In memoriam: Dean Emeritus of Notre Dame Law School, Reverend David T. Link | News | Notre-Dame news


Fr. David Link (Photo by Barbara Johnston / University of Notre Dame)

Reverend David T. Link, Dean Emeritus Joseph A. Matson of Notre Dame Law School, once said, “Your calling is what you do for a living. Your purpose in life is what you do to make your life worth it. “

Father Link had both – in abundance.

Prosecutor, teacher and priest, Father Link died Thursday, October 28. He was 85 years old.

“Dave lived a remarkable life”, president of Notre-Dame Rev. John I. Jenkins, SCC, noted. “He was a lawyer, a visionary leader and a humble servant of God. Notre Dame, the Faculty of Law and our community at large are all much better because of him. God gives peace to his soul.

Reverend Edward A. Malloy, CSC, President Emeritus of Notre Dame, added: “Dave Link was a multi-talented scholar and leader. He served with distinction as Dean of Notre Dame Law School, Inspirer of St. Thomas University College of Law, First Vice Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame in Australia, devoted husband and father, Catholic priest and lawyer and friend of prisoners in the state of Indiana. Above all, he put into practice Christian values ​​and virtue. He will be sorely missed. “

Father Link graduated from Notre Dame in 1958 and graduated from Notre Dame Law School three years later. He was on staff at Notre Dame Lawyer, the school’s legal journal, and chaired the annual moot court competition.

During the first five years of his legal career, he worked in the US Treasury Department, then practiced law for four years with the Chicago firm of Winston & Strawn.

Father Link returned to his alma mater in 1970 to teach law, and five years later the President of Notre Dame, Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, appointed him Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Faculty. of law, a position he held for the next 24 years. years, then the longest term among the deans of US law schools.

Under his leadership, Notre Dame Law School was noted for what Father Link described as “an orientation to the questions of value involved in law.” Moral and ethical issues are raised here with the same intensity as substantive and procedural issues are discussed. It was Father Link who coined the expression “Another Kind of Lawyer” to describe the training students receive at Notre-Dame.

Always highly regarded for their teaching, the professors of the Faculty of Law during Father Link’s deanery began to publish at a much higher rate. He also oversaw two major building expansions, an expansion of the library’s collections, the establishment of new research centers and scholarly publications, and the increase in the number of faculty and students.

Father Link has spoken and written extensively on the subject of professional liability of lawyers and has taught legal ethics. He has served on a number of committees aimed at fostering a renewed sense of professionalism among lawyers, including the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education, the Committee on Professionalism, the Ethics Commission of the Indiana and the Society for Values ​​in Higher Education. He was also a renowned author in the field of federal taxation.

Father Link also focused on international law and human rights. He was the Acting Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Faculty of Law and chaired the World Law Institute, a non-profit organization established to sponsor educational programs in areas of law related to law. global economy, to global organizations and to the emerging world common law.

He took leave of Notre Dame from 1990 to 1992 to serve as founding president and vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame in Australia and continued to serve on its board of trustees and board of governors. He was also on leave from Notre Dame as Associate Vice President and Founding Dean of the University of St. Thomas College of Law and as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of the University of St. Augustine in Africa. from South.

In December 1988, a fire at the Morningside Hotel, a downtown establishment that housed low-income South Bend residents, killed one person and destroyed the historic building. The tragedy prompted Father Link, Father Malloy, and other members of the community to seek a way to care for the less fortunate. The result was the creation of the nationally recognized Center for the Homeless in the city. Father Link has also dedicated his time and talent to Habitat for Humanity, Christmas in April, There are Kids Here, the Indiana Catholic Conference and many other organizations.

When Father Link’s wife of 45 years, Barbara, passed away in 2003, he left his vocation and began to live out his goal. Barbara, Father Hesburgh and others had suggested that he become a priest after retiring from academia. After Barbara’s death, he entered seminary and was ordained in 2012 in the Diocese of Gary, Indiana. He had ministered to inmates at Indiana Prison before becoming a priest, and that was his primary responsibility – his goal – in his later years.

“I don’t want to be smug about it, but they are all children of God,” he said in an interview with Criterion, a publication of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. “They are not all bad people. Many of them are good people who have made some terrible decisions in life. But as I read the scriptures, they are all subject to redemption. And my job is to tell them what redemption is. My relationship is a relationship of friendship. I tell them to keep their heads up and God will come to their aid.

“This part of my life as a priest is to serve the least, the last, the lost and the lonely. I am a servant.

Arrangements are pending.

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