Duquesne University School of Law

Duquesne University Law School
Edward J. Hanley Hall
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15282

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Grace W. Orsatti
Director of the Extern Program, Director of the Pro Bono Program, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education
Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education
912-914 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Fax: 412-396-5287

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator

Description of Programs

Service is integral to Duquesne Law’s mission and reflected in the words of the school seal, "Salus Populi Suprema Lex," or, the welfare of the people is the highest law. Faculty, staff, alumni, and students have a deep tradition of serving the community and helping those in need.

Duquesne University’s School of Law Pro Bono Program has three parts:

  1. Attorney/Student Pro Bono Matching Program: Matching students with private attorneys working on pro bono cases who need student help with research, writing, litigation preparation, etc.
  2. Public Interest Organizations: Pairing students with public interest legal organizations based on specific areas of interests.
  3. Hosting in-school and community-wide pro bono events with clinical faculty and local attorneys.

Location of Programs

The program falls within the law school programming and is housed in the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education, 912-914 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The Tribone Center, located on the doorstep of the City of Pittsburgh enables Duquesne students to fully immerse themselves in the rich diversity of the surrounding community. The Center is a hub for experiential student learning, combining education with practical legal experience and professional mentorship for students in order to serve the public.


The program is staffed by Grace W. Orsatti, Director of the Extern Program, Director of the Pro Bono Program, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education and S. Beth Licciardello, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant.

All Clinical professors are committed to ongoing pro bono and community service, and provide a variety of legal services to the public through legal clinics that train and immerse students in the practice of law in addition to community engagement and outreach.


The Law School provides a moderate budget for the program.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

PILA Public Interest Law Association: The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) is dedicated to increasing awareness of public interest issues as well as providing opportunities for students to gain experience in the public interest field. PILA organizes fundraiser and hosts an annual PILA Auction in the spring to auction and raffle off donated prizes. All proceeds from their fundraisers go to the Public Interest Scholarship Fund at Duquesne University School of Law that provides financial assistance to students participating in summer internships with public interest employers

SBA Student Bar Association: The SBA The SBA sponsors a number of educational and social events during the academic year including an annual Christmas Ornament Sale to donate funds to the charity of their choosing. The SBA has donated to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Synagogue, and to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. The SBA also host the annual on-campus Katie Westbrook 5K run and Dog Walk. All proceeds are donated to the Public Interest Scholarship Fund.

Animal Law Society: The Animal Law Society provides a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law. Organizes Howl-O-Ween a costumed pet contest and bake sale. fundraiser for a charity of the Animal Law Society’s choosing. Past funds have been donated to the Humane Animal Rescue, an animal shelter in the Northside and in the East End of Pittsburgh.

Criminal Law Society: The Criminal Law Association serves as a crossroads between Duquesne's unique resources in the practice of criminal law, including faculty and alumni working in government and private practice, and the students. The goal includes benefitting the community through education and service. The Criminal Law Society Partners with Presents From Police , by conducting a toy drive to donate to this program. Pittsburgh Police Officers then deliver the gifts to children who are patients at local Children’s Hospitals.

Health Law Society: The Health Law Society aims to bring awareness to current issues in health law, provide a forum for students to learn about health law careers. In addition to providing exposure to the various facets of the health law field, the Health Law Society hosts events such as a basket raffle and bake sales to raise money for various charities. Past recipients of funds include Dr. Withers’ Street Medicine Institute program which provides doctors and medical care directly to the homeless living on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The School of Law does not have formal faculty pro bono policy. However, pro bono group faculty members and/or law school administrators advise and supervise student pro bono projects.


Once a Duquesne Law student has completed and documented hours of pro bono service, that student will receive a certificate of recognition for their pro bono achievement as well as a notation in the graduation program.

Students who meet the non-mandatory 50-hour requirement will receive a Pro Bono Service Recognition Certificate. Students dedicated to further service will be honored based upon the total number of hours completed. Those completing 61-120 hours will receive a Pro Bono Service Honors Certificate and 120+ will receive a Pro Bono Exemplary Service Certificate .

Community Service

Duquesne University School of Law students participate in multiple community service events throughout the year including fundraisers for local hospitals, and tutoring inmates in jails, prisons, and detention centers, in addition to the following:

BLSA Black Law Students Association focuses on the relationship of the African-American attorney to the existing legal structures, and encourages in the African-American law student a continued awareness of and commitment to the needs of the African-American community. BLSA organizes special events and fundraisers to support community initiatives. BLSA students volunteer for the “Do the Write Thing” campaign to end youth violence by reviewing and grading essays by middle-school students that examine the impact of violence on their lives

Christian Legal Society: Collects presents for children at Christmas for the Angel Tree project, which is a prison fellowship. The collected presents are given to children with incarcerated parent(s).

DIALS Duquesne Italian-American Law Society: Sponsors La Legge Con Brio each winter. This is a talent show fundraiser where law students and law alumni sing or play instruments to fundraise for Panucci’s Promise. Panucci’s Promise is a charity created by Brian Panucci, a Duquesne University School of Law alumus, for his mother (Peggy Panucci) who died from breast cancer when Brian was a 2L. Funds are donated to Magee Women’s Hospital. DIALS also has been sponsoring a homemade Italian cookie bake sale, to add to the proceeds raised from La Legge Con Brio.

Environmental Law Society: The Environmental Law Society provides law students with the opportunity to participate in various environmental awareness programs. The Environmental Law Society’s community service includes street clean-ups and planting of donated trees.

PAD Phi Alpha Delta: PAD holds a bake sale around Valentine’s Day each year to raise money for a charity of choice, and hold a professional clothing drive every spring. PAD donates to Dress for Success for the past two years. Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence

Women’s Law Association: The WLA organizers fundraisers for non-profits such as the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Katherine L.W. Norton
Director of Clinical and International Programs and Assistant Professor of Law

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Public Interest Centers

Public Interest Clinics

Civil Rights Clinic
Family Law Clinic
Federal Litigation Clinic
Unemployment Compensation Clinic
Veterans Clinic
Wills and Healthcare Decisions Clinic
Youth Advocacy Clinic


Duquesne students participate in a variety of externship opportunities featuring educational and practical legal experience and professional mentorship while working in local, state, and federal judicial offices and government agencies as well as legal aid offices.

Yearlong externship programs feature on-site placement combined with classroom instruction and classroom credit. One-semester and summer-session externships feature on-site placement combined with seminars and non-classroom credit.

Grace W. Orsatti
Director of the Extern Program, Director of the Pro Bono Program, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education
Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education
912-914 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Fax: 412-396-5287

Classes with a Public Service Component

Urban Development Practicum
Innocence Project

Public Interest Journals

PI Career Support Center

The Career Services Office encourages law students to consider public interest and public service careers. The Office co-hosts a Judicial, Government, and Public Interest Law Reception each year as a way to expose students to the variety of opportunities available in these areas. The Office sponsors other related programs, provides resources, and supports students interested in attending the annual Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair.

The Pro Bono Program organizes a variety of legal clinics and trainings in the community at which students partner with attorneys practicing in the field to offer pro bono legal services to the community while offering students the opportunity to develop their network.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

William B. Billock Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). More information about the program is available online at

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded

Other Funding Sources:

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Duquesne University School of Law School has traditionally assisted where PILA funds are not adequate to cover all qualified applicants, by funding at least partial awards for students.

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Additional Summer Public Interest Fellowships are funded with monies raised by the Law School’s Public Interest Law Association (PILA).

The McGinley Public Service Law Fellowship program provides student attorneys with valuable work experience through summer positions in government while supporting the law school's ongoing commitment to public service.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) sponsors a table talk each semester featuring students who have worked in public interest positions.

Speakers Series – PILA invites at least 2 public interest speakers per semester to inform students about the importance of public interest work.

Student Public Interest Groups

The law school is dedicated to increasing awareness of public interest issues as well as providing opportunities for students to gain experience in the public interest careers that are available, presenting students with the opportunity to become involved in the local community by performing public service activities of a legal and non-legal nature.