A letter from Dean Daniel F. Attridge:
Dear CUA Law Students,
I began my service as the new Dean of the Law School on February 1. It has been a very busy first few weeks, but I am enjoying the transition from over three decades in private practice to the strong academic community at CUA Law. This is a brief report on some of our ongoing activities, all of which share a common theme: we are moving forward with highly collaborative efforts to provide a first-rate, practice-ready education for you, our students.
1. CUA Law/Ehrlich Clemency Project. While serving the State of Maryland, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. developed an innovative approach to executive clemency, standardizing the process and providing intensive rehabilitative services to those who were granted pardons or whose sentences were commuted. To carry this work forward, we have just entered into a partnership with the Governor on executive clemency.
Under the leadership of Professors Sandy Ogilvy and Cara Drinan, we will expand the scope of our existing Innocence Project Clinic to include pardon applications prepared by our students; we will conduct a training program for newly elected state executives or their chiefs of staff; and we will provide a venue for educational and advocacy programs on executive clemency. For his part, Governor Ehrlich will arrange for donations to underwrite the costs of the collaborative project; he will be present at key events, including two held this month; and he will assist CUA Law in promoting the project through his network of contacts. This is a splendid example of how our cooperative efforts can directly benefit our institution, students, and mission to serve the public.
2. Joint Programs with CUA's New Business School. Last month Catholic University President John Garvey announced the establishment of a new School of Business and Economics at CUA. We immediately began discussions with the new Dean of the Business School, Dr. Andrew Abela, about ways that the two schools might work together to benefit our students. While details remain to be finalized and approvals need to be obtained, we anticipate that we will be able to offer a joint degree program next fall, along with opportunities for students from our respective schools to take courses in each other's schools. This is just the beginning of what we expect will be a mutually beneficial partnership for our students.
3. International Trade Panel and Reception at the Polish Embassy. We have had a strong partnership with Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland for over 20 years. Led by Professor Rett Ludwikowski, CUA Law offers a summer international trade and business program, a school of American law, and an LL.M. program. These programs prepare our students and their foreign counterparts for the demands of a modern international practice, where multi-cultural knowledge, skills, and experience will be paramount.
To commemorate the 22nd year of our international program, we held an event at the Polish Embassy in Washington. There Catholic University Provost James Brennan (who, by the way, speaks Polish) kicked off the evening, which featured a discussion of key legal, political, and economic issues led by a panel of leading international trade experts. The discussion was followed by a reception that provided a significant networking opportunity for students participating in our international programs, along with the Embassy’s finest food and drink.
4. Justice Scalia's Visit to CUA Law. Justice Antonin Scalia recently visited campus as a guest lecturer in Professor Marshall Breger's Constitutional Law class. These students learned first-hand from the Justice about some of the important Constitutional issues they are studying this semester. After class, several students had a unique opportunity to have an informal dinner with the Justice. This is a concrete example of why CUA in Washington, DC, is a great place to study law.
5. Supreme Court Moot Court. Former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement recently used the Slowinski Courtroom at CUA Law to prepare for his upcoming oral argument before the Supreme Court. The case involves complex issues concerning arbitration, federal claims, and class actions. Organized by Associate Dean Suzette Malveaux, a panel of experts grilled General Clement with tough questions and then offered him candid strategic advice. An eager audience of students (and some faculty) observed the real-world preparation and also had a chance to ask questions, all under a promise of strict confidentiality.
6. Alumni Visits/Job Placement. I have visited groups of our alumni at the Federal Communications Commission, Akin Gump, and Hogan Lovells so far, and more visits are planned. I tell them that one of my priorities as Dean is job placement for our students. This involves three separate, but interrelated areas: (1) externships for current students for academic credit, (2) paid internships or temporary positions, and, of course, (3) post-graduate jobs for graduating students. Our alumni understand that, unlike some other schools, we are training our students to be practice-ready. In my visits with alumni, and in my recent newsletter to them, I am asking for their assistance in in helping you, our students, to identify these opportunities by contacting our OCPD at email@example.com.
7. CUA Law Advantage. We recently began a web-based program to connect you, our students, with our alumni. Students may sign up to get in touch with our alumni who will serve as your mentors or informational advisors. Perhaps you would like to conduct a mock interview, discuss clerkship opportunities, or learn about practice areas. You may do so by completing the form at law.edu/meetalumniform.cfm. So far over 175 alumni have signed up to help you.
8. Recruiting Potential Students. Our alumni, faculty, and friends have been very active in helping us identify and recruit potential students. You, too, can help. Surely you know of talented individuals who could benefit from all the opportunities that CUA Law has to offer. If so, urge them to apply or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your help.
I am interested in your thoughts about your experience at CUA Law. I welcome your comments at email@example.com.
Daniel F. Attridge
Dean and Professor of Law