Law School Discussion

going to Duquesne

going to Duquesne
« on: April 05, 2004, 06:19:34 PM »
Is anyone out there going to Duquesne?  I am visiting their campus next week and will be looking at housing options, sitting in on a class, and interviewing with the director of admissions (not sure what I am interviewing for, though).  Anyways, just wanted to see if anyone else out there is headed to Pittsburgh next year.


Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2004, 02:04:30 PM »
I'll be heading to Duquesne in the fall. Let me know what the school is like as I have not yet seen it.

If memory serves though we have already discussed this issue via email, but please let me know how the visit works out.


Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2004, 03:52:09 PM »
Hi - I just got involved with this message board - but thought that I would mention that I'm going to Duquesne in the fall, as well.

I visited the campus in March - and was really happy with everything I saw.

Good luck.

Pitt grad going to Duquesne
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2004, 12:05:58 PM »
I will be attending Duq law in the fall as well.  I've lived in Pittsburgh for about five years now, and I can tell you that it is a good city to live in, albeit spread out (to a truly remarkable degree), and it has TERRIBLE weather.  This is no exaggeration:  2/3 of the days in a year are mostly cloudy.  Kiss sunlight goodbye, bring a full spectrum lamp or antidepressants for the winters, and you'll be fine.

As I am a Pitt alum, I am not familiar with Duquesne in general.  I do know that Duquesne grads dominate the judiciary in Western PA, and that Duq. has a very good percentage of students that become judicial clerks. 

Other impressions:  I have not been all that impressed with the level of professionalism or services of the financial aid office.  I don't know why they even exist: I was basically told: "uh... yeah, you'll have to find $12,000 in additional aid.  You're on your own. Yawn!"  (I'd love to have that job!)  Also, practices that are common at other universities (like a $3000 one-time financial aid allotment for a laptop and accessories) are unheard of at Duquesne (when I mentioned the allotment to my fin advisor, I was literally laughed at).

There seems to be a break in communications between the Law office and the rest of the University.  In my communications with them, I was often bounced from department to department as the buck was passed along. 

Beyond the support staff, I have been generally impressed with the offerings of the school.  The community and economic development clinic is well-respected in the city, where non-profit charitable groups have become increasingly important as the city recovers (or in some areas, flounders) from the present economic crises and the long-term damage that was wrought by the departure of the steel industry.  (A digression: Pittsburgh, by and large, is not the post industrial wasteland I thought it would be when I moved here from the Philly area.  Heck, it is worlds above Buffalo NY ;) )

Out of curiosity, to the other future Duquesne Law 1L's:  What sort of people are you?  What sort of students were you in undergrad?  Overacheivers, or just regular, intelligent students?  Did you have a big partying phase at some point in your undergraduate career? 

The majority of my classes were 'round-table' in nature, with anywhere from 10-25 people.  I graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology.  I was primarily interested in the formation of national and ethnic identities and the often violent conflict that result from clashing identities, shared symbols, and power imbalances.  I spent half a year in Israel during the recent flare-up in violence to experience first-hand these conflicting identities (and besides almost getting blown up once, it was amazing).

 I was at times TERRIBLY inconsistent with my classes, getting A's and B's in most, but totally blowing off others.  In my first two years I partied pretty hard, and regretted it Jr and Sr year.  I think the most significant thing that happened to me is that after I graduated, I fell into a really bad depression (one that was really cyclical throughout my high school and college career but never diagnosed or treated) and found out that I had a biologically based recurring depression that was easily treatable with meds, and REALLY bad ADD (which made my whole ffing school career fall into perspective).  These discoveries and the resulting treatment changed my whole experience of life.  I became very efficient in my work, and my cyclical depression completely disappeared.  I realized that I needed a challenge; this drive, combined with the current administration's committment to decimating rights, the environment, and international law, made law the ideal choice.

I'd love to know more about my fellow 1L's at Duquesne!


Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2004, 03:06:51 PM »
That was an informative post to say the least.

I am a Northeastern University (Boston) grad. No sun and wicked bad winters are to be expected. I had hoped to leave the snow behind in law school but fate decided otherwise. Double major, journalism and political Science. I am originally from England, but spent 10 years living in Switzerland (again bad winters.) I only came to the states to go to college. I graduated in 3 years and my grades witnessed a steady improvment each quarter. My first year I was on the crew team and had pretty lousy grades, B- avg. I also did alot of drinking with the team and I am sure that I could have used some of the brain cells I was killing off. Every term there after I was pulling off high B's and solid A's. I am not an overacheiver but I for some reason do better in classes that are harder with more material than in easy classes.

I have a different story about the staff at Duquesne. I was called by the dean and told that I had been accepted about a week after my app went complete and ever since then I have found the staff very helpful. I am currently trying to get my student visa papers together and the international staff are helping me out.

My only concern with Duquesne is that I don't want to have to compete for jobs against pitt grads. It seems that most firms in the area want students from duquesne who are in the top 30% or higher. Competition appears to be harsh.

Josh, I am living about 20 miles or so outside of the city to the north. Any idea what traffic is like in pitt? I've been told that my trip should take about 25 min, but after having to deal wtih boston traffic I question their opinion. Also does anyone know how much better pitt is considered by local firms?

It would also be interesting to find out how old everyone is? 22.

Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2004, 09:13:01 PM »
I am also attending Duquesne in the fall.

About myself: I am 21 years old, and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. I double majored in English (writing concentration) and political science, and also minored in criminal justice.

So far, Iíve had a good experience dealing with Duquesne. I also received a phone call from the dean about my acceptance, and also had a lot of attention when my parents and I made a visit to the school. I was more assured of my decision to attend after the visit to campus. Iím not at all familiar with the area, but from what Iíve seen Ė the school and area seems to hold a lot of potential. Itís great to hear that the school has a good reputation in the area.

Joshdelight- Iíve read about another student questioning if there might be some tension between the main school and the law school, so your problem is not the first apparentlyÖ. I agree that the financial aid department and the law school should have better communications. Let us know how that works out.

Good luck to everyone else

Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2004, 02:08:47 AM »
Ok... 20 miles north of the city will take you up to an hour with typical rush hour conditions.  You will only be able to make it in 25 mins or less if you are driving outside of rush hour or are a seriously aggressive driver with a lead foot  :) .

I am 24, I will be 25 by the time school starts. 

I should add that my experiences with Joe Campion, the director of admissions, have been wonderful.  What really irked me was calling the main law office number, having it ring 15 times (no exaggeration), to finally have someone pick up and say, "Hello?"  I had to ask if it was the law office... really pathetic (although it was probably a student staffer).  In any event, the administration has nothing to do with the quality of education, in my experience.  Unfortunately, they do have the ability to complicate things.

Hmm... I have been overwhelmed with the cacaphony of abundant and conflicting information about how best to prepare for 1L.  I would like to hear from 'yinz' (Pittsburgh's native version of "y'all") what you are doing (if anything) to prepare for the upcoming hell. 

I have been slowly picking away at a concise little book called "Acing Your First Year of Law School."  I have found it to be full of practical information about what to expect, what is important to do, and, most importantly, what is NOT important (or a waste of time).  Having zero practical knowledge and no point of reference except undergrad, something about this waiting game until Day 1 smacks of the absurd.

I must admit that I find what some of the people out there are doing to be over the top.  Sure, it seems impressive that people are memorizing hornbooks and drafting amicus curiae letters for the Supreme Court ;) , but I have a strong feeling that they will turn out to be the students that are all flash and little substance when it comes down to the brass tacks of the challenge we face.  What do you think?  Or, alternatively, does my description above fit any of you? (Don't be shy now, you can wow us with your leather briefcase in a few short months)

What are you doing to prepare? Do you have any hot and battle proven tips you'd like to share?  One of my biggest concerns is having an efficient and practical study system.  In undergrad, I was seriously disorganized, in large part because I was an ffing depressed wreck one-third of the time.  Now that that is under control, I feel I have a clean slate in which to create "the System" that I'll be tweaking as needed.  I just wish I had some clue as to what "the System" should look like.

Well, it is four AM here in the 'Burgh.  I MUST get to sleep!


Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2004, 06:16:30 AM »
Thanks for the traffic report. I fiqured it would take around an hour in traffic. Hopefully I will get classes after the morning commute. If not I can probably handle sitting in the car for awhile, it took me around 40 min to get to school in boston via the T (subway system) and I only live about 3 miles away.

Josh I have to admit I have had a similar experience when calling the law admissions office. It seemed to be a student staffer but regardless I had to ask if I had even reached the admissions office before I asked her my question.

To prepare for school I have gone to Boston University book store and started reading a number of first year and upper level topic books. These books are just introductions to subjects, intro to criminal law, intro to civil, torts etc... I don't expect to know everything by the time school starts nor do I expect these books to be part of the reading list. I just hope that when I read similar books during the year that the material sinks in faster and that I won't have to re-read anything again to make sure I understand it. Even if it does not work out, at least I feel confident that I am going into the first day knowing a little about my first year material. My motivation for this is probably legally blonde, (don't laugh) after seeing the main character starting her first day at school and not knowing any of the answers while everyone else in the class was jumping at the chance to answer scared the hell out of me. Don't get me wrong however, I am not making outlines or doing anything extreme.

Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 09:02:50 AM »
Lol... Legally Blonde!  I didn't have any interest in seeing the movie at the time, but after hearing its impact on you, I'll have to pick it up.

Over the years, I inevitably would have a ball of fear deep in the "dark bouers of my soul" before beginning the next level of education.  First, it was the terror of 7th grade math (a fear which, unfortunately, was well justifed; I had to repeat the class in 8th grade).  Fortunately, those fears have subsequently proven to be ill-founded.

You know those nightmares people have where they show up in school, and realize they forgot to get dressed?  In college (and to this day), my nightmare differed.  I would wake up with a start having dreampt that it was finals week, and I had completely forgotten to attend a class for the entire semester.  I would fail, and there was nothing I could do about it.  Fortunately this fear never materialized in reality, but, god damn - waking up never felt so good!

God - it can be difficult to discover a simple way to express a nebulous fear.  It boils down to this, I guess:  While I understand that ultimately success depends on the individual, I hope that our class will be a cooperative and dynamic body instead of an arrogantly aggressive bunch of competitive assholes.  One of my biggest reasons for applying to Duquesne Law is a hope that, due to its small entering class, there will be a more genial and group-friendly environment. 

I'm not looking for solidarity campfire sing-alongs, but an integrative environment where students will look out for one another.  Perhaps I am being too idealistic?

I am interested in what the political tendancies will be among the entering class as well.  How many card-carrying ACLU members will there be? (At least one  ;) )  What about those loony fundies?  Will there be a group of evengelical Bible thumpers?  Additionally, I am curious how many people will be attending Duq because of it's religious affiliation.  I was attracted to Duq because of its purported commitment to developing ethical and responsible counselors. In my mind, however, that commitment is not fundamentally tied to religion.


Re: going to Duquesne
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2004, 12:26:31 PM »
I agree that a major draw of Duquesne is the small class size and ultimatly the hope that the students will be less agressive and competitive. I am sure we have all heard the horror stories of pages being ripped out of books so that no one could take advantage of the information.

I suppose one advantage of attending a relgious affiliated school is that some of the students may follow the moral guidelines of their religion.

As to my political morals, considering I have spent all but 4 years of my life in Europe I am about as liberal as they come. I am also anything but religious, so I was a little concerned about the religious affiliation but I have heard that it will ultimatly help when getting a job for some reason.