The Columbus School of Law’s Dec. 12 Christmas party at Union Station in downtown Washington, D.C., provided an ideal opportunity for the law school’s local alumni community to hear from incoming Dean Daniel F. Attridge, who will formally assume his duties in early 2013.
More than 250 graduates and their guests came to enjoy the two-hour mixer, greeting former professors and classmates over drinks and snacks and catching up on law school news.
Many were curious to meet dean-designate Attridge, who accepted the offer of the deanship after more than 30 years in private practice with the Washington office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and the past fourteen as its managing partner.
Although still something of a rarity, an increasing number of law schools across the country have recruited new deans from private practice instead of academia over the past couple of years.
In his remarks to party guests, Dean Attridge introduced himself by offering biographical information about his family and his experiences growing up in the D.C. area.
He discussed the mission of the law school and its unique status as a Catholic school in legal education, an attraction that among other factors helped persuade him to pursue a new career direction.
The incoming dean touched upon the challenges facing the Columbus School of Law and legal education in general, and asked the assembled alumni for their continued support of the law school and its students.
He closed with an eloquent Irish benediction that spoke of balance and harmony in life, concluding his first address to the CUA Law alumni community on a hopeful and uplifting note.