Deans of the School of Law

Joseph M. SwearingenThe first dean position in the School of Law was given to the Honorable Joseph M. Swearingen, president judge of the allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

Dean Swearingen never attended law school, though this was not unusual in the late nineteenth century. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1879 and prepared for practice under the tutelage of local attorney Boyd Crumrine for two years before admission to the Bar.

Swearingen established himself as one of the city’s most diligent trial lawyers, earning a reputation for insightful arguments in equity cases. He was named president judge in 1907 and served for 24 years, concurrently executing his responsibilities as dean for most of that time.

Swearingen’s philosophy of legal education closely aligned with the ethic of Duquesne’s Spiritan fathers, and set a tone that would resonate throughout the school’s history. His school would focus not only on the letter of the law, but also on its spirit and the guiding principles of justice.

His vision was “a thoroughly efficient Law School of the highest character and the broadest range in the determination of its specific and collateral courses,” where students “would be taught the fundamental principles of legal ethics, and of justice, rights and duties, at every point of view.” He sought to train not just successful attorneys, “but broad-gauged, cultured gentlemen.” 

The first catalog expanded on these core values, describing the school’s objective as, “...to prepare young men, especially those engaged in business, not only for the preliminary examination of the State Board of Examiners, but also for entrance into other professions and for admission into higher courses of study.” 

After serving as a full-time dean and judge for 18 years, Dean Swearingen relinquished his academic duties in 1929. In failing health, he would retire from the bench two years later.

The Honorable Joseph M. Swearingen died in 1937 at the age of 82. His vision of “a thoroughly efficient Law School of the highest character and the broadest range” had by then taken shape.

John P. EganThe search for Dean Swearingen’s successor began and ended under the same roof. John P. Egan became the first in a long line of deans to be selected from within the school’s faculty.

In fact, Egan was Duquesne through and through. He enrolled in the Holy Ghost Fathers’ prep school in 1904, proceeded through the college’s undergraduate program, and completed his studies in the Law School. He briefly taught in the prep school before joining the law faculty as a contracts instructor in 1915. He was associated with noted attorney F.C. McGirr and with John E. Laughlin, an original faculty member of the Law School and vice dean under Swearingen.

Like his predecessor, egan became a renowned jurist. Appointed to the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in 1931, he would win election to three consecutive terms on both party tickets. Unlike Swearingen, he would not juggle the responsibilities of judge and dean for long.

The major challenge of Egan’s brief tenure was an edict from the State Board of Law Examiners requiring that the already rigorous night school schedule—ten hours a week, 34 weeks per year—be extended from three years to four. This immediately resulted in a sharp enrollment drop from 100 students to 70, but enhanced the school’s professional reputation significantly. Enrollment would remain steady at approximately this level through the Great Depression. 

While students now had to complete an additional year of study, another longtime source of consternation ended. Up until this time, students completed each year of study with oral final exams, in which they answered questions related to each course in front of a panel comprised of the entire faculty. The class of 1930 was the last to endure this anxiety-ridden experience.

The year after his appointment as judge—after just three years as dean—Egan resigned from his administrative post at Duquesne, though he remained an adjunct faculty member until 1940. Egan, who dispensed justice both in the courtroom and on the college football field where he refereed more than 500 games, died shortly after election to his third judicial term in 1952. 

John E. LaughlinJohn E. Laughlin joined the faculty when the school opened in 1911. He taught criminal law and evidence and served as vice dean for more than 20 years.

Laughlin excelled in private practice and earned considerable renown as a trial attorney. He had served as assistant solicitor for the City of Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, upon accepting the deanship, he broke from the tradition of his predecessors, putting aside his lucrative outside work. He would, however, remain an active and influential figure in local and statewide legal circles.

One of Dean Laughlin’s first challenges was— not surprisingly—another move. During the Great Depression, the University took advantage of rock-bottom real estate prices by aggressively buying properties, both on the Bluff and downtown. In 1932, Duquesne purchased the Fitzsimons Building at 331 fourth Avenue, a block from the Law School’s original home.

With the school settled in new, larger quarters for the foreseeable future, a stable faculty and a strong curriculum in place, Dean Laughlin turned his attention to another important element of legal education—the Law Library. Though students had access to the nearby Allegheny County Law Library, Laughlin embraced building the school’s own collections as a personal crusade. During his tenure, holdings grew to exceed 10,000 volumes. 

Laughlin gave up his private practice to focus on the deanship, but remained visible in the legal community. In 1935, Pennsylvania Governor George H. Earle appointed him to the board of commissioners on uniform state laws. Soon thereafter, he represented Pennsylvania’s attorney general at a national conference on uniform state laws in Los Angeles.

Laughlin endeared himself among students with the personal attention and dedication he displayed toward each one. A group of appreciative alumni presented him with a gold watch as a token of respect and appreciation. Years later, Laughlin told his son, “If I can leave you nothing but this watch, you will, nevertheless, have received from me my most priceless possession.”

Laughlin died suddenly in 1939. As the Depression eased, enrollment had grown slightly and had stabilized at 88 students by the end of his tenure, but darker days were on the horizon. Morris Zimmerman, an alumnus and faculty member who had served as Dean Laughlin’s assistant, was appointed acting dean while a search began for a permanent successor. 

C. Gerald BrophyThe search for a dean began and ended at home with the appointment of C. Gerald Brophy. A 1923 Duquesne Law graduate, Brophy had been teaching social science in the university’s College of Liberal arts since 1929. Brophy was reluctant to lead the Law School, and consented only on the condition that he would serve a single six-year term. Six turned to 16—he remained in the position until he died of a heart ailment in 1956.

As america plunged into World War II, enrollment at Duquesne and in law schools nationwide plummeted. Many schools were forced to suspend operations for the duration of the hostilities, but under Brophy’s steady leadership, Duquesne Law stayed open without interruption.

Brophy seized upon the reduced level of activity as an opportunity to modernize the school’s curriculum. Among other changes, he instituted an innovative cooperative work program with the Allegheny County Register of Wills Office. Students working in the department gained exposure to practical aspects of the legal profession. Brophy’s initiative expanded on a philosophy first expressed at Duquesne by Dean Swearingen and laid the groundwork for the extensive clinical legal education programs offered today. 

Brophy’s tenure was also highlighted by the launch of the school’s first alumni association. The names on the organizing committee roster read like a “Who’s Who” of distinguished graduates, including Judges Samuel A. Weiss, A’24, L’27; Henry X. O’Brien, B’25, L’28; and Hugh C. Boyle, L’28; and local attorneys Walter J. Blenko, L’24; Edward C. Boyle, L’28; Edward I. Goldberg, L’31; James P. McArdle, L’31; T. Robert Brennan, B’31, L’34; Bernard Hampsey, L’35; and Francis A. Devlin, L’51.

More than 350 alumni attended the association’s first annual dinner on June 4, 1952. 

As he was modernizing the curriculum, Brophy was also planting the seeds for new facilities. A hint of plans to replace the Fitzsimons Building with an on-campus home was dropped during the first Reunion Dinner in 1952, but Brophy would not live to see his vision realized, for it took more than five years for the university to acquire all 34 parcels of land needed for construction.

While postwar undergraduate enrollment surged, the Law School merely treaded water, though even that was considered success after a crippling depression and a global war. When Dean Brophy died, total enrollment stood at 91, just three students more than at the time of Dean Laughlin’s passing in 1939. Still, Brophy had set the stage for an era of remarkable growth.

Thomas F. QuinnFor the first time since Dean Swearingen, the university looked outside for the Law School’s new leader. Thomas F. Quinn arrived with degrees from Georgetown, Albany Law School of Union University, and Harvard. He held faculty posts in St. Louis University’s business and law schools, but his full-time job before coming to Duquesne was as an executive with a major textile company. 

Shortly after Quinn’s arrival, the school made its long-awaited move to new on-campus quarters in Rockwell Hall. The combination of an energetic, enthusiastic new dean and 42,000 square feet of modern space propelled Duquesne’s ascent from local to regional prominence.

This facility allowed Dean Quinn to turn Dean Swearingen’s advice that students visit the courthouse to view proceedings on its head—now courts came to the students. When the U.S. District Court ran short of space, Dean Quinn offered use of the new court room. Later, the complex was used by the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the Pennsylvania Milk Control Commission.

With new and larger space, Dean Quinn immediately turned his attention to launching a day division. for nearly half a century, Duquesne Law School had exclusively offered part-time evening studies, catering to a working student body. Quinn realized that the school’s potential for growth and national recognition was limited without a full-time program.

Tall and immaculately dressed, Quinn cut an imposing figure and was legendary for his diligence and discipline. On rare occasions when heavy snowstorms would force Duquesne University and other regional institutions to cancel classes, Quinn insisted that Duquesne Law always remain open. A young faculty member at the time, John E. Murray, Jr. recalls one unidentified individual’s wry response, scrawled on a blackboard in Rockwell Hall:

In the event of atomic attack, law school classes will continue in the basement of the building.

General Quinn

Yet Murray also recalls times when Quinn channeled Fr. Hehir’s spirit, making arrangements to ensure that promising students would not be forced to abandon their studies due to sudden financial or personal hardship. “He thoroughly understood that his purpose was to assist others to succeed,” Murray remembers. “He was quite willing to help them carry their burdens.”

In October 1966, Quinn was appointed Clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. The Rev. Henry McAnulty, C.S.Sp., university president, named Murray acting dean effective January 1, 1967.

Louis ManderinoJuris began as a vehicle to promote internal communication among day and evening students, faculty, staff and alumni. Though initially focused on school activities, its writers eagerly tackled topical issues and advocacy as well. A engthy faculty profile appearing in the inaugural issue set the tone.

Spanning portions of four pages, the article recounted the life of Professor Louis Manderino. The son of Italian immigrants who settled in the Mon Valley, Manderino was a bright, brash young graduate of St. Vincent College and Harvard Law. He returned to Monessen and set up a practice with his brother, but a series of fateful events called him to teaching at Duquesne. He began on a part-time basis in 1956, and three years later was hired full-time by Dean Quinn. Though he tried to keep his hand in the practice, by 1962 Manderino’s energies were focused exclusively on the school, where he became a favorite among students. 

Nowhere in the profile was it mentioned that Manderino was a candidate for the deanship, but those inside Rockwell Hall understood the subtext. A 2005 remembrance in AlumNews, penned by the Honorable Donetta Ambrose, a’67, L’70, revealed the depth of the students’ passion.

Lou was a legend in his own time. No professor was more interesting, more challenging, or more popular. In fact, Professor Manderino became Dean Manderino by sheer will of the student body—a student body that demanded his elevation and would not take ‘No’ for an answer.” 

In an era of mounting unrest, Duquesne law students’ persistent yet peaceful prodding paid off. Manderino, at age 38, was named by Fr. McAnulty as the school’s sixth dean in early 1968. The new dean’s portrait graced the cover of the February Juris. Nobody realized then how brief Manderino’s tenure would be, or that his successor was the topic of that issue’s faculty profile.

Ironically, the seeds of Manderino’s departure had already been planted. An unabashed liberal who was active in Democratic Party politics, he was a delegate to the 1967-68 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention. In the Juris profile, he defended his activism: “The days of the Ivory Tower concept of education are gone. A teacher in a university such as this should recognize a duty and responsibility to serve his community and be a valuable and helpful citizen.” 

Among the 1968 constitutional reforms was a new level of appellate jurisdiction. A former law clerk to Duquesne Law alumnus and federal judge Austin L. Staley, L’28, Manderino was soon called to his own seat on the bench as a charter member of the new Commonwealth Court. He resigned the deanship in 1970; then won election to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court the next year. At the age of 41, he was the youngest man ever elected to the state’s highest court.

A consummate recruiter during his early teaching days, Manderino accelerated the growth in the Law School’s enrollment, which increased from 472 to more than 600 during his brief deanship.

Manderino continued to serve the school as an adjunct faculty member during his years on the bench. On November 8, 1979, he collapsed and died of a heart attack while walking down Fifth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh. He is fondly remembered by students and colleagues alike. 

Ronald R. DaveportThe school’s next dean would be even younger than Manderino at the time of his appointment—only 35 years old—one of the youngest in the nation at the time. Even more remarkable to outside observers, but fully in keeping with Duquesne’s historic commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, Ronald R. Davenport was the first black dean of a major American law school.

Like most of his predecessors, Davenport was hired from within. Another of Dean Quinn’s appointments, he came to Duquesne in 1963 to teach personal property, criminal law and wills.

Duquesne’s first African American law professor arrived with impressive credentials, including an undergraduate degree in economics from Penn State and law degrees from Temple and Yale.

At Yale, he earned the prestigious Francis Kellor Prize for a paper defending American military peacekeeping initiatives in the Congo. He went on to devote his efforts to the emerging civil rights movement, earning a respected reputation as an NAACP staff attorney and writing the brief in the first “Freedom Riders” case, Abernathy v. Alabama.

Some of Davenport’s priorities were a throwback to the school’s early emphasis on ensuring access to legal education for all. Funding for scholarship aid was increased, leading to significant increases in the enrollment of women and students of color. In an effort to challenge the top American law schools, academic and externship programs were enhanced and expanded.

The school’s national reputation improved; its graduates became more marketable locally and across the country. Alumnus Kellen McClendon, L’74, now a member of the faculty, also credits Davenport with engendering a contagious attitude of confidence among the student body. 

That attitude was reflected in the students’ success. For example, every one of the 185 members of McClendon’s 1974 graduating class passed the Bar exam on the first sitting, making Duquesne the only law school in Pennsylvania with a 100 percent first-time pass rate that year.

Those confident students, however, were also more and more crowded. While the top three floors of Rockwell Hall comfortably accommodated fewer than 200 students in 1958, they were woefully inadequate to house three times as many—along with the accompanying growth of faculty and staff—less than 15 years later. Dean Davenport began the process of raising funds and gaining university approval for a new law school building on campus, but like many of the deans before him, he would not be able to see the project through to fruition. 

While serving as dean, Davenport also had outside business interests in a network of radio stations serving minority communities across the country. The demands of the business, a desire to spend more time with his family, dissention among segments of the faculty, and differences of opinion with the university’s new president—the Rev. Donald Nesti, C.S.Sp.— culminated in a June 1981 announcement that Davenport would resign at year’s end. The day before that news surfaced, ground had been broken for construction of the school’s new home—Hanley Hall. 

John J. SciulloJohn Gedid, L’67, became acting dean, overseeing the building of Hanley Hall and the search for a permanent successor. At the June 1982 Commencement, Fr. Nesti announced the appointment of Professor John J. Sciullo. The crowd erupted in a standing ovation.

Faculty who had been at odds under the Davenport regime quickly united behind Dean Sciullo. Students rejoiced in learning that he would retain a full teaching load while serving as dean.

The son of Italian immigrants from Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood, Sciullo earned undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Pittsburgh and served in Korea with the U.S. Army. Returning home, he clerked for the legendary county judge Samuel Weiss, A’24, L’27, opened a private practice, and became legal counsel for the City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission. 

In 1963, Dean Quinn, a member of the Planning Commission, heard Sciullo’s presentation on the emerging field of land use planning law. Quinn was so impressed that he offered Sciullo an opportunity to teach a course on the topic. One year later, Sciullo joined the full-time faculty, adding a course in Estates and Trusts which, despite the perceived dryness of the subject, quickly earned rave reviews from students for his engaging classroom performance. Sciullo earned more admiration from students and colleagues during eight years as associate dean under Davenport.

After becoming dean in 1982, Sciullo was appointed to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission. His chance meeting with Quinn two decades earlier had come full circle. 

The first milestone of Sciullo’s tenure occurred that September with the opening of Hanley Hall. After 71 years, the Law School finally had its own building on campus.

Upon assuming the deanship, Sciullo remarked that, “We should not be afraid to try something because it may fail.” Sciullo would have a hand in many new developments (most of which, indeed, flourished), but he is also remembered for building on the school’s foundational values. 

Davenport’s efforts to enhance scholarship funds for minorities, women and the needy were accelerated. At a time when the boundaries of legal ethics were being tested, Sciullo asserted that a religiously-affiliated law school was perfectly positioned to examine the tough questions. Crucifixes—which had disappeared from classroom walls in the 1970s—reappeared. 

Sciullo masterfully balanced tradition and innovation. research and writing programs were expanded and strengthened, while an array of new electives were added to the curriculum. Duquesne undergraduates with a minimum 3.5 grade-point average were permitted to enter law school a year early. This “3-3” program would later expand to welcome students from nearly a dozen other private universities and the State System of Higher Education. Five-year joint programs were introduced allowing students to earn both a Juris Doctor from Duquesne and a Duquesne MBA or Master’s in Environmental Science and Management, or a Master’s in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

The region’s best trial moot court program got even better, winning the prestigious Gourley Cup in six out of eight consecutive years.

The School itself was reaccredited by the ABA in 1988. From 1987 through 1989, 93 percent of graduates passed the Pennsylvania Bar exam on the first attempt, more than 10 percent above the state average. Admissions became more selective; while applications increased 25 percent between 1988 and 1989 alone, only one of every 12 applicants was admitted. 

In 1991, the Law School reached a faculty exchange agreement with the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. The first exchange took place in 1993, just as Sciullo was voluntarily relinquishing the deanship to refocus fully on his passion for teaching.

“When I first started teaching, I felt I was cheating someone because I loved it so much,” Sciullo told a Juris interviewer in 1969. “I almost felt willing to do it for nothing.”

Longtime faculty colleague Robert S. Barker, L’66, recalled that, years later, the dean’s ardor for teaching was just as strong. “In 1982, with Hanley Hall nearing completion, Dean-designate Sciullo was asked whether the name plate outside his faculty office should read ‘Dean Sciullo’ or ‘Professor Sciullo,’” Barker wrote in 2005. “John insisted on the latter, explaining that while he might be Dean for a while, he always wanted to be Professor Sciullo.”

Still, the faculty unanimously requested that Sciullo be granted the title of Dean Emeritus, the first such designation in the school’s history. His faculty colleague John Murray—now back on the Bluff as University president and law professor— wholeheartedly approved.

Dean Emeritus Sciullo continued to teach a full course load until he retired at the end of 1999. He passed away just two months later, on February 22, 2000, at the age of 68.

Writing for Juris, Professor Ken Gormley recalled, “The morning Dean Sciullo died was the first day since I began teaching at Duquesne University School of Law that all meaningful work ceased. It was as if God had knocked the collective wind out of the faculty, and students, and every judge or friend who called on the telephone to see if the news was somehow mistaken. The building itself seemed lifeless. It wasn’t until the black cloth was draped over his portrait in the library, and a spray of white flowers placed beneath it, that the unthinkable sunk in.” 

Nicholas P. CafardiRather than moving down the hall, like many of his predecessors, the next dean moved across the street from Old Main. as the university’s general counsel, Nicholas P. Cafardi worked closely with President John Murray on the legal aspects of the University’s late 1980s turnaround. Prior to that, Cafardi had represented nonprofit organizations, including the Diocese of Pittsburgh and religious orders across the country.

Cafardi adopted a quotation from Cicero—Salus Populi Suprema Lex (“The welfare of the people is the highest law”)—as the School’s new motto. Outreach was increased, in keeping with the University’s mission statement’s call for “... service to the Church, the community, the nation and the world.” 

The school was thriving, but a familiar issue— lack of space—once again surfaced. In 1990— less than a decade after Hanley Hall opened— an ABA site visit team deemed the School’s physical plant inadequate. By 1998, with another accreditation review just two years away, nothing had been done to address the problem. Dean Cafardi approached President Murray, who understood the school’s plight but could not commit significant funds from a tight university budget. The Law School, Murray agreed, could have whatever it could afford to pay for.

This presented a formidable challenge, from which The 1911 Society was born. More than 80 alumni and friends signed on as charter members. All told, more than $12 million was raised.

On June 22, 2000, ground was broken for a 32,700-square-foot addition—the Dr. John E. Murray, Jr. Pavilion. Murray would soon step down after 12 years as university president, assuming the title of chancellor and returning to teaching full-time. His office would be located on the top floor of the structure that would bear his name. 

On Commencement Day, June 2, 2002, the Murray Pavilion was dedicated. Renovations were completed over the summer. A new Law School was ready for students returning in the fall.

During his deanship, Cafardi engaged in two important outside assignments. State Supreme Court Chief Justice John P. Flaherty appointed him to chair a commission on racial and gender bias in Pennsylvania courts. As that effort concluded, Cafardi was named by the nation’s bishops to a blue-ribbon panel of laymen tasked with independently reviewing the church’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.

Like Sciullo and Murray before him, Cafardi chose to step down from administrative duties in 2005. Following a sabbatical, he returned to the full-time faculty in the fall of 2006. 

Donald J. GuterDean Donald J. Guter earned his undergraduate degree in the ROTC program at the University of Colorado. a U.S. Navy gunnery officer and intercultural relations specialist, he studied law at Duquesne and graduated in 1977. Returning to the Navy, he steadily rose through the ranks, becoming Judge Advocate General in 2000. As the Navy’s top lawyer, he oversaw 1,800 active duty, reserve and civilian attorneys and 1,000 paralegals, while providing legal guidance to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and civilian officials.

Rear Admiral Guter retired in 2002, becoming chief executive officer of a nonprofit continuing care retirement community and executive director of the Navy-Marine-Coast Guard Residence Foundation. He became involved in Law Alumni Association activities and the opportunity to return to Duquesne appealed to him. “It’s my law school,” Guter told Juris after his appointment in 2005. “That’s the reason that I came here. If it weren’t my school, I probably would not have applied.”

Guter immediately faced several challenges. The passage rate of Duquesne law graduates on the Pennsylvania Bar exam had slipped precipitously. The problem was especially acute among evening students, whose enrollment had significantly declined and whose entering class numbered only 29 in fall 2005. 

Guter instituted curricular changes, upgraded the Legal research and Writing program and Bar exam preparatory services, and asked for increased involvement from the school’s 6,500 alumni.

Guter appointed a full-time director of Bar Services and bar passage rates rose significantly. He also recruited Professor Jan M. Levine away from Temple University as Duquesne’s first full-time legal research and writing director. 

Clinical education programs, providing students with an opportunity to work on real cases with real clients in need of services, continued to expand. Clinics in civil rights, veterans’ disability compensation, and environmental law joined existing programs in economic and community development, civil and family justice, criminal advocacy, unemployment compensation, a post-conviction DNA project and other innovative offerings. 

While outward appearances indicated progress, disagreements simmered behind the scenes between the dean and university administration and among members of the faculty. By the fall of 2008, these disputes found their way to the press and the public.

In December 2008, the university announced that Guter would be removed as Dean. He remained on the faculty for the remainder of the academic year before becoming president and dean of the South Texas College of Law. Professor Ken Gormley, a member of the Duquesne Law faculty since 1994, was appointed interim dean. 

Ken GormleyGormley came to Duquesne from private practice as a lawyer specializing in litigation, and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he had been hired by then-Dean John Murray. A Pittsburgh native who earned his law degree at Harvard, Gormley is an expert in constitutional law who studied with former Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, among others. His 1999 biography of Cox won the Bruce K. Gould Book award for best publication relating to the law, and at the time of his interim appointment, he was completing his second book, The Death of American Virtue, an in-depth examination of the Clinton- Starr controversy that threatened a presidency and divided the nation. 

Over the years, Gormley had produced many major events on campus, bringing in key figures (including Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Samuel Alito) and organizing programs on historical events such as President Truman’s seizure of the steel industry, Robert Kennedy’s term as attorney general, President Ford’s pardon of President Nixon, and the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling. He served as the university’s associate vice president for interdisciplinary scholarship and special projects, and was the first academic to serve as president of the Allegheny County Bar Association in that organization’s 138-year history. 

Professor nancy D. Perkins, a member of the Duquesne Law faculty since 1993, was named associate dean, and Gormley immediately assembled an advisory board of prominent local legal figures (chaired by Chancellor John E. Murray, Jr., Justice Cynthia Baldwin, L’80 and President Judge Emeritus Joseph Del Sole, L’65), to engage with faculty, students and alumni during the leadership transition.

Gormley’s 15 months as interim dean were marked by continued progress. In August 2009, the new Bridget and Alfred Peláez Writing Center was dedicated. Hailed by Gormley as “the most significant improvement to the Law School in decades,” the new facility was funded by a $500,000 gift from an anonymous alumnus in honor of Professor Peláez’s 44 years of service. Peláez insisted that the center also bear the name of his wife, who had recently passed away. 

Underscoring Duquesne’s focus on writing skills, the first-year student orientation expanded to a full week, with three days devoted to intensive research and writing preparation. a new clinical program in electronic discovery was also established. The nation’s first of its kind, the e-Discovery Clinic simulates the complex steps in reviewing digital files in preparation for trial.

The same semester, the entire Pennsylvania Supreme Court convened in a rare special session on Duquesne’s campus, coinciding with a special issue of the Law Review honoring the life and career of the late Chief Justice ralph Cappy, as Gormley placed a new emphasis on the Duquesne Law Review and other student publications. 

On February 23, 2010, Gormley announced the creation of new resource funds to assist minority law students. The Charles Hamilton Houston Scholars program was named in honor of a law professor and mentor to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Houston’s son, a 1968 Duquesne Law graduate, and Marshall’s son were present—along with former Dean Davenport—for the program’s inaugural events.

On March 29, 2010, University President Charles J. Dougherty appointed Gormley to a full term as dean. The announcement followed a wave of national media publicity surrounding the release of The Death of American Virtue, which earned Gormley his second Bruce K. Gould Award and a coveted Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.

“Being appointed to serve as Dean of Duquesne Law School is not just a supreme honor,” Gormley wrote in the Spring 2010 issue of the alumni magazine, which had recently been retitled The Duquesne Lawyer. “It is an awesome responsibility as we step out front to lead the legal academy, and the legal profession, in marking the Law School’s hundredth anniversary in 2011.” 

On July 1, 2016, Gormley became Duquesne University's 13th president. Gormley is the third lay president in the University's 138-year history.

Maureen Lally-GreenDean Maureen Lally-Green graduated from Duquesne University with a B.S. in secondary education and mathematics and a J.D. from the School of Law, where she served on the Duquesne Law Review. 

From 1998 through July 2009, Lally-Green served as judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. She was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate in 1998; thereafter, she was elected to a 10-year term beginning in January of 2000, and served until her retirement a decade later.  From 2009 through August 2015, Lally-Green served the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh as associate general secretary and/or director of the Office of Church Relations.  

Lally-Green’s law career is diverse and has included work as an associate with a private law firm in Pittsburgh (1974-75); counsel to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Washington, D.C.) (1975-78); counsel to the former Westinghouse Electric Corporation (1978-83); a consultant to justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1985-87; 1988-98); a full professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law (1983-98); an adjunct professor of law at Duquesne Law, teaching appellate practice and procedure and federal employment discrimination law; a teacher in various law-related programs; and an author, published in various law reviews.  

Lally-Green has served the commonwealth and the judiciary in unique ways.  She recently served the Court of Judicial Discipline in its Diversion Program (2105-2016).  She served as chair, vice-chair and member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee (2005-2011). She was the co-chair of the subcommittee that recommended recent substantial changes to the appellate rules involving children/family matters (Children’s Fast Track) (2008-09). She was secretary and member of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Commission on Race, Gender and Ethnic Fairness (appointed by the Supreme Court) (2004- 2007).  During her tenure, she chaired the committee that developed and proposed to the Supreme Court a non-discrimination policy and procedures for the judicial branch of government, which proposal was adopted and made effective January 2008. Also, she was chair of the Supreme Court’s Gender Fairness Implementation Committee (2002).  

Lally-Green serves as: chair and member of the board of directors, UPMC Mercy Hospital; chair and a member of the board of directors of Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School; vice chair and member of the board of directors of Our Campaign for the Church Alive!, Inc.; member of the board of directors of Saint Vincent College and the board of regents of Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  She also serves on the board of directors of two for-profit entities.  

She has been recognized frequently for her achievements. Some honors include: Helping Hands Judge Mansmann Award (2011); membership in Century Club, Duquesne University (2010); Presidents’ Award from Saint Francis University and Duquesne University (2009); Anne X. Alpern Award (2006); St. Thomas More Award, St. Thomas More Society (2002); and Duquesne University Law School Distinguished Alumna Award (2001).   

Lally-Green and her husband reside in Butler County and are the parents of three adult children.