Notre Dame Law School has created a new scholarship to help students explore the field of law and religion. The Murphy Fellowship is named in honor of Edward J. Murphy, a former and longtime Notre Dame law professor.
The first Murphy Fellows—Joseph Andres, Olivia Lyons, Hadiah Mabry, and Tess Skehan—will actively participate in programming for the Church, State, and Society program and the Religious Liberty Initiative. In addition, they will have the opportunity, during their second and third years, to participate in the Faculty of Law’s Religious Freedom Clinic.
Murphy was an exemplary Catholic jurist and professor of law. He joined the faculty in 1957, served as acting dean for the 1970–71 academic year, and directed the Notre Dame Summer Program in Japan in 1974. He was appointed John N. Matthews Professor of Law in 1979, becoming the first president by right. teacher at Notre Dame.
Former Dean David T. Link said in an article about Murphy, “Ed was a teacher through all seasons: teacher, scholar, mentor, role model, and committed servant to the University and the Church.”
Murphy was known as a leading academic authority on contracts. He was the co-author of the most widely used contract casebook in the country at the time. He also taught jurisprudence while at law school.
Charles Rice, a former law professor and colleague of Murphy, wrote of his teaching of jurisprudence in a commemorative article, saying, “In his teaching of jurisprudence, Professor Murphy uniquely integrated faith and morality with the law.
In his 1994 essay, “The Sign of the Cross and Jurisprudence,” published in the Notre Dame Law Review, Murphy wrote, “Every class I taught at Notre Dame Law School began with the same action and the same words. I made the ancient sign of the cross saying: “In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Richard Garnett, Paul J. Schierl/Fort Howard Corporation professor of law and director of Notre Dame Law School’s program on Church, State, and Society, said he also begins all of his classes with the sign of the cross due to Murphy’s influence. Murphy retired in 1994 after 37 years as a faculty member. By the time of his death in 1995, he had taught more Notre Dame Law School students than any other professor in the history of the University.
“It is fitting that a scholarship to support student engagement on issues concerning church-state relations and religious liberty bears Professor Murphy’s name. He was a wonderful example and role model for his students and colleagues. At the law school, we are grateful for the generous support of benefactors who have made this scholarship possible,” said Garnett.
Meet the Fellows
Joseph Andres earned his undergraduate degree at Thomas Aquinas College and completed his Masters of Divinity at Ave Maria University. He worked in sales before applying to law school.
Andres said he came to ND Law because it is a Catholic law school with top job prospects.
“My main goal in going to law school is to equip myself to build a Catholic community on a natural level, in other words, to build the common good of society on an explicitly Catholic basis,” Andres said. . “Law is a vital part of that goal, and since the Murphy Fellowship is about exactly those things – the Church, the law, and society – I am delighted that there is already an entire community dedicated to the goals with which I am come here.”
Olivia Lyons is originally from Washington, DC, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to entering law school, she worked as a market research analyst.
“I highly value Notre Dame’s commitment to its Catholic identity and freedom of expression in the academic setting. Additionally, Notre Dame has top-notch faculty and a strong community,” Lyons said in explaining why she had chosen ND Law.
“I’m thrilled to be a Murphy Fellow because it gives me the opportunity to explore issues I’m passionate about, like religious freedom, under the guidance of phenomenal professors,” Lyons said.
Hadiah Mabry is from Somerset, Kentucky and received his undergraduate degree from Hillsdale College. After graduating, she was a fellow at the John Jay Institute in Pennsylvania, then worked at Hillsdale College.
She came to ND Law because she knew it would provide her with a strong ethical framework for practicing law.
“Notre Dame was a natural fit, especially given her excellent faculty. I was also strongly influenced by the central place of Our Lady in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the opportunity to work closely with the Program on Church, State and Society,” said Mabry. “I am deeply intrigued by the interplay between law, culture, and religion, and wanted my legal education to complement my undergraduate studies in First Amendment issues.”
She said the Murphy Fellowship has already provided her with opportunities to engage with people, texts and events directly related to her area of interest.
“I am very pleased to have first-hand insight into Notre Dame’s excellent scholarship, both on campus and through guest speakers,” Mabry said.
Tess Skehan graduated from Hillsdale College and worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania before entering law school.
She chose Notre Dame because she wanted to study law at a rigorous institution that challenged her to grow not only academically and professionally, but also spiritually.
“I look forward to learning how to apply the knowledge I learn in the classroom to help faith flourish and protect the closely held rights of all through my work with the Church, State and society,” Skehan said.
The Murphy Scholarship will be awarded annually to first-year law students and selected through a written application process.
Learn more about Notre Dame Law School’s Church, State, and Society program at churchstate.nd.edu.
Photos by Alicia Sachau/Notre Dame Law School