work in public service after graduation. 

What advice would you give to students considering attending law school? 

I would tell anyone considering law school to be absolutely certain that it is what you want to do. If you do decide that it is for you, commit yourself to learning as much as you can and stay focused. Do not be discouraged by anyone who has negative things to say about the market for legal jobs. If you work hard and are passionate about what you do, you will find a way to accomplish your goals. 

What has been your favorite class in law school? Which has been the most helpful in your work at the D.A.’s office? 

My two favorite classes in law school were Legal Research & Writing with Dean Gaffney and Criminal Procedure with Professor Rago. Both courses have been instrumental in my work at the District Attorney’s Office. Professor Rago’s class taught me all of the legal concepts involved in everyday criminal law issues – most importantly, searches and seizures. Legal Research & Writing taught me how to take those concepts and apply them to any set of facts pertaining to a particular case. 

When you’re not reading law books, what do you like to do for fun?

I love learning new things, so I often spend my free time reading and watching documentaries. The last book I read was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I also enjoy baking and spending time with my friends and family.

Where do you see yourself in five years? 

In five years, I hope to be working as a criminal prosecutor in the Pittsburgh area. I also hope that I am still learning something new everyday!