Professor Anthony J. Bellia Jr. to Deliver Notre Dame Law School Commencement Address

Author: Denise Wager


Anthony J. Bellia Jr., O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law at Notre Dame Law School and recipient of the 2015 Law School Distinguished Teaching Award, will address the graduates at Notre Dame Law School’s 2015 Commencement ceremonies on May 16.

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Professor Anthony J. Bellia Jr.

Each graduating class chooses the Law School Distinguished Teaching Award, selecting one law school faculty member who exhibits excellence in leadership, friendship, legal knowledge, legal teaching and professional ability. This is the third time Professor Bellia has received the award.

“Professor Bellia is loved and admired by our class and has been since our 1L year,” said Amy Povinelli, 3L and President of the NDLS Student Bar Association. “He serves the Notre Dame Law School community in many capacities — as a professor, role model, mentor, and friend.

“Professor Bellia embodies the mission of NDLS and teaches students a deeper understanding of what it means to be a different kind of lawyer.”

For Bellia the feeling is mutual.

“It has been a privilege to work with the Class of 2015 and witness its countless accomplishments — in academics, advocacy, and professionalism — as well its contributions to the spirit of commitment and friendship that defines our student body,” Bellia said. “It is equally a privilege to represent my faculty colleagues, whose wisdom and decency I join our students in so cherishing.”

Bellia’s scholarship focuses on the federal constitutional structure and analyzes how the relationships between and among the states, the federal government, and foreign nations play out in constitutional law, the law of federal courts, and foreign relations law. His published works in these fields include numerous law review articles, and he has also authored Federalism, the first casebook on U.S. Federalism.

Bellia joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty in 2000 and also has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law (2007). He is the founding director of the Notre Dame Law School Program on Constitutional Structure and is a member of the American Law Institute.

In the fall of 2014, he was named the inaugural O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law, an Endowed Chair funded by a significant gift from Judge Thomas W. and Elaine S. O’Toole to support the study and teaching of constitutional law at Notre Dame Law School.

Prior to joining the faculty in 2000, Professor Bellia clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge William M. Skretny of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York.

He also practiced law as an associate with Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., litigating constitutional, criminal, and commercial cases in state and federal courts.

Professor Bellia earned his J.D. summa cum laude in 1994 from the Notre Dame Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Notre Dame Law Review. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude from Canisius College in 1991, where he was named the outstanding graduate in economics and political science as well as a Harry S. Truman Scholar.