Law professor recalls School of Law’s earliest days, notes many successes and reflects on challenges ahead

UST School of Law Professor Patrick Schiltz, who was among the school’s first faculty members, was associate dean and holds the university’s St. Thomas More Chair in Law, spoke to about 300 students, faculty and staff at a School of Law Mission Roundtable luncheon Feb. 2.

Patrick Schiltz

Schiltz reflected on the school’s beginnings five years ago, successes to date and challenges ahead. He also admitted to the group that he had many sleepless nights in the months leading up to the school’s opening in fall 2001. "To say the next year was hell would be unfair to hell," he quipped.

When Schiltz first arrived at St. Thomas from the University of Notre Dame Law School in summer 2000, he recalled, "We had no short-term plan, no long-term plan, no medium-term plan. We had no faculty, no staff, no students – not even any applicants. … We had nothing."

Five years later the School of Law is proud of many successes, including its new building, raising more than $90 million and its continued development as a faith- and community-based law school. Read Schiltz’s speech here.