Duquesne Law’s high admissions standards part of rankings news

The 2018 U.S. News & World Report rankings released March 14, 2017, continue to list Duquesne University School of Law among the top ranked tier. Although the 2018 publication ranking of 127 represents a slight drop from the previous publication, Duquesne Law has moved up four times in recent years. The magazine annually publishes subjective rankings based on a number of factors including reputation among law schools, expenditures per student, and other considerations. Among notable strengths reflected in publication's current statistics are Duquesne's admission standards, bar preparation, and legal writing program. 

Duquesne Law's entering LSAT and GPA scores have held steady for the last four years. Duquesne Law's LSAT scores for the 75th percentile for the incoming class of 2016 reflect a strong score of 155. The percentile has held for the incoming classes in 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. The incoming class GPA medians have held steady over the same period. In contrast, incoming LSAT and GPA scores have been dropping for law schools across the country, as noted in Business Insider and other publications.

The U.S. News & World Report's 2018 publication lists Duquesne's legal writing program at no. 18 within law school specialties, once again, among the best in the country. Similarly, the publication ranks the part-time J.D. no. 44 in the nation.

Duquesne's Pennsylvania bar examination pass rates and bar preparation program have set records in recent months. Duquesne's first-time pass rate on the July 2016 Pennsylvania bar exam was 91.96 percent, exceeding the Pennsylvania first-time average pass rate by 16.6 points and marking the 10th time in the last 11 years that Duquesne has exceeded the statewide average. And in January 2017, National Jurist magazine ranked Duquesne's bar preparation program as ninth best in the country.

"Our 91.96 percent bar pass rate for 2016 was excellent, and our 10-year record for bar passage is strong," Director of Bar Services Richard Gaffney reports. "Duquesne has achieved an 88 percent pass rate for first-time takers of the Pennsylvania exam over ten years, and the eventual pass rate for graduates during this time period is well over 96 percent.

"Our overall Pennsylvania bar passage rate, combined with the new National Jurist ranking, reflect the comprehensive bar services program we have developed at Duquesne over the past 10 years. The U.S. News slight drop was expected because those rankings were based in part on one year's bar passage rates that were an anomaly."

"Law schools across the country are facing challenging times," Interim Dean Maureen Lally-Green said of the ranking news. "Duquesne has set high standards for admission and bar preparation, and thanks to the support of President Ken Gormley, our former law dean, and Provost Timothy Austin, we have been able to hold to those standards. Other law schools have lowered their criteria for admission in order to accept more students, but Duquesne has not done that.

"It's a point of pride for all of our students and alumni."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.