The Catholic University of America


Who We Are


The Office of General Counsel ("OGC") manages the legal affairs of the university. In that role, its major activities include: management of all external litigation and government agency complaints; advice to the university from the Board of Trustees, President and senior officers of CUA to supervisors and individual faculty and staff regarding all legal questions arising in day-to-day operations of the university; and preventive law initiatives. OGC also maintains this Campus Legal Information Clearinghouse website, 

Communications regarding legal matters with the OGC attorneys on behalf of CUA are ordinarily protected by attorney-client privilege (as legal rules permit) and are confidential. The OGC is not allowed to provide personal legal advice to employees or students but can provide referrals if needed. Please remember that communications to our office through e-mail are not necessarily secure and hence their confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Feel free to contact us at 202-319-5142 or at  

Legal Staff 

General Counsel
Nancy Morrison O'Connor 

B.A. Gettysburg College, J.D. Notre Dame.

Prior to joining the University, O'Connor was a partner at Bracewell LLP, where she represented clients in compliance, internal investigations, transactions, and litigation.

Prior to joining Bracewell, O’Connor served as the deputy general counsel and vice president for human resources and employee benefits at Allbritton Communications Company in Washington, D.C. Her experience also includes 17 years at Norton Rose Fulbright (Houston and Washington, D.C.) and a federal appointment at the Office of Research Integrity. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she has taught Intensive Trial Advocacy since 2004. She has served on the Board of the National Veterans Legal Services Program since 2014 and currently serves on the DC Circuit Credentials Committee for the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She served as chair of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Commission on Human Rights and its Case Review Board.

Major areas of practice: Counsels the CUA President, Vice Presidents and Provost; Development; Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, Administration, Litigation Management; EEOC investigations and mediation; sexual harassment and sexual assault claims; employment matters, and constitutional/First Amendment issues.  

Associate General Counsel for Policy and Compliance
Margaret L. O'Donnell

B. S., University of Virginia, J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School. Her prior work experience includes working as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Dane County, Wisconsin as well as in a small law firm in Madison, Wisconsin. Peg also worked as a legislative aide in Madison, Wisconsin; as a lobbyist for gun control in Boston, Massachusetts and as an independent contractor for the Dept. of Education on privacy issues and for NACUA on training issues.  She authored an article on FERPA for the Journal of College and University Law.

Major areas of practice: Student Record Privacy, Copyright, Disability Law, First Amendment and Religion, and all questions related to federal regulations and compliance, as well as contracts and other day to day issues.  Author of the CUA Office of General Counsel Web Page. Peg O'Donnell has worked for CUA since January of 1996. 

Associate General Counsel

Scott Goldschmidt

Scott Goldschmidt is Associate General Counsel for The Catholic University of America. His main responsibilities include litigation preparation, policy development, construction issues, athletics, contracts, research issues and other day to day legal issues. Before starting full time at Catholic University, Scott worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of General Counsel, in the post-secondary education division and was a research assistant to Professor William Kaplin for the fifth edition of The Law of Higher Education treatise. Scott earned a B.A. from The George Washington University and a J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, where he was Lead Articles Editor of the Law Review.


Legal Assistant

Ed Schaefer

Ed Schaefer is a retired Navy Commander, cryptologist for 20 years, 2 months and 16 days. Five children, including 4 CUA graduates.  Ed and his wife Ellen are also CUA alumni. Ed is the Veteran's Affairs Coordinator for the University. He has worked in various departments in the University since 2005.  






updated 5-24-18