University of Pittsburgh Law School

Community
3:30 am
Mon May 26, 2014

New Law Firm Aims To Help Clients Of Modest Means

Legal help can be expensive, but a new law firm in Pittsburgh has a mission of serving clients of modest means.

Fair Shake, an environmental legal service located on Butler St., had its grand opening Thursday.

The firm provides legal services to the tri-state area for issues such as community health, environmental protection and cleanup and development.

Emily Collins, the executive director, said she got the idea for the firm when she was a clinical assistant professor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:48 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

The Innovation Practice Institute Innovates Law School Education

Stephanie Dangel, Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Institute, and Michael Madison, Faculty Director of IPI
Credit Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

As our technology evolves and the economy becomes increasingly entrepreneurial, the role of the lawyer and law school is changing.

Stephanie Dangel, Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Institute says with the changing economy, 40% of lawyers are not currently practicing law, and 30% of students in law school do not intend to be lawyers.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
2:42 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

The Low Income Legal Dilemma

David Harris poses the question of how to solve legal representation for low income households.
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

It may come as a shock to those who think that there are too many lawyers, but many Americans cannot get their legal needs met. That's because many can not afford legal representation and don’t qualify for legal services.

In fact, according to University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris, 80% of Americans who have legal needs can not find help.

“Even if you just look at the people who come into legal services offices, for every one person served, one person is turned away."

While the issue of cost of legal representation is well known, Barbara Griffin, coordinator for the Pro Bono Center of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, points out that due to funding cuts in community legal service centers, and the present economy, there are more people in need of aid than lawyers to serve them.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
4:44 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Montgomery County Marriage Licenses Challenged in Court

A clerk in Montgomery County has been issuing marriage licenses to LGBT couples since July, in defiance of state law. The official was challenged in court today.
Credit Doug Muth / Wikipedia

Officials in Montgomery County have issued more than 100 marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and currently Pennsylvania has a law that deems same-sex marriage illegal.

The question many are asking is what will happen to these marriage licenses? Jules Lobel, a constitutional law Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, attempts to give some insight on the marriage licenses.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
6:25 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Internships: Drawing the Line Between Experience & Exploitation

Hundreds of students flock to this internship & job fair at Penn State University
Credit Penn State News / Flickr

Is scoring the ideal unpaid internship a boon or a financial burden for college students looking to break into the job market? A recent ruling by a New York court against Fox Searchlight Pictures over their misuse of interns has many questioning the value of doing unpaid work for credit or experience. And leaving employers wondering what sort of labor they can ask an intern to do.

According to Ben Bratman, an associate professor who specializes in employment law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, what separates an unpaid internship from exploitation is the learning element. While making copies from time to time isn’t illegal, what some firms are guilty of is using interns “to replace what an employee would normally do.”

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
8:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

The Legality of DNA Swab Testing After Arrest

DNA swab testing may become the "gold standard" of reliable evidence gathering.
Credit Kendra Griffiths / flickr.com

In a 5-4 majority, the United States Supreme Court concluded suspects can be subjected to a police DNA test after arrest and before trial and conviction. DNA samples would go into a national database and could possible be used to solve "cold cases." However, it calls into question the issue of personal privacy vs. public safety.

Read more
Essential Pittsburgh
1:39 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Breaking Down the Steubenville Verdict

David Harris teaches criminal law at the University of Pittsburgh Law School.
Credit University of Pittsburgh Law School

On Sunday, a verdict was announced in the rape case of two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio. University of Pittsburgh law professor, David Harris breaks down the details of the verdict and the role of social media in the case.