The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law hosted the third annual Family and Friends Day on Friday, October 20, 2017. The day allowed for family and friends of CUA Law students to experience a day in the life of a law student.
The morning began with refreshments and conversation between students, their guests, faculty, and staff in the Louise H. Keelty and James Keelty, Jr. Atrium. Students then headed off to their morning classes, while the guests went into the Slowinski Courtroom for a welcome to the Law School from Daniel F. Attridge, Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law.
"No one gets through law school all by themselves. Every student needs a support network and you are that support system," Dean Daniel Attridge reminded the audience.
Following the Dean's Welcome, guests attended a discussion entitled "The Law School Experience" with Dean of Students Katie Crowley '10 and a panel of current students (Ashley Fingarson 4E, Kwambina Coker 3D, and Frank Russo 3D).
"You will find that this is really a community that cares very much about its students, and since you are the support networks for many of our students, we are grateful to have the opportunity to share with you today what Law School is all about," Dean Crowley said.
The students discussed topics such as the usage of the Socratic Method in the classroom, the process of preparing for exams, the strong sense of community at CUA Law, and how loved ones can best support their law students.
Dean Crowley also reminded parents and loved ones that students can always reach out to her office for support.
Following the two morning presentations in the Slowinski Courtroom, guests of the first year students were able to attend a torts class with Associate Dean Marin Scordato. The upper division students and their guests had the option of taking a campus tour. After the torts class and the tour, students and their guests, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni congregated in the Byron Auditorium for a chance to hear from former Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
In 2013, Ehrlich selected the CUA Columbus School of Law as his partner in advocacy and educational work on clemency. CUA Law/Ehrlich Partnership on Clemency seeks to make executive clemency fairer, more common, and more transparent. Building on CUA Law's existing Innocence Project Clinic, the Partnership provides direct legal services to persons seeking pardons or commutations.
Ehrlich's speech, "Crime, Clemency, and Politics", detailed the relationship between politics and clemency. "This is about imperfect people, an imperfect system, and imperfect results. This is also about a governor or the president who has extraordinary power to even the playing field and achieve justice," Ehrlich said.
After the presentation the Law School hosted an Oktoberfest-themed reception in the atrium. This allowed the students and their family and friends to talk with various faculty and staff, as well as talk to Ehrlich.