Professor Amy Coney Barrett to Deliver Notre Dame Law School Commencement Address

Author: Lauren Love

Amy Barrett feature

Notre Dame Law Students have selected Amy Coney Barrett, Diane and M.O. Miller, II Research Chair in Law, for the 2016 Law School Distinguished Teaching Award. Barrett will address the graduates at Notre Dame Law School’s 2016 Commencement ceremony Saturday.

“I’m incredibly honored to be recognized,” said Barrett, who also won the award in 2006. “I’ve had the privilege of teaching the majority of the graduating class. While I’m sad to see them go, I’m excited to see the great things they will accomplish as Notre Dame Lawyers.”

Each year the graduating class selects a professor to receive the Law School Distinguished Teaching Award, which honors a faculty member who exhibits excellence in leadership, friendship, legal knowledge, legal teaching and professional ability.

“Professor Barrett was selected as the distinguished professor of the year because she embodies the Notre Dame spirit,” said Tim Dondanville, 3L and NDLS Student Bar Association president. “She really challenged us to think critically about cases and concepts, but it is very clear that she truly cares about us as individuals.”

Next week a total of 172 students will receive their Juris Doctor degree and 27 will receive their Legum Magister or Master of Laws degree.

Barrett teaches and researches in the areas of federal courts, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. Her scholarship in these fields has been published in leading journals, including the Columbia, Virginia, and Texas Law Reviews. She serves by appointment of the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.

Before joining the Notre Dame faculty, Barrett clerked for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court. As an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., she litigated constitutional, criminal, and commercial cases in both trial and appellate courts.

Barrett earned her B.A. in English literature, magna cum laude, from Rhodes College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and, among other honors, was chosen by the faculty as the most outstanding graduate in the college’s English department. She earned her J.D., summa cum laude, from Notre Dame, where she was a Kiley Fellow, earned the Hoynes Prize — the Law School’s highest honor — and served as executive editor of the Notre Dame Law Review.

“I know that I will be very prepared in my career because of the lessons I have learned from Professor Barrett,” Dondanville said. “She taught us all what it means to be a Notre Dame lawyer, and I am very grateful for her guidance both inside and outside of the classroom."