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College of Law unveils new associate dean


July 29, 2008

O’Grady to oversee clinical affairs

Professor Catherine O’Grady of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU has been named associate dean for clinical affairs and the profession by the college’s dean, Paul Schiff Berman.

O’Grady, executive director of the college’s clinical programs, will be responsible for coordinating and energizing myriad issues related to practice-based experiential learning and the demands of professionalism, Berman says.

In her new post, O’Grady will continue to oversee the college’s eight clinics, as well as the legal research and writing program, of which she is a former director, the externship program and the academic success program. Additionally, she will serve as the dean’s designee for investigating academic misconduct complaints.

Berman says O’Grady’s energy, talents and experience, including a recent sabbatical at the Arizona solicitor general’s office, are a good fit for the position.

“The new model for public legal education that we are building at the College of Law requires that we be embedded within the broader legal communities of Arizona, the United States and the world,” he says. “As such, we take very seriously our commitment to clinical education, the public service obligations of lawyers and the responsibilities of professionalism.

“In Cathy O’Grady, we are blessed to have the ideal bridge-builder between the academy and the practicing bar, and I look forward to working with her on further developing innovative initiatives to educate young lawyers in the rigors and rewards of professional legal practice.”

O’Grady, a former attorney at Meyer, Hendricks, Victor, Osborn & Maledon in Phoenix whose practice emphasized appellate litigation and general corporate litigation, joined the College of Law in 1991. She has taught courses dealing with civil procedure, constitutional law, civil practice clinic, lawyering theory and practice, and the practice of law in a digital era, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court seminar.

O’Grady spent the last academic year on sabbatical working as a special assistant attorney general in the solicitor general division of the Arizona attorney general’s office. There, she was co-counsel on a Superior Court trial involving Arizona constitutional law, wrote briefs for various courts of appeals and gave an oral argument before the Arizona Supreme Court, among other experiences.

“It was great for me to put myself back out in the profession, not as a supervisor of students, but as an individual attorney working with Arizona’s courts,” she says. “It was a good reality check, and an opportunity for me to reflect, improve and continue to grow as an attorney.”

O’Grady, who writes and talks about the importance of lawyers maintaining their personal autonomy as professionals, says she is excited about her new opportunity at the College of Law.

“I’m delighted Dean Berman wants to make a focus on clinical education, writing, experiential learning and professionalism a key part of the culture of the school,” she says. “This focus is important to both our students and our professional community.”