A letter from Dean Daniel F. Attridge:
Dear CUA Law Students,
As September draws to a close, the fall semester of 2013 is in full swing at CUA Law. We're already in our sixth week of classes, and our new first-year students have settled in to the rigorous, yet fascinating routine of law school life. The great variety of programs and events in which you, our students, as well as our faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, participate are now well underway. This is a brief report on what's been happening and what's coming up soon:
1. A Career in Public Service: U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa ‘90. On September 20, Senator Jeff Chiesa was the featured speaker at a program sponsored by our Law and Public Policy Program. Directed by Professor Sarah Duggin, the LPP Program is for students interested in careers in the public policy arena working in government, public interest law, politics, advocacy, or in law firms. Senator Chiesa spoke about his distinguished career in public service, which also has included service as the Attorney General for New Jersey, as Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie, as well as positions in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
2. Faith In Action. On September 17, we kicked off our new “Faith in Action” program for first-year and other interested students. Organized under the leadership of Professor Lucia Silecchia, the six-part program is intended to provide a unique opportunity for our students to explore the connections between faith, justice, and service with one another, exchange ideas with guest participants, and participate in some real-world service initiatives in the local community. Kevin Ryan, the president of Covenant House and author of the national best-seller “Almost Home,” was the inaugural speaker for this new initiative. He spoke about his career in the service of vulnerable youth and discussed options available to those who want to help.
3. SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher ’99. Our Securities Law Program, directed by Professor David Lipton, regularly attracts top-notch speakers to campus to address timely corporate and securities law topics. This year is no exception. On September 25, Daniel M. Gallagher, a Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, spoke to the Securities Law Program students and other interested persons about “Proxy Advisors – Their Impact on Corporate Governance and Disclosure.”
In addition, Professor Lipton reports that 100% of the eight graduates of the class of 2013 Securities Law Program have already secured employment. This is the third year in a row in which all of the Program's graduates have landed jobs by the end of the summer following their graduation.
4. Faculty Promotion: Laurie Lewis. At CUA, getting promoted is no easy task for any faculty member. Just ask Laurie Lewis, a core member of our Lawyering Skills Program. To move up from Clinical Assistant Professor to Clinical Associate Professor, Laurie Lewis’s application was first reviewed and approved by our Faculty’s Committee on Appointments and Promotions, then by our full Faculty and our Dean, before proceeding for further scrutiny by the University’s Committee on Appointments and Promotions, and then by the University Academic Senate. At every level, her reviewers were favorably impressed by her teaching, scholarship, and service. Subject to CUA President John Garvey’s approval, which is expected, Laurie Lewis will soon hold the rank of Clinical Associate Professor. Congratulations!
5. CUA Law Advantage. We use the phrase “CUA Law Advantage” to refer to some of the many ways in which our students gain an advantage from attending our Law School. One such way is our alumni/student mentoring program that connects alumni with current students, providing them with a source of assistance and counsel throughout the law school experience. Interested students can sign up by clicking here. But the CUA Law Advantage also includes much more. For example, to give our upper-level students a jump start on their bar exam preparation, Professor William Wagner is offering an eight-hour Constitutional Law review program on four Saturdays this fall. Attendance is voluntary, but all who participate will be glad they did.
6. Alumni Events: U.S. Senators Bob Casey ’88 and Jeff Chiesa ’90 on Capitol Hill. We had a fantastic turnout for an alumni event that we hosted at the U.S. Senate Russell Office Building on September 17. Two current United States Senators, Bob Casey from Pennsylvania and Jeff Chiesa from New Jersey, both proud graduates of CUA Law, joined other alumni and friends in welcoming the new Dean for a Capitol Hill reception. Both Senators spoke passionately about how important the experiences they gained at CUA Law were to the formation of the values on which they have built their careers.
Atlanta and Annapolis. We also had strong showings of alumni at two other receptions. One was held in Atlanta on September 4. My sister Deirdre and her husband Dave, both new donors with no prior connection to CUA, attended this event, eagerly urging everyone to support their favorite law school dean. The other alumni event was held at my home in Annapolis on September 19. Without any prompting, the alumni in attendance gave my wife Missy a well-deserved round of applause for her enthusiastic support for CUA Law.
Job Placement. At these and other alumni gatherings, I frequently speak about one of our priorities – supporting our students and alumni with job placement. As part of this pitch, I sometimes ask any alumni in attendance who may be looking for employment to raise their hands and ask others if they can help out with advice or referrals. This request for networking assistance is yielding results. On several occasions, our recent graduates have reported back to us that not only did they make connections by meeting other alumni at these events, but also that these contacts have led to job opportunities. We are pleased that our alumni events are contributing to the success of our graduates’ careers.
7. Faculty Tribute Reception on October 20. Five distinguished members of our full-time Faculty, along with three of our long-time Distinguished Lecturers, have made major career changes during the past academic year. We are planning a reception on October 20 to mark these transitions in status.
• Professor Ralph Rohner joined our Faculty in 1964, and he served as Dean from 1987 to 1995, during which time he oversaw the design and construction of our Law School building. He is an expert in the areas of commercial and consumer law. He also served as our Acting Executive Director of Development. Now that he has retired, our Faculty has recommended to the Board of Trustees that he be awarded the title of Professor Emeritus. He also has been named to our Board of Visitors.
• Professor Leah Wortham joined our Faculty in 1981. She is an expert in the areas of externship clinical programs and legal education reform. She has retired from the Faculty and been awarded the title of Professor Emerita. She will continue to serve as the Director of our American Law Program in Cracow, Poland.
• Professor Stephen Margeton joined our Faculty in 1988. He served as the Director of our Law Library. He is an expert in the areas of law libraries and design, as well as legal research. Now that he has retired, our Faculty has recommended that he be awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.
• Professor Karla Simon joined our Faculty in 1989. She is an expert in the areas of international human rights, not-for-profit law, and Asian law. She has retired from full-time teaching and has assumed the status of Research Professor.
• Professor George Garvey joined our Faculty in 1978. He is an expert in the areas of economic regulation and Catholic social thought. He has served the Law School in many capacities, including most recently as Acting Dean and then as Vice Dean. He has returned to full-time teaching.
• In addition to these changes, three of our Distinguished Lecturers have retired from their positions at CUA Law. Retired Chief Judge Fred B. Ugast, of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, served as a Judge-in-Residence at CUA Law beginning in 1994. Retired Judge Sylvia Bacon, also of the Superior Court, served as a Distinguished Lecturer at the Law School beginning in 1993. Senior Judge Loren A. Smith, of the United States Court of Federal Claims, served as a Distinguished Lecturer beginning in 1996.
8. Interesting Events. This past month has included a wealth of other interesting events and programs:
• To mark the beginning of the academic year, the University community gathered for the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, adjacent to the CUA campus. Donald Cardinal Wuerhl, CUA’s Chancellor, served as the celebrant and homilist.
• Professor Lisa Everhart led a program on “Plagiarism: How to Avoid It” for first-year students. This is just one aspect of the strong ethical grounding we offer our students as part of their legal education.
• The Women’s Law Caucus sponsored a program on “Women as Leaders: Negotiating Skills for Success,” led by Cait T. Clarke ’86, Marianne Casserly ’00, and Dree K. Collopy ’07. All who attended, even the male dean, gained a better understanding of how to negotiate more effectively.
Thank you for your interest. I welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel F. Attridge
Dean and Professor of Law