University of Pittsburgh School of Law

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University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Parent school University of Pittsburgh
Established 1895
School type Public
Dean William M. Carter Jr.
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Enrollment ~600
Faculty 43
Website law.pitt.edu
University of Pittsburgh School of Law logo.png

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law (sometimes referred to as 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 variety of clinics, and publishes several law journals.

According to University of Pittsburgh School of Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 55% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[1]

History[edit]

The law department was founded in 1843 and is one of 17 schools constituting the University of Pittsburgh.[2][3] The first four law degrees were conferred in 1847.[4] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Today, Pitt's Law School faculty has been ranked 21st in the nation based on a standard objective measure of scholarly impact.[2] Pitt Law is currently ranked 91st out of 184 in U.S. News & World Report's rankings of America's top law schools[9] and is listed among the "Best Law Schools" by The Princeton Review.[10] Pitt Law is also one of 80 law schools with membership in the Order of the Coif.

Academics[edit]

Barco Law Building, current home of the Law School

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. The following degrees are offered by Pitt Law:

In addition, the School of Law offers joint degrees with several other programs within the university, and the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education.

Academic programs[edit]

  • The John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program
  • Environmental Law, Science and Policy
  • Health Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Disability Studies
  • Law and Entrepreneurship
  • Washington, D.C. Externship Program

Pitt Law Center for International Legal Education[edit]

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

  • Asian Studies
  • Global Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Russia and Eastern European Studies
  • Western European Studies

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.

Admissions[edit]

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 2013, the median LSAT score was 158 (25th - 154, 75th - 161) and the median GPA was 3.42 (25th - 3.16, 75th - 3.61).[11] There were 174 entering students out of nearly 1,500 applications.

Rankings and Honors[edit]

William V. Luneburg, professor of law at Pitt Law, participating in a Rappaport Center roundtable on "Managing the Bailout."
  • Pitt Law is ranked among the top 30 US law schools and the top 12 public U.S. law schools by QS World University Rankings[12]
  • Pitt Law is ranked 81st out of 194 law schools by U.S. News & World Report
  • Pitt's Health Law program is ranked 13th by USN&WR
  • Pitt's Intellectual Property program is ranked 28th by USN&WR
  • Pitt's faculty is ranked 21st in terms of scholarly impact by The Princeton Review
  • Pitt Law is ranked 63rd by the Law School 100[13]
  • One of only 81 law schools to be a member of Order of the Coif

Employment[edit]

According to Pitt Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 55% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners.[14] Pitt Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 27.7%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[15]

Costs[edit]

The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Pitt Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $58,067.[16] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $186,140.[17]

Clinical programs[edit]

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. The following clinics are currently offered by the School of Law:

  • Tax Clinic
  • Family Law Clinic
  • Environmental Law Clinic
  • Community and Economic Development Clinic
  • Health Law Clinic
  • Elder Law Clinic
  • Immigration Law Clinic

Journals[edit]

Pitt Law is home to 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 [3]. The following journals are all publications of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

JURIST[edit]

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.

Student organizations[edit]

Facilities[edit]

View of the bench and jury box from the gallery area of the Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom
  • Barco Law Building - Pitt Law School is housed in the six-story Barco Law Building on Forbes Avenue, located on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Barco Law Library - The Law Library is housed on the third, fourth, and fifth floors of the Barco Law Building. The library was renovated in 2004 [4], and the current collection numbers some 450,000 volumes and volume equivalents and has a seating capacity, in both the individual carrels and in private reading areas, of over 400. In addition, located within several blocks of the Law Building are Hillman Library, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and several special libraries of the University, including the business, medical, and public and international affairs libraries.
  • Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom - Located on the ground floor, the moot courtroom, named for the late Benjamin H. Teplitz, includes a seven-seat judges' bench, jury and press boxes, counselors' tables, judges' chambers, and a jury room. It is used primarily by trial tactics classes and by the growing number of moot court programs. It is equipped to handle special sessions of the Commonwealth and Federal Appellate Courts and hearings before various administrative tribunals.
  • Cathedral of Learning – The tallest academic building in the United States, and the second tallest in the world, the Cathedral of Learning is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh. Before the construction of the Barco Law Building, the law school was located in the Cathedral. Inside the neo-Gothic structure is a large foyer conducive to study, and several stories of office buildings and classrooms. It is also home to the Nationality Rooms which celebrates the world's cultures by designing classrooms based on architecture of various regions and cultures around the globe.
  • Other design features of the Law Building include a pedestrian bridge connecting the School of Law with Litchfield Towers dormitories, Lawrence Hall, and Wesley W. Posvar Hall.

Notable alumni[edit]

Dick Thornburgh, 41st Pennsylvania Governor and 76th United States Attorney General
Orrin Hatch, Senior Republican U.S. Senator

Deans of the Law School[edit]

Bronze bust and plaque honoring former Dean Edward Sell's 50th year of teaching at Pitt
  • John Douglass Shafer, 1895–1920
  • Alexander Marshall Thompson, 1920–1940
  • Eugene Allen Gilmore, 1940–1942
  • Judson Adams Crane, 1942–1949
  • Charles Bernard Nutting, 1949–1951
  • Judson Adams Crane (Acting Dean), 1951–1952
  • Brainerd Currie, 1952–1953
  • Arthur Larson (on leave of absence 1954-56), 1953–1956
  • Charles Wilson Taintor II (Acting Dean), 1954–1957
  • Thomas McIntyre Cooley II, 1957–1965
  • William Edward Sell, Chairman, Administrative Committee, 1965–1966; Dean, 1966–1977
  • John E. Murray, Jr., 1977–1984
  • Richard J. Pierce, Jr., 1984–1985
  • Mark A. Nordenberg, 1985-1993 (Currently University Chancellor)
  • Richard H. Seeburger (Interim Dean), 1993–1994
  • Peter M. Shane, 1994–1998
  • David J. Herring, 1998-2005
  • Mary A. Crossley, 2005-2012
  • William M. Carter Jr., 2012-present

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "2013 Employment Summary Data". 
  2. ^ George Thornton Fleming, History of Pittsburgh and Environs, from Prehistoric Days to the Beginning, 1922, American Historical Society, New York, pg 364
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 347, accessdate=2009-04-05
  7. ^ Agnes Lynch Starrett, Through one hundred and fifty years: the University of Pittsburgh, 1937, University of Pittsburgh Press, pg. 352, accessdate=2009-04-05
  8. ^ Robert C. Alberts, Pitt :the story of the University of Pittsburgh, 1787-1987, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986, page 406, accessdate=2009-04-05
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "The Princeton Review: University of Pittsburgh School of Law". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  11. ^ http://www.law.pitt.edu/admissions/class-profile
  12. ^ "QS World University Rankings By Subject 2013 - Law". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Law School 100". July 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ "2013 Employment Summary Data". 
  15. ^ "University of Pittsburgh Profile". 
  16. ^ "Costs". 
  17. ^ "University of Pittsburgh Profile". 
  18. ^ "David A. Reed". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "James H. Duff". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Joseph H. Thompson". The Pittsburgh Record (University of Pittsburgh) 2 (3): 222. April 1928. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Harmar D. Denny, Jr". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  22. ^ "Harry Allison Estep". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Law". The Alumni News Review (University of Pittsburgh) 12 (1): 6. October 1957. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "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. 
  25. ^ "James A. Wright". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Earl Chudoff". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Lomando White, Patricia (23 June 2003). "Law Building Renamed in Barcos' Memory". Pitt Chronicle (University of Pittsburgh). Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  28. ^ "Members of Distinction". Alumni Times (University of Pittsburgh Office of Development and Alumni Affairs) 13 (3): 55. Autumn 1981. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Ruggero J. Aldisert". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  30. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/03/19/Former-Judge-Joseph-Weis-dies-at-91/stories/201403190178
  31. ^ "K. Leroy Irvis". The New York Times Company. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  32. ^ "Derrick Bell". The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "Dick Thornburgh". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  34. ^ "Orrin Hatch". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  35. ^ "Class Notes". Pitt Magazine (University of Pittsburgh). Winter 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  36. ^ 1965 University of Pittsburgh Commencement. University of Pittsburgh. June 7, 1965. p. 31. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Edgar Snyder". linkedin corporation. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  38. ^ "Mary Jo White". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  39. ^ "Ralph J. Cappy". whoislaw.info. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  40. ^ "Dennis Unkovic". Zoom Information, Inc. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  41. ^ Dickinson's bio from the Intellectual Property Owners Association
  42. ^ "Susan Richard Nelson". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  43. ^ "Gerald T. Hathaway at Paley Center Event, NYC". Pitt Law Magazine (Office of the Dean and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, University of Pittsburgh School of Law). Fall 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Mark R. Hornak". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  45. ^ "Debra Todd". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  46. ^ "Tom Feeney". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  47. ^ "Melissa Hart". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  48. ^ "Mary Beth Buchanan". Notable Names Data Base. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  49. ^ Article (2012-05-31). "Iron Lady | Orlando Home & Leisure". Ohlmag.com. Retrieved 2012-08-18. 
  50. ^ "Dan Onorato". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  51. ^ "Pavel A. Astakhov". Official website of the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

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