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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Catholic University in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

History of the Catholic University Law School

History of the Columbus University School of Law

 
 
History of the Catholic University Law School Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 30, 2016
1. History of the Catholic University Law School Marker
Inscription.
History of the Catholic University Law School
1895-1954

As early as 1890, Archbishop John Joseph Keane, the first rector of The Catholic University of America recognized the need for the study of law at the university to meet the demand for Catholic lawyers imbued with the true spirit of their religion as well as with the fundamentals of jurisprudence. In 1895, the Trustees of Catholic University opened the School of Social Sciences which included a Department of Law. Two years later a separate School of Law was established. The Honorable William Callyhan Robinson was appointed the first dean of the law school.

In 1921, the law school became a member of the Association of American Law Schools. By 1925, The Catholic University Law School became one of the first District of Columbia law schools to be recognized by the American Bar Association. In 1938, the school was one of only 10 law schools in the United States requiring a baccalaureate degree of every candidate for admission.

In 1954, the CUA law school merged with the Columbus University School of Law which had been established in 1922 by the Knights of Columbus. The new school became the Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America. At the same time, CUA acquired the property of the former Columbus University and moved the
History of the Columbus University School of Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 30, 2016
2. History of the Columbus University School of Law Marker
This marker is on the right column of the entrance to the Columbus School of Law.
law school from McMahon Hall to the site at 1323 Eighteenth Street, N.W.

After twelve years, the law school returned in 1966 to the CUA campus to occupy the newly constructed Leahy Hall. The facility was named for the last president of the Columbus University, William Leahy, a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Enrollment increased steadily during the sixties and seventies and the school soon outgrew Leahy Hall. In 1983 space in McMahon Hall was converted into classrooms for law school use. In 1988 the school expanded into Keane Hall to provide additional teaching, study, and administrative space.

The law school moved into a newly constructed building in the summer of 1994. For the first time in years, all components of the school were housed under one roof with adequate space to ensure a quality legal education for generations to come. This building was dedicated October 1, 1994.

Small, lower dedicatory marker:
Gift from William J. Whalen, '83 and Carol A. Whalen, In honor of Mary E. Parker and in memory of James L. Parker

History of The Columbus University School of Law
1922-1954


In 1919, the national chapter of the Knights of Columbus founded more than 100 evening school programs nationwide, including one in Washington, D.C. These programs provided free education for veterans returning from World War I, granting undergraduate
History of the Catholic University Law School Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 30, 2016
3. History of the Catholic University Law School Marker
The Columbus School of Law can be seen in the background, with the two markers fronting the entrance to the school.
degrees as well as high school equivalency diplomas.

In 1922, funding from the national chapter of the Knights of Columbus for these evening programs was depleted. That same year, the local Washington, D.C. council of the Knights of Columbus voted to continue the evening school program, but limited the curriculum to law and accounting. The name of the program was changed to the Columbus University School of Law. In August 1922, the Columbus University School of Law was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia and continued to operate under this charter until June 1934. In that year the United States Congress granted the charter under which it operated until 1954.

The local council's goal for the school was to enable "young men and women in moderate circumstances" to study the law. The 1928-29 Announcements describes the faculty as "attorneys actively engaged in the practice of the law before various branches of the government in Washington, and before the various courts of the city."

By 1939, the Columbus University School of Law had the third largest enrollment in the United States with 1,059 students. The law school was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1944.

The Columbus University School of Law was originally located in a row house at 1311 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. It then moved to the "Dulles Mansion" at 1323 Eighteenth
The Columbus School of Law image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 30, 2016
4. The Columbus School of Law
Street, N.W., and later acquired an adjoining townhouse at 1325 Eighteenth Street, N.W. to house administrative functions.

In 1954, an act of Congress signed by President Eisenhower approved the merger of the Columbus University School of Law with the Catholic University School of Law to form the present Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University of America.

Small, lower dedicatory marker:
Gift from William J. Whalen, '83 and Carol A. Whalen, In honor of David D. and Mary D. Whalen

 
Location. 38° 56.158′ N, 76° 59.84′ W. Marker is in Catholic University, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from McCormack Drive, NE. Touch for map. The marker is on the grounds of the Catholic University of America, near the entrance to the Columbus School of Law. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3600 John McCormack Drive, NE, Washington DC 20017, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Father Michael J. McGivney (approx. 0.2 miles away); Charles Richard Drew Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dr. Justine Bayard Ward (approx. ¼ mile away); Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine (approx. 0.4 miles away); Pope John Paul II
An additional view of the Columbus School of Law image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 30, 2016
5. An additional view of the Columbus School of Law
(approx. 0.6 miles away); U. S. Soldiers' Home (approx. 0.8 miles away); Winfield Scott (approx. 0.9 miles away); President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Catholic University.
 
Categories. Education
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 30, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 30, 2016, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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