Robert K. Vischer portrait

Robert K. Vischer

Dean and Mengler Chair in Law
Degree
J.D., Harvard Law School
B.A., University of New Orleans
Office
MSL 412
Phone
(651) 962-4838
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4838
Mail
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
CV

Rob Vischer serves as dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law. His 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), 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. Vischer teaches Professional Responsibility, Torts, Family Law, Foundations of Justice, and The Religious Lawyer. He was voted Professor of the Year by the graduating class in 2008 and 2011, and he received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2007. 

Vischer came to St. Thomas from St. John's University Law School, where he was an Assistant Professor of Law and Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. While at St. John's, Vischer received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching and was voted Professor of the Year by the student body. Previously, Vischer 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. He received his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of New Orleans, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.


Selected Publications

BOOKS

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Morality of Legal Practice: Lessons in Love and Justice (Cambridge Univ. Press) (2013)

Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State (Cambridge Univ. Press) (2010)

ARTICLES

How Necessary is the Right of Assembly?, 89 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1403 (2013)

Where Do Businesses Fit Within the Freedom of the Church?, 21 J. of Contemp. Leg. Issues 369 (2013)

The Uneasy (and Changing) Relationship of Health Care and Religion in Our Legal System, J. of Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics (2013)

Big Law and the Marginalization of Trust, 25 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 165 (2012)

Legal Advice as Moral Perspective, 19 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 225 (2006)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Rethinking the Value of Associations, 79 Notre Dame L. Rev. 949 (2004)

SHORTER WORKS

The Dangers of Anti-Sharia Laws, First Things (Mar. 2012)

Political, Not Partisan, Commonweal (Dec. 3, 2010)

Robert Vischer Curriculum Vitae

Click here to read Vischer's scholarship on SSRN.

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
LAWS 699 - 01 Intro to Legal Reasoning M - - - - - - 1800 - 2055 MSL 446
CRN: 43195 Instructor: Robert K. Vischer Through this course, non-lawyers will gain a better understanding of the ways that attorneys are trained to navigate complex situations. Careful reading and analysis of case law and statutes will prepare students to address the ambiguity of many scenarios that arise in compliance work, emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and argument. The course will also introduce students to the common law method by which doctrine is created; the importance and authority of statutes, codes, and regulations; and the structure of the U.S. legal system and its various actors and venues. The U.S. doctrines of contract and tort liability will form the substantive underpinning for the course, both because a knowledge of these areas is foundational for many later law courses and also because professionals working in the compliance field encounter these areas of law.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 932 - 01 LLM Mentor Externship - - - - F - - 1030 - 1125 MSL 334
CRN: 43199 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Lisa M. Brabbit, Robert K. Vischer The LLM Mentor Externship incorporates two of UST Law’s curricular innovations -- the Mentor Externship Program and the Foundations of Justice course -- to provide LLM students a unique inside view of the American system of justice. Each LLM student is matched with a “mentor” who is active in the legal profession. This relationship is supplemented and supported by the MEFJP course, in which students explore the practical aspects of crafting a professional identity as a lawyer, and reflect together on the fundamental theoretical and moral principles that shape the identity of lawyers across different legal and social cultures. The MEFJP is tailored to help LLM students address the particular challenges of bridging the difference between the legal and social culture of the United States, and the different legal and social cultures in which the LLM students received their primary legal degrees.

Schedule Details

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J-Term 2017 Courses

J-Term 2017 Courses
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Spring 2017 Courses

Spring 2017 Courses
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