University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Parent schoolUniversity of Pittsburgh
Established1895
School typePublic
DeanAmy J. Wildermuth
LocationPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Enrollment400
Faculty86 full-time faculty
USNWR ranking67[1]
Websitelaw.pitt.edu

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pitt Law) was founded in 1895. It became a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools in 1900. Its primary home facility is the Barco Law Building. The school offers four degrees: Master of Studies in Law, Juris Doctor, Master of Laws for international students, and the Doctor of Juridical Science. The school offers several international legal programs, operates a variety of clinics, and publishes several law journals.

According to University of Pittsburgh School of Law's 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 91.4% of graduates were employed ten months after graduation with 68% attaining positions where bar admission is required.[2]

History

Home of law school from 1897 to 1919
Home of law school from 1897 to 1919
The Cathedral of Learning housed the law school from 1936 to 1976
The Cathedral of Learning housed the law school from 1936 to 1976

The law department was founded in 1843 and is one of 17 schools constituting the University of Pittsburgh.[3][4] The first four law degrees were conferred in 1847.[5] Classes were held in a stone building at Third Street until the building was destroyed in the fire of 1845 and were then held in the university's building on Duquesne Way until that building was burned in 1849. Classes were continued after the second fire in the basement of the Third Presbyterian Church until the universities first law professor, Walter H. Lowrie, was elected to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1851 and forced him to abandon his teaching at the school.[5] This, along with the fires that destroyed many of the university's facilities and resources, disrupted the development of the School of Law.

Although various attempts were made to reestablish law instruction beginning in 1862, a permanent law school was not established until 1895. The university at that time was named the Western University of Pennsylvania, but despite this, the law school was originally named the Pittsburgh Law School, a name it held until 1918.[6] The Pittsburgh Law School became a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools in 1900.

The first classes in the permanently established school were conducted in the orphans' court rooms in the old Allegheny County courthouse. In 1897, the school moved into the old university building at Ross and Diamond streets that had been sold to the county in 1882. The school moved again in 1919-20 to the tenth floor of the Chamber of Commerce building.[7] In 1936 the School of Law moved in its entirety to the 14-16 floors of the Cathedral of Learning on the main campus of the university located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.[8] The School of Law moved into their own dedicated facility, the Barco Law Building, upon its opening on the university's main campus in 1976.[9]

In 2007, one ranking put Pitt's Law School faculty as 21st in the nation based on scholarly impact.[2] Pitt Law is currently ranked 67th out of 193 in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of America's top law schools[10] and is listed among the "Best Law Schools" by The Princeton Review.[11] Pitt Law is also one of 80 law schools with membership in the Order of the Coif.

Facilities

Barco Law Building, current home of the Law School
Barco Law Building, current home of the Law School

Deans of the Law School

Academics

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law offers four degrees. The J.D. (Juris Doctor) is the required degree to practice law in most of the United States, thus J.D. students make up most of the school's student body.

Academic programs

View of the bench and jury box from the gallery area of the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom
View of the bench and jury box from the gallery area of the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom

Pitt Law Center for International Legal Education

Pitt Law offers area studies in the following international legal systems:

These area studies serve to supplement the study of International Law, in addition to providing Pitt Law students with the opportunity to pursue careers abroad.

Experiential skills programs

Clinics

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has several clinical programs, which allow law students to gain practical experience as lawyers before graduating from law school.[12] The following clinics are currently offered by the School of Law:

Lawyering Skills Competitions

The law school also hosts and facilitates multiple moot court and lawyering skills competitions for law students. The law school's Moot Court Board administers three intramural competitions each year: the Appellate Moot Court Competition, the Murray S. Love Trial Moot Court Competition, and the Negotiations Competition. The school also assembles teams to compete at multiple interscholastic and international moot court competitions covering specialized areas such as Energy Law, Environmental Law, Health Law, International Arbitration and International Law, Workers' Compensation Law, Client Counseling, and Intellectual Property. The school's Mock Trial Program recruits adjunct coaches from the local practicing bar to assemble law student teams to participate in mock trial competitions throughout the country. In 2014-2015, more than 20% of second- and third-year students participated in an interscholastic competition.[13]

Practicums

The law school has several practicum courses, which aim to combine traditional coursework and instruction with experiential learning under supervising attorneys in various specific interest areas:[14]

Semester in D.C. Program

The law school's Semester in D.C. Program allows spring semester second- and third-year students to pursue a full-time externship for an employer in Washington, D.C.[15] The Semester in D.C. combines full-time work for academic credit with a small seminar class held at the law school's dedicated Washington Center to fulfill a full semester credit load. Students can also pursue a Public Policy Concentration, taking additional courses to learn to apply legal advocacy, research, and writing skills in the policy context.

Publications

Journals

Barco Law Library

Pitt Law is home to two law reviews and several student-edited legal journals, including the Pittsburgh Law Review, which is one of the 40 most-cited law reviews in the country, according to Chicago-Kent Law Review's 1996 Faculty Scholarship Survey [4]. The following law reviews are all publications of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law:

The following journals are all publications of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law:

JURIST

JURIST is the world's only law school-based comprehensive legal news and research service. Its professionally trained staff of law faculty and law students report and research the latest legal developments in real time for members of the legal community and the public at large. JURIST covers legal news stories based on their substantive importance rather than on their mass-market or commercial appeal.

Applicant Information

Admissions

Admissions to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law are conducted on a rolling basis, with an acceptance rate of slightly less than 30%. For the entering class of 2019, the median LSAT score was 158, and the median GPA was 3.49.[16] There were 120 entering students.

Admissions Statistics for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law[17]

Year Enrolled Applications LSAT - Median GPA - Median LSAT - 25th LSAT - 75th GPA - 25th GPA - 75th
2019 120 1,196 158 3.49 155 160 3.22 3.71
2018 130 1,832 157 3.39 154 159 3.09 3.60
2017 141 1,713 156 3.42 152 158 3.11 3.62
2016 140 1,341 156 3.42 152 159 3.12 3.64
2015 134 1,401 156 3.36 153 159 3.03 3.63
2014 156 1,172 157 3.46 152 160 3.09 3.68
2013 174 1,487 158 3.42 154 161 3.16 3.61
2012 210 1,973 158 3.34 155 160 3.09 3.60

Costs and Financial Aid

The estimated cost of attendance (includes tuition, fees, books, and living expenses) at Pitt Law for the 2014-15 academic year is $50,008 for a Pennsylvania resident and $57,492 for a non-resident.[18] The average law school debt for the graduating Class of 2012 was $94,879, well below the national average.[19] Pitt Law was one of only 53 law schools out of over 200 nationally (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) to be ranked as a 2014 Best Value by The National Jurist. The survey took into account multiple factors, with success in job placement weighted most heavily at 35%, followed by tuition (25%), average indebtedness (15%), bar passage rates (15%), and cost of living (10%).[20]

Employment

ABA Employment Summary for 2020 Graduates[21]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required
75%
Employed - J.D. Advantage
14.2%
Employed - Professional
2.5%
Employed - Non-Professional
1.7%
Unemployed - Seeking
2.5%
Other
4.1%
Total of 120 Graduates
ABA Employment for 2020 Graduates by Sector[21]
Employment Sector Percentage
Law Firms - 101+ Attorneys
28.3%
Law Firms - <101 Attorneys
31.9%
Law Firms - Solo
0%
Business and Industry
12.4%
Clerkships - Federal
1.8%
Clerkships - State/Local
3.5%
Government/Public Interest
22.1%
Education/Other
3.5%
Total of 113 Employed Graduates

Rankings and Honors

William V. Luneburg, former professor of law at Pitt Law, participating in a Rappaport Center roundtable on "Managing the Bailout."
William V. Luneburg, former professor of law at Pitt Law, participating in a Rappaport Center roundtable on "Managing the Bailout."

Notable alumni

James Duff, 34th Pennsylvania Governor
Dick Thornburgh, 41st Pennsylvania Governor and 76th United States Attorney General
Dick Thornburgh, 41st Pennsylvania Governor and 76th United States Attorney General
Orrin Hatch, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate

Notes

  1. ^ "University of Pittsburgh Law School Overview". U.S. News. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  2. ^ "2016 Employment Summary Data" (PDF).
  3. ^ George Thornton Fleming, History of Pittsburgh and Environs, from Prehistoric Days to the Beginning, 1922, American Historical Society, New York, pg 364
  4. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 335-36, accessdate=2009-04-05
  5. ^ a b Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 336-38, accessdate=2009-04-05
  6. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 339-343, accessdate=2009-04-05
  7. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 347, accessdate=2009-04-05
  8. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 352, accessdate=2009-04-05
  9. ^ Robert C. Alberts, Pitt :the story of the University of Pittsburgh, 1787-1987, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986, page 406, accessdate=2009-04-05
  10. ^ https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings [1]
  11. ^ "The Princeton Review: University of Pittsburgh School of Law". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  12. ^ "Clinics". University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  13. ^ http://www.law.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/files/Std509InfoReport-132-132-11-25-2015_14-21-26.pdf
  14. ^ http://law.pitt.edu/academics/practicums
  15. ^ "Semester in D.C. Program". University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  16. ^ http://www.law.pitt.edu/admissions/class-profile
  17. ^ http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/
  18. ^ "Cost of Attendance". Cost. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Comparison of Educational Debt". Comparison of Educational Debt. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  20. ^ "The Best Value Law Schools of 2014". Above the Law.
  21. ^ a b http://www.law.pitt.edu/careers/data/2020
  22. ^ "QS World University Rankings By Subject 2013 - Law". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "U.S. News & World Report Ranking". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  24. ^ "Ruggero J. Aldisert". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  25. ^ "Pavel A. Astakhov". Official website of the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation. Archived from the original on 9 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  26. ^ a b Lomando White, Patricia (23 June 2003). "Law Building Renamed in Barcos' Memory". Pitt Chronicle. University of Pittsburgh. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  27. ^ "Derrick Bell". The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  28. ^ "Pitt In The Election". University of Pittsburgh Alumni Review. General Alumni Association of the University of Pittsburgh. 5 (3). December 1938. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  29. ^ "Mary Beth Buchanan". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  30. ^ Article (2012-05-31). "Iron Lady | Orlando Home & Leisure". Ohlmag.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-10. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
  31. ^ "Ralph J. Cappy". whoislaw.info. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  32. ^ "Earl Chudoff". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  33. ^ "Law". The Alumni News Review. University of Pittsburgh. 12 (1): 6. October 1957. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  34. ^ "Harmar D. Denny, Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  35. ^ Dickinson's bio from the Intellectual Property Owners Association
  36. ^ "Profile -- Dawne Hickton". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
  37. ^ "James H. Duff". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  38. ^ "Harry Allison Estep". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  39. ^ "McGraw Hill Financial Appoints Pitt Law Alum Lucy Fato Executive Vice President and General Counsel". University of Pittsburgh School of Law. September 24, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  40. ^ Clay Risen,"Anne Feeney, Fierce and Tireless Protest Singer, Dies at 69," The New York Times, February 8, 2021.
  41. ^ "Tom Feeney". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  42. ^ "Melissa Hart". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  43. ^ "Orrin Hatch". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  44. ^ "Mark R. Hornak". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  45. ^ "K. Leroy Irvis". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  46. ^ "Susan Richard Nelson". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  47. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Ninth Wave of Judicial Nominees and Tenth Wave of United States Attorney Nominees". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved May 30, 2020 – via National Archives.
  48. ^ "Dan Onorato". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  49. ^ http://law.pitt.edu/people/vjosa-osmani
  50. ^ "David A. Reed". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  51. ^ "Edgar Snyder". linkedin corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  52. ^ "Joseph H. Thompson". The Pittsburgh Record. University of Pittsburgh. 2 (3): 222. April 1928. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  53. ^ "Dick Thornburgh". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  54. ^ "Debra Todd". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  55. ^ "Class Notes". Pitt Magazine. University of Pittsburgh. Winter 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  56. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/03/19/Former-Judge-Joseph-Weis-dies-at-91/stories/201403190178
  57. ^ "Mary Jo White". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  58. ^ "James A. Wright". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  59. ^ 1965 University of Pittsburgh Commencement. University of Pittsburgh. June 7, 1965. p. 31. Retrieved February 26, 2013.

Coordinates: 40°26′31″N 79°57′21″W / 40.441885°N 79.955707°W / 40.441885; -79.955707