The Columbus School of Law (locally referred to as CUA Law), is the graduate law school for the The Catholic University of America, a private Roman Catholic university in Washington, D.C. The school was founded in 1897 and is named after The Knights of Columbus, the largest Catholic fraternal service organization in the world.
CUA Law has a total annual enrollment of roughly 600 law students. Anywhere from 100 to 200 new students enter the law school each year, and about the same number graduate. With over 2,600 annual applicants, CUA Law is fairly selective law school with an acceptance rate of about 8%. CUA Law has an alumni of about 12,000, which about half practicing in the D.C. area. The law school is centrally located and close to major transit systems, including the Brookland/CUA D.C. metro station.
The campus that houses the Colubmus School of Law is a 170,000 sqft facility that was built in 1994. In addition to the law school, the facility is home to the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library, the expansive Keelty Atrium and two courtrooms. As a Roman Catholic instititution, the CUA Law campus features a chapel where daily mass is held.
Academics and Curriculum
The Juris Doctorate degree offered by CUA Law can be completed in just three years of full-time study (daytime program) and four years of part-time study (evening program).
The law school offers LL.M. (Master of Law) degrees in several concentrations such as Securities Law, Comparative Law, International Law, Communications Law and Jurisprudence. In cooperation with the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Jagiellonian University (the oldest unit of the Jagiellonian University which was established in Poland in 1364), CUA Law offers a LL.M. program in American law. This program is offered to students of both universities.
The J.D. program at CUA Law is divided into 6 institutes, each focusing on a specific area of of law. By joining one of these institutes (each allowing up to 15 participants), students are able to focus their studies in a specific area of law. The six institutes include the Institute for Communications Law Studies,
Law and Public Policy Program, Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, Securities and Corporate Law Program and Comparative and International Law Institute.
In addition to a rigorous academic offering, The Columbus School of Law provides students the opportunity to participate in more than 30 organizations and groups. The school sponsors a moot court (simulated court proceedings) program where students practice and hone their skills in labor law, securities law, international law, national security, constitutional law and litigation. Students also have the opportunity to get involved in one of the school’s many law journals and publications including the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy, the Catholic University Law Review, the Journal of Law, Philosophy & Culture and CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law and Policy.
The Columbus School of Law also sponsors the Columbus Community Legal Services program. This program provides second- and third-year law students the opportunity to develop their legal skills while providing a valuable service to the community. The Columbus Community Legal Services center provides free, high-quality legal services to needy individuals and families within the local D.C. community. The legal service program is comprised of three individual clinics: the Families and the Law Clinic, Advocacy for Elderly Clinic; the General Practice Clinic. Other programs at the school include an SEC student observer program, criminal prosecution clinic, general practice clinic, and a students in court program.
Rankings and Statistics
In the “Best Graduate Schools” publication (2013 edition), U.S. News & World Report ranked The Columbus Law School 80th in the nation. It was also included in the U.S. News & World Report list of “10 Law Schools That Lead to the Most Debt”–not a ranking you want to brag about. The average student at CUA Law graduates with over $100,000 in school loans and debt. However, nearly 86% of graduates are gainfully employed within nine months of graduation (37% in private practice, 26% in government, 26% in business and 7% in judicial clerkships). Those who find employment in private practice typically start out about $100k a year, those in business $76k a year and in government $60k a year.
*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.