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Francis Catania

Director of Experiential Education, Director of the Judicial Externship Program, Associate Professor of Law

B.A., Dickinson College
M.A., Johns Hopkins University
J.D., Dickinson School of Law


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 302.477.2108


Francis J. Catania, Jr., is Associate Professor of L aw at Widener's Delaware campus. Professor Catania received a B.A. from Dickinson College in 1973, an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1976 and a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law in 1983.

Following graduation from law school, Professor Catania worked as a Prosecutor with the Department of State, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg from 1983-84. He then worked as an Associate Attorney with Halligan and Gillin in Media, Pennsylvania, from 1984- 85.

Professor Catania joined the faculty at Delaware Law School as Assistant Professor of Law in 1985, and has served as Associate Professor at Widener since 1992.

Professor Catania is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, and he teaches and writes in the areas of Family Law, Lawyering Skills and Ethics, Wills & Trusts, and Professional Responsibility. He is the Director of Experiential Education. He is the former director of the Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic and currently the Director of the Judicial Externship Program.

Professor Catania has been active in a number of professional and civic organizations, including the Hearing Committee 2.02 of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Chair); Board of Directors, Delaware County Legal Assistance Association; Member, Chester Committee for Academic Excellence and Social Responsibility; Member, Economic Subcommittee of the Chester Coordinating Council; Member, Board of Directors, The School In Rose Valley.

What inspires me to teach?

We are at our best as a faculty when we infuse in our students a feeling that they are smart enough to be here, and that they are engaged with us in an adventure of learning the law and that we are making available to them what they will need to be able to have a career of doing things to change the world for the better, and of belonging to something that makes that possible.

What is the most important way that I “give back”?

Though we are an excellent law school, we are not an exclusive law school. At Widener Delaware we are at our best when we are inclusive: when we make our students feel a part of something bigger and better (a feeling that we very often have as a faculty). We do well to expand that feeling of inclusiveness to our students in a world and a legal profession that relentlessly separates and excludes people by race, gender, culture, religion, socioeconomic status, educational background, geography...