Inspired by his father, a medical school professor, Marc
DeGirolami sought opportunities that would help him carve a path
towards becoming a law professor.
“Law professors have to bring two very distinct characteristics to
their teaching: practical experience and an inclination to write
and wrestle with ideas all day,” explained the Assistant Professor
of criminal law and law and religion.
The Law School’s strong Vincentian tradition and focus on serving
the community made it a special place for Professor DeGirolami to
begin his teaching career, “The institutional connection of St.
John’s to St. Vincent de Paul cultivates a sense in students that
they are part of an institution whose traditions can offer
something of lasting value for their professional lives.”
After years of clerking for a federal court and circuit court
judge, serving as an Assistant District Attorney and teaching as a
Visiting Assistant Professor and Scholar- in-Residence at Catholic
University, in Washington, D.C., Professor DeGirolami was confident
the experience he had combined with his passion for law and theory
were the makings of a valuable teaching career at St. John’s.
“As a law professor you have to enjoy thinking through the
implications of legal issues and take pleasure in writing about
those issues. If you’re the type of person who has a lot of ideas
floating in and out of your head, then a career in law education
could be for you.”
Although Professor DeGirolami admits it takes years of planning and
“laying the groundwork” to attain the level of experience necessary
to prepare for a professional teaching career, he believes it’s
worth the effort.
“I always let my students know that they should be patient with
themselves as they find their place in the legal world. It’s
important to allow oneself to try different paths within the law
until one finds happiness.”
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