The Catholic University of America

Sarah Helene Duggin

Professor of Law

Sarah Duggin teaches Corporate and Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility and a Civil Rights/Legal History course at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.  She is the Director of CUA’s Law and Public Policy Program and the author of several articles in the fields of Corporate Law, Legal Ethics and Constitutional Law.  Sarah has been a speaker and participant in a number of conferences focusing on topics at the intersection of law and faith.  Prior to joining the CUA faculty, Sarah was Vice President & General Counsel of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).  She has also served as Chief Counsel of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and as a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly where she handled criminal defense and complex civil litigation.  After law school, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson, III, then Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

Sarah is an honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was Articles Editor of the law review, and editorial assistant to Professor George Haskins, co-author of the second volume of the Holmes Devise History of the United States Supreme Court.  Sarah received her A.B. magna cum laude Smith College.  She also holds a masters of divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.  In addition to teaching at CUA, Sarah was recently ordained as an Episcopal priest.  She serves as adjunct clergy at St. John’s Episcopal Church – Georgetown Parish.

Sarah is married to Kirk Renaud.  Sarah and Kirk celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary last summer.  They have two sons, Alex and Bryant Renaud, a cat named Ribbons and a puppy named Jesse.

  • Leisure time (not much of it): My family and I love to be outdoors, especially if we can sail or scuba dive, or just go for long walks. 
  • Another facet: As my bio notes, I was recently ordained as an Episcopal priest after many years of part-time study and training.  I love teaching here at CUA because here we have the freedom to pursue all knowledge as a means of understanding God’s good creation and to envision our work as a pathway, not just to technical learning, but to a more just society for all people.
  • Obstacles: My dad died when I was 14, and we had very little.  I worked throughout my college and law school years, and I had to deal with family opposition to even going to college. 
  • Mentors: The Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson, III, formerly Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (one of the lawyers who argued Brown v. Board of Education and one of the finest human beings I have ever known); Professor George Haskins (I served as one of his editorial assistants on Volume II of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise History of the United States Supreme Court); Edward Bennett Williams; women such as Judge Silvia Bacon who led the way in breaking through barriers and shattering glass ceilings for the rest of us.