A newsletter for the students of the Columbus School of Law - May, 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,

The beautiful season of spring has arrived on our campus.  Outside, the flowers are in bloom, the waters in our courtyard fountain are flowing, and new green leaves are sprouting on the trees.  Inside our building, we are winding up our spring 2018 semester and our 2017-18 academic year.  Classes end on April 27, final exams will be held from May 4 to May 14, and graduation on May 25. This is a brief report on what’s been happening and what’s coming up:

1.  2018 Commencement. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will deliver the Law School’s 129th Commencement Address on Friday, May 25. Judge Kavanaugh has a deep reservoir of experience, achievement, and service to draw upon in offering advice to our graduates.  He was appointed to the D.C. Circuit in 2006, after serving for more than five years in the White House.  Previously, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., Associate Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel, and an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor General. He served as a law clerk to Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Walter Stapleton of the Third Circuit.  He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and from Yale College.  Detailed information about our 2018 Commencement events is available here.

2. Class of 2017 Employment. Our class of 2017 graduates are successfully navigating their way toward employment opportunities.  Relying our CUA Law training and network of connections, 84.7% of our 111 class of 2017 graduates have found employment as of March 15, 2018 (the date that the ABA uses for reporting the data). This is a slight increase compared to last year’s 83.3%.  Of our newly employed graduates, 41.5% are working in law firms, 21.3% in business or industry, 18.1% in government, 11.7% in clerkships, 6.4% in public interest positions, and 0.9% in education. 84% of those employed are working in the District of Columbia (44.7%), Maryland (22.3%), or Virginia (17.0%). In substantial part, we believe this initial local employment focus is a tribute to the key role our geographic location plays in facilitating externship and other real-world work experiences while in law school that our students successfully convert into post-graduate job offers. We know, however, that over time many of our graduates disperse to myriad locations around the country and, indeed, the world.

3. Dean’s Dinner Benefiting Student Scholarships. On April 19, our Board of Visitors hosted the sixth annual Dean’s Dinner benefiting student scholarships.  The dinner was held at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Washington. Our guest speaker was Francis X. Coonelly ’86, the President of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The event was a great success, raising over $110,000 to support scholarships.  Our deep gratitude goes to all those who supported this important Law School priority.  

4.  Student Activities and Achievements.  As students, you participate in a wide array of activities outside the classroom and achieve distinction in a variety of ways. Recent notable activities and achievements have included:

• The Women’s Law Caucus visited the U.S. Supreme Court and met with Marshall Pamela Talkin.  

•  The Moot Court Association fielded 15 competitors at seven national competitions, with successful results for the academic year including a second place finish, a runner-up award for best oralist, and a runner-up award for best brief.  

•  The Securities Law Program’s moot court team surpassed 20 teams and tied two others at its annual competition in New York.  

•  The National Trial Team completed its season with a successful showing in Puerto Rico.

•  2L students Rebecca DeVerter and Mariah Hosie have been awarded fellowships from the Women’s Bar Association.  

•  2L student Willie Burden was awarded a Peggy Browning fellowship.

•  3L student Latena Hazard was inducted into the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate’s General Corps

5. The Board of Visitors and the Alumni Council. On April 20, the Board of Visitors met at the Law School. The BOV is a group of distinguished lawyers and business leaders who provide advice to the Dean about ways to strengthen the Law School.  The BOV is chaired by Agnes P. Dover ’81, senior counsel at the law firm of Hogan Lovells.  At the BOV meeting, we discussed the status of enrollment, finances, ranking, employment, fundraising efforts, alumni engagement, new initiatives, and other issues.  Our luncheon speaker was Bruce R. Parker ’78, a partner at Venable LLP.  Mr. Parker spoke about the importance of the Law School to his career.  We very much appreciate all of our BOV members’ willingness to serve. 

On April 20, the Alumni Council, the governing body of the CUA Law Alumni Association, met at the Law School. The Council reviewed alumni relations and development activities, as well as the future of the Council, its projects, and its goals. The Council is led by its President, Stanley E. Woodward Jr. ’08.  We very much appreciate the service of all of the Council members. 

6. Special Events and Programs. During the past month, we have been privileged to host a number of special events and programs, with an array of distinguished speakers:

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

• On April 10, the Saint John Paul II Guild of Catholic Lawyers presented its annual Mirror of Justice Lecture.  Professor Frederick E. Woods spoke on “Lessons Learned Delivering the Fruit of Service to Those Left Behind.” 

• On April 19, Catholic University celebrated Research Day, a full-day program that featured presentations about the research of CUA’s faculty and students.  CUA Law Professor Cara Drinan gave the keynote address, speaking about her new book, The War on Kids.  

• On April 20, the Student Bar Association and the Office of Student Life and Special Events hosted Columbus Awards Night, a celebration of the best of CUA Law.  First Lap Awards were presented to first-year students for their dedication to the Law School community; Extra Mile Awards were presented to upper-division students for their continuing contributions; and Marathon Awards were presented to upper division students for their continuing extraordinary contributions.  Kwambina Coker and Veda Rasheed each won the Cardinal Hickey Award for Community Service.  Frank Russo and Kayla Stuart each received the Columbus Award for embodying the qualities and spirit of the Law School.   Professor Mary Leary was awarded the Professor of the Year.  Professor Kathryn Kelly was awarded the Outstanding Professor for First Year Classes.  Professor  Sarah Duggin was voted the Most Supportive Professor.  Adjunct Professor Daniel Zachem was named the Outstanding Adjunct Professor and the Outstanding Professor in Evening Classes.  Reference Librarian Steve Young was named the Staff Member of the Year.  And, in what has become an annual tradition, Assistant Dean Stuart Schept was awarded the Administrator of the Year.

• On April 23, our new Center for Religious Liberty, led by Professor Mark Rienzi, hosted its inaugural event:  a lecture by Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. 

7. 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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