The Catholic University of America
Dean Attridge

Dean's Newsletter

CUA Law Dean Daniel F. Attridge writes a regular newsletter to keep students informed about news, events, and new initiatives at the law school. Find links to all of the dean's newsletters on this page.



April 2015
“Spring has finally arrived in earnest (at least on the calendar, if not in the current outdoor temperatures) and along with it our busiest time of the year…” The dean discussed a visit by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which heard oral arguments at the Law School on March 19. He dissected the 2016 US News Rankings, noting that a recent study featured in the New York Times found that CUA Law is one of the most underrated law schools. The dean alerted the CUA Law community to the availability of a new mobile phone app, and summarized the Law Review’s annual symposium focused on “Patent Litigation after the America Invents Act.” The dean shared faculty news, offered a roundup of recent events in the building, and noted that Professors Megan La Belle and Elizabeth Winston, both experts in the related area of intellectual property law, will become co-directors of the Law School's Communications Law Institute at the end of the academic year.



March 2015
“Despite some cold temperatures and accompanying snow and ice, we have been engaged in a whirlwind of activities during the past month…”  Dean Attridge describes the success of the Jan. 29 Open House for prospective students and reminded readers of the second one on March 4.  He listed a number of notable who visited the Law School in February, including Hon. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., 60th Governor of Maryland; Wolfgang Brandstetter, Federal Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria; Patricia R. Hatler, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Nationwide Insurance; and Hon. Jerome H. Powell, Governor, Federal Reserve Board, among others. Dean Attridge also highlighted the success of the 24th annual SPIL Auction on Feb. 13, summarized some faculty related news, and described the technological upgrades to Room 307.



February 2015
“Our new spring 2015 semester began on January 8. Our classes, programs, activities, and special events are already in full swing…”  Dean Attridge invited students to take a look at the 2014 Year in Review, which summarized the biggest developments of the previous year. He discussed admissions trends, noting the law school’s first hosting of an Open House on Jan. 29.  The dean concluded the first student newsletter of 2015 by reviewing recent student and faculty achievements, and offered a preview of upcoming speaking events and lectures for the spring semester.  

> View the February 2015 newsletter


January 2015
“Our fall 2014 semester has reached a successful conclusion. You, our students, have taken your final exams and turned in your final papers…” Dean Attridge discussed the Law School’s first Open House on Jan. 29, noting that that prospective students who visit the campus are much more likely to enroll than other admitted students. He reminded students of the upcoming Spring Externship Fair and MLK Day of Service, and summarized a number of events that took place in the building during the month of December. The dean offered a brief wrap up of recent faculty accomplishments and welcomed back professors Catherine Klein and Suzette Malveaux after their sabbaticals/leave. Professors Stacy Brustin, Cara Drinan, and Antonio Perez will be on sabbatical during the spring semester.

December 2014
“Our busy fall semester is quickly coming to a close. Our classes end on November 25, we pause for the Thanksgiving break…”  After sharing holiday greetings from the Law School, the dean took to task several recent misleading media reports about the legal job market, which is better than advertised. He brought readers up to speed on events such as luncheons hosted by the Institute for Communications Law Studies and the Securities Law Program. Dean Attridge mentioned the Nov. 7 address by Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky ’75, as well as a reception the previous day in honor of the Law School’s alumni Super Lawyers. Other highlights include the Supreme Court moot on Nov. 24 by Neal Katyal as he prepared for his upcoming argument in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis, Inc., a trademark case involving questions of issue preclusion. Mr. Katyal is the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States and the partner in charge of Hogan Lovell’s appellate practice.


November 2014
“October has been an especially eventful and productive month for us at CUA Law…” and how. The dean recapped a very busy 30 days, a period that included the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the building, the Scholarship Donor Appreciation Luncheon, Reunion 2014, and Crabfest 2014— always a student favorite. Other prominent events included the law school’s hosting of a special sitting of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; an informal address at the monthly faculty luncheon by Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones, Jr., former publisher of the Washington Post and CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, who spoke about his career at the newspaper and the news program; and a discussion with students by Jo Marie St. Martin, General Counsel for the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who spoke about ethics issues faced by members of Congress.


October 2014
“While the fall season is just beginning, we’re already into our seventh week of classes of the 14-week fall semester. Our schedule is in high gear, and we have many interesting events and programs coming up… The Dean discussed a new link from the homepage, “Accolades for CUA Law,” which is a compilation of rankings of various law school metrics. Dean Attridge brought students up to date on developments in faculty scholarship, the 20th anniversary of the dedication of our Law School Building, the 2014 Brendan F. Brown Lecture as delivered by U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, and a Sept. 29 talk at the Law School by 1999 alumnus Daniel Gallagher, now a commissioner with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


September 2014
“Our 2014-15 academic year has just started, and we’re looking forward to a great year...” Dean Attridge welcomed 143 new first-year students to the J.D. program.  The dean also noted the arrival of the Law School’s very first class of five students for its new Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree program, as well as the expansion of its “3/3” program – which allows some students to obtain a bachelor’s and J.D. degrees in six years as opposed to the usual seven years – to two new campuses: Stonehill College in Massachusetts and Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. The dean’s column took note of the retirements of Professor Ellen Scully after 40 years on the faculty, and the departure of Alvita Eason Barrow as Managing Director of the legal clinic. He also outlined upcoming events for the semester, including a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Law School building.  


August 2014
“We’re all set for the start of the 2014-15 academic year.  Our faculty and staff are refreshed from our summer break and ready to go…” Dean Attridge outlined plans for Orientation Week, and congratulated Professor Mark Rienzi for having won a unanimous favorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, a case he argued in person last January. The dean also expressed the law school’s mourning over the recent passing of longtime Distinguished Lecturer Stephen M. Goldman, a highly regarded member of the adjunct faculty.  On a concluding note, he introduced alumna Katie Gamelin Crowley, Class of 2010, who joins the staff as the law school’s Director of Alumni Relations. 


July 2014
“June and July are relatively quiet months in our academic cycle.  We’ve finished the 2013-14 academic year, and preparations are underway for the 2014-15 year…” Dean Attridge discussed the high number of downloads—more than 21,000 so far—of law journal articles accessible through the law school’s new digital online repository,  He mentioned that deposits look promising for the incoming class of 2014, and congratulated Professors Roger Colinvaux and Mary Leary on their recent promotions to Ordinary Professor with attendant tenure. Finally, the dean called attention to the departure of five long-time adjunct or distinguished lecturers who have taught at CUA Law with great distinction for many years.  The groups includes Stephen M. Goldman, Carlos Ortiz-Miranda, Theodore Sky, Judge James P. Timony, and Raymond J. Wyrsch. 


June 2014
“Our academic year comes to a close in May. Our students have now taken their final examinations and turned in their papers.…”  Dean Attridge welcomed the 186 graduates of the Class of 2014 into the family of more than 10,500 CUA Law alumni living all around the world. He also discussed the availability of four tracks, or areas of academic emphasis, within the law school’s new Master of Legal Studies Program. The dean reminded students of the attractiveness of longstanding summer programs such as the International Human Rights Summer Program in Rome, Italy, and the International Business and Trade Summer Law Program in Cracow, Poland, from June 14 to July 16.


May 2014
“Outside, the flowers are in bloom, the grass and new leaves on the trees are bright green, and the waters are flowing again in our courtyard fountain. Inside our building, the academic year is roaring to a close…” Dean Attridge announced the move of all of CUA Law’s legal scholarship to the readily accessible world of digital online publishing. The new online repository is called Scholarship at CUA Law. He also shared the welcome news that 82.7% of the law school’s class of 2013 graduates were employed as of February 15, 2014, (the date that the ABA uses for reporting the data). The dean discussed the scope of recent alumni reunions and events, and mentioned that the 2014 Pope John XXIII Lecture was delivered on April 1 by His Excellency William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore.
April 2014
“Fresh off of our spring break during the week of March 9-15, we are now in the midst of one of the busiest times in our Law School calendar…” the dean tackled the 2015 US News ranking head on, calling the drop “disappointing” but noting that CUA Law’s clinical training in law is ranked at #14 in the country, while the part-time evening J.D. program is ranked at #20. Other surveys, such as one from Forbes magazine, find that the median starting salaries of CUA Law grads are among the highest in the country, and the law school also ranks high on the list of the most associates who made partner last year in the largest law firms. The newsletter also announced some changes in faculty appointments.
March 2014
“Despite the cold temperatures and accompanying precipitation, you, our students, as well as our faculty, staff, and alumni, have been engaged in a whirlwind of activities during the past month.” Dean Attridge brings students up to date on the status of the Master of Legal Studies Program, discusses general enrollment trends, and compliments readers on the fact that more than over 400 CUA Law students worked over 75,000 hours rendering pro bono legal services during the past year. He also noted the collaboration among three students on a special report, “the Constitutionality of Funeral-Picketing Laws Since Snyder v. Phelps,” which was published by the Newseum’s First Amendment Center. The publication is the result of a partnership between the Newseum, a nonpartisan educational and information resource on First Amendment issues, and the Law School.


February 2014

“With our spring semester beginning on January 8, we are already into the full swing of classes, programs, activities, and special events…” Dean Attridge announces a New Master of Legal Studies Program, and discusses Professor Mark Rienzi’s headline-grabbing cases before the Supreme Court. The dean shared some recent media highlights involving faculty members, reviewed sobering application/enrollment numbers, and included an uplifting anecdote about a seriously ill student who nonetheless completed all of his JD requirements and, with a little assistance from Catholic University administrators, was awarded his degree months in advance of May’s commencement ceremony.


January 2014

“We have successfully concluded our fall semester…” Dean Attridge recaps some of the major developments of the just-concluded semester, including the naming of two newly retired professors to Emeritus status, as well as the addition to the law school’s Board of Visitors of two distinguished alumni. The dean congratulated CUA Law alumni on their high proportional representation in the “Super Lawyers” lists, and noted that the law school bucked national trends with an increased enrollment in the fall of 2013. Looking ahead, he previewed upcoming Supreme Court moots that will be hosted by the law school, including for a case that Professor Mark Rienzi will personally argue.

December 2013

“Our busy fall semester is quickly coming to a close…” Dean Attridge summed up a very energetic month: One that included events such as the Law School’s third Faith in Action program, the annual Securities Alumni Luncheon, many job networking events, a “Toast Our Troops” fundraiser, a program on opposition to the death penalty, and a program on the future of the Voting Rights Act. He also discussed employment and salary data for recent graduates, and a Nov. 14 Ecumenical Prayer Gathering held at the Law School. The Dean wished all a Happy Thanksgiving.


> View the December 2013 newsletter 

November 2013

“This past month has been an exciting and energizing one for us at CUA Law…” The dean enumerates the many activities within the law school that always make October one of the busiest months of the year. Among other things, the dean describes the law school’s hosting of a regular sitting by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, a talk for students about clemency from former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich Jr., Reunion Weekend, a Faculty-in-Transition reception, and the conferring of the John Carroll Society Pro Bono Legal Service Award to Professor Michael McGonnigal. 

> View the November 2013 newsletter 

October 2013

“As September draws to a close, the fall semester of 2013 is in full swing at CUA Law…” Dean Attridge summarizes an active month, including a Capitol Hill reception attended by Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ) and Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA), both Law School alumni; an address by SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, Class of 1999, and the debut of the new six part lecture series, “Faith in Action,” which featured remarks by Kevin Ryan, the president of Covenant House and author of the national best-seller Almost Home.

> View the October 2013 newsletter 

September, 2013

“We’re off and running. Our 2013-14 academic year has started…” With the new year comes a new first-year class, described in detail by the dean in this newsletter. He also describes the excellent day of community volunteer service that kick started the semester, and brings reader up to speed on the law school’s new Criminal Defense Clinic.  Dean Attridge also announces his intention to teach Trial Practice this semester, and discusses his ongoing visits with groups of alumni.

> View the September 2013 newsletter 

August, 2013

“Our new 2013-14 academic year will be starting soon…” Dean Attridge brings the CUA Law community up to date on the admissions outlook for the coming year, announces a new Immigration Litigation Clinic, covers some new hires and a very generous alumnus gift, and discusses the visit to the law school in July by telecom regulators and policymakers from around the world. The dean also announced the new chair of the law school’s Board of Visitors.
> View the August 2013 newsletter 


July, 2013

"June is intended to be one of those relatively quiet months in the academic cycle. ..." 
–Dean Attridge reflects on the lessons learned from the past semester and describes plans to move forward for the next one. He discusses the current state of law school admissions, changes among the faculty and staff, a new tenant in the law school building, planned alumni visits, and the tenth anniversary of CUA Law’s LL.M program in Krakow, Poland.
> View the July 2013 newsletter 


May, 2013

"The month of May brings our academic year to a close..." 
– In addition to Commencement 2013, the dean explains new practice-area concentrations and what they mean to future students. He also discusses summer programs, planned upcoming alumni visits, a major gift for a new scholarship, and five faculty members who are moving away from fulltime teaching after many years at CUA Law.
> View the May 2013 newsletter

April, 2013

"April has been an extraordinarily busy month for all of us at CUA Law..." 
– In addition to final exams and graduation plans, the dean writes about some important curriculum changes, Columbus Awards Night, the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research, an update on admissions, and a list of notable recent events.
> View the April 2013 newsletter

March, 2013

"We began March, my second month as the new Dean of the Law School, with spring break -- a tradition in our schedule that everyone seems to relish..." 
– The dean also writes about the law school's rankings, changes to the Dean's List, the National Ethics Trial Competition winners, courses for practitioners, changes to the policy on scholarship renewals, and more.
> View the March 2013 newsletter

February, 2013

"I began my service as the new Dean of the Law School on February 1. It has been a very busy first few weeks..."  Dean Attridge also writes about expanding the Innocence Project Clinic to include applications for clemency, a new joint-degree program, an international trade panel, Justice Antonin Scalia's visit to CUA Law, Former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement's moot court session, and other news.
> View the February 2013 newsletter