Like several Notre Dame trustees approached by The Rover, university trustee and legal counsel Richard Nussbaum declined to comment on his role within the university. Instead, he referred The Rover to the Office of the Board Secretariat for further questions.

Nussbaum serves not only as a trustee but also as an outside legal counsel for the university. He assured The Rover that these are not conflicting positions.

“In regard to my role as outside Counsel to the University, it has no impact on my role as Trustee,” he said.  

Although Nussbaum welcomed a personal interview on his experiences at Notre Dame, he prohibited the use of any content from the interview in an article.

Nussbaum has been involved in headline cases, most recently the prosecution of the “ND 88,” a group arrested for their on-campus protest of the decision to honor President Obama at the university’s 2009 commencement.  The Thomas More Society, representing the ND 88, recently heard a deposition from Bill Kirk regarding the circumstances of the case. Nussbaum was denied permission from Judge Michael Scopelitis to cross-examine Kirk during the deposition. He raised several objections during the proceedings. Other Notre Dame attorneys were also present at the deposition.

Nussbaum declined any further comments on the pending case, citing the fiduciary duties outlined in the Indiana Rules of Professional Responsibility.

Nussbaum graduated from Notre Dame in 1974 with a BA in English and again in 1977 with a JD from Notre Dame Law School.

As a baseball player with a stellar .333 batting average his junior year, Nussbaum earned his monogram. He later served for three years on the Monogram Club’s board of directors and eventually became the club’s first vice-president in 2007.

Nussbaum also served as the Region 8 Director for the Notre Dame Alumni Association from 2004-2007, supervising ten alumni clubs in Indiana and Kentucky.

In 1996, Nussbaum became a partner with Sopko, Nussbaum, and Inabnit, a South Bend-based law firm where he works primarily with business and real-estate transactions. Nussbaum advanced his career as general counsel for Joe Kernan, former Indiana lieutenant governor, from ’98 to ’03.

Nussbaum’s service has extended to the larger South Bend community as well. He has served as chairman for the St. Joseph County Drug Free Council, city attorney for the city of South Bend, board member for both the Women’s Care Center and Catholic Charities, and attorney for the South Bend Center for the Homeless.

Nussbaum is also the father of three children, Matt, Dan, and Kathryn who graduated from Notre Dame, Holy Cross College, and Saint Mary’s College, respectively.

Contact Ray at with questions or comments.