John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law, Policy Coordinator for the Alliance for Catholic Education
Notre Dame aims to do something distinctive: to build a great Catholic research university. A Catholic university is, by virtue of its mission, called to be creative, to explore, to search for truth, to transform the world. This mission makes Notre Dame Law School the ideal place for me.
In my scholarship, I seek to understand how American communities are shaped by legal policies, especially those developed for land-use and education. For example, I have examined whether land-use policies appropriately balance the desire of many Americans to live in suburbs with the economic and social costs of suburban sprawl and how these regulations intersect with policing practices to strengthen (or undermine) urban communities.
Most recently, my Notre Dame Law School colleague and co-author Peg Brinig and I have studied the role of educational institutions—especially urban Catholic schools—in building neighborhood social capital. Our collaboration is directly related to my work with Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives and Alliance for Catholic Education, where I am able to draw upon my experience to advance efforts to strengthen K-12 Catholic schools in the United States and to expand access to high-quality schools for the children who need them most.
I am privileged to be a part of a community that embraces a call not only to learn and teach but also to serve.