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Duquesne U. opens roomier legal clinic

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Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
 

Duquesne University's School of Law on Thursday opened a new, larger legal clinic for low-income residents.

Law School Dean Ken Gormley said the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education, located on Fifth Avenue across from Consol Energy Center, will be able to help more people than the clinic at Fisher Hall on campus. Law students provided free services to more than 400 people last year under the direction of faculty and staff.

“There obviously needs to be more assistance for people who need legal aid but can't afford it,” said third-year law student Terence Hanna, 27, who worked in the clinic last summer.

Students counsel clients in a variety of areas, including civil rights, family law and unemployment compensation, and assist people referred to them through Allegheny County's veterans' courts.

Joseph S. Mistick, an associate professor of law who founded Duquesne's first legal clinic 20 years ago in the basement of the law library, recalled how he and a partner practiced law in the early 1980s in the clinic's new home.

“It was an extraordinary experience to see this come together,” Mistick said as Gormley led Gov. Tom Corbett and a host of elected officials on a tour.

The clinic is nearly twice as large as its predecessor and includes client meeting rooms, a conference room and a “moot” courtroom equipped with video technology so students can review their performance.

Laurie Serafino, an associate professor of law and director of clinical education at Duquesne, said the clinic should help the university grow its services in the Uptown community.

The facility was funded in part through a $500,000 gift from Duquesne alum Tom Tribone, chief executive officer of Franklin Park Investments; a $500,000 state grant; and a $250,000 county grant.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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