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At A Glance

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

The decision to attend law school remains a sound, smart, and fulfilling investment in yourself and your future. In a complex world facing many serious challenges, the need for competent, ethical, and compassionate legal practitioners is stronger than ever. Located near the heart of Washington, D.C., a city like no other and the center of our nation’s legal system, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (CUA Law) is among the best choices you can make if your goal is to graduate with the skills — such as critical legal analysis, legal writing, and effective oral advocacy—that are essential to successful legal practice in the 21st century. At every turn, our approach to legal education can be summarized with three words: practical, focused, and connected. Practical means you will learn by doing; focused offers the chance to choose among many different areas of legal study for academic emphasis; connected describes professors who take a personal interest in you, students who treat each other like family, and a supportive alumni network.

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The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 612
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 153 - 159
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 3.06 - 3.52
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 79.02%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 85.47%
Tuition $43,245

Overview

Overview

About The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

The decision to attend law school remains a sound, smart, and fulfilling investment in yourself and your future. In a complex world facing many serious challenges, the need for competent, ethical, and compassionate legal practitioners is stronger than ever. Located near the heart of Washington, D.C., a city like no other and the center of our nation’s legal system, The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (CUA Law) is among the best choices you can make if your goal is to graduate with the skills — such as critical legal analysis, legal writing, and effective oral advocacy—that are essential to successful legal practice in the 21st century. At every turn, our approach to legal education can be summarized with three words: practical, focused, and connected. Practical means you will learn by doing; focused offers the chance to choose among many different areas of legal study for academic emphasis; connected describes professors who take a personal interest in you, students who treat each other like family, and a supportive alumni network.

Mission Statement

The Columbus School of Law is an integral part of The Catholic University of America and it supports and advances the aims and goals of the university as a whole, as they have been affirmed throughout the university's history and are currently stated in the university's mission statement. These aims and goals manifest themselves in a core commitment to the ideals of the dignity of each human person; respect for the inviolability of all human life; justice rooted in the common good; the recognition and protection of human rights as gifts of the Creator; care for the poor, the neglected, and the vulnerable; and the obligation of love for one another. As a law school, we strive to discover, preserve, and impart the truth in all its forms; to achieve academic distinction in the Catholic intellectual tradition; and to assure, in an institutional manner, faithfulness to the university's Christian inspiration. The school's sense of institutional integrity and community reflects its fidelity to Catholic ideals and beliefs. As such, the school is committed to fostering its already strong bonds of community by continuing to promote and maintain respect for and among faculty, administrators, students, staff, and alumni, and respect for the diversity of backgrounds, religious affiliations, viewpoints, and contributions that members bring to the law school community. We bring together an able and diverse student body and provide the students with an exceptional professional education designed to prepare and motivate them to serve with intelligence, integrity and vigor the needs of clients, communities, the nation, civil society and the international community. We strive to impart to our students a comprehensive set of practical competencies, a broad range of doctrinal knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to the ethical practice of law. Beyond the first year of studies we encourage students to consider participating in structured specialization through an array of institutes, clinical education, centers, and programs that enhance the skills that are essential to providing the highest quality legal representation. Through the provision of high quality instruction, rigorous scholarship, professional achievement and community service, the law school is committed to making substantial and lasting contributions to the enrichment of knowledge, the integrity of the legal profession, and the enhancement of the welfare of the broader community, the nation, and the Church.

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Reviews

Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law combines the professional opportunities and legal resources of Washington, D.C. with the intimate, student-friend­ly atmosphere of a private law school. Drawing from the surrounding city’s large legal community, many CUA professors are “full-time practicing attorneys” with a “deep understanding of their particular field.” Here, professors come from “interesting and diverse legal backgrounds,” including “younger faculty already making names for them­selves in areas like civil procedure, First Amendment conscience protection, and protect­ing children from sexual abuse.” While the school attracts top-notch names, the atmo­sphere is “warm” and accommodating, with professors described as “intelligent, sympa­thetic, approachable, and caring.” While the JD program is not overly easy, “the empha­sis is on creating successful students,” with ample support services to promote that goal. For instance, “there is a program for individuals in [the] lower 15 percent of the class with additional lectures, and study technique assistance—they don't let people slip through the cracks.” The accommodating culture extends to the administrative offices and staff, too. From financial aid to the program dean, “the administration is very helpful and will address student concerns promptly.” Legal education extends beyond the classroom at CUA, and the administration puts a lot of “emphasis on the school’s moot court, arbitration, and trial teams, as well as jour­nals and clinics.” Plus, “All of the professors are more than willing and able to help connect students with internships, clerkships, and eventual jobs.” Research is also a major component of the academic program, and “the research librarians bend over back­wards to help any student who asks.” If they cannot find what they need at CUA, the school provides “access to all major research databases as well as catalogs from most major libraries in Washington, D.C. through the interlibrary loan program.” When it comes to the job hunt, many would love to see CUA’s Career Services department sig­nificantly enhanced. A current student details, “While the people working there cur­rently do a very good job, that office needs more funding and larger staff so they can help students learn about and apply for jobs.” However, “the connections to government and legislative opportunities” are strong at CUA, and the “very active alumni network” helps students make inroads in D.C.’s legal community. On that note, students point out that the school “focuses primarily on D.C. and government jobs, so if you're a student looking to work elsewhere after graduation, Catholic may not be the best option.” Catholic University of America’s religious affiliation is more than just in name alone, and, depending on their own background, students either praise or deride the Catholic influence on their law school education. Prospective students should be aware that, even in strict legal discussion, “You don't get away from that Catholic perspective” at CUA. For example, “The school’s connection to the Catholic church prevents student groups from participating in certain activities, and makes some journal-writing topics off limits.” Others explain that because of the school’s stringent standards, “there can sometimes be trouble in getting outside speakers approved in a timely manner.” Excluding religious affiliations, most students are happy to note that the school’s Catholic values are won­derfully demonstrated in its “commitment to public service and pro bono” work.

- The Princeton Review

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Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 238

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

JD/MA programs in accounting, canon law, history, philosophy, psychology, politics, library science, economics, and social work, 3-4 years.

Specialty Law Programs

  • Civil Procedure
  • Corporation Securities
  • Criminal
  • International
  • Labor
  • Intellectual Property

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 94
Full-Time Faculty 45
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 3
Part-Time Faculty 46
Faculty Gender 67% Male
32% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 10 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 48% Male
52% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 43%
Multi-racial 0%
International 2%
Hispanic/Latino 6%
Ethnicity Unknown 32%
Black or African American 10%
Asian 7%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $43,245 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $43,245 $43,245

Financial Aid

86% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$49,257 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: July 1

Average Age Admitted: 26

Incoming Class

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law's entering class of 2016 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 153 - 159
LSAT Part-Time 152 - 159
LSAT Total 153 - 159

The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law's entering class of 2016 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 3.08 - 3.55
Part-Time 3.03 - 3.38
Total 3.06 - 3.52

Admission Considerations

Very Important: Personal Essay, Undergraduate GPA

Important: Recommendations

Admission Requirements

Required: Undergraduate GPA, Personal Essay, Recommendations, Resume, Standardized Test Scores

Optional: Academic GPA, Work Experience, Interview, Extracurricular Activities

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 78%
First Time Pass Rate 79%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 81%

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 85%
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 27 14%
Firm Sized 11-25 3 2%
Firm Sized 26-50 2 2%
Firm Sized 51-100 2 1%
Firm Sized 101-250 2 1%
Firm Sized 251-500 5 3%
Firm Sized 501+ 11 6%
Business Industry 62 31%
Government 46 23%
Public Interest 9 5%
Federal Clerkship 4 2%
State Clerkship 21 11%
Academia 5 3%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 5 2%
Unemployed, Seeking 36 15%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 2 1%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
MD 14%
VA 21%
DC 33%
International 1%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law include:

  • Robert Casey - US Senator, Pennsylvania
  • Michael Bidwill - President, Arizona Cardinals NFL Team
  • Charlene Barshefsky - (former) US Trade Ambassador
  • Peggy Quince - Justice, Florida Supreme Court
  • Daniel M. Gallagher Jr. - Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission

Associations & Memberships

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