Longtime Catholic University law school Clinical Assistant Professor Ellen M. Scully concluded 40 years of service to the CUA Law community on Aug. 19, 2014, officially retiring from the faculty. She will continue to lend her vast expertise in the area of clinical education as a part-time volunteer in the law school’s legal clinic, Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS).
For generations of CUA Law students, Professor Scully was the personification of clinical education, as caring and compassionate in her interaction with students as she expected them to be in turn with the clients they served. A 1967 graduate of the Columbus School of Law, she returned to the law school community in 1974, where she served as supervising attorney of CCLS for five years.
Professor Scully became director of Columbus Community Legal Services in 1979 and spent the next quarter-century growing and guiding the program into one of the best and most highly ranked law school legal clinics in America. Under her direction at its original location at Florida Ave. NE and North Capitol Street, CCLS expanded its reach and reputation as a clinic that excelled at its twin missions of training students to become first-rate practitioners, as well as serving as a professional and attentive avenue of recourse to thousands of Washington D.C. residents who were under-represented in the legal system.
Professor Scully continued and enhanced the clinic’s operational approach as that of a storefront law office located within and attuned to the needs of the community it served
“But for her efforts, CCLS would not have become as successful as it has been in training our students and serving the public. Through CCLS, Ellen has given us her heart and soul, and everyone she has touched in her work here is better off because of it,” said Daniel F. Attridge, dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law.
A native of Boston, Professor Scully’s expertise in the areas of clinical legal education and low-Income housing have been widely recognized. She has served on numerous committees of the courts of the District of Columbia and the Bar of the District of Columbia, and also as a member of the Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Bias and the Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts.
Professor Scully was the 1999 recipient of The Jerrold Scoutt Prize from the District of Columbia Bar Foundation, and also received the Lever Award from The District of Columbia Law Students In Court Program in 2002. She was honored by the Columbus School of Law with its Mary, Mirror of Justice Award (left) in 2010.
Never one to seek the limelight, Professor Scully’s farewell to the law school community was characteristically simple and heartfelt.
She wrote, “It has been a wonderful 40 years. I will resist the temptation to chronicle the treasures of these years and simply say, love and thanks.”