Jerry Organ


Organ, Jerry
(651) 962-4919
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4919

1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Office Location: MSL 303

J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law

B.A., Miami University

A native of Wisconsin, Jerome M. Organ graduated magna cum laude from Miami University and attended Vanderbilt University School of Law as a Patrick Wilson Scholar. At Vanderbilt, Organ served as an editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif. After clerking for Justice William G. Callow of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Organ entered private practice with Foley & Lardner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Organ practiced law for five years, predominantly in the environmental law area.

In 1991, Organ left Foley & Lardner to join the faculty of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he taught property, environmental law, regulation of hazardous substances, land use controls, and client interviewing and counseling. In 2001, Organ became one of the founding faculty members here at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.  He has earned a reputation as a gifted classroom teacher who cares deeply about his students, receiving a Gold Chalk Award at Missouri in 2001 and a Mission Award for Professional Preparation in 2005 and the Dean’s Award for Teaching in 2010 here at the University of St. Thomas.

Organ believes profoundly in the importance of integrating the skills and values of the profession into the doctrinal classroom and in instilling in students an appreciation of the vocation of being a lawyer. Organ is coauthor of Property and Lawyering, a casebook for first year property that integrates lawyering skills and dispute resolution materials. This text and course received the 2003 CPR Institute of Dispute Resolution Award for Problem-Solving in the Law School.

Organ's scholarship initially focused on environmental law; in particular, on developing more efficient means of resolving environmental disputes and on considering questions of the appropriate locus for environmental regulation -- that is, the balance of authority in environmental matters as between the federal government and state and local governments. More recently, he has begun to write about issues associated with the culture of law school and the formation of professional identity.

A strong believer in pro bono activities, Organ tries to model servant leadership for students.  He has invested hundreds of hours in a variety of social justice activities over the last two decades, from providing legal services to people who lack the financial resources to gain access to the legal system to serving as a member of the board of the Central Missouri Food Bank and St. Stephens Human Services, to coaching youth soccer.

Having served for four years as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Organ has recently taken on responsibilities as the Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions.  His current research is directed toward transparency in financial aspects of the decision to attend law school – addressing both scholarship programs for students and employment and salary data of graduates.  In addition, he is working on obtaining funding for a survey of law students to assess the extent to which alcohol consumption, drug use and mental health issues are prevalent among law students.  He also is working with the Holloran Center on developing assessment tools to document the development of professional identity among law students.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
630 Property 4
640 Foundations of Justice 1
641 Foundations of Justice 1
795 Topics 0
904 Client I & C 1
930 Mentor Externship 0
933 Mentor Externship II 0
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

Areas of Academic Expertise:

Environmental Law

From the article "Grand Ideas: Faculty members describe the best ideas from their scholarship" St. Thomas Lawyer Magazine Fall 2011

I think the most important “idea” I have had in the last 10 years is to think deeply about vocation and the culture of law school. That prompted my 2004 article, “From Those to Whom Much
Has Been Given, Much is Expected: Vocation, Catholic Social Teaching, and the Culture of a Catholic Law School,” and has launched me on a course to think more deeply about aspects of law
school culture that impact formation of professional identity. My forthcoming piece in the Journal of Legal Education on competitive-renewal scholarship programs, which was referenced in a
recent New York Times article on competitive-renewal scholarship programs, is an outgrowth of this emphasis on law school culture.

Upcoming: Continuing to focus on how law school culture impacts formation of professional identity, as well as writing about performance-enhancing drugs in law schools.

Contributions and mentions in the media


R. Wilson Freyermuth, Jerome Organ & Alice Nobel-Allgire, Property and Lawyering (3d. ed. Thomson/West 2010) (with Teacher’s Manual).

R. Wilson Freyermuth, Jerome Organ, Alice Nobel-Allgire & James L. Winokur, Property and Lawyering (2d ed. Thomson/West 2006) (with Teacher’s Manual).

James L. Winokur , R. Wilson Freyermuth & Jerome Organ, Property and Lawyering (West Group 2002) (with Teacher’s Manual).


Neil W. Hamilton, Verna Monson & Jerome M. Organ, Encouraging Each Student’s Personal Responsibility for Core Competencies Including Professionalism, 21 Prof. Law. (forthcoming 2012).

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Julia Patterson Forrester & Jerome M. Organ, Promising to be Prudent: A Private Law Approach to Mortgage Loan Regulation in Common-Interest Communities, 19 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 739 (2012).

Jerome M. Organ, What Do We Know About the Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction of Lawyers? A Meta-Analysis of Research on Lawyer Satisfaction and Well-Being, 8 U. St. Thomas L.J.  225 (2011).

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Jerome M. Organ, How Scholarship Programs Impact Students and the Culture of Law School, 61 J. Leg. Educ. 173 (2011).

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Jerome M. Organ, Subsidiarity and Solidarity: Lenses for Assessing the Appropriate Locus for Environmental Regulation and Enforcement, 5 U. St. Thomas L.J. 262 (2008).

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Jerome M. Organ, A Vocation-Based System of Ethics for Law Students, 45 S. Tex. L. Rev. 997 (2004).

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Jerome M. Organ, From Those to Whom Much Has Been Given, Much is Expected: Vocation, Catholic School Teaching, and the Culture of a Catholic Law School, 1 J. Cath. Soc. Thought 361 (2004).

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Jerome M. Organ, Environmental Federalism Part I: The History of Overfilling Under RCRA, the CWA and the CAA Prior to Harmon, Smithfield and CLEAN, 30 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,615 (2000).

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Jerome M. Organ & Kristin M. Perry, Controlling Externalities Associated with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: Evaluating the Impact of H.B. 1207 and the Continuing Viability of Zoning and the Common Law of Nuisance, 3 Mo. Envtl. L & Pol’y Rev. 183 (1996).

Jerome M. Organ, Advice for Owners of Contaminated Land After Meghrig v. KFC Western, Inc., 26 Envtl. L. Rep. 10,582 (1996).

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Jerome M. Organ, Understanding State and Federal Property Rights Legislation, 48 Okla. L. Rev. 191 (1995).

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Jerome M. Organ, Limitations on State Agency Authority to Adopt Environmental Standards More Stringent than Federal Standards: Policy Considerations and Interpretational Problems, 54 Md. L. Rev. 1373 (1995).

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Jerome M. Organ, Superfund and the Settlement Decision: Reflections on the Relationship Between Equity and Efficiency, 62 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1043 (1994).

Jerome M. Organ, Recent Development, ‘Good Faith’ and the Discharge of Educational Loans in Chapter 13: Forging a Judicial Consensus, 38 Vand. L. Rev. 1087 (1985).

Jerome M. Organ & Kent M. Weeks, Educational Institutions and Comparable Worth: A Doctrine in Search of Application, 15 J.L. & Educ. 207 (1986).

Short Pieces

Jerome M. Organ, Missing Missions: Further Reflections on Institutional Pluralism (or Its Absence), 60 J. Legal Educ. 157 (2010).

Roberta Rosenthal Kwall & Jerome M. Organ, The Contemporary Property Course: A Study of Syllabi, 47 J. Legal Educ. 205 (1997).

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The Variable Affordability of Legal Education - How Geography and LSAT Profile Impact Tuition Costs

The Variable Affordability of Legal Education - How Geography and LSAT Profile Impact Tuition Costs

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