Deans of the School of Law

April Barton became the new dean of the School of Law on July 1, 2019. She succeeds the Hon. Maureen Lally-Green, who served as dean since 2017.

Dean Barton most recently served as associate dean for academic affairs at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. In that role, she oversaw the academic program and successfully launched numerous initiatives on leadership development, including a student Lawyers as Leaders program and a new course, Leadership and Management Skills for Lawyers.

At Villanova, Dean Barton taught a course on administrative agency rulemaking and also has taught classes on computer law, the First Amendment and regulation in cyberspace and digital law. She previously served as director of the University's JD/MBA and JD/MPA joint degree programs as well as director of academic compliance and distance learning. She also served as assistant dean for academic computing and was the faculty director of the Global Democracy Project.

In addition to authoring Best Practices for Building a High-Tech Law School: The Process of Designing Educational Spaces published by the ABA's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Dean Barton's work has been published in the Washington University Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology. She has presented and moderated discussions on innovations in law school teaching, law school distance learning, technology and classrooms of the future at Harvard Law School, New York Law School, the Gruter Institute, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Association of Attorneys General and Appellate Chiefs, among others. Barton also has testified before the U.S. Congressional Commission on Online Child Protection and the European Commission for Democracy through Law, Venice Commission, in Brussels.

Dean Barton is leading the school into a new era. She says, "We are stretching ourselves to achieve a shared vision. Together we have identified three vision pillars: developing collaborative learning opportunities, teaching principles of leadership, and promoting community well-being. It is clear these vision pillars resonate deeply with our Duquesne Law community; in fact, every person with whom I have spoken has expressed a connection to at least one of the pillars and offered insight and support in their own unique way." 

Vision Pillars

Collaborative Learning emphasizes our need to educate lawyers with skills beyond the courtroom; we must equip today's lawyers for the practice of law in this rapidly changing landscape by integrating critical modern skills such as financial literacy, business acumen, along with a sophistication and command of emerging technology trends that are transforming our society and global economy.

Teaching Principles of Leadership emphasizes creating a culture that instills a leadership mindset so that our graduates are prepared to ethically lead governments, enterprises, and organizations to make a positive impact in the world around us.

Community Well-Being places inclusion and belonging as fundamental imperatives, while ensuring that we are modeling respectful discourse, and emphasizing healthy living and resilience.