Duquesne University School of Law

A Commitment to Diversity

Duquesne University School of Law is dedicated to creating a truly diverse community of scholars. Today, our students have more opportunities than ever to study with future colleagues from a multitude of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. They learn from professors who bring diverse experiences into the classroom. And they experience firsthand the U.S. legal industry transforming into a more diverse profession.  

Meet Eduardo Benatuil
 
 Meet Nichole Prieto

Opportunities for Prospective Students

Admitted students have the opportunity to meet informally with diverse students and alumni from across the region at our diversity reception in the spring. The event is held at a downtown law firm (most recently at Reed Smith) the evening before Admitted Students Day. 

Duquesne Law works closely with the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) on pipeline programs that expose undergrads and high school students to law school and the legal profession. 

Duquesne Law hosts mock trial workshops and competitions for high school students throughout the year, including 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania events. And the law school supports the Black Law Students Association’s work with the Obama Academy of International Studies’ trial program and a planned initiative at Manchester Academic Charter School.  

Opportunities for Prospective and Current Students 

Duquesne Law offers scholarships and financial assistance for admitted and current students who come from diverse backgrounds.  These include: 

Burns White Diversity in the Law Scholarship

Scholarship for an incoming student, accompanied by a paid summer clerkship with the firm, following completion of second year of studies, and an ongoing mentoring partnership.

Milton E. Raiford Endowed Scholarship

Scholarships for minority law students in the day or evening J.D. programs.   

Ronald R. Davenport Endowed Fund

Named for Duquesne Law’s Dean Ronald R. Davenport, the first African-American dean of a non-historically African-American law school in the United States, this fund provides tuition and/or other assistance to diverse law students at Duquesne.  

Brian and Kimberly Parker Diversity Term Scholarship

One-time award given to an incoming African-American male law student who

  • Has a 3.3 cumulative undergraduate GPA;
  • Has a competitive or comparable LSAT score consistent with admission requirements;
  • Has been involved in extra curricular sports activity (preferred, not required);
  • Matriculated from a high school in the Greater D.C./Maryland area (preferred, not required).   
Jackson Lewis P.C. Scholarship

Scholarship support to Duquesne Law students who

  • Have an interest in pursuing a legal career in labor and employment law; and
  • With a preference for women or minority candidates. 
FedEx Ground Diversity Scholarship

A one-time award given to a rising 3D or 4E student who

  • Demonstrates significant financial need;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to public service and community activism,
  • Adds racial and/or ethnic diversity to the class; and
  • Is interested in the in-house practice of law.  
Judith A. Kasdan Memorial Scholarship

Financial support to a Duquesne law student who

  • Demonstrates significant financial need;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to public service and social justice;
  • Adds racial and/or ethnic diversity to the class (preferred, not required);
  • Is a non-traditional student (preferred, not required). 
Minority Students Resource Fund

Duquesne Law offers students from diverse background the opportunity to apply for financial assistance to support the purchase of books and other expenses outside of tuition.  

Outside Scholarships

Duquesne Law also informs students of outside scholarships of interest, such as the Pittsburgh-Area Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship, which Jorge Rojas, L’16, won as a law student. 

Luncheon for Diverse Students

Each year, Duquesne Law hosts a diverse student luncheon where university and law school administrators share the latest information about potential scholarships and resources on campus and in the community. 

Student-Run Organizations

Throughout the year, Duquesne Law’s student organizations offer opportunities for professional development and networking. Student-run groups include: 

  • African and Islamic Law Society
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Education Initiative for Individual Diversity
  • Hispanic American Bar Association
  • International Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • and many others

Opportunities in the Community

 
2017 Diversity Reception
at Reed Smith
Photos on Flickr

Duquesne Law works closely with bar associations to promote professional programs for law students, including the ACBA Young Lawyers Division’s Diverse Law Student Initiative. Led by a number of Duquesne Law’s young alumni, this initiative offers leadership skills and opportunities for students to meet with judges and attorneys from diverse backgrounds in informal settings. Duquesne Law’s Career Services Office organizes numerous programs of interest, including a 1L Success in Law School mentoring program with the Legal Council on Legal Diversity, a national group comprised of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners. 

The Career Services Office also works with students to join and participate in events sponsored by ACBA divisions and committees, such as:  

  • Homer S. Brown Division
  • Asian Attorneys Committee
  • Hispanic Attorneys Committee

Duquesne Law also provides a myriad of opportunities for students to share their talents in under-served communities while learning valuable legal skills. Clinical programs such as the Civil Rights Clinic, Education Law Clinic, Juvenile Defender Clinic, Unemployment Compensation Clinic, Urban Development Practicum, Veterans Clinic, Public Defender Juvenile Program, Public Defender Adult Program, Pennsylvania Innocence Project allow law students to serve residents in communities throughout western Pennsylvania.  

Learn More

Find out more about how Duquesne Law faculty, administrators, and alumni are at work to increase diverse student enrollment and ensure a diverse legal profession. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions or Ella Kwisnek, assistant dean of students and vice dean of the evening division.