Dean Vischer

The University of St. Thomas School of Law is led by Dean Robert K. Vischer. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from the University of New Orleans.

Vischer came to St. Thomas in 2005 as a Professor of Law and has taught Professional Responsibility, Torts, Family Law, Foundations of Justice, and The Religious Lawyer. He was voted Professor of the Year by the graduating classes in 2008 and 2011, and received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2007. In 2011, he was named to National Jurist’s list of "23 Law Profs to Take Before You Die."

Dean VischerHe previously was an Assistant Professor of Law and Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University Law School, where he received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching and was voted Professor of the Year by the student body. Vischer also was associated with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, where he practiced corporate litigation. He clerked for three federal judges: Judge David Ebel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Joan Gottschall of the Northern District of Illinois, and Judge John Wiese of the Court of Federal Claims. 

Dean Vischer's scholarship explores the intersection of law, religion, and public policy, with a particular focus on the religious and moral dimensions of professional identity. His recent book from Cambridge University Press, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Morality of Legal Practice: Lessons in Love and Justice, pushes back against the individualist premises underlying our modern conception of the lawyer’s role by exploring Dr. King’s vision of “the beloved community.” In an earlier book, Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State (Cambridge Univ. Press 2010), Dean Vischer defines and defends the relational dimension of conscience and identifies ways in which our legal system can better maintain the communal venues in which the dictates of conscience are shaped, articulated, and lived out.

His scholarship has appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Illinois Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Florida Law Review, Indiana Law Review, Stanford Journal of Law & Policy, Washington University Law Review, Journal of Law & Religion, Legal Ethics, Journal of Catholic Social Thought, and Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, among others. He also writes for the magazine Commonweal and blogs regularly at Mirror of Justice and Legal Ethics Forum.