Welcome to the academics web page for the University of St. Thomas School of Law. (You will also find some helpful links on the sidebar.) At St. Thomas, we are committed to providing a top-notch legal education that prepares our graduates to thrive in the legal marketplace. Academically, that means we focus on two paths simultaneously.
The first path involves providing instruction in legal doctrine, writing skills, hands-on training, and professional development. We’ve been recognized within the traditional legal academy for the work that we do. Our faculty rank among the top 30 in the United States for the “impact” of their scholarship. This scholarship and recognition matters to our students, for they get to study with women and men who are shaping legal and political thought – and get to join in contributing to the influence. Our faculty are equally – and maybe even more – committed to their teaching. Individual faculty members have received recognition as part of the “26 law professors to take before you die,” “25 most influential people in legal education,” and “Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award.” And that’s on top of the stellar internal reviews from current students. Ask our students: they will tell of the great teaching, mentoring, and friendships they have with our faculty.
We also recognize that our students interact with many other people in their educational experience. Our staff are a critical piece of what we do in our educational program, and often act as some of the primary shapers of professionalism among our students. We also have a host of engaged attorneys, through our mentor program and other connections, who provide practical training for our students. In short, education at St. Thomas is a team effort that is thoughtfully, intentionally, and collaboratively led by a set of engaged teacher-scholars.
The second path of our focus is on “what’s next” in the legal profession and legal education. St. Thomas was founded in 2001 with a focus upon what is needed now in the legal profession, and not merely what was needed in the past. We have been innovating from the very beginning. Every law student has an assigned mentor for all three years of law school – and we have been doing this for every year our doors have been open. Every law student has an opportunity for a hands-on clinical, externship, or practicum experience – and almost every graduating student has taken advantage of this. Every law student receives coaching and modeling about forming a professional identity and professional habits and skills that are prized in the legal marketplace – and we have tangible, measurable results that our efforts are paying off in our graduates. And we aren’t done. We have been willing to ask “what’s next” and “what’s best” for our students from the beginning, and we will continue to do so.