South Africa Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga Joins Notre Dame Law School as a Visiting Scholar


Mbuyiseli Madlanga, LL.M. ’90, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa will teach and participate in several events in April as the Judge James J. Clynes, Jr., Visiting Chair. Madlanga, will teach a course on the ethics of litigation within the judicial process and co-teach a course on comparative constitutional law. He will also participate in a lecture series organized in conjunction with the Center for Civil and Human Rights.…

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ND Law Professors and Constitutional Law Scholars Discuss Constitutional Interpretation at London Roundtable

The Notre Dame Law School Program on Constitutional Structure is hosting a roundtable discussion on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Notre Dame London Law Centre. The roundtable will bring leading American constitutional law scholars with counterparts from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, and New Zealand for a thought-provoking discussion on Comparative Perspectives in Constitutional Interpretation.   

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Supreme Court could improve on its selection of cases, law scholars argue

U.S. Supreme Court

In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court decided some 150 cases a year, nearly twice the number it annually decides these days. Legal scholars and practitioners of law have criticized, lamented and even denounced this “docket shrinkage,” but while much attention has been paid to how the Supreme Court decides its cases, far less attention has been paid to the question of which cases the Court chooses to decide — and which cases it chooses not to.

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to Visit Notre Dame Law School

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., will visit Notre Dame Law School on Nov. 19. One highlight of his visit will be a conversation with Notre Dame law students on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Patrick F. McCartan Courtroom, followed by a reception in Eck Commons.

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Course Spotlight: Federalism

The Notre Dame Law School has long pursued excellence in Constitutional Law, and more broadly, in the field public law—the law that regulates the structure of government and its relations with individuals and foreign nations.  The Law School’s Program of Study in Public Law provides a foundational course of study for students interested in government lawyering, judicial clerkships, criminal justice, constitutional litigation, administrative regulation and adjudication, public policy, and many other public law fields.

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Notre Dame Law Professor to Lead One of University’s Inaugural On-Line Courses

This spring, the University of Notre Dame launched inaugural online courses with, a non-profit platform for online education.  The interactive massive open online courses (MOOCS) are designed to offer and enrich education for all. Program faculty member, Tricia Bellia, will be teaching one of the inaugural courses, “Understanding Wireless:  Technology, Economics, and Policy.” 

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Preparing for Federal Judicial Clerkships at Notre Dame

Each year, a number of Notre Dame Law School graduates serve as judicial clerks in federal and state courts across the nation.  Among the most prestigious employment opportunities for a new or recent law school graduate, clerkships provide lawyers with the rare opportunity to participate in the judicial decision-making process from inside the court system.

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NDLS Hosts Andrea Pin as Visiting Professor of European Union Law

Andrea Pin

Andrea Pin (PhD, University of Turin, Italy) was a fall 2014 Notre Dame Kellogg Institute for International Studies visiting fellow. He is senior lecturer at the University of Padua, where he teaches constitutional law, comparative public law, and Islamic law.  His interests include constitutionalism in Middle East as well as on comparative perspectives on religious liberty, constitutional interpretation, and federalism. While at Notre Dame, he was also a visiting professor of European Union law at the Notre Dame Law School.

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A.J. Bellia Named First O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law

The University of Notre Dame has appointed NDLS Professor A.J. Bellia to serve as the inaugural O’Toole Professor of Constitutional Law.

This Endowed Chair is 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. Judge O’Toole, who obtained his B.A. from Notre Dame and his L.L.B. from the University of Arizona, long served with distinction on the Maricopa County Superior Court.…

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Program on Constitutional Structure to Host Conference, "The Common Law in an Age of Regulation"

The Program on Constitutional Structure will host a conference, "The Common Law in an Age of Regulation" on February 6, 2015 at the Notre Dame London Law Centre. The world's legal systems that claim the common law as their heritage operate today in an age of increasing statutory and administrative regulation.  The conference will gather scholars from the Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States to consider six papers that address the role of the common law in an age of regulation.  …

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Notre Dame Law Students Thrive in Summer Clerkships

This summer Notre Dame Law school students held over 50 federal and state summer clerkships or internships.  Twenty-seven students worked in federal clerkships, with the rest working in state or local clerkships.  Law students gained experience with judges throughout the country in district, circuit, appeals, trial, and bankruptcy courts.

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Professor Jeff Pojanowski Analyzes Statutory Interpretation and Common Law Tradition

In his new article,  Reading Statutes in the Common Law Tradition (forthcoming Virginia Law Review), Professor Jeff Pojanowski examines the role common law tradition plays in statutory interpretation.  Jurists and scholars concur that the common law points away from formalist interpretive approaches like textualism and toward a more creative, independent role for courts. Professor Pojanowski notes that they simply differ over whether the common law tradition is worth preserving. Contemporary debate offers a choice between continuing with common law tradition or formalist interpretation that breaks with that heritage. 

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Professor Bellia Examines Questions of Federal Judicial Power

In a forthcoming article, Professor A.J. Bellia examines important questions surrounding the powers of federal courts under the Constitution.  The article—entitled The Process Acts and the Alien Tort Statute—confronts the question whether federal courts have power to adjudicate causes of action that neither Congress nor state law has created.  Courts and scholars have long debated whether federal courts enjoy the power to hear such actions—commonly called “federal common law” causes of action—or whether they only have power to hear actions that Congress or a state has made through its regular lawmaking processes.  In debating such questions, judges and scholars usually presume, as a historical matter, that early federal courts had power to find causes of action in general common law.   

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