A newsletter for the students of the Columbus School of Law - September 2017 Catholic University, Columbus School of Law website Catholic University, Columbus School of Law website

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A letter from Dean Daniel F. Attridge:

Dear CUA Law Students,

We are off to a great start for our 2017-18 academic year.  Orientation for our new students was held from August 16th to 18th, and classes for all students began on August 21st, the same day as  the solar eclipse.  We’re delighted to welcome a new group of students and to welcome back our upper-division students.  This is a brief report on our latest developments and what’s coming up:

1. A New Class of Students.   Our Admissions Office, led by Assistant Dean for Admissions Shani Butts, continues to attract high-quality students to our Law School.  This year we are fortunate to be enrolling 118  new first-year students to our J.D. program.  While this represents a 16% decrease in the size of the 1L class over the past five years, it is comparable to the 17% decrease in the number of applicants to all ABA approved law schools during the same time period.  Fortunately, it appears that the dramatic multi-year decline in applicants to law schools may be coming to an end; applicants to ABA approved schools were up 0.1% this year following a 1% increase last year.

As we are getting to know the new students, we are discovering that our 1L class is yet another remarkable group of future lawyers.  Drawn from a pool of 1,268 applicants, our new 1Ls hold undergraduate degrees from 80 different colleges, and they come to us from 22 different states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries.  57% are women; 43% are men; 28% identify as  minorities; and their average age is 25.   Their median LSAT score is 153, a 1 point decrease from last year, but their median undergraduate GPA is 3.32, a .06 increase from last year.  Of the 118 new 1L students, 81 are enrolled in the full-time, day program, and 37 are enrolled in the part-time, evening program.  We also enrolled 4 visiting and 1 transferring upper-division students for our J.D. program, and 3 new students for our Masters of Legal Studies program.

Orientation events for our new students included an induction ceremony during which Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ’68 of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia administered an oath to our incoming class.  It was an opportunity for the students to reflect upon the important new responsibilities they are undertaking as they begin their journey into the legal profession.  To mark the beginning of our new academic year, many of our new students participated in community volunteer service programs organized by Aoife Delargy, our Pro Bono Coordinator.  Along with members of our faculty and staff, our students fanned out to five nearby locations to lend a helping hand and also assembled supplies to support a back-to-school carnival.  For details and some photos, please click here.

2.  Career Placement. Led by Director Jill Frost, our Office of Career and Professional Development has been busy supporting our students’ and graduates’ efforts to land jobs.  81.9% of our class of 2016 graduates reported having secured employment as of March 15, 2017 (the ABA-required day of data collection).  Another 8.0% of our 2016 graduates are pursuing an additional degree or are otherwise not seeking employment.  57.6% of our class of 2017 graduates reported having secured employment as of Commencement Day last May.  Many of the other 2017 graduates have deferred seeking employment while they focused on preparation for the bar exam in late July.  Looking forward, our OCPD has been hosting employers interested in hiring our students for next summer and post-graduation.

3. Upcoming Events.  Please join us for the following upcoming events:

● On September 8, the Student Bar Association will host a Welcome Back Party and Student Organization Fair.    

● On September 27, the Honorable Thomas B. Griffith, Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will speak on “Lawyers and the Atonement” as part of our Faith in Action series.

● On September 30, the Student Bar Association will host Crabfest on the Law School Lawn.

● On October 11, the Honorable R. Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, will deliver the St. John XXIII Lecture at the Law School.

● On October 20, we are hosting our 3rd Annual Family and Friends Day.  It is a special opportunity, especially for our students’ support networks, to learn about the law school experience, attend a class, and hear about our clemency initiative.

4.  Students, Faculty, and Alumni in the News.  Please continue reading the other sections of this electronic newsletter for news stories about our faculty, students, and alumni.

Thank you for your interest and support. I welcome your comments at attridge@law.edu.

Daniel F. Attridge
Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law

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