Founder of Steubenville Legal Studies program gives talk


For those wondering what a law school is like and what law schools look for during the admission process, Brian Scarnecchia, the founder of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Legal Studies program, gave a talk Monday, Sept. 15 at 11 a.m.

The place was packed with students ranging from freshmen curious about studying law to seniors majoring in political science and getting ready for their next big step in life.

“Our country, and the world, is in need of Catholic legal professionals,” Scarnecchia said with strong emphasis.

In today’s society where ethical values are being questioned and the morality of our society is being challenged, Scarnecchia believes that it is crucial to have Catholics in legal areas upholding the Natural Law. Controversial topics of our generation are flooding the mass media and issues such as gay marriage and abortion are ending up in the court room.

“That’s where faithful Catholic law schools come in,” said Scarnecchia. Law schools of Ave Maria in Florida, Notre Dame in Indiana and St. Thomas in Minnesota are some of the examples of Catholic institutions that provide the education and environment necessary for law student to focus on Christian values.

“Tuition fee for law schools is expensive. But we are willing to pay it for you,” said Scarnecchia.

National trend is changing. Many law schools around the country are more willing to give scholarships out to law students than in the past few years. Even very prestigious law schools such as Harvard and Yale are willing to give full and partial scholarships to new students coming in with high LSAT scores and good GPAs.

“Graduating students from Franciscan University holds certain advantage over other undergraduate schools,” said Scarneccia, “because it is a Cardinal Newman Approved School, which qualifies its students for special scholarships for Catholic law schools such as Ave Maria.”

Scarnecchia concluded that what is truly important is that this generation of students comes to embrace Christian values and uphold them.

Scarnecchia has been a faculty member of Franciscan University of Steubenville since 1996, and he is the chair of the Department of Humanities and Catholic Social Thoughts and Political Science.

He directed founding of Franciscan’s Legal Studies program and with his colleague Dr. Stephen Krason, professor of political science and legal studies here at Franciscan University who has since taken Scarnecchia’s place as the department chair, laid foundation to Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Massachusetts, which in fall of 2009 moved to Miami, Florida.

Professor Scarnecchia now lectures in Ave Maria School of Law and is often invited to give talks on human rights, Natural Law, bioethics, and cultural and political issues around the country.