The Catholic University of America



Maya Noronha Delivers Faith in Action talk on
How I Became a Civil Rights Lawyer in the Federal Government

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The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law’s first Faith In Action event of the semester featured Maya Noronha, Senior Advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services, who gave a talk entitled “How I Became a Civil Rights Lawyer in the Federal Government.”

During the September 11 event, Noronha shared her personal career path, and provided tips for how law students can start to pursue careers in conscience, religious freedom, and civil rights.

“The Faith and Action series addresses the myth that you have to check your faith when you enter the legal profession. I want to show you, through my career path, that this does not have to be the case,” Noronha said.

Noronha also discussed how she got her start in law school by publishing a law journal note about a health care conscience regulation. “I highly recommend joining a law journal while in law school…this was a good opportunity to get involved in religious liberty law while still in school,” Noronha, who is currently proposing reforms to the same regulation, said.

Finally, Noronha told students that they have the opportunity to express their religious beliefs throughout their careers. “I encourage you to get excited about religious liberty and conscious law. I am an example that you can express your beliefs in the workplace, and you can let your faith guide the direction of your work,” Noronha said.

Prior to government service, Noronha practiced civil rights law at Baker & Hostetler LLP and worked on civil justice reform policy at a variety of non-profit organizations. She is a graduate of Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences and Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and District of Columbia.

Students interested in learning more about religious freedom opportunities should contact Professor Harmon for a resource sheet.