August 18, 2020

Cara DrinanThe faculty at Catholic Law is comprised of educators dedicated to teaching, scholarship, and service. They are experts in their fields, critical thinkers about the law, and deeply passionate about their work—eager to share that passion with their students.

For Professor Cara H. Drinan, the experience she gained while working in private practice led to her commitment to criminal justice reform. “My scholarship explores the various ways in which our criminal justice system is broken, including the over-policing of poor, minority communities and schools, disparate access to counsel, and the uniquely American practice of extreme prison sentences. I’m especially interested in reforms that keep children out fo the criminal system and respond instead to rehabilitative needs.” She shared, “Experiencing our correctional system up-close was a game-changer. Once I saw its inequities, I knew I wanted to devote my career to criminal justice reform.”

Drinan joined the Catholic Law in 2006 and her love for teaching is palpable. “A classroom is full of energy! There’s an excitement to building a community as a class, to introducing a concept to new eyes and ears, and to learning from students as they process material in the current moment.” Drinan is particularly excited to introduce a new course, a criminal justice reform seminar, for the Fall 2020 semester. “It will be a shared undertaking – an assessment of what is going on in our society today and what lawyers can do to address systemic racism and inequality.”

War on KidsTo students in her classes, Drinan advises, “A good student is ready to roll up her sleeves and work to develop the skills of close reading, statutory interpretation, and problem-solving. A great student is eager to apply those skills to real-world legal problems. And good students, just like good lawyers, are prepared, prompt, responsive to instruction, and articulate both in writing and orally.”

To learn more about Professor Cara Drinan, her expertise, and her scholarship, visit Drinan’s Faculty Page.