Washington University School of Law

Washington University School of Law


name = Washington University School of Law
established = 1867
type = Private
dean = Kent D. Syverud
city = University City
state = Missouri
country = USA
students = 723
faculty = 134 (Fall)
129 (Spring)
campus = Suburban
website = http://www.law.wustl.edu/
endowment = US $121 million

Washington University School of Law (WULS), is a private American law school located in St. Louis, Missouri. The law school is one part of the seven graduate and undergraduate schools at Washington University in St. Louis.

Founded in 1867, the School of Law is the oldest continually operating private law school west of the Mississippi river. Originally, the law school was located in downtown St. Louis, the law school relocated in 1904 to the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Presently, the law school is located in Anheuser-Busch Hall, part of the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis.

Ranking and honors

The 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Grad Schools" ranked the Washington University School of Law: [http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/brief/lawrank_brief.php]
*19th in the country overall
*3rd in the country in Trial Advocacy
*4th in the country in Clinical Training

Recent Leiter’s Law School Rankings placed the law school: [http://www.leiterrankings.com/] [http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/]
*18th in the country (tie) in Student Quality
*19th in the country (tie) in Academic Reputation
*20th in the country (tie) in Lawyer/Judge Reputation

Despite these relatively high rankings, Vault has recently ranked the Washington University School of Law as one of the most "underrated" in the country. [http://www.vault.com/lawschool/underrated/]

Degree Program

JD ProgramMost of the students at Washington University School of Law are enrolled in the juris doctor (JD) program. For matriculated students graduating in or before May 2009, this program comprises 85 semester hours of credit, usually completed in three years. Beginning with the class of 2009, JD students will be required to take 86 semester hours of credit in order to graduate. During the first year, students are required to take a set required classes. In the fall, these classes include: contracts, property, torts, and legal research and writing I. In the spring, these classes include: civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, and legal research and writing II. The second and third year offer more flexibility in planning the student's curriculum as there are only two mandatory classes (a class from the ethics curriculum and one seminar). In addition to their substantive coursework, many second and third year students participate in moot court, a scholary publication, a clinic, or an externship.

Joint Degree ProgramsFor students interested in a more general interdisciplinary course of study, the School of Law offers five joint degree programs (usually completed in four years, as opposed to three for a standard JD). These include:

:JD-MBA, with Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business:JD-M.A. in East Asian Studies, with the Washington University School of Arts and Sciences :JD-M.A. in Economics, with the Washington University School of Arts and Sciences:JD-MHA in Health Administration, with the Washington University School of Medicine:JD-MSW, with the Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work

Master of Laws (LL.M.) ProgramWashington University School of Law offers has three LLM programs. These include:LL.M. in U.S. Law for International StudentsLL.M. in Intellectual Property & Technology LawLL.M. in Taxation

Master of Juridical Studies (MJS) ProgramThis program is designed for individuals who need a limited legal education, but who do not require a professional degree. This degree, which requires 30 credit hours, is the equivalent of an MA or MS degree.

Juris Scientiae Doctoris (JSD) ProgramThis program is available to students who have already completed their LLM studies. The program does not follow a general program format. Rather, the students' faculty advisor will select the students' JSD requirements, which highly emphasizes original research and writing skills.

Clinical Program

The clinical program at Washington University School of Law is ranked by "U.S. News and World Report" fourth in the nation, and claims to "provide students opportunities to learn professional skills and values by working in the real world with clients, attorneys, judges, and legislators."

Appellate AdvocacyStudents in the Appellate Clinic represent pro se litigants in cases to be heard on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. After the clerk of the court assigns cases at the beginning of the semester, students handle all aspects of the appeal, including motions, filings, and briefs. This clinic calls for extensive research and writing.

Civil JusticeThe Civil Justice Clinic requires students to handle their own case load under the supervision of the faculty. In utilizing the student body for representation, the Civil Justice Clinic assists in the provision of legal services to needy members of the community and imparts the obligation for public service. The Clinic also includes a weekly seminar in which students are encouraged to think critically about the law, the legal system, lawyers, and their roles as professionals.

Civil Rights & Community JusticeIn the Civil Rights and Community Justice Clinic, students work at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and in selected plaintiff law firms on cases of alleged discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, sex, age, and disability in employment, education, and other arenas. Students engage in interviewing, counseling, case analysis and planning, problem solving, fact investigation, document drafting, negotiation, mediation, and community education. In addition to law office practice, the Civil Rights and Community Justice Clinic includes an in-house component in which students observe and conduct mediations, assist in at least one legislative drafting experience, and participate in at least one civil rights community education project of the student's choosing.

Criminal JusticeThe Criminal Justice Clinic operates in collaboration with the St. Louis County office of the Missouri State Public Defender System, which is the second largest criminal defense office in Missouri, and which is located approximately one mile from the law school in the St. Louis County Justice Center. The Criminal Justice Clinic exposes students to real life lawyering skills within the framework of the state level criminal justice system. Clinic students have the opportunity to serve as Rule 13 certified legal interns, and perform the work of a lawyer, representing clients facing criminal charges.

Congressional & Administrative LawIn this Clinic, approximately 24 third-year law students spend their Spring semester in Washington D.C. and work under the direction of attorneys in a variety of government offices. Examples include the House and Senate Judiciary Committee, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, the Corporate Finance Section of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

As prerequisite to taking this course, students participating in the Congressional and Administrative Law Clinic are required to enroll a course on ethics in government in addition to their daily work at the internship. Well-known personalities - which in the past have included Ken Starr, Webb Hubbell, Bob Bennett and David Kendall - regularly lead classroom discussions on topical subjects.

Government Lawyering The Government Lawyering Clinic provides the opportunity for students to work with attorneys in the Criminal or Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office.
Students in this Clinic work in the Eastern District of Missouri office in St. Louis or the Southern District of Illinois office in East St. Louis. Clinic students in the Criminal Division participate in criminal investigations and prosecution (from initial fact investigations to final appellate work).

Interdisciplinary EnvironmentalThis Clinic consists of both "student attorneys" (second and third year law students) and "student consultants" (graduate and upper-level undergraduates students of Washington University studying engineering, environmental studies, medicine, social work and/or business), work in interdisciplinary teams under faculty supervision. These teams offer legal and technical assistance on environmental and community health problems to individuals and organizations that cannot afford to pay for such services. Clinic teams work on issues relating to air and water quality, lead poisoning, environmental justice, habitat destruction and wetlands.

In March 2007, the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic helped reach a milestone agreement between Sierra Club and Kansas City Power & Light ("KCPL"). This agreement requires KCPL to make the most significant carbon reduction commitments of any utility in the Midwest. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/20/business/20energy.html?_r=1&oref=slogin] [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/19/AR2007031901606.html] [http://www.sierraclub.org/pressroom/releases/pr2007-03-20.asp] [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/16936964.htm] [http://www.grist.org/news/daily/2007/03/21/]

Intellectual Property & Business FormationStudents in this Clinic collaborate with students from the School of Medicine, Olin School of Business, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, and Arts & Sciences; and to provide intellectual property and business formation legal services to clients who might otherwise not have access to competent legal counsel.This Clinic is designed to work with St. Louis-area IP attorneys to provide early stage legal advice to other innovators and entrepreneurs, especially with business incubators in the St. Louis area; work with nonprofit organizations such as: St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA), and Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors (PIIPA).

Judicial ClerkshipThe Judicial Clerkship externship exposes students to civil and criminal litigation from the judicial perspective. Students work as part-time law clerks under the supervision of local, state or federal trial or appellate judges. Students participating in the Judicial Clerkship externship course observe hearings, trials and other court proceedings; perform legal research; and draft a series of legal memoranda relevant to cases under submission by the courts.

tudent publications

The Washington University School of Law presently has three student-run publications. After the completion of their first year, students are encouraged to participate in a "write-on" competition. This competition has generally entailed writing a case comment. Based upon the quality of a student's case comment, a student may be invited to join the publication of their choice.
Second-year students participating in one of the three Washington University School of Law student-run publications are considered "associate" or "staff" editors. In addition to their editing responsibilities (which generally consist of "shelf-checks"), these students are required to write a "note." Based upon the quality of their writing, students may be asked to publish their note in the publication in which they belong. Rising third-year law students are encouraged to apply for an editorial position within their publication. These board positions range from lower-level editing positions to the editor-in-chief position.

* [http://lawreview.wustl.edu/ "Washington University Law Review"] began as the "St. Louis Law Review" in 1915 and was re-titled the "Washington University Law Quarterly" in 1936. The "Law Review" is a student-run academic journal that publishes six issues per year. The staff selects and edits articles from legal scholars, practitioners, and students, and welcomes submissions on any legal topic. In addition to the printed publications, "Law Review" currently maintains an online supplement entitled [http://lawreview.wustl.edu/ Slip Opinions] featuring original commentary and debate by members of the legal academy, bench, and bar.

*"Washington University Journal of Law and Policy" originated in 1968 as the "Urban Law Annual" and focused entirely on issues surrounding land use, urban development, and other legal concerns of urban communities. The scope broadened in 1983 when the "Journal" expanded (and became the "Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law") to encompass a broad range of topics. In 1999, the "Journal" once again broadened its scope to become the "Washington University Journal of Law & Policy". The "Journal" generates a symposium-based publication that brings together communities of scholars, to emphasize existing and emerging visions of the law in relation to interdisciplinary and multicultural perspectives, the implications of technology, and the consequences of economic globalization for the purpose of influencing law and social policy. Each year, the Journal publishes an "Access to Justice" volume. This volume is a compilation of essays from the Washington University School of Law’s "Access to Justice" speaker series, one goal of which is to encourage and challenge audiences to use their legal education for the ultimate betterment of our society. Additionally, the Journal collaborates with faculty members to publish symposia along a broad spectrum of contemporary topics.

*"Washington University Global Studies Law Review" is a student-edited legal journal dedicated to publishing articles by international, foreign and comparative law scholars. "Global" publishes triennially. "Global's" publications present articles, book reviews, essays, and notes from academics, practitioners, and students, respectively.

tudent organizations

The Washington University School of Law presently thirty-six distinct student organizations. A majority of these organizations represent a local chapter of a larger national organization. These local chapters include:
*American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
*American Constitution Society
*Asian American Law Students Association (AALSA)
*American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA)
*Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
*China Law Society
*Christian Legal Society
*Criminal Law Society
*Environmental Law Society
*Equal Justice Works (EJW)
*Family Law Society (FLS)
*Federalist Society
*Intellectual Property Law Society
*International Law Society
*Jewish Law Society
*Labor and Employment Law Association (LELA)
*Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA)
*Law Students for Choice
*Law Students Pro-Life [ [http://lspl.blogspot.com/] , Law Students Pro-Life. Accessed 2008-04-30.]
*National Lawyers Guild
*Phi Alpha Delta
*South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA)
*Sports & Entertainment Law Society (SLES)
*Sport Shooting Society
*Student Bar Association (SBA)
*Student Health Lawyers' Association (SHLA)
*Women's Law Caucus (WLC)

In addition to the organizations which represent as national chapter, Washington University School of Law has several student organizations that are unique to the Law School;
*Barely Legal Theater (a student-run organization where students write and submit skits or songs that poke fun of law school life)
*Devil's Advocate (a student publication that claims to entertain the law student body, similar to the satirical newspaper The Onion)
*Graduate-Professional Council (selected students represent the school of law in University matters)
*Honor Council (charged with enforcing the Honor Code)
*Illinois Student Bar Association (ISBA)
*Joint Degree Law Society (for students who are pursuing more than one graduate degree)
*OUTLAW (for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual law students and other students who support increased rights for this group)
*Second Career Law Students (SCaLeS)


In January 1997, Washington University School of Law moved into Anheuser-Busch Hall. Anheuser-Busch Hall architecturally mirrors the classic style of the Washington University Danforth Campus. Anheuser-Busch Hall includes two fully functional courtrooms; numerous classrooms; and an open-stacks Law Library. Additionally, AB Hall includes common areas, such as the W.L. Hadley Griffin Student Commons and the glass-domed Crowder Courtyard. In AB Hall all classrooms, seminar rooms, and breakout rooms have both computing and multimedia capabilities. Each classroom and seminar room is also equipped with a multimedia projection system. This allows instructors to video-tape classes and post the lectures online.

Construction of a new Social Sciences and Law Building recently finished. The new building is situated just southwest of Anheuser-Busch Hall. Ground was broken for the four-story, Collegiate Gothic building on September 5, 2006; the targeted date for completion was June 30, 2008. About 15,000 square feet of the new building’s 142,000 net square feet were earmarked for the law school, housing some administrative offices, law journal offices, and classrooms.


Further reading

* [http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2006/09/top_20_law_scho.html Top 20 Law Schools by Size of Endowment (based on data from 2000)]
* [http://officialguide.lsac.org/OFFGUIDE/pdf/aba6929.pdf ABA profile on Washington University Law School]
* [http://officialguide.lsac.org/OFFGUIDE/pdf/lsac6929.pdf ABA School description]

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