Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence

Welcome to the Office of Equity & Inclusive Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Established in 2018, Pitt Law's OEIE mission is threefold:

(1) To identify and remove or accommodate for structural barriers to students accessing opportunities available through the law school

(2) To develop, discuss, and model the habits of inclusion that will support student and faculty efforts to bring about an inclusive campus community

(3) To engage with external contacts to enrich students' regional and professional connections

The OEIE is responsible for coordinating and monitoring Pitt law's efforts to institutionalize a culture of equity and inclusion within the law school community. We collaborate with administrative offices, faculty committees, student organizations, and alumni to create and implement strategies for fulfilling our vision for equity and inclusive excellence. This work ensures that Pitt Law maintains a learning and working environment in which faculty, staff, and students can thrive.

Pitt Law Credo:

  • Inclusion: We strive to create an environment where persons of differing backgrounds are welcomed, where different perspectives are respectfully voiced and respectfully heard and where every individual is valued & included.
  • Civility: We treat people with unconditional respect and an assumption of good faith, giving meaningful consideration to the ideas, beliefs, and feelings of others as a matter of professionalism and self-discipline.
  • Intellectual Rigor: We challenge ourselves and others to critically examine facts and ideas meticulously and from diverse perspectives.
  • Justice: We strive to attain equal justice under law, and to assure that justice benefits everyone across our society

 

Diverse Law Student Reception

To help kick-off the new school year, law students from diverse backgrounds are invited to attend a networking reception and mingle with attorneys from throughout the ACBA. All members are invited and encouraged to attend and network with these law students. Click here to register.

When: Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Where: Koppers Building

436 Seventh Ave.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219

Save the Date - 16th Annual Celebration of Jazz Appreciation

The Black Political Empowerment Project is organizing its 16th Annual Celebration of Jazz Appreciation event you will not want to miss. Host bands will be Roger Humphries & The RH Factor and The Tim Stevens Project plus more than 60 other guest artists.

When: Monday, October 10, 2022

Time: 5:30pm – 11:30pm

Where: Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

For more information, please contact B-PEP (The Black Political Empowerment Project) at:

Phone: 412-758-7898 or 412 212 8775

Website: b-pepjazz.org

Email: bpepjazz@gmail.com

The Quest to get more Black Attorneys in Pittsburgh

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh isn’t Philadelphia, or Richmond, or Cleveland, in terms of its African American population. The city proper continues to lose African American residents; a 27 percent Black population in 2000 has dwindled to about 22 percent today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A Gender Equity Commission report in 2019 revealed that Pittsburgh was one of the worst places in the country economically for African Americans.

And it’s no secret that the Black professionals’ population in Pittsburgh isn’t large when compared to many other places. The Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA) sports roughly 5,500 members—but less than 175 members, or less than 3 percent, are Black.

Kellie Ware, Esq., the new director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for ACBA, estimated that there may be 50 or so Black attorneys in the Pittsburgh region who are not part of ACBA. Thus, according to Ware, stating that there are less than 250 Black lawyers in the Pittsburgh region… “I would say that is a fair statement to make,” she said.

Click here to read more of this interesting and eye-opening article by Rob Taylor Jr. a Pittsburgh Courier Staff writer.

The History of Black Justices and Judges in PA’s Statewide Appellate Courts

Judge Doris Smith-Ribner, a Pitt Law School graduate; class of 1972, presents an insight into the Black justices and judges in the PA’s statewide appellate courts. Judge Smith-Ribner stated in her article that, “As a former Commonwealth Court Judge, it gives me the honor and great pride to reflect principally upon those who paved the way for others to follow”.

Click here to read the full article.

Policy on Administrative Statements 

The purpose of the Policy on Administrative Statements is as follows:
 
To establish a proactive protocol for statements coming from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s deans’ office in response to current events that bear upon legal education and the law school environment; and
To set expectations for the Pitt Law community for when and how the administration will lead the law school’s response to such events.
 
This version of the Policy on Administrative Statements is as of November 16, 2021.