The Catholic University of America

Faith MullenFaith Mullen teaches in the General Practice Clinic, where she supervises students in the practice of law. Under her guidance students represent low-income individuals in housing, public benefits, consumer, employment, and probate cases. 

Faith Mullen became a part of the CUA clinical community beginning when she was hired as a summer intern more than 25 years ago, an experience that ignited a passionate interest in the problems facing low-income residents of the District of Columbia. Her experiences that summer prompted her to take a job with D.C.'s Legal Aid Society after she graduated from the Columbus School of Law. There, she represented low-income clients in public benefit and family law cases. In 1987, she joined AARP's Legal Counsel for the Elderly. During her seven years there as a staff attorney, she represented clients in housing, consumer, public benefit, conservatorship, probate, and nursing home cases. Professor Mullen left that position to take a job as a senior policy advisor within AARP, where she researched and wrote about federal poverty programs, including the effect of welfare reform on grandparent-headed households and how Medicaid policy affects nursing home residents. In 2000, Professor Mullen started working with the Columbus Community Legal Services part time, returning full time in March 2004.
Professor Mullen also teaches negotiation for lawyers at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, as part of The American Law Program.
She has a strong interest in access to justice. Starting in 2006, students working under her supervision have had the opportunity to staff the Small Claims Resource Center, one of the first court-annexed resource centers at the District of Columbia Superior Court.   In 2009, she was named one of four national Bellow Scholars for her work on improving access to justice at the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings.    


Research and Writing


The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data: Teaching Law Students Basic Survey Methodology to Improve Access to Justice in Unemployment Insurance Appeals, 16 UDC/DCSL L. Rev. 17 (2012), (with Enrique Pumar, Ph.D.)
Telling Tales in School: The Use of Storytelling to Improve Performance in Clinical Legal Settings, 18 Clinical L. Rev. 1 (December 2011), (with Jo A. Tyler, Ph.D.)
The State Role in Paying for Nursing Home Care: Paying the Piper, Calling the Tune, AARP State Affairs, 2002
The Effect of State TANF Choices on Grandparent-Headed Households, AARP Public Policy Institute (2000), (with Monique Einhorn)
Grandparents and Welfare Reform, in To Grandmother’s House We Go and Stay: Perspectives on Custodial Grandparents (Carol B. Cox, ed., 2000)
Grandparents Rearing Grandchildren and Public Benefits, Family Futures (Winter 1998)
Questions and Answers on Estate Recovery, AARP Public Policy Institute (1997)
Welcome to Procrustes’ House: A Look at Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Welfare Reform, Clearinghouse Review (September 1996)
Grandparents, Grandchildren, and Welfare Reform, Generations (April 1996)
A Tangled Web: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Public Benefits, AARP Public Policy Institute (1995)

Selected Presentations:
Learning about Community Need from and with Community Members, 2014 Annual Conference National Legal Aid and Defender Association Conference (November 2014) (With Hannah Lieberman, Kristi Mathews, and Brandon Edmisten)

Crowd Sourcing for Justice, Bringing Outside In Conference, Philadelphia, PA (June 2014)
The Plural of Anecdote is not Data: Teaching Law Students to Conduct Empirical Research on Behalf of Community Partners, 28th Annual Midwest Clinical Conference, Minneapolis, MN (November 2013)

The Alchemy of Story: Using Story to Assess Community Needs and Transform Strategic Planning, Applied Legal Storytelling Conference, London, UK (July 2013)
Story-Telling & Lawyering: Changing the Narrative in Child Welfare, Plenary Address, National Association of Counsel for Children 35th National Child Welfare, Juvenile, and Family Law Conference, Chicago, IL (August 2012)(with Matthew Fraidin)
Teaching Clinical Students to Conduct Right-Sized Empirical Research on Behalf of Community Partners, 10th International Clinical Legal Education Conference, Durham, UK (July 2012)
Improving Access to Justice at the Office of Administrative Hearings, Fourth Annual Bellow Scholars Workshop, Washington, DC (November 2010)
The Bellow Project at OAH: Insights from Two Years’ Work, Presentation to Administrative Law Judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (November 2010)
Background Considerations for an OAH Resource Center, Presentation to the Chief Administrative Law Judge and General Counsel of the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (November 2010)
Customer Service to Support Access to Justice, Workshop for Legal Assistants at the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (October 2010)
Working with Self-Represented Litigants, Keynote Address to the District of Columbia Association of Administrative Law Judiciary, Washington, DC (September 2010)
Lessons Learned: A Bellow Scholar Update, AALS Clinical Conference, Baltimore, MD (May 2010)
Uses and Abuses of Advance Directives, DC Office of Aging Adult Abuse Prevention Conference, Washington, DC (April 2010)
OAH and Self-Represented Parties: Department of Public Works, a Facilitated Community Forum, the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (March 2010)
Introduction to Intervention Proceedings, Second Annual Guardianship Conference, Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC (March 2010)
Advanced Planning: What if You Get Sick, Program for Grandparent-headed Households, Sponsored by the District of Columbia Grandparent Caregiver Program, Washington, DC (November 2009)
Getting Your Stuff Together: Wills, Advance Directives, and Adult Guardianship Considerations for Volunteers, Panel Discussion as part of National Pro Bono Week at AARP National Headquarters, Washington, DC (October 2009)
OAH and Self-Represented Parties: Shelter and Public Benefits, a Facilitated Community Forum, the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (October 2009)
Confidentiality and Client Loyalty, New Attorney Orientation and Training, DC Consortium of Legal Service Providers, Washington, DC (October 2009)
OAH and Self-Represented Parties: Rental Housing, a facilitated community forum, the Office of Administrative Hearings, Washington, DC (July 2009)
Community Interventions with Older Adults Who Hoard,National Council on Aging, Aging in America Conference, Las Vegas, NV (March 2009) (with Barbara A. Soniat, MSW, Ph.D.)
Access to Justice, a Court, Bar, Clinic Collaboration, Midwest Clinical Conference, Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington, IN (November 2008)
Poverty, Families, and Policy: One Family's Story, Catholic University of America Department of Sociology, Washington, DC (April 2008)
Using Story to Improve Clinical Performance, Once Upon a Legal Time: Developing the Skills of Storytelling in Law, London, UK (July 2007)
Alternatives to Guardianship, Adult Protective Services, Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC (June 2007)
Challenging Student Assumptions about Legal Ethics, AALS Clinical Conference, New Orleans, LA (May 2007)
Ethical Issues in Representing the Elderly, National Pension Rights Center, Washington, DC (October 2006)
Legal Ethics for Legal Secretaries, Legal Secretaries of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC (May 2006)
Storytelling for Meaning Making and Pedagogical Improvement, Poster Presentation at AALS Clinical Conference, New York, NY (April 2006)
Lobbying for Nursing Home Quality, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Bethesda, MD (March 2006)

Bar Association and Pro Bono Training Presentations:

Neighborhood Legal Services Program and US Department of Justice Pro Bono Will Training, Washington, DC (2010, 2011, 2013)
Advance Directives, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Training on Wills & Advance Directives (2006-2010, 2013)
Guardianship Assistance Program, 4th Annual Conference, The Catholic University of America. (March 2012)
Faculty Chair, Child Custody Training, D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, Washington, DC (April 2008, April 2009)
Faculty Chair: Pro Bono Child Custody Training, D.C. Bar Family Law Section Program, Washington, DC (June 2007, June 2008)
Pro Bono Hospice Advance Directive Training, Neighborhood Legal Services (Spring 2008) 
Community Forum on Developing Comprehensive Community Responses to Compulsive Hoarding in the District of Columbia, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (June 2007). 

Collaborated with colleagues from the CUA National Catholic School of Social Service and District of Columbia Office on Aging to host annual joint law and social work conference held at the Columbus School of Law
  • June 2014: Reaching Out to Protect Vulnerable Seniors
  • June 2013: Ethical Standards and Boundary Issues: Working with Vulnerable Seniors
  • June 2012: The Financial Exploitation of Our Elder and Vulnerable Populations
  •  June 2011: Elder Abuse: Self Neglect and Mental Illness
  • June 2010: Financial Exploitation is Elder Abuse
  • June 2009: Compulsive Hoarding: Legal, Ethical, and Psychosocial Interventions
  • June 2008: Multi-Cultural Perspectives on Aging, Abuse, and Culturally Sensitive Intervention
  • June 2007: Protective Arrangements Evaluation Panel: How it Can Help You Help Your Clients
Member, Steering Committee, Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section, District of Columbia Bar (2012-present)
Pro bono volunteer, Small Claims Resource Center, Superior Court of the District of Columbia (2007-present)
Co-Chair, Clinical Ethics Committee, AALS Section on Clinical Education (2006-2012)
Member, Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee, District of Columbia Bar (2006-2012)
Member, Washington Council of Lawyers
Awards and grants:
Bellow Scholar, selected as one of four national Bellow Scholars by the AALS Clinical Section’s Committee on Lawyering in the Public Interest (2009-2011)
Frederick B. Abramson Award for study of the D.C. Rules governing interest on lawyers’ trust accounts. This award recognized the work of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee and is given in recognition of “the most significant contribution made in the past year to the Bar and its individual members.” (2010)
Borchard Foundation Center Grant: Community Interventions with Elderly Hoarders: Legal, Ethical & Mental Health, in collaboration with the CUA National Catholic School of Social Service (2008)


In Her Words ...


“I think it is essential for law students to have opportunities to practice legal skills and exercise professional judgment before they graduate. I love working with students as they represent real clients in real cases. Clinic helps turn law students into lawyers, and it is a privilege to foster that transformation.” 


– Faith Mullen



Office: 154 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-6613



  • General Practice Clinic


Columbus School of Law,

The Catholic University of America
The University of Wyoming


Areas of Expertise

  • Elder Law
  • Public Benefits 
  • Medicaid Policy 
  • Access to Justice
  • For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.



  • Policy Analyst and Senior Policy Advisor, Public Policy Institute, AARP, 1994-2004 
  • Staff Attorney, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, 1987-1994 
  • Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, 1984-1987