The Catholic University of America


Columbus School of Law
– Since 1897

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Historical Highlights

   Law school
  The law school moved into its current building in 1994 after many years in cramped quarters in Leahy Hall.

The Catholic University of Americaís School of Law opened its doors in 1897 in what was then the finest building on the campus, McMahon Hall, where it was based for 57 years.

In 1954 it merged with the Columbus School of Law, a transformation that became a fact with the presidential signing of the congressional bill designated Private Law 444 of the 83rd Congress, giving legal approval to the project. With this merger, Catholic University took over all the assets and liabilities of the latter corporation and assumed full administrative direction of the merged schools.

The new entity was known as the Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America. It opened for business in a reconverted mansion on 18th street near Dupont Circle in downtown Washington, where it remained for 12 years. In September 1966, the law school returned to Catholic Universityís home campus, moving to Leahy Hall.

By the later 1970s, however, the student body had more than doubled and space in Leahy quickly filled to bursting. Eventually, law school classes and offices spilled over into at least three different buildings.
The need for more and better space was apparent; in 1987 planning began for what would become the current law school building. On Saturday, April 17, 1993, Brother Patrick Ellis, F.S.C, President of The Catholic University of America, laid the cornerstone for the new building.

Alumni of the Columbus School of Law serve in both high elective and appointed office and as principals in law firms and businesses across the nation. In the profession, the families they nourish, and the communities they build or sustain, they are the living testament to CUA's commitment to excellence shaped by faith.