The Catholic University of America

Civil Litigation Concentration


A Concentration in Civil Litigation provides an academic focus in an area of the law that is probably the most closely associated with the idea of lawyer—the courtroom lawyer.  It combines an opportunity to master legal doctrine with an opportunity to acquire skills like brief drafting, direct and cross examination of witnesses, and oral argument at both the trial and appellate level.

Civil litigation involves the practice of law in a substantive area through the representation of clients involved in disputes within that area. The Civil Litigation Concentration permits a student to develop this expertise in a way to practice law while at the same time permitting enough time in the academic schedule to develop a substantive expertise to be coupled with that core competency.

A placement as an extern (for academic credit) or an intern (no academic credit) in Judicial Chambers for a state or federal trial court judge is highly recommended for all those working toward a Concentration in Civil Litigation.  Fortunately, Catholic University is located in an area where three state judicial systems, the federal system, and many administrative agencies provide abundant opportunities for such a placement just a metro ride or short drive away.  Working for a judge in chambers provides an invaluable bird’s eye view of the litigation process and of judicial decision making.  In addition, there is quite a variety of in-house clinics and simulation courses to choose from to fulfill the Transition to Practice course requirement in this area.

A "Tracking Sheet" should be used by students to track their progress in completing the concentration. Once all requirements are fulfilled, students should bring the tracking sheet to their concentration coordinator. The concentation coordinator will verify requirements have been met and then sign the bottom of the form. The form should then be submitted to the registrar for processing of the concentration completion letter.

To discuss how a Civil Litigation Concentration might fit with your career plans or for more information on the requirements of a Civil Litigation Concentration, contact:

Professor Kathryn Kelly
Coordinator, Civil Litigation Concentration
kelly@law.cua.edu