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Columbus School of Law

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Columbus School of Law
File:Us cua.gif
Parent school The Catholic University of America
Established 1897
School type Private non-profit
Dean Stephen C. Payne
Location Washington, DC, US
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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Columbus School of Law is located in Washington, DC

The Columbus School of Law is the law school of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1897. Today the school is home to hundreds of students from across the nation and from all walks of life. Its name comes from ties to The Knights of Columbus. Its location in the Nation's Capital provides students with academic and career advantages. The law school's ranking rose in 2008, placing it in the top 100 law schools. Professor Veryl Miles was elevated to dean of the law school in August 2005. The school also enjoys an exclusive exchange program with Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland[1].


The Columbus School Law remains close to its roots in the Roman Catholic Church. The campus features a chapel with masses held daily. In 1994 the law school opened a state-of-the art 170,000 square foot facility to house its program. The new building includes the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library, the Walter A. Slowinski and Haislip Courtrooms, and the three-story Keelty Atrium.

Incoming classes are typically composed of two to three hundred students. Around 3,500 students apply annually.


Catholic University's J.D. program can be completed over three years of full-time day study or four years of part-time evening study.

The school offers LL.M programs in Banking and Commercial Law, Communications Law, Securities Law, Trusts and Estates, Comparative and International Law, and Jurisprudence.[2]

The school also offers an exclusive LL.M program in American law with Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. It allows Jagiellonian law students and students enrolled in the CUA-JU LL.M. program to study the essential substantive and procedural elements of the legal system of the United States.

In addition to its J.D. program, Catholic University offers six institutes for specialized study. The program is designed to give students the opportunity to pursue a specified concentration of courses. Each institute accepts approximately 15 students each academic year. The institutes include: the Institute for Communications Law Studies, the Comparative and International Law Institute, the Law and Public Policy Program, the Securities and Corporate Law Program, the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, and the Center for Law, Philosophy and Culture.


Graduates include several judicial, academic, and political figures, including U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, U.S. Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona, U.S. Senator Robert Patrick Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, Peggy A. Quince of the Florida Supreme Court, Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy of the Federal Communications Commission, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and Chief Judge Edward Damich of the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Academics & Student Activities

The Columbus School of Law has several law journals, including the Catholic University Law Review, the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, the CommLaw Conspectus, and the Journal of Law, Philosophy & Culture. The school also has a very active moot court program, with teams practicing in international law, communications law, labor law, constitutional law, securities law, and a trials competition. Additionally, there are more than forty active student organizations on campus.

Founded in 1969, the Columbus Community Legal Services offers three distinct clinical courses: the General Practice Clinic; the Families and the Law Clinic; and Advocacy for the Elderly. In addition, the school offers a general practice clinic, a criminal prosecution clinic, a mediation clinic, an SEC Student Observer Program, and both a civil and criminal D.C. Law Students in Court Program.[3]

Notable Faculty and Staff

Columbus School of Law Dean Veryl V. Miles is one of only three female, black law school deans in the United States. She was elevated to her current position in 2005.

The Honorable Fred Ugast, Chief Judge (retired) District of Columbia Superior Court, serves as the school's judge-in-residence. He also serves as a senior judge at the court.

Former FCC commissioner Kathleen Q. Abernathy serves as the school's Practitioner-in-Residence. She works closely with the Institute for Communications Law Studies, as well as the National Telecom Moot Court Team and the CommLaw Conspectus.

The Honorable Edward J. Damich, a distinguished lecturer in intellectual property law, is also the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The Honorable Loren Smith currently serves as a senior judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, as well as being a full time professor at the school. He also served as the chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1981 to 1985.

External links