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Saint Louis University School of Law

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Saint Louis University School of Law

Saint Louis University School of Law
Parent school Saint Louis University
Established 1843
School type Private, Roman Catholic - Jesuit
Parent endowment $880.3 million (2011)[1]
Dean Michael A. Wolff[2]
Location Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Enrollment 930 (806 full-time, 124 part-time) [3]
Faculty 129 [3]
USNWR ranking 93 in "Best Law Schools 2015" [4]
Bar pass rate 84.3% [5]
ABA profile ABA Profile

Saint Louis University School of Law, also known as SLU LAW, is a private American law school located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is one of the professional graduate schools of Saint Louis University. Opened in 1843, it is the first law school west of the Mississippi River. The school has been ABA approved since 1924 and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Housed in Scott Hall, the law school has the highest enrollment of law students in Missouri. It offers both full- and part-time programs. The school is also home to St. Louis University's Vincent C. Immel Law Library, which is one of the largest law libraries in the state of Missouri.[1] Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas studied for his bar exam at the old Omer Poos Law Library on the main SLU campus.

It was the first ABA law school in St. Louis to accept African-American students. In 1908, the law school accepted its first female law students.[6] Starting with the fall semester of 2013, the school will be located in Scott Hall, a new facility in Downtown St. Louis.[6] According to SLU Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 55.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[7]

Degree programs

Most students are enrolled in the full-time J.D. program. SLU LAW has the only part-time J.D. program in St. Louis. The school also offers dual-degree programs and an LL.M in Health Law and an LL.M Program in American Law for Foreign Lawyers.

Full-time program

During their first year, full-time students are required to take 15 hours per semester to complete the core courses (torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, constitutional law I, criminal law, and legal research and writing). After the first year, full-time upper-division students select from more than 150 hours of upper-division course electives to complete the required 91 credit hours. Of the remaining 61 credit hours, only the following are required courses: 1) Legal Profession; 2) a seminar of the student's choice; 3) a humanities course and 4) a professional skills courses.

The evening program

There is an evening program with classes three to four nights a week; students in this program can earn their Juris Doctor degree in four to five years.

Dual-degree programs



Center for Health Law Studies

Since its establishment before 1990, the Center for Health Law Studies is consistently listed first in health law by U.S. News & World Report. St. Louis, home to Barnes Hospital carries out medical and biotechnology research. The Center has eleven full-time faculty members who publish work in law, medicine and ethical journals.

The Center offers a broad range of health law courses taught by full-time faculty, including foundational and specialized health law courses each semester.

Center for International and Comparative Law

The Center for International and Comparative Law promotes international legal scholarship within the law school. Faculty members teach pragmatic and theory based courses, such as public international law, international trade, multinational corporate responsibility, international tax, comparative law, immigration law, comparative criminal law, gender rights and international human rights. Speakers and practitioners are also invited to the school to discuss and teach. Students are eligible to earn a certificate from the Center, as well as study abroad in Madrid, Berlin, Orléans, Paris, Bochum, and Cork. The Center also has a Jessup Moot Court Team, which advanced on to the semi-final rounds of the Southwest Super Regionals in 2009 in Houston, Texas, and subsequently won third place for best brief overall.

Center for Employment Law

The Center's extensive curriculum offers a broad range of courses addressing the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, including the prohibition of discrimination; establishment of collective bargaining relationships in the private and public sector; regulation of employee benefits, health and safety in the workplace; and arbitration and mediation of labor and employment disputes. To obtain a certificate in employment law, students complete 11 hours of approved coursework in the employment field and write a paper of publishable quality on an employment law topic in addition to receiving a J.D. degree. All students in the Certificate program take the basic law labor course. The Center enhances the students' exposure to critical issues in labor and employment law by presenting conferences that explore current significant topics in the field. Every year, the student-sponsored Employment Law Association and the Center offer a variety of extra-curricular programs for students that address new legal developments, career opportunities and employment law practice.

Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law & Advocacy

Through the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law & Advocacy (CISLA), established in 2011, current and future lawyers will attain a broad range of skills to use in further advancing change, advocacy and legal theory. The Center brings together two distinct areas of legal education – scholarly research and experiential practice – under the umbrella of interdisciplinary studies. Through collaboration with scholars, professors, the judiciary, lawyers and professionals in complementary areas of study and research including psychology, anthropology, economics and communications, students will gain new perspectives that will allow them to become stronger advocates for their clients. The Center will sponsor lectures, symposia, research initiatives and other educational events that showcase advocacy across different disciplines.


SLU LAW professors and students annually provide more than 39,000 hours of free legal service, totaling an estimated $3.9 million, to the community through the School of Law's Legal Clinics and public service programs. The Legal Clinics offer SLU LAW upper division students invaluable practical experience while providing valuable legal services to the community. Students are able to appear in court on cases under Missouri's Student Practice Rule. A full-time faculty member supervises the in-house students.

In-House Clinics

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Special Education
  • Children's Advocacy
  • Juvenile Law
  • Homeless Veterans
  • Consumer Rights
  • Landlord-Tenant Law
  • Community Development
  • Small Business Development
  • Civil Rights
  • Family Law
  • Immigration
  • Mediation


  • Health Law Externships including Semester in Washington, D.C.
  • Prosecutor Externships
  • Public Defender Externships
  • Public Interest/Government Externships
  • Transactional/Tax Externships
  • Judicial Externships


The school offers "concentrations" in business transaction law, civil litigation skills, criminal litigation skills, employment law, health law, intellectual property law, international & comparative law, taxation, and urban development, land use and environment law. Each of these concentrations has different requirements, allowing students to specialize their legal education.[8]


First-year students take four final examinations each semester, one for each class other than legal research and writing. All other students self-schedule their exams. Generally the exam period is two weeks long; graduating students are required to complete exams in a shorter time. Students may choose between typing their exams on laptop computers or handwriting them. As at most other law schools, exams are graded on a curve determined by the section.


The 75th to 25th percentile of undergraduate GPA for the fall 2012 entering class was 3.7-3.23. The 75th to 25th percentile of LSAT score was 159-151.


SLU LAW is located in Scott Hall, a 12-story facility located at 100 N. Tucker Blvd. in downtown St. Louis.[6] The building contains classrooms, the law library, the school's administrative and faculty offices, event space, and a restaurant called "The Docket." The legal clinics are housed on the 7th floor of the building. The 12th floor, which was added to the building during renovations, is almost entirely glass, offering views of the surrounding downtown area from the courtroom and indoor/outdoor event areas. The school's downtown location puts it in close proximity to many law firms and city, state and federal courts.

Prior to Scott Hall, the law school was housed in three buildings on the main SLU campus in Midtown. Morrissey Hall housed the bulk of the law school, including the law library, four large lecture halls, faculty offices, and some administrative space. Queen's Daughters Hall is a historic building and housed the rest of the administrative offices and meeting rooms. The law school also had a separate clinic building located on Spring Street, one block from the main building. The clinic was renovated and enlarged in 2008.


In the 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Saint Louis University School of Law was ranked 18 in "The Top Schools" list. SLU's Center for Health Law Studies maintained its No. 1 position as the best health law program in the country for the 10th consecutive year. In the new 2012 category "When Lawyers Do the Grading," the School of Law was ranked 67 by recruiters and hiring partners at highly rated firms.

Student publications

The school has three student-edited academic law journals:

  • Saint Louis University Law Journal [2] - The Journal is SLU Law's oldest and largest law journal at SLU Law. It publishes four times a year. The Journal hosts a spring symposium and the fall Childress Lecture, named for a former dean of the law school.
  • Saint Louis University Public Law Review [3] - The Public Law Review is a specialty journal focusing on public interest issues. It publishes twice a year and hosts an annual spring symposium.
  • Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy [4] - The Journal of Health Law and Policy is another specialty journal that is paired with the law school's health law center. It publishes twice a year and hosts a spring health law symposium together with the center.

The Saint Louis Brief [5] is a publication about the law school that is distributed to alumni and supporters.

Students at one time published the 1843 Reporter, an independent student newspaper administered and funded without assistance from the school. It published bi-monthly and sought to foster a sense of community and on-campus dialogue, as well as provide an outlet for students wishing to publish in a non-journal forum.

Student organizations

SLU law school has nearly 30 student organizations [6]. The organizations' funding is distributed in part by the law school's student government, the Student Bar Association (SBA)[7]. Organizations include:

  • American Constitution Society
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Animal Law
  • A Real Community Here (ARCH)
  • Asian American Law Students Association (AALSA)
  • Black Law Students' Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Association (BLA)
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Criminal Law Society
  • Employment Law Association
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Federalist Society
  • Health Law Association
  • Hispanic Law Student Association
  • International Law Students' Association (ILSA)
  • Jewish Legal Society
  • Mark Twain Law Student Association
  • Older Wiser Law Students
  • Phi Alpha Delta (PAD)
  • Phi Delta Phi (PDP)
  • Public Interest Law Group (PILG)
  • Sports and Entertainment Law Association
  • St. Thomas More Society
  • Student Intellectual Property Law Association (SIPLA)
  • Student Legal Writers' Association
  • Veteran's Law Student Association
  • Women Law Students' Association


According to SLU Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 55.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[9] SLU Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 26.9%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[10]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at SLU Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $59,608.[11] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $220,008.[12]

Notable faculty


  • Isaak Dore, current, international law
  • Roger Goldman, current, constitutional law, criminal procedure
  • Joel K. Goldstein, current, constitutional law, specialist in the Vice Presidency of the United States
  • Thomas L. Greaney, current, health law
  • Ann M. Scarlett, current, former clerk of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
  • Stephen C. Thaman, current, comparative criminal law
  • Hon. Michael A. Wolff, current, former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court [8]


  • Charles B. Blackmar (1966–1982)
  • Paul Blakwell, former Dean
  • Richard J. Childress, former Dean 1969–1976
  • Thomas Eagleton, visiting faculty (2005–2006)
  • Alphonse G. Eberle, former Dean
  • Stanislaw Frankowski
  • Hauwa Ibrahim (Fall 2006)
  • Vincent C. Immel (1958–2004), former Dean
  • Donald B. King
  • J. Norman McDonough, former Dean 1953–1961
  • Hon. Theodore McMillian (1952–1972)
  • John F.T. Murray, former Dean
  • Eileen H. Searls
  • Joseph J. Simeone (1947–1972)
  • SpearIt, (2010–2013)

Dean controversy

In August 2012, Saint Louis University School of Law's Dean, Annette Clark, resigned from her deanship by sending a resignation letter to the university. She claimed that the university was operating "outside the bounds of common decency, collegiality, professionalism and integrity."[13] Clark argued that the university was using the law school to subsidize university operations and she sharply criticized Lawrence Biondi, the university president. The university responded by stating that it intended to fire her prior to the resignation letter. The university then appointed Thomas Q. Keefe as interim dean. Keefe is a personal injury attorney and member of the Saint Louis University board of trustees, but had no other experience with teaching or academia.[14]

On March 4, 2013, Keefe announced he was stepping down, saying he "made politically incorrect statements to faculty and was not a good fit for the position." The statements included one comment perceived as sexual harassment and another where Keefe said he had gotten "drunker than 10 big Indians." He does not deny making the statements.[15]

Michael A. Wolff, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri, was named as the new dean on March 7, 2013.[2]

Notable alumni

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District

United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois

United States District Court, Central District of Illinois

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

External links

  • Law Dean Annette E Clark Resignation Letter
  • Saint Louis University School of Law
  • ABA profile on Saint Louis University School of Law
  • ABA School Description
  • Rate My Professor


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011". National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Michael Wolff ('70) Named Dean of St. Louis University School of Law, University of Minnesota Law School, March 6, 2013, accessed March 18, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Education: Grad Schools".  
  4. ^ "Rankings".  
  5. ^ "St. Louis University School of Law". ABA. 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ "Employment Statistics". 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Employment Statistics". 
  10. ^ "St. Louis University Profile". 
  11. ^ "Tuition and Expenses". 
  12. ^ "St. Louis University Profile". 
  13. ^ "Annette Clark Resignation Letter". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. August 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ "University President Claims He Intended to Terminate Ex-Dean's Appointment, Hires Personal Attorney as Interim Dean". August 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ Cambria, Nancy (5 March 2013). "Interim dean of SLU law school says he will step down". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 5 March 2013. 
  16. ^

Catholic law schools in the United States

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