Catholic University law school Professor Mary Leary will assume oversight responsibility of the law school’s extensive and highly successful externship program beginning in the fall of 2013.
Leary’s new title will be Director of the Experiential Curriculum. Her duties also include responsibility for external clinical courses, even as she continues her normal teaching and faculty activities.
Before joining academia, Leary worked primarily on issues addressing the exploitation of children and women, child pornography, child prostitution; computer facilitated crimes against children, and the investigation and prosecution of family violence cases.
She is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and served as deputy chief of the Domestic Violence Unit for the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to academia, Leary also served as a former policy consultant and deputy director for the Office of Legal Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the former director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse.
Leary's scholarship examines the intersection of contemporary social problems, technology, criminal law, and criminal procedure. She is the 2011-12 recipient of the Award for Teaching Excellence in Early Career from The Catholic University of America. She has twice been selected as Faculty Marshall by graduating classes, and was named Teacher of the Year by law students in 2009.
Leary served as the head of delegation for the Holy See at the III World Congress Against the Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, and has lectured widely on the topic both nationally and internationally.
Leary replaces Professor Lisa Lerman, whose expert stewardship of students’ externship opportunities over many years has resulted in a showcase program that is the envy of many law schools. Catholic University law students enjoy an impressive array of experiential, for-credit, offsite learning opportunities from which to choose every year. Successful externships performed by CUA Law students have often led to postgraduate employment offers.
Lerman has decided to return to regular, fulltime teaching, it was announced by Marin Scordato, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research.
“We enjoy an excellent and robust externship program, thanks in large part to Lisa’s efforts, and those of Sandy Ogilvy and Leah Wortham before her,” said Scordato. “Externships and external clinical programs will play an increasingly important role in our curriculum in the years ahead. Please join me in thanking Lisa for her service and in thanking Mary for her willingness to continue this critical work.”
Leary will also be involved in the development of the law school’s recent Transition-to-Practice requirement and in the design of various new academic concentrations.