The Catholic University of America

Catherine F. Klein

Catherine F. Klein is the Director of Columbus Community Legal Services, the law school’s highly regarded in-house clinical program. Professor Klein co-directs the Families and the Law Clinic, one of the first law school clinical programs in the United States designed to address domestic violence through individual representation, community outreach and education and legislative advocacy.

At Columbus Community Legal Services, Professor Klein teaches and supervises in the holistic representation of clients in a variety of family law cases including emergency domestic violence remedies, complex domestic relations cases involving domestic violence, and immigration. Professor Klein conducts classes on substantive law and procedure topics related to the clinic’s practice and rules of professional responsibility. Professor Klein also supervises students involved in community outreach and legal education projects that serve the Washington, DC community.

Additionally, Professor Klein works in cooperation with other community advocates for systemic changes to improve the delivery of services and legal remedies available to domestic violence victims. She helped create curricula for educating police officers and judges about domestic violence, as well as conducted numerous training sessions on domestic violence for police, judges, lawyers and other national and international groups. Professor Klein has written numerous articles on domestic violence, family law and clinical education.

While at The Columbus School of Law, Professor Klein has served as an advisor to faculty and students at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. With support from the Ford Foundation, Professor Klein and Professor Leah Wortham have assisted the faculty at Jagiellonian to establish the first legal clinics in Poland. JU's innovative programs serve as a model for other schools in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe. Professor Klein's work was recognized in Jagiellonian's award of its Merentibus Medal to CUA in June 2008. Professor Klein has also served as a volunteer trainer and mentor for law professors and lawyers in many countries, including Eastern and Central Europe and the Middle East.

Professor Klein has helped design and has participated in numerous local, national and international conferences, colloquia, and workshops on legal education, professional responsibility, human rights and violence against women. Since 2004, Professor Klein has served as a member of the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Steering Committee.  She has participated in the GAJE worldwide conferences in Trivandrum, India, Durban, South Africa, Krakow, Poland, Cordoba, Argentina, Manila, The Philippines, Valencia, Spain and Delhi, India. Professor Klein was Co-Chair of the GAJE North American Regional Conference in New York City in May 2006 and helped plan a GAJE Regional CLE conference in Jordan in 2012. She served as Chair of the Planning Committee for the GAJE Delhi conference in 2013.  Professor Klein also remains active in the Clinical Section of the American Association of Law Schools.


J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law (Order of the Coif)
B.A., Philosophy, Northwestern University (Phi Beta Kappa)


Professor Klein has received several awards for outstanding community service in the area of domestic violence, including the Watts Empowerment Award from WEAVE in 2008 and the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence Public Service Award in 1989 and 1994.

Jagiellonian University's Merentibus Medal to CUA recognizes Klein's contribution to developing JU's clinical program (2008)       


Research and Writing

Select Publications

Autonomy-Mastery-Purpose: Structuring Clinical Courses to Enhance These Critical Educational Goals, (with Leah Wortham and Beryl Blaustone) 18 Int’l J. of Clinical Legal Education (2012).

Teaching Social Justice Lawyering: Systematically Including Community Legal Education In Law School Clinics, (with Margaret Martin Barry, Lisa V. Martin, A. Rachel Camp and Margaret E. Johnson) 18 Clinical L. Rev. 401 (2012).

Domestic Violence Section in District of Columbia Practice Manual, 20th edition (2011) (with Deborah Epstein and Lisa Martin).

Foundations of Modern Clinical Legal Education: Perspectives from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States,” (with Roger Burridge, Shelley Gavigan and Jeff Giddings), Chapter One, The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice, Frank Bloch, Editor, Oxford Press (2010).

Justice Education and the Evaluation Process: Crossing Boarders, 28 Wash. U. J. Law and Policy 195 (2008) (with Margaret Martin Barry, Martin Geer, Ved Kumari).

Border Crossings: Understanding the Civil, Criminal and Immigration Implications for Battered Women Fleeing Across State Lines With Their Children, Family Law Quarterly, Vol.39, No.1 Spring 2005 (with Lesley E. Orloff and Hema Sarangapani).

The Implications of the Hague International Child Abduction Convention: Cases and Practice (with Leslye Orloff, Laura Martinez, Jennifer Rose and Joyce Noche) in Breaking Barriers: A Complete Guide to Legal Rights and Resources for Battered Women (2005).


"Legal Clinics and University Mission" (with Leah Wortham) in Studencka Poradnia Prawna: Idea, Organizacja, Metodologia 16 (2005) (Dariusz Zomowski ed.). This is a book sponsored by the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation (Fundacja Uniwersytechkich Poradni Prawnych) and published by C. H. Beck Publishing. An English translation is available at


Early Interventions: Domestic Violence Education for Teens in Creative Child Advocacy: Global Perspectives, Sage-India (summer 2004) (with Margaret Martin Barry and Leigh Goodmark).

Deconstructing Teresa O'Brien: A Role Play For Domestic Violence Clinics, 23 St. Louis Univ. Pub. L. Rev. 253 (2004) (with Leigh Goodmark); also another version was published in Klinika (4)1 2004 (Polish Legal Clinics Journal).

Civil Protection Orders, in The Impact of Domestic Violence On Your Practice 2nd Edition, American Bar Association (2004) (with Leslye E. Orloff).

A Enforcement of Civil Protection Orders, in The Impact of Domestic Violence On Your Practice 2nd Edition, American Bar Association (2004) (with Leslye E. Orloff).

A International Kidnapping Prevention and The Hague Convention, in The Impact of Domestic Violence On Your Practice 2nd Edition, American Bar Association (2004) (with Leslye E. Orloff).

A Teen Dating Violence, in The Impact of Domestic Violence On Your Practice 2nd Edition, American Bar Association (2004) (with Karen Cunningham).

Clinical Education and University Mission, Chapter in Manual on Clinical Education published by Polish Legal Clinics Foundation (2003)(with Leah Wortham).

Protecting Battered Women: Latest Trends in Civil Legal Relief, Vol.10 Women & Criminal Justice 29 (1999);co-published simultaneously: Catherine F. Klein and Leslye E. Orloff, Protecting Battered Women: Latest Trends in Civil Legal Relief, in Women and Domestic Violence, Lynette Feder, editor, Haworth Press, New York (1999) (with Leslye E. Orloff).

With No Place To Turn: Improving Legal Advocacy for Battered Immigrant Women, 29 Family L. Q. 313 (1995) (with Leslye E. Orloff and Deeana Jang).

Representing A Victim Of Domestic Violence, 17 Family Advocate 25 (ABA 1995) (with Leslye E. Orloff).

Coordinating Family Violence Cases: A Suggested Approach, Juvenile and Family Justice Today, Vol.1, No. 4 (Winter 1993).

Providing Legal Protection for Battered Women: An Analysis of State Statutes and Case Law, 21 Hofstra L. Rev. 801 (1993) (with Leslye E. Orloff) (400 page analysis of all state law statutes and published case law).

Interspousal Torts, Chapter 9, Domestic Violence Cases in Civil Court: A National Model For Judicial Education, Family Violence Prevention Fund, San Francisco (1992).

Domestic Violence: The District of Columbia’s New Mandatory Arrest Law, The Washington Lawyer (DC Bar Nov/Dec 1991).

Family Violence: Creating a Coordinated Court Response, an article written on behalf of the American Bar Association for the National Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges, Reno, Nevada (1991).

Of Counsel, Amicus Brief Before the United States Supreme Court, United States v. Foster,
No.91-1231 (1992) (double jeopardy issues raised in domestic violence case).

Know Your Rights: A Guide to Legal Remedies For Domestic Violence, Women's Legal Defense Fund, 1990 (With Berenson, Thomas and Orloff).

Select Presentations  

Keynote speaker, Common Ground Conference (11th International Journal of Legal Education Conference and 12th Australian Clinical Legal Education Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, July 16-18, 2013.
Presenter, “Clinical Legal Education: Methods and Goals,” Second Middle East Regional Symposium on Clinical Legal Education: Developing Clinical Programs and Expanding Access to Justice, Doha, Qatar, March 16-17, 2013.
Keynote speaker, “The Many Dimensions of David McQuoid-Mason,” Conference on Law and Access to Justice, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, December 10-12, 2012.

Ethics Teaching in Legal Clinics, at Development and New Trends in Legal Education (Meeting of Polish Law School Deans, XVIII National Polish Legal Clinics Conference, Central & Eastern Regional GAJE) Szczecin and Swinoujscie, September 13 – 16, 2012

Keynote Speaker, Getting From Here to There: Identifying Goals and Finding Joy in Our Journey and Enhancing Sustainability in Clinical Programs, Conference on Complex Law Teaching: Knowledge, Skills & Values, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. September 10-12, 2012.

Keynote Speaker,Teaching Students to Minimize Vicarious Trauma and Manage Stress Effectively: An International Perspective, 10th International Clinical Legal Education Conference, Durham, UK, July 10-13, 2012.

Speaker and co-organizer: Middle East Regional Colloquium on Clinical Legal Education: Developing Clinical Programs and Expanding Access to Justice, Amman, Jordan, May 27-28, 2012. Presentations: Beyond Individual Client Representation: The Advocacy Role of Legal Clinics; and Clinical Legal Education Methodologies: Demonstration and Discussion.

Challenges of Clinical Legal Education in a Mixed Jurisdiction: McGill University in Quebec as a Case Study at Mixed Legal Systems, East and West:  Newest Trends and Developments, Valletta, Malta, May 14-15, 2012.

Concurrent presentation, American Association of Law Schools Clinical Conference, Teaching Students to Manage Stress Effectively and Minimize Vicarious Trauma, Los Angeles, CA, May 2, 2012.

Strengthening the Field Placement Experience in Law Schools Around the Globe, Externship            Conference, Northeastern and Harvard Universities, Boston, MA, March 3, 2012

Participant, 2nd Doha Forum on Combating Human Trafficking co-sponsored by the Qatar Foundation and the Arab League, in Doha, Qatar, January 16-17, 2012.

National Legal Aid and Defenders (NLADA) Conference, Working With The Court:  Models From the District of Columbia Experience in Developing Solutions for the Unrepresented Litigant; The Power of Collaboration: How Civil Legal Services Lawyers, Public Defenders and the Private Bar Work Together in the District of Columbia To Get Things Done, Washington, DC, December 9, 2011. 

Comparative Models of Clinical Legal Education Conference: An Interactive Demonstration, United Arab Emirates University Al-Ain, UAE, October 31, 2011.

Pearls and Swords: Developing Clinical Law and Pro Bono Programs in the Middle East and Gulf Regions, International Bar Association Conference, Dubai, UAE, November 1, 2011.

Presentation, Clinical Law Review Writers Workshop, New York University Law School, New York, NY, October 1, 2011.

Comparative Case Studies in Divorce Law: Enhancing Access to Justice for Women and Advancing Legal Reform, Istanbul, Turkey, September 17-18, 2011.

A Model Law on Child Protection—Case Studies and Best Practices, Istanbul, Turkey, September 19-20, 2011.

Conference Planning Committee and Program Committee for 6th Worldwide Conference Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE), Valencia and 9th International Journal of Clinical Education Conference, Valencia, Spain, July 11-16, 2011.  Presenter: Mainstreaming Human Rights in the Law School Curriculum and The Centrality of Relationships in Clinical Supervision and Lawyering. 

Understanding Content and Context: The Importance of Relationships in Clinical Legal Education and Supervision, American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, Seattle, Washington, June 12-16, 2011.

Presentation: Teaching Social Justice Lawyering Through Community Education: Expanding the Vision of Clinical Legal Education, Society of American Law Teachers Conference, Honolulu, HI, December 10, 2010.

New Strategies in Community Legal Education, UCLA/University of London 7th International Law Conference, Lake Arrowhead, CA, November 6, 2010.

Presentation, Evaluation of Students Performance in Legal Clinic, with Prof. Deborah Epstein (GULC), AALS New Clinical Teachers Conference, Washington, DC, June 18-19, 2010.

Legal Education Consultant and Workshop Leader, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt.  Conducted orientation session for clinic students of newly-developed clinical program on the protection of women and children in Alexandria, Egypt, March 2010.  Gave presentation on Clinical Legal Education and its Relationship to Access to Justice, at annual conference of Egyptian law deans and faculty, Alexandria, Egypt, March 2010.

Consultant, Promoting Sustainable Reform of Higher Legal Education Reform, a grant from the Higher Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute to the Public Interest Law Initiative. Consulted on project design and funding criteria for proposals from the six law schools involved in the project. Attended and made presentations at annual meetings in Budapest (2007), Kiev (2008), Budapest (2009). One week site visit (December 2007) to the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic.

Presentation: Designing Legal Education in the Public Interest, with Prof. Aiken (GULC), Public Interest Law Initiative 3rd Annual Meeting, Budapest, Hungary, March 18-20, 2009.

Presentation, Encouraging Self-Assessment: The Essential Skill, Legal Education at the Crossroads v. 3: Assessment Conference, Denver, CO, Sept, 12, 2009.

Planning Committee, Global Alliance for Education (GAJE) 5th Worldwide Conference, Justice Education in a Community Context, December 7-13, 2008, Manila, Philippines; Co-convener of the Program Selection Committee;  member Legal Structure Committee working with pro bono counsel on issues to do with organizational structure; member of the nomination committee; Organizer and Co-Presenter of several workshops at this conference: Teaching Legal Ethics in a Corrupt Legal System- a 2 part workshop; Community-based Legal Empowerment & Access to Justice for Women in Transitional Societies: Iran as a Case Study History of Clinical Education at Clinical Roundtable; and Facilitator, Regional Roundtable Discussions.

AALS Presentations: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Finding Common Ground Between Domestic Violence and Criminal Defense Clinics; and Directing? You Must Be Kidding: Leading a Clinic in Academia, American Association of Law School’s Conference on Clinical Education, Tucson, AZ, May 2008.

Presentation: Effective Law Teaching: Teaching Critical Thinking and Integrating Doctrine, Skills and Ethics, with Prof. Aiken (GULC), Public Interest Law Initiative 2nd Annual Meeting: Promoting Sustainable Reform of Higher Education, Kiev, Ukraine, May 14-16, 2008.

Presentations: Constructing a Clinic: Some Critical Suggestion and Experience of Establishing One of the First Domestic Violence Clinics in the United States, Clinical Legal Education Workshop: International and Comparative Models, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2-7, 2008

Presentation: International Collaboration:The CUA – Jagiellonian University Experience, International Conference on the Future of Legal Education, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, Georgia, February 20-24, 2008.

Presentations / PILI (now PILnet) consultant: Writing a Text Book, Interactive Teaching Methods for the Classroom, individual consultations, American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, November 30—December 5, 2007

AALS New Teachers Conference: Presentation on What Do We Teach with Profs. Jane Aiken (GULC) and Jon Dubin (Rutgers), small group leader, Washington, DC, June 24-25, 2006

Co-Chair of Conference Planning Committee, Regional North American Conference of Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE), Fordham University School of Law, New York, NY, May 3-4, 2006.   Moderator: Session on Developing Methodology to Teach Legal Ethics and Justice.

Plenary Presentation on Making International Cooperation a Two-Way Exchange: Learning With Our Partners, AALS Clinical Education Conference, April 30-May 3, 2006, New York City, New York.

Presentation: Clinical Law Review’s Writers’ Workshop, New York University, on the experience of creating a domestic violence simulation comparing the trial of the same case in the Polish civil law and American common law systems (with Prof. Barbara Schatz (Columbia), Leah Wortham (Catholic) and Barbara Lyszczarz  (Jagiellonian Univ./ Kozminski Law School, Poland), April 29, 2006.

Presentation: Justice Education and the Evaluation Process, UCLA/ University of London, Sixth International Conference - Enriching Clinical Education, Lake Arrowhead Conference Center/UCLA, October 27-30, 2005.

International Comparative Simulation on the Trial Process: Organized and lead (w/ Prof. Leah Wortham, Prof. Barbara Schatz and Prof. Fryderyk Zoll) two-day simulation workshop comparing common law and civil law systems for litigation of disputes. We used a fact pattern that involved a domestic violence allegation as it might occur in Poland. Warsaw, Poland. February 24-25, 2005 and conducted again in Warsaw, Poland, February 2006.

Member, Planning Committee for Fourth International GAJE Conference, Cordoba, Argentina, Nov.-Dec. 2006, Co-facilitator, GAJE membership meeting.

Teaching Demonstration: Cross Cultural Lawyering/ Learning at Curricular Choices for Practice in the 21st Century with Prof. Margaret Martin Barry, Symposium Honoring Susan Bryant and Stephen Ellmann at CUNY, Queens, NY, April 1, 2005.

Global Alliance For Justice Education (GAJE) Third International Conference in Krakow, Poland, July 2004.Co-organizer of two-day workshop on Justice Issues in Student Evaluation; presentation Early Interventions: Domestic Violence Prevention Strategies for Young People; facilitated small group discussion of utilizing integrative strategies to further advocacy goals for vulnerable populations. Elected to the GAJE Steering Committee.

Visiting Faculty, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland: With Prof. Margaret Martin Barry of CUA, taught one week course on the American Litigation Process as part of JU's American Law School, a joint venture of CUA and Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, March 2004, March 2007, and March 2009, December 2009. 

Chair, AALS Clinical Section presentation at AALS Annual Meeting, Lessons From Abroad: Transforming Ourselves, Our Clinics and Our World, a panel on International Clinical Legal Education, American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2003.

Presenter and co-organizer, two day workshop Teaching Legal Ethics: Balancing Messages of Caution with Messages of Inspiration, Global Alliance for Justice Education  (GAJE) Second International Conference in Durban, South Africa, December 2001.

Speaker & workshop leader: ABA-CEELI (now ROLI): Various workshops and colloquia from 1995 to present, including 3 weeks in Russia doing trial advocacy trainings and hosting Russian lawyers and law professors in US visits.

Participant, Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Inaugural Conference, Trivandrum, India, December 5-14, 1999. Small group leader.

With Prof. Leah Wortham of CUA, have offered technical assistance to Jagiellonian University in setting up the first legal clinic in Poland through visits to Krakow in December 1996, July 1997, May 1998, March 1999, November 1999, July 2000, February-March 2001, July-August 2001, February-March 2002, February-March 2004, July-August 2004, February 2005 and more.  Through activities related to the purposes of this grant, Prof. Wortham and I have assisted in hosting more than 75 faculty and staff visitors from Jagiellonian and other parts of the world interested in learning about clinical education. These visits have ranged from a one day stop at the law school to six-month Fulbright visitors.

In Her Words ...

"The amazing work of our students, under the supervision of our faculty, provides us with a welcome reminder of the vital role that lawyers continue to play in improving the quality of people’s lives.  I absolutely love being a part of this process."

– Catherine F. Klein



Office: 149 Law School
The Catholic University of America
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-6788



  • Families and the Law Clinic


University of Cincinnati College of Law (Order of the Coif)

Philosophy, Northwestern University (Phi Beta Kappa)


Areas of Expertise

  • Domestic Violence
  • Family Law
  • Clinical Legal Education
  • Professional Ethics
  • International Legal Education Reform  


  • Member, Executive Committee, Steering Committee, Global Alliance for Justice Education 
  • Member, American Association of Law Schools (Clinical, Women in Legal Education, Poverty Law, and   Family and Juvenile Law Sections)
  • Member, Clinical Legal Education Association
  • Member, Society of American Law Teachers
  • Member, American Bar Association