Duquesne University School of Law

Lally-Green excited to lead Duquesne Law

Friday, August 5, 2016

Lawyers Journal
Allegheny County Bar Association
Vol. 18 No. 16, August 5, 2016
Reprinted with permission 

Lally-Green excited to lead Duquesne Law

By Tracy Carbasho

Four decades after she received her Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University, Judge Maureen Lally-Green has been selected to serve as interim dean of her alma mater’s law school. Given her appreciation of Duquesne’s tradition, she feels honored to have the opportunity.  

“Returning to my alma mater is a deep privilege. We have an excellent, longstanding tradition at Duquesne Law of superb teaching, a firm foundation of ethics and integrity and multi-faceted opportunities to serve others,” she said. “It is a privilege to continue this tradition that gives graduates knowledge, skills and a well-grounded spirit. I am blessed to have already worked with many of Duquesne’s faculty, staff, administration, alumni and friends.”  

Lally-Green began serving what the university is calling “an indefinite term” as interim dean of the law school on July 1. She takes over for Ken Gormley, who has been elevated to university president. Gormley said the judge is so well qualified that there is no urgency in beginning the search for another dean. 

He describes Lally-Green as “one of the most prominent alums of Duquesne Law School in its 100-plus year history.”  

She is a distinguished graduate, having received her bachelor’s degree in secondary education and mathematics from the university in 1971 and her law degree in 1974. Gormley noted that Lally-Green is worthy of such high accolades as a result of the many accomplishments she has

achieved during her legal career and her involvement with the university. It is, therefore, not surprising that she received the Duquesne University Law School Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001 as just one of the many honors she has earned from various organizations over the years.  

“She is widely respected throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and nationally, and has enormous credibility in all circles,” Gormley said. “It is hard to imagine a person more qualified and prepared to serve as dean of the law school than Judge Lally-Green.”  

Among her achievements are being appointed to serve as a judge on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in 1998 and then being elected to a 10-year term beginning in January 2000. She retired from the bench a decade later and went to work as associate general secretary and director of the Office of Church Relations for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.  

Gormley noted the judge’s diverse law career, which included working as an associate at a Pittsburgh law firm after she graduated from law school; counsel to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, D.C.; counsel for Westinghouse Electric Corp.; consultant to the justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court; and a teacher at Duquesne University.  

“Her extraordinary experiences as a practicing lawyer and an appellate judge give her an understanding of the legal profession and the legal market that few law professors ever have a chance to attain,” Gormley said. “She was a tenured, full professor on the law school faculty for two decades and was widely regarded as one of the best teachers and scholars in the building. In fact, she has continued to serve as an adjunct professor in the years since she was appointed and elected to the superior court and still receives glowing reviews by law students.”  

Lally-Green says staying involved with her alma mater has been one of her greatest joys since graduation. She feels blessed to come into her new position with a variety of experiences in many facets of the legal world. Her experience as a lawyer spans the public sector, the corporate world, the judicial arena and the not-for-profit realm. She also has a wealth of volunteer experience through ACBA activities and not-for-profit organizations.  

“I am optimistic that my personal experiences can help students appreciate how critical lawyers are to society and how important it is to be an excellent lawyer with a well-grounded conscience and a context of service to others,” she said. “My service on the superior court and with my wonderful colleagues throughout the judiciary provided me with a wide perspective on how critical good lawyers are to assuring the rights of others in our society. The formation of good lawyers starts in law school, if not sooner.”  

Gormley said Lally-Green is a great fit for a position that’s responsible for creating a vision for moving forward and for inspiring students, faculty and staff to ensure the vision becomes reality.

“Judge Lally-Green has the vision, temperament, leadership skills and mentoring skills to do all of these things with grace and absolute professionalism,” he said.  

While the dean sets the course, Gormley stressed that the faculty members are equally important in crafting the curriculum and academic program of the law school to ensure it is challenging, relevant and capable of equipping students for excellence in the practice of law.  

“The judge is highly respected and is a consensus-builder by nature,” he said. “She has all of the qualities of the very best law school deans in the United States.”  

Lally-Green said the most critical challenge, as well as the biggest reward, of serving as dean will be to keep the university “on mission” during these ever-changing times. She said it is important to preserve traditions while adapting to current needs.  

“Our students come to us with both local and global perspectives. Our challenge is to  continuously improve who we are and what we do so that we are a 21st Century law school for the 21st Century student,” she said. “The challenges to our law school will be met by our great alums and friends rolling up our sleeves and working together so that we stay on mission in all that we do.”

Faculty Referenced In Article