A newsletter for the students of the Columbus School of Law - April 2018 Catholic University, Columbus School of Law website Catholic University, Columbus School of Law website

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A letter from Dean Daniel F. Attridge:

Dear CUA Law Students,

With the cherry and pear blossoms now in bloom, the season of spring has finally arrived and along with it our busiest time of the year.  We are in the midst of a whirlwind of activities to conclude our academic year, as we move forward toward the end of classes on April 27, final exams from May 4 to 14, and graduation on May 25.  This is a brief report on what’s been happening and what’s coming up:

1. Rankings.  CUA Law is ranked #110 among law schools in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.  The new ranking is a disappointing four-point decrease from last year’s rating, although CUA Law has remained in the same narrow seven-point range in each of the past five years.  As last year, CUA Law’s score is just shy of the overall score assigned to schools that are ranked #100 or higher.  More positively, U.S. News ranks our part-time J.D. program at #30.  As in past years, U.S. News shows CUA Law with a much higher assessment score by practicing lawyers and judges than our assessment score by academic professors at other law schools.  This undoubtedly reflects the strong performance of our students and graduates in the real world of law practice. Compared to last year, U.S. News shows CUA Law with an improved bar passage rate and a more favorable student/faculty ratio.  But these positives are offset by slight downturns in the selectivity of our acceptance rate and employment placement rates. Other scores – for matriculating students’ undergraduate G.P.A. and LSAT score ranges – remain comparable to last year. 

At the same time, CUA Law continues to fare very well in other surveys.  Other publications rank CUA Law #5 on the list of the best schools in the country for public defender/prosecutor careers; #14 for the highest percentage of recent graduates in government and public interest jobs; in the top 15 for preparation for law firm practice; #26 nationally as one of the best schools for associates obtaining Big Law jobs; and #32 for the number of alumni who are partners at the largest law firms.  These and other accolades confirm that the U.S. News’ rankings do not fully capture the essence of what we call the CUA Law Advantage – the first-rate legal education that prepares our graduates for career success.

2.  Special Events and Programs.  This past month has included a large number of interesting events:

• During February and March, some of our leading alumni hosted luncheons and receptions at their law firms for our top performing first-year students.  Our thanks go out to Agnes Dover and Michael Heyl at Hogan Lovells LLP, Alice Fisher and Daniel Lennon at Latham & Watkins LLP, Richard Favretto and Alan Grimaldi at Mayer Brown LLP, Harry Lee at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and Charlene Barshefsky at WilmerHale LLP.

• During March, our Office of Career and Professional Development continued its Careers in the Lawseries with programs on sports and entertainment, data privacy, litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

• From March 3 to 11, during our spring break, many of our students volunteered to do law-related pro bono work.  They participated with students from other area law schools in what was called an alternative spring break. They staffed a detention hotline, assisted clinic intakes and naturalization workshops, conducted outreach to families needing shelter, and researched legal issues.

• On March 6, Alumni Council President Stanley Woodward, Jr. '08 hosted a networking reception for admitted students, mentors and the evening division students with our alumni, faculty, and staff at the Washington office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.  

• On March 14, the Council on Professional Conduct presented a program on “Professional Ethics: Common Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make” moderated by 3L Sydny Bryan.  The panelists were Hamilton P. FoxJohn Keith, and Lydia Lawless.

• On March 15, our student scholar series continued with a presentation by 3L Kevin Tamul on “A Practical Approach:  Applying the Privileges or Immunities Clause to Intrastate Commerce Disputes.”

• On March 16, the Journal of Law & Technology sponsored its 2018 symposium.  The topic was the “Repeal of the Open Internet Order of 2015: A Discussion of a Dynamic Internet and the Legal Road Ahead.”  The keynote speaker was Brendan Carr ’05, Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.  Following his remarks, Chris Savage moderated a panel discussion with participants Kathleen AbernathyDoug BrakeChris LewisHal Singer, and Gigi Sohn. Professor Elizabeth Winstonoffered opening remarks, and 3L Sarah Ensenat gave the closing remarks. 

• On March 17, our students enjoyed their annual Barrister’s Ball at the Newseum.

• On March 19, Toke Vandervoort, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Under Armour, and Douglas A. Rettew, Partner at Finnegan, delivered remarks about “Maintaining a Conversation with the Consumer While Protecting the Brand” as part of the Dean William Callyhan Robinson Intellectual Property Lecture Series. 

• On March 22, Mark Shriver, CEO of the Save the Children Action Network, spoke on “Pope Francis’ Message of Faith, Love, Humility, and Mercy:  Does It Really Matter?” as part of our Faith in Action series.

• On March 22, the Military and National Security Law Students Association, Democratic Law Students Association, the Federalist Society, and the Republican Law Student Association sponsored a program on “Current Issues in National Security Law: Balancing Competing Domestic and International Equities.”  The panelists included Erica Bomsey, Col. Laura Calese, Col. Jon Howard, and Dick Pregent.

• On March 23-24, our Moot Court Association, led by Professor Sarah Duggin as faculty advisor with strong support from students Ashley GreafDavid Brzozowski, and Callan Smith, co-hosted the Seigenthaler-Sutherland National First Amendment Moot Court Competition with the Newseum Institute.  Judges for the final and semi-final rounds of the competition included U.S. Circuit Judge Martha Craig Daughtre (6th Circuit), U.S. Circuit Judge Bernice Donald (6th Circuit), Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts James C. Duff, CUA President John Garvey, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marion F. Harrison (Middle District of Tennessee), U.S. District Judge Joseph Leeson Jr.(Eastern District of Pennsylvania), Chief U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel (Eastern District of Missouri), U.S. Circuit Judge Jane Stranch (6th Circuit), and Senior U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright (Eastern District of Arkansas).  We congratulate the winning team from Florida State University Law School.  Kudos to CUA Law 2L student Evan Berlanti, who was the runner up for the Best Oralist award.

• On March 24, our Admissions Office hosted an Experience CUA Law program for newly admitted students.  The prospective students heard about the CUA Law Advantage from the Dean, Professor Megan La Belle, and panels of our current students and recent graduates.  Afterwards, the prospective students joined us for an informal lunch and tours of our beautiful building.

• On March 27, we hosted our annual CUA Law Pro Bono reception to honor students, faculty, and staff for their dedication to pro bono work.  The speaker was the Honorable Vytas Varekojis Vergeer ’93, Administrative Law Judge to the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings. 

3.  Upcoming Events.  Please note the following upcoming events:

• On March 28, the Office of Academic Affairs and Council on Professional Conduct is presenting a program on Substance Abuse and Mental Health in the Legal Profession, moderated by Niki Irish.

• On April 4, the Black Law Students Association will host its 24th annual BLSA alumni-student reception.  The honoree is Robert Fulton Dashiell ’73, of counsel with HJM LLC and an expert in Baltimore City procurement matters.  To register, please click here.

• On April 10, the Saint John Paul II Guild of Catholic Lawyers will present its annual Mirror of Justice Lecture.  Professor Frederick E. Woods will speak on “Lessons Learned Delivering the Fruit of Service to Those Left Behind.”  To register, please click here.

• On April 12, the Securities Program will host its annual alumni and student mixer.  To register, please click here.

• On April 16, our new Center for Religious Liberty, led by Professor Mark Rienzi, will host its inaugural event:  a conversation with Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.  To register, please click here.

• On April 20, the Student Bar Association and the Office of Student Life and Special Events will host Columbus Awards Night, a celebration of the best of CUA Law.  

4.  Faculty, Students, and Alumni in the News.  Please visit our website at www.law.edu and continue reading the other sections of this electronic newsletter for news stories about our faculty, students, and alumni. 

Thank you for your interest and support. I welcome your comments at attridge@law.edu.

Daniel F. Attridge
Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law

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