The faculty at Catholic Law is comprised of educators dedicated to providing a top-rate legal education that is committed to the dignity of each human person; care for the poor, the neglected, and the vulnerable; and the obligation of love for one another.
For Professor Lucia Silecchia, that means seeking a common thread through her diverse focus areas. Silecchia teaches and writes in areas relating to property, care for the elderly, environmental law and policy, as well as Catholic social thought and classes in Catholic Law’s International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome. “Although these areas seem to be diverse, the common thread through them all is that they ask questions related to our responsibility for the people and things that are entrusted to our care.” Silecchia continued, adding, “That moral question and the ways in which law can help or harm fascinates me. Whether a question arises in the context of care for a particular family and its elderly or ill members, or whether it emerges in the context of care for the human rights of the most vulnerable, or whether it surfaces in care for the fragile beauty of creation, the ‘duty to care’ lies at the heart of many interests of mine.”
Silecchia knew early on that she would pursue teaching, “I‘ve known since college that I wanted to teach. My mother was a junior high teacher in New York and my father had once hoped to become a lawyer himself. I grew up with an enormous respect for both the vocation to teach and the privilege of practicing law.” That sense of dedication and passion led Silecchia to the study of law. She shared, “I am so glad that I chose to study law. The issues were fascinating beyond what I expected and to be able to spend my career in law school is an enormous privilege.”
According to Silecchia, passion is also one of the key characteristics of a good lawyer. “The best lawyers and advocates I know are the ones who really enjoy what they do—those who have found the field of law that excites them and the clients and causes they are eager to serve.” For students, that means embracing the fact that law is complex and individual cases are challenging because of their nuances and unique twists.
When asked what advice she had for students who would be taking classes with her, Silecchia shared, “Enjoy the study of law with enthusiasm today and the practice of law with passion tomorrow. But also make time for all the other parts of your lives that are important. This time of pandemic has made this clearer than it was before. Love your families, make time for your friends, take care of yourself spiritually and physically, and really think about what will leave you most fulfilled in life.”