Jerry Organ portrait

Jerry Organ

Professor
Degree
J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law
B.A., Miami University
Office
MSL 303
Phone
(651) 962-4919
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4919
Mail
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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.

Read Organ's scholarship on SSRN.

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
LAWS 640 - 03 Foundations of Justice I - - - - - - - -
CRN: 43353 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Foundations of Justice I focuses on human dignity. This segment is designed to equip students to discern and articulate connections between law, social justice, and morality. It introduces students to the foundational moral commitments that shape the structure of our system of justice and the multiple roles of the lawyer in administering that system, including some reflections on the role that faith and morality play in framing our understanding of what it means to be a lawyer. The class also specifically addresses how to improve one’s understanding and ability to work with people from different cultural contexts.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 640 - 04 Foundations of Justice I - - - - - - - -
CRN: 43354 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Foundations of Justice I focuses on human dignity. This segment is designed to equip students to discern and articulate connections between law, social justice, and morality. It introduces students to the foundational moral commitments that shape the structure of our system of justice and the multiple roles of the lawyer in administering that system, including some reflections on the role that faith and morality play in framing our understanding of what it means to be a lawyer. The class also specifically addresses how to improve one’s understanding and ability to work with people from different cultural contexts.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 825 - 01 Environmental Law M - W - - - - 1500 - 1625 MSL 235
CRN: 43155 3 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ This course will examine the legal mechanisms available to regulate and remedy environmental harm. Although students will learn about some common law claims, most of the course will focus on federal environmental statutes and regulations like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the statutes relating to hazardous substances. The course will introduce students to interviewing, counseling and negotiation skills in an environmental law context.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 930 - 08 Mentor Externship See Details * *
CRN: 43199 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Each year of law study, students are paired with respected lawyers and judges in the community. Mentors introduce students to a wide range of lawyering tasks and judicial activities and share with them the traditions, ideals and skills necessary for a successful career. Second and third year students participate in an academic credit pro- gram that combines fieldwork with a contemporaneous seminar component. The seminar fosters the habit and skill of reflective lawyering and draws upon student/ mentor experiences to examine the law school's mission in a practical setting. Class topics are designed to bridge the gap between student learning and life as a lawyer. Each student is given the opportunity to individualize learning goals specific to his or her unique path of professional development.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 3001230-132531 Aug '17
MSL 3001230-132505 Oct '17
MSL 3001230-132509 Nov '17
LAWS 933 - 05 Mentor Externship II See Details * *
CRN: 43209 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Each year of law study, students are paired with respected lawyers and judges in the community. Mentors introduce students to a wide range of lawyering tasks and judicial activities and share with them the traditions, ideals and skills necessary for a successful career. Second and third year students participate in an academic credit pro- gram that combines fieldwork with a contemporaneous seminar component. The seminar fosters the habit and skill of reflective lawyering and draws upon student/ mentor experiences to examine the law school's mission in a practical setting. Class topics are designed to bridge the gap between student learning and life as a lawyer. Each student is given the opportunity to individualize learning goals specific to his or her unique path of professional development.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 3241230-132530 Aug '17
MSL 3241230-132504 Oct '17
MSL 3241230-132508 Nov '17
LAWS 950 - 15 Supervised Resrch & Writing - - - - - - - -
CRN: 43231 Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Under the supervision of a faculty member, a student may receive up to two hours of course credit for researching and writing a substantial paper on a topic of the student's own choosing. The student must receive the instructor's per- mission to enroll in this course and must meet periodically with the instructor for discussion, review and evaluation. Each faculty member may supervise the research of no more than five students each semester.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
LAWS 630 - 01 Property See Details * *
CRN: 22764 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ This course will cover fundamental issues associated with the law of property. Students will examine the rights arising from various interests in property, the concept of possession and how possession is acquired and protected and the ways in which possession is transferred, shared and divided. Additionally, students will explore the right to use or restrict the use of property. In the context of property law, students will explore various aspects of law- yering such as interviewing and counseling, fact invest- igation, dispute resolution, problem-solving and profess- ional responsibility.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 4460900-1015M - - - - - -
MSL 4461330-1445- T - R - - -
LAWS 641 - 01 Serving Clients Well F2 M T W R F - - 0900 - 1130 MSL 235
CRN: 22791 Instructor: Jerome M. Organ, Wulf A. Kaal Lawyers are viewed as problem-solvers, and as leaders in society, and this class introduces a framework of ethical leadership and helps set a trajectory for continued growth. This course highlights skills and traits needed for attorneys to thrive, and provides avenues to consider how to act in alignment with one’s values. Given the mission of St. Thomas Law School, the class places a special emphasis on relationships. The class also will facilitate opportunities to discuss problem-solving and cross-cultural competency. Prerequisite: LAWS 640

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 641 - 03 Serving Clients Well F2 See Details * *
CRN: 22797 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Lawyers are viewed as problem-solvers, and as leaders in society, and this class introduces a framework of ethical leadership and helps set a trajectory for continued growth. This course highlights skills and traits needed for attorneys to thrive, and provides avenues to consider how to act in alignment with one’s values. Given the mission of St. Thomas Law School, the class places a special emphasis on relationships. The class also will facilitate opportunities to discuss problem-solving and cross-cultural competency. Prerequisite: LAWS 640

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 2351330-1600- - - - F - -
MSL 2350900-1130- - - - - S -
LAWS 642 - 02 Business Basics for Lawyers:F3 - T - R - - - 0900 - 1025
CRN: 22799 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Lawyers need a basic familiarity with various business structures and organizations, funding mechanisms, and financial structures. Whether working with or for law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or corporations, lawyers will encounter financial statements, structural and organizational questions, and questions of strategy. This course provides an introduction to practical and aspirational insights about business, and it also familiarizes students with key financial and business aspects of modern organizations. Prerequisites: LAWS 640 and LAWS 641

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
LAWS 930 - 08 Mentor Externship See Details * *
CRN: 22619 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Each year of law study, students are paired with respected lawyers and judges in the community. Mentors introduce students to a wide range of lawyering tasks and judicial activities and share with them the traditions, ideals and skills necessary for a successful career. Second and third year students participate in an academic credit pro- gram that combines fieldwork with a contemporaneous seminar component. The seminar fosters the habit and skill of reflective lawyering and draws upon student/ mentor experiences to examine the law school's mission in a practical setting. Class topics are designed to bridge the gap between student learning and life as a lawyer. Each student is given the opportunity to individualize learning goals specific to his or her unique path of professional development.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 3001230-132515 Feb '18
MSL 3001230-132522 Mar '18
LAWS 933 - 05 Mentor Externship II See Details * *
CRN: 22634 1 Credit Hours Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Each year of law study, students are paired with respected lawyers and judges in the community. Mentors introduce students to a wide range of lawyering tasks and judicial activities and share with them the traditions, ideals and skills necessary for a successful career. Second and third year students participate in an academic credit pro- gram that combines fieldwork with a contemporaneous seminar component. The seminar fosters the habit and skill of reflective lawyering and draws upon student/ mentor experiences to examine the law school's mission in a practical setting. Class topics are designed to bridge the gap between student learning and life as a lawyer. Each student is given the opportunity to individualize learning goals specific to his or her unique path of professional development.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
MSL 3241230-132514 Feb '18
MSL 3241230-132521 Mar '18
LAWS 950 - 15 Supervised Resrch & Writing - - - - - - - -
CRN: 22820 Instructor: Jerome M. Organ Under the supervision of a faculty member, a student may receive up to two hours of course credit for researching and writing a substantial paper on a topic of the student's own choosing. The student must receive the instructor's per- mission to enroll in this course and must meet periodically with the instructor for discussion, review and evaluation. Each faculty member may supervise the research of no more than five students each semester.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)