Teresa Stanton Collett


(651) 962-4973
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4973

1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Office Location: MSL 463

J.D., University of Oklahoma College of Law

B.A., University of Oklahoma

A passionate advocate for the protection of human life and the family, Professor Teresa Collett is a nationally sought-after scholar and speaker on the topics of marriage, religion and bioethics. She has published numerous legal articles and is the co-author of a law casebook on professional responsibility and co-editor of a collection of essays exploring "catholic" and "Catholic" perspectives on American law .

Professor Collett is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and has testified before committees of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as before legislative committees in several states.  In 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed Collett to a five year term on the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Recently she represented Congressman Ron Paul and various medical groups in the defense of the federal ban of partial-birth abortion, and the Governors of Minnesota and North Dakota defending the N.H. requirement of state parental involvement prior to performance of an abortion on a minor before the United States Supreme Court. She is often asked to represent the interests of government officials before federal appellate courts. She has served as special Attorney General for the States of Oklahoma and Kansas , as well as assisting other state Attorneys General in defending laws protecting human life and marriage. Prior to joining St. Thomas in 2003, Professor Collett taught at the South Texas College of Law where she established the nation's first annual symposium on legal ethics.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
630 Property 4
754 Constitutional Lit. Practicum 5
771 Int'l Law & CST 3
930 Mentor Externship 0
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

Areas of Academic Expertise:


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

In 2002 my article “Fetal Pain Legislation: Is it Viable?” appeared in the Pepperdine Law Review. I discussed the scientific evidence that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation, and argued that, at a minimum, women should be informed of fetal pain prior to an abortion. A few legislatures responded immediately by including the existence of fetal pain in the information that women must receive prior to performance of abortions. Last year Nebraska lawmakers went even further and passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, recognizing prevention of fetal pain as a compelling state interest and prohibiting all abortions after 20 weeks except those necessary to preserve the life or the health of the mother. This year the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been enacted in Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma, with several other legislatures, including Minnesota’s, still considering the Act.

Upcoming: I will write about using ultrasound when counseling women seeking abortions. Multiple studies evidence the benefits to women receiving this information.

Contributions and mentions in the media


Teresa Stanton Collett & Michael Scaperlanda, Recovering Self-Evident Truths: Catholic Perspectives on American Law (Catholic Univ. of America Press 2007).

Teresa Stanton Collett & Robert Cochran, Jr., Cases and Materials on the Rules of the Legal Profession (2d ed. West 2003).


Teresa Stanton Collett, Testimony in hearing to examine the consequences of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution (June 23, 2005), in You Decide: Current Debates in American Politics (3d ed. Longman 2006).


Teresa Stanton Collett, Judicial Independence and Accountability in the Age of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments, 41 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 327 (2010).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, Whose Life Is It Anyway? Texas Public Policy and Contracts to Kill Embryonic Children, 50 S. Tex. L. Rev. 371 (2009).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, Advancing the Culture of Life Through Faithful Citizenship, 2 U. St. Thomas J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 20 (2008).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, Judicial Modesty and Abortion, 59 S.C. L. Rev. 701 (2008).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, The Courts’ Confused (and Confusing) Understanding of the Creation and Taking of Human Life, 68 Mont. L. Rev. 265 (2007).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, Gonzales v. Carhart: Women Tell the Court About Abortion: An Introduction, 1 U. St. Thomas J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 175 (2007).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Constitutional Confusion: The Case for the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, 33 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1029 (2007).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, Transporting Minors for Immoral Purposes: The Case for the Child Custody Protection Act & the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, 16 Health Matrix 107 (2006).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, A Brief Catechism on Marriage, 18 Regent U. L. Rev. 301 (2005-2006).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Same Sex Marriage and Its Implications for Employee Benefits: Proceedings of the 2005 Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools Sections on Employee Benefits, and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues, 9 Employee Rights & Employment Pol’y. L. J. 499 (2005).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Restoring Democratic Self-Governance through the Federal Marriage Amendment, 2 U. St. Thomas L.J. 95 (2004).

Teresa Stanton Collett, “No Hymns, No Sermons”? Faith-Based Pro Bono Initiatives and the Challenge of Interfaith Activities, 72 UMKC L. Rev. 327 (2003).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Fetal Pain Legislation: Is it Viable?, 30 Pepp. L. Rev. 161 (2003).

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Teresa Stanton Collett & Shayna Rosen Taibel, Foreword: Symposium: The Ethics of Litigation, 44 S. Tex. L. Rev. 25 (2002).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Benefits, Nonmarital Status, and the Homosexual Agenda, 11 Widener J. Pub. L. 379 (2002).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Protecting Our Daughters: The Need for the Vermont Parental Notification Law, 26 Vt. L. Rev. 101 (2001).

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Teresa Stanton Collett, ‘The King’s Good Servant, But God’s First’: The Role of Religion in Judicial Decisionmaking, 41 S. Tex. L. Rev. 1277 (2000).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Seeking Solomon’s Wisdom: Judicial Bypass of Parental Involvement in a Minor’s Abortion Decision, 52 Baylor L. Rev. 513 (2000).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Authentic Pluralism: The Case for Including Religiously-Affiliated Schools in Publicly-Funded Voucher Systems, 15 Focus on L. Studies 4 (1999).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Researching Professional Responsibility Issues via the Internet, 11 Prof. Law 24 (1999).

Teresa Stanton Collett, The Common Good and the Duty to Represent: Must the Last Lawyer in Town Take Any Case?, 40 S. Tex. L. Rev. 137 (1999).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage: Asking for the Impossible?, 47 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1245 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Love Among the Ruins: The Ethics of Counseling Happily Married Couples, 22 Seattle U. L. Rev. 139 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Speak No Evil, Seek No Evil, Do No Evil: Client Selection and Cooperation with Evil, 66 Fordham L. Rev. 1339 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Heads, Secularists Win; Tails, Believers Lose—Returning Only Free Exercise to the Political Process, 20 U. Ark. Little Rock L. J. 689 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Foreword to the Ethics of Lawyers’ Business Associations, 39 S. Tex. L. Rev. 205 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Teaching Professional Responsibility in the Future: Continuing the Discussion, 39 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 439 (1998).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Professional Versus Moral Duty: Accepting Appointments in Unjust Civil Cases, 32 Wake Forest L. Rev. 635 (1997). 

Teresa Stanton Collett, The Promise and Peril of Multiple Representation, 16 Rev. Litig. 567 (1997).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Foreword: Symposium: The Lawyer's Duties and Responsibilities in Dispute Resolution, 38 S. Tex. L. Rev. 375 (1997).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Foreword: Symposium: The Lawyer's Duties and Liabilities to Third Parties, 37 S. Tex. L. Rev. 957 (1996).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Life and Death Lawyering: Dignity in the Absence of Autonomy, 1 J. Inst. for Study Legal Ethics 177 (1996).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Marriage, Family, and the Positive Law, 10 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 467 (1996).

Teresa Stanton Collett, To Be a Professing Woman, 27 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 1051 (1996).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Sacred Secrets or Sanctimonious Silence, 29 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1747 (1996).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Foreword: Symposium: Ethics and the Multijurisdictional Practice of Law, 36 S. Tex. L. Rev. 657 (1995).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Significant Probate and Trust Legislation, 30 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 143 (1995).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Teaching Law as a Profession of Faith, 36 S. Tex. L. Rev. 109 (1995).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Foreword: Symposium: The Attorney-Client Relationship in a Regulated Society, 35 S. Tex. L. Rev. 571 (1994).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Significant Probate and Trust Legislation, 29 Real Prop. Prob. & Tr. J. 381 (1994).

Teresa Stanton Collett, The Ethics of Intergenerational Representation, 62 Fordham L. Rev. 1453 (1994).

Teresa Stanton Collett, And the Two Shall Become As One… Until the Lawyers are Done, 7 Notre Dame J. L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 101 (1993).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Understanding Freedman’s Ethics, 33 Ariz. L. Rev. 455 (1991).

Short Pieces

Teresa Collett, A New Breed of Republicans; Finally More Than a Dime’s Worth of Difference Between Parties, Wash. Times, Oct. 11, 2010 at B1.

Teresa Collett, Reflection, in Applying Catholic Teaching: Family Life, 13.34 The Catholic Spirit 13 (2008).

Teresa Stanton Collett, Life in the Times of the Roberts Supreme Court, 2.2 The Christian Lawyer 12 (2006).