The Duquesne University Law School kicked off its year long centennial celebration Thursday with 300 top-level legal professionals, judges and alumni attending a reception. Ken Gormley, who was appointed dean in March after serving 15 months at interim dean, outlined plans for the centennial year and beyond.
He is proposing a Centennial Speaker Series with nationally known keynoters and plans to commission a book on the history of the law school.
Gormley says he wants to make sure the curriculum is ready for changes in the profession..."We just brought in a professor this year to teach energy law. With the Marcellus Shale boom in the region, we want to make sure we are training students to jump into this area of practice. I think it's also important in the region to build strengths in health care law and intellectual property."
Gormley says his plan also includes strengthening racial diversity and gender equality among faculty and students....."They have always been goals of the law school. There have never been clear blueprints how to accomplish them. That's what I'm trying to do by bringing in talent like Eric Springer and Linda Hernandez, who's the director of the Gender Equality Institute, to work with us and our students so we can not just talk about these things but actually accomplish something."
On June 30, associate law professor Vanessa Browne-Barbour filed a civil rights law suit against the law school. Browne-Barbour, who is African-American, claims she was not considered for the position of interim dean in December 2008 when Donald Guter was fired as dean, because of her race and gender. She was associate dean at the time and says she was more qualified than Gormley who is white.
The attorney for the law school says they will vigorously fight the suit.