March 2021 Alumni Newsletter

Welcome to the Pitt Law Alumni Newsletter. We are very excited to introduce you to this new way to stay in touch and keep you updated on all that is happening with our Pitt Law community. And wow, there is so much going on! Despite the many challenges—a pandemic, economic insecurity, civil unrest—our law school community remains firmly dedicated to the cause of justice and continues to do impactful work to transform our society. Among our recent highlights: 

  • In 2020, we brought in one of the most talented and diverse first-year classes and have now improved our median LSAT by a whopping three points in three years. Even better, we are on track to improve over last year, with another incredibly diverse and well-qualified class set to begin this fall.
  • Our resilient 2020 graduates rose to the challenge of the first-ever remote bar exam in Pennsylvania, with a passage rate placing us in the top three law schools in the state for the second year in a row. 
  • Twenty of those '20 graduates benefitted from our first-ever post-graduate fellowship program, made possible by the incredible generosity of our extended Pitt Law family. Take a closer look at the relationship formed by Brittany De Hoyos (JD ’20) and Kimberly Karr (JD ’12), two grads who met during the fellowship program.
  • We also launched a new Center on Civil Rights and Racial Justice, supported by initial funding from our dear friends at the Eberly Foundation and led by Professors ChipCarter and Sheila Vélez Martínez. 
  • We have a new Dean of Equity and Inclusive Excellence, Tomar Pierson-Brown, and a new Dean of Students, Allie Linsenmeyer.
  • All of our incredible progress has begun to be noticed. We moved up nine spots—to #67—in this year's US News rankings.

And what are your fellow alums up to? Watch here to learn about the experience of Elizabeth Shackelford (JD '06) in the State Department, check out Marketa Lindt’s (JD ’94) reflections on her 2019-20 term as the President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association here, catch up with Elizabeth Hughes (JD ’04) and Ariell Antonio (JD ’07) as they consider the rule of health law professionals in a time of COVID, and see David Hickton (JD ’81) in “Agents of Chaos” HBO’s documentary film on Russian Election Interference. We are also delighted that Brian Cuban (JD ’86) will soon return to campus to deliver the commencement speech to the class of 2021. His will undoubtedly be a memorable and meaningful message to the graduating class. Like many of you, we have lost many good friends this year, including Dick Thornburgh, Marvin Lieber, Q. Todd Dickinson, and Arnie Silverman. They will be deeply missed.

We hope this new format makes it easier to learn what is happening at the law school and dive deeper into those things that interest you with links to longer stories, videos, and livestreams. We remain incredibly grateful for all of you, our talented and supportive community of alums. We simply could not do what we do without your help. Thank you for all you do for Pitt Law! Please stay in touch—I’d love to hear from you. 

With best wishes,
Dean Amy

Brian Cuban (JD '86) To Serve as 2021 Commencement Speaker

Brian Cuban (JD '86), attorney, author, and addiction recovery advocate, will deliver the keynote address at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's commencement ceremony on May 8, 2021, at the Peterson Events Center. As a Pitt Law alumnus, Cuban launched the Law Student Wellness Fund to support students' mental and physical health during Law School and prepare them for wellness in the legal profession.

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Pitt Law Announces Civil Rights and Racial Justice Center

Pitt Law is pleased to announce that, with critical startup funding of $250,000 from the Eberly Foundation, the law school will create a new Center for Civil Rights and Racial Justice to facilitate community-engaged teaching, research, and service. 

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Post-Graduate Fellowship Program Met with Success

Many of Pitt Law’s 2020 grads experienced considerable career uncertainty as they prepped for online bar exams. For that reason, Pitt Law developed the Post Graduate Fellowship Matching Program in which recent grads worked part-time at a host site while participating in CLE and leadership programming.

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The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart, Featuring Alicia Garza

Join Pitt Law's Office of Equity and Inclusive Excellence for their inaugural Achieving Excellence Speaker Series event featuring author, political strategist, organizer, and activist Alicia Garza on April 1 at 4:30 p.m. EST. Garza will discuss her book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart. She is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, serves as the Strategy Partnership Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and is co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women's activism.

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Student and Alumni Networking Reception

Provide career guidance based on your personal experiences and share your valued wisdom and insights with current students during a virtual reception on April 6 from 5-7 p.m. EST. To encourage mixing and mingling, virtual breakout rooms will be set up for small groups of alumni based on geographic location or practice areas. Students will navigate between rooms during interval rounds.

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K&L Gates, Pitt Law Continue Diversity Fellowship Offering

Global law firm K&L Gates LLP and Pitt Law are again partnering to offer the K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship. Now starting its sixth year, the Fellowship provides a full-tuition scholarship to an entering student at Pitt Law for all three years of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position at K&L Gates in the student’s first summer of law school with an opportunity to return for a second summer.

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Professor Jules Lobel Honored with Teaching Award

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) honored Pitt Law Professor Jules Lobel with its Great Teacher Award at their virtual annual awards celebration.

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