University of Pittsburgh

John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program

Are you drawn to the real life drama of the courtroom? Do you have dreams of becoming a trial attorney? If so, then the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (PittLaw) may just be the place for you. Through its unique John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program, PittLaw can provide you with a unique curriculum devoted exclusively to training the trial lawyers of tomorrow.

During the first year of law school, all students take the same courses. Those students who wish to register for the Gismondi program, do so at the beginning of their second year of law school. During their second and third years, all students enrolled in the certificate program will take certain required foundational core courses, a clinic or practicum, as well as a number of specialized classes. The heart of the Gismondi program is a collection of specialized courses taught exclusively by a pre eminent group of practicing trial attorneys whose insight and experience offer an invaluable perspective in the classroom. Together with our core courses, these select courses provide a level and depth of litigation training unlike that available at most any other law school.

In each of these specialized skills courses, class size is kept small so as to enrich the learning experience. Students not only are taught legal rules and principles in a typical lecture format, but more importantly, they are assigned to "role play" in a variety of real world litigation scenarios, each designed to develop specific skills which are essential to successful trial work.

Students complete their training by taking a required litigation skills clinic or practicum selected from this group of options: Civil Practice Clinic (Health Law or Elder Law), Tax Clinic, Immigration Clinic,  Environmental Law Clinic,   Legal Services Practicum, Lawyering III Clinic, Unemployment Compensation Practicum, Criminal Prosecution Practicum or Family Law Clinic. In all of these clinics, students have the potential of representing real clients in actual court proceedings.

The students in the John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program will complete their law school education having developed a set of skills which better prepares them to do courtroom work than traditional law school graduates, and that advantage, in turn, makes the Gismondi certificate students more attractive to law firms seeking to hire young and enthusiastic litigation associates.

If you have any questions about the program, please click on one of the tabs on the top of this page for more detailed information. If you still have questions, please contact Professor Martha Mannix, Director of John P. Gismondi Civil Litigation Certificate Program


Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC