David T. Link, a member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 1970 and dean from 1975 to 1999, enjoyed the longest tenure among American law school deans until his promotion to dean emeritus. A prosecutor, professor and priest, Father Link died Thursday (Oct. 28, 2021). He was 85.
He earned his B.S. magna cum laude and his J.D. from Notre Dame in 1958 and 1961, respectively. While in law school, he belonged to the staff of the law review, Notre Dame Lawyer, and served as chairman of the annual moot-court competition. Admitted to the bars of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, as well as before the United States Supreme Court, Link has practiced law with the U.S. Treasury Department (1961–1966) and with the Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn (1966–1970).
Dean Link has spoken and written extensively on the topic of professional responsibility for attorneys, and teaches ethics to all first-year law students. He participates in a number of committees designed to encourage a renewed sense of professionalism among attorneys including the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education, Committee on Professionalism (member 1993–1997), the Indiana State Ethics Commission (chair 1988–1990) and the Society for Values in Higher Education (member since 1980). He is also a noted author in the field of federal taxation.
He has a strong interest in world law and human rights. He held the position of interim director of the University’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, and chaired the World Law Institute, a not-for-profit organization established to sponsor educational programs in fields of law relating to the global economy, world organizations and the emerging world common law.
He actively participates in a number of University committees including the Academic Council, the Provost’s Advisory Committee, and the Athletic-Affairs, Academic Affairs and Faculty Affairs Committees of the Board of Trustees. His community involvement includes a number of organizations that provide housing including Habitat for Humanity and the Christmas-in-April program, the South Bend Center for the Homeless (of which he is a co-founder), the Friends of the Homeless Advisory Council (chair since 1995) and There Are Children Here (board member since 1994). He has been a member of the Indiana Catholic Conference since 1996.
During his deanship, he served as the founding president and vice-chancellor of the University of Notre Dame in Perth, Australia (1990–1992); he remains a member of that university’s Board of Trustees and Board of Governors. While on leave from Notre Dame Law School in 1999–2001, he served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and founding dean of the law school at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of St. Augustine in South Africa.Publications
Dean Marcus Cole's Message, G. Marcus Cole
Fr. David Link, Faculty Profile, Notre Dame Law School
Mass Card Hebrews 13:1-3, University of Notre Dame
Mass Card Matthew 25:35-36, University of Notre Dame
Mass of Christian Burial, University of Notre Dame
Hesburgh Forum 2020 "From Success to Significance", Notre Dame Club, Chicago
‘Crazy’ suggestion leads to God’s purpose for his life, John Shaughnessy
TEDxUND: An Escape Strategy For the War On Crime: Healing the Criminal, TEDx and David T. Link
Retired law school dean, widowed grandfather, ordained to priesthood, Arch Diocese of Baltimore
Hesburgh Forum featuring Rev. David T. Link ’58, ’61 J.D., LL.D, D.Lit., D.Sc., Notre Dame Club, Chicago
The Dean's Report: The Law School: 1992–93 Academic Year, David T. Link
Report of the Dean 1980–1981, David T. Link