The Catholic University of America
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Law School Welcomes the Classes of 2017 and 2018

 

Approximately 150 new full-and-part time students officially joined the CUA Law community on Aug. 12, arriving for the start of a three-day orientation that was thoughtfully designed to make the transition to the life of a law student as smooth as possible. 

The orientation process was significantly revised for 2014, with the goal of providing the law school’s newest students at least a brief taste of a wide range of experiences. 
 
The administration, faculty, and staff embraced the incoming first-year class, working hard to make sure that every matriculated student felt welcomed, comfortable, and oriented to their new surroundings.

Upon their arrival, the future lawyers checked in and were greeted with a 90-minute welcome luncheon, which provided an ideal occasion for students to get to know some of the people they will spend a great deal of time with over the next three or four years.  
 
Dr. James Brennan, Provost of The Catholic University of America, was the leadoff luncheon speaker. He spent some time on familiarizing the new campus residents with the history and mission of the university and urged the students to view their legal educations at CUA through the distinctive prism of Catholic social teaching.
 
“You’re joining a community of very special people. Our privilege [as lawyers] is the responsibility to advocate for those who can’t,” he said.
 
In his introductory remarks, Daniel F. Attridge, Dean of the Columbus School of Law, discussed what is expected from lawyers according to the Rules of Professional Conduct. He also described the curricular strengths and options open to students, and assured them that passion for what they do is crucial for their success.
 
“Jump into the opportunities presented to you with both feet, all the way,” said the dean. “Go the extra mile, take ownership of your career. We’re all here to help you, please remember that.” 
 
Following lunch, Day One got down to business. Because effective study techniques for law school differ substantially from those that worked in college or other graduate programs, the 1Ls were introduced to Case Briefing and IRAC by Professor Cara Drinan. IRAC, an acronym for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion, functions as a methodology for legal analysis.
 
The rest of their introductory day was spent on more routine but necessary matters. Students were introduced to support services such as the Academic Affairs Office and the Counseling Center.
 
They waited patiently in lines to get through the required paperwork, such as registering for class, obtaining IDs and health insurance, having their official photo taken, and learning how to configure their personal computers for new educational purposes.
 
The smaller evening division class was treated to most of the same elements of orientation, condensed to accommodate their schedules.
 
Days two and three of orientation moved in new directions, focusing on methods for succeeding in law school and exposing students to the rewards of pro bono service to others.