Duquesne University School of Law

Duquesne Law students assist county's Government Review Commission

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This week students from Duquesne Law’s Urban Development Practicum participated in ceremonies marking the Allegheny County Government Review Commission’s once-every-10-years report, a document they played a key role in preparing.

Third-year students Emily Seelman, Justin Leonelli, Court Hower, Margaret McGannon, Elizabeth Tuttle, and Chelsea Mague completed research assigned by the commission throughout the year and “wrote and re-wrote” sections of the official report, according Professor Joseph Sabino Mistick, the practicum’s supervising attorney. Four of the students were on hand on March 29 when the commission turned the report over to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Allegheny County establishes the commission every ten years to study and provide recommendations on the Home Rule Charter and county government, including the responsibilities of all county departments and agencies. The Allegheny County Council and the county executive appoint the nine commission members. Tracey McCants Lewis, assistant clinical professor at Duquesne Law, served as a commission member this year.

 “We are all proud of of our students,” said Mistick. “They worked on a document that had to meet the approval of a full commission and be submitted to a governing body [the Allegheny County Council]. The students handled both the research and writing with diligence and exacting attention to detail.”

Chairman Mark Forester and Vice-Chair Aradhna Oliphant commended the students for their work in a letter to Duquesne Law, saying the commission “was extremely grateful for the contributions” and that their work resulted in “a report that was comprehensive in scope.”

The students’ “high level of professionalism will be an asset to the legal profession,” the letter concluded.

“This project provides an excellent example of the hands-on work our law students complete every day,” says Mistick. “Through our practicum and many clinical programs, Duquesne offers students opportunities to become practice-ready and prepare for legal careers in wherever fields they pursue.”

 

Photo

From left, Emily Seelman, Justin Leonelli, Dr. Mary Ester Van Shura, director of community affairs for Allegheny County, Court Hower, and Margaret McGannon. Missing from the photo are students Elizabeth Tuttle and Chelsea Mague.