Duquesne announces judicial ed center thanks to school's largest gift

Duquesne University School of Law just received the largest individual gift in its history, and it is using the money to transform judicial education in the state of Pennsylvania.

Thomas R. Kline, donated $7.5 million to his alma mater to establish the Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education. The law school will use the funds to create an innovative, high-level educational program for the state’s 600 trial and appellate judges.

“It gives me great pride to help establish the Kline Center for Judicial Education, which for me personally is the intersection of my pride in my alma mater, my commitment to legal education, my respect for the judicial process and the need for the highest standards for lawyers and judges,” said Thomas R. Kline, a 1978 Duquesne Law School alumnus and founding partner of the law firm Kline & Specter, PC.

 Kline gave $15 million to Drexel Univeristy in 2008, and th university renamed the law school after him. 

Duquesne's Kline Center will seek expertise from legal scholars and experts in science, psychology, health sciences, ethics and other areas to encourage more informed judicial decision-making, Duquesne University President Ken Gormley said. The program will be conducted in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts and backed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

 “We expect it to become a national model for judicial education in a new era,” said Gormley, who was previously dean of the law school. 

Housed at Duquesne Law School, the Kline Center will work with the deans and with legal scholars at all nine Pennsylvania law schools to create a statewide educational network. An executive director for the Kline Center has not yet been identified, but the law school will begin laying the groundwork with the Judicial Education Department of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to begin delivering courses in 2018.

“We are thrilled that Duquesne University School of Law has been given this extraordinary opportunity to facilitate public service of the judicial branch in our commonwealth at the very highest level,” said Duquesne Law School Dean Maureen Lally-Green.  “The Kline Center will provide an invaluable learning opportunity for our faculty and students as they assist in the great work of the Center.”

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