Saint Louis University School of Law
The information on this page was provided by the law school.
Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs
Founded in 1843, Saint Louis University School of Law (SLU LAW) is the oldest law school west of the Mississippi River. The strength of the faculty, breadth of the course offerings, and extensive clinical and professional skills experiences provide students with a well-rounded legal education.
The mission of SLU LAW is to advance the understanding and development of law and prepare students to achieve professional success and personal satisfaction through leadership and service to others. SLU LAW is guided by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, freedom of inquiry, and respect for individual differences.
The law school’s home at Scott Hall is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis and offers students unparalleled access to leading law firms, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The City of St. Louis Civil Courts Building and the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse are mere steps away—giving students a unique opportunity to see the law in action.
This state-of-the-art center for teaching, learning, and practicing features a two-story library reading room with views of the courthouses to the south, an additional 12th floor with magnificent views in all directions, a technologically advanced courtroom and seminar rooms, a beautiful student commons area, a pavilion, and an outdoor rooftop study patio.
St. Louis boasts an impressive list of law firms, corporations, and government agencies in addition to the local, state, and federal courthouses located within walking distance to our school. Our urban setting provides countless opportunities for students to foster professional development through internships, clerkships, and the SLU LAW Legal Clinics.
At SLU LAW we are proud of the success of our programs and the supportive yet challenging atmosphere. Our students can speak to our collegial community of students, faculty, and staff. We emphasize professionalism and public service, and we strive to provide a solid educational foundation upon which to advance in the practice of law.
The JD Program
SLU LAW’s J.D. program offers extensive courses and personalized interaction with nationally recognized professors. Students will be directly exposed to practicing attorneys and clients through experiential courses, legal clinics and field placement programs.
A J.D. degree requires 91 credit hours to graduate. The first year of law school is built on a set core curriculum taken by all students. For part-time students, the core curriculum is split according to their day or night program and entering class year.
Upper-division students who have completed the core curriculum choose courses ranging from traditional bar preparation classes to highly specialized legal topics to supervised clinical practice. Students develop critical skills in areas such as appellate advocacy, trial practice and client counseling. The School of Law offers a robust selection of courses and seminars in diverse areas of the law that reflects a commitment to public service and professional ethics.
Special Academic Programs
SLU LAW features the nation’s premier health law program. Our Center for Health Law Studies has more than 30 years of experience preparing students for successful careers as health law attorneys. With 7 full-time health law faculty, more than 20 health law electives, 4 dual-degree programs, and over 1,300 health law alumni across the country, we have an environment rich in resources and opportunities. The center annually hosts a Distinguished Speaker Series and Health Law Symposium so students are exposed to leading experts and practitioners shaping health law and policy around the country. Additionally, proceedings from the symposium are published in the Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy, our student-edited health law journal. Students take courses like Health Law, Policy and Advocacy, and Transactional Health Care Practice, where they practice the professional skills needed to be successful. The center also provides real practice experiences through the Health Law Semester in Washington, DC, where students spend an entire semester with a health law-related federal agency, gaining significant work experience and building a network of contacts.
The Wefel Center for Employment Law specializes in labor disputes, hiring and discharging, and arbitration. Students concentrating in employment law have an opportunity to spend a semester in Washington, DC, working for a federal agency on employment law issues, as well as participate in our employment law-related externships through our Legal Clinics.
The Center for International and Comparative Law offers a specialized program of study in areas such as public international law, international criminal law, and international corporate law. Students receive instruction from faculty who have experienced and studied foreign legal systems. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad at Saint Louis University’s campus in Madrid, Spain, during the summer, or in Bern, Switzerland; Cork, Ireland; Paris, Toulouse, or Orleans, France; and Bochum, Germany.
In addition to the concentration programs through our Centers, the School of Law features a concentration in Intellectual Property Law.
The School of Law also offers 8 dual-degree programs in cooperation with Saint Louis University’s graduate schools, including the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business and the College for Public Health and Social Justice. Candidates in dual-degree programs must complete the first-year law curriculum before beginning a dual-degree program. The dual-degree programs available are:
- JD/Doctor of Philosophy in Health Care Ethics
- JD/Master of Accounting
- JD/Master of Arts in Political Science
- JD/Master of Arts in Law and Sociology and Anthropology
- JD/Master of Business Administration
- JD/Master of Health Administration
- JD/Master of Public Health—Health Management and Policy
- JD/Master of Social Work
The School of Law is committed to public service, starting with the first-year orientation service experience and continuing throughout a student’s law school career. SLU LAW students participate in service events and projects, including Make a Difference Day, Homeward Bound, Habitat for Humanity, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, and the Tax Assistance Program. Through the SLU LAW Legal Clinics, our students give more than 35,000 hours of free legal assistance each year to the surrounding community.
Saint Louis University School of Law offers a challenging part-time program (day or evening) for students who work full time or have other obligations and are unable to complete the full-time schedule. The only part-time JD program in the state of Missouri may be completed in four to five years, depending on the student’s ability to take summer courses.
The SLU LAW Legal Clinics are the place where doctrine, practice, and professional responsibility come together. Unlike field placements or other experiential courses where students typically assist attorneys in case-related tasks, students in the Clinics assume primary responsibility (i.e., a "first chair" role) for their client matters.
With supervision and feedback from full-time faculty members with the time and expertise to engage in intensive and tailored supervision, students manage litigation, conduct transactional work, and engage in advocacy. Through their clinic experiences, students learn to face uncertainty, ambiguity, and the fluid nature of problem-solving. Moreover, students are invited to confront their own judgments and perceptions about clients, the justice system, and communities.
In addition to their client work, students participate in a classroom component where they learn lawyering skills, address ethical obligations, and gain a better understanding of the social justice concerns and policy issues that affect their clients.
Children's Permanency Clinic
With the goal of achieving stability and permanence for children in the community, SLU LAW students in the Children's Permanency Clinic work on a range of legal matters including child orders of protection and guardianships. Students may also have the opportunity to work on delinquency, custody, and municipal court matters. As they work to make sure their clients' voices are heard, students appear in a variety of legal settings such as family court, municipal court and juvenile court.
Civil Advocacy Clinic
In the Civil Advocacy Clinic, SLU LAW students handle a variety of lawsuits in municipal, state and federal court. These cases typically focus on civil rights issues, consumer protection matters, landlord-tenant disputes, and municipal ordinance violations. Students may also work on larger complex litigation matters.
Criminal Defense Clinic
In Saint Louis University School of Law's Criminal Defense Clinic, students represent clients charged with criminal offenses. The Criminal Defense Clinic specializes in representing people whose serious mental illness has caused them to come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic
The Entrepreneurship and Community Development (ECD) Clinic provides transactional representation to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, community groups, and small businesses. ECD clients seek to positively impact the St. Louis community in a variety of ways, including neighborhood revitalization, job creation, producing and preserving affordable housing, offering needed goods and services, and working to generate solutions to common community problems.
Human Rights at Home Litigation Clinic
The Human Rights at Home Litigation Clinic offers Saint Louis University School of Law students the opportunity to work on impactful human rights projects and use human rights in litigation in local courts.
SLU LAW allows students to perfect their writing and editing skills by working on one of two student-run publications, the Saint Louis University Law Journal and the Journal of Health Law and Policy. Qualifying students are invited to compile and edit the collections of scholarly work submitted by lawyers and law professors across the world. SLU LAW is also the editorial home of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.
Saint Louis University Law Journal
Eminent scholars, judges, professors, practitioners and high-achieving law students author the articles for the Law Journal's four annual issues on a variety of legal topics. The Law Journal is edited and produced by students.
Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy
The Center for Health Law Studies and a student editorial board publishes the Journal of Health Law & Policy bi-annually. The Journal of Health Law & Policy features articles that provide in-depth analysis of topical and developing issues in health law and policy.
ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law
Published since 1985 by the ABA, the journal provides balanced discussions of current developments in labor and employment law to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, administrators, and the public. Edited at SLU LAW, the journal’s circulation includes the 20,000 members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.
Professional Skills Training
Students participate in courses that focus on lawyering skills through simulated client situations or live-client representation under the supervision of SLU LAW faculty members. Our Legal Clinics allow students to represent clients in a variety of settings, from court appearances to appeals to real estate matters, as well as providing the opportunity to work as judicial clerks. Through the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic, students participate in a patent program in addition to the trademark work through a partnership with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Students can assist the St. Louis burgeoning entrepreneur community in protecting their intellectual property.
Our externships allow students to work in outside placements ranging from government agencies to large health care systems.
Trial Advocacy Program and Appellate Advocacy
A broad spectrum of student competitions at the local, regional, and national levels allows students to further their skills. Moot Court competitions hone students’ skills at the appellate level, including research, analysis, writing, and oral argument. SLU LAW students regularly compete in the National Health Law Moot Court Competition, the Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, and the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. Numerous trial advocacy competitions allow SLU LAW students to practice the skills necessary for trying cases before a jury. Each year, SLU LAW students participate in the Missouri Attorney General’s Cup, the National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, and the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition.
Simulated professional skills experiences include the Trial Advocacy Program and Appellate Advocacy (Moot Court), as well as multiple drafting courses. Drafting courses are offered in a variety of specialized areas, such as intellectual property, health law, real estate, and secured transactions. Courses such as Client Counseling and Negotiations provide students with the tools necessary for skillful client interaction and the art of effective negotiation in client representation. Many of the competitions and cocurricular activities also allow students to apply legal theory to simulated client representation.
The purpose of student organizations, like the mission of Saint Louis University School of Law, is to advance the understanding and development of law and prepare students to achieve professional success and personal satisfaction through leadership to others. Our organizations are guided by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, freedom of inquiry and respect for individual differences. SLU LAW's student organizations work to enhance students' professional and personal development through academic, cultural and volunteer opportunities.
- American Constitution Society
- Asian American Law Student Association
- Black Law Students Association
- Business Law Association
- Cannabis Law Society
- Criminal Law Society
- Employment Law Association
- Family Law Association
- Federalist Society
- First Chair Society
- Health Law Association
- Hispanic and Latinx Law Students Association
- If When How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
- International Law Students Association
- Law Students for Life
- Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Phi Delta Phi
- Public Interest Law Group
- Sports and Entertainment Law Association
- Street Law
- Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and Environmental Law Society
- Environmental Law
- Student Bar Association
- Student Intellectual Property Law Association
- Students for Mental Health and Wellness
- Tax Club
- Law Students for Veterans Advocacy
- Women Law Students' Association
Life in St. Louis
Saint Louis University School of Law's location puts you at the heart of downtown St. Louis, not only surrounded by courts, law firms and city hall, but also next door to the region's most exciting sports, entertainment and business district. This gives you easy access to the top cultural attractions, innovative startups and law firms in the area.
Downtown St. Louis is home to the St. Louis Cardinal's, St. Louis Blues, Ballpark Village, the Stifel Theater, the St. Louis Aquarium, The Wheel, the Gateway Arch, the City Foundry and more.
At SLU LAW it’s all about connections: to the faculty, the students, the law, and your future. Saint Louis University School of Law is more than a law school - it’s a supportive community where you’ll gain the skills to make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to curricular opportunities, the School of Law offers students opportunities to experience our mission in action through a variety of service projects, fundraising and community mentoring.
Career Placement and Bar Passage
Careers and Employment
Across the nation, the over 10,000 SLU LAW alumni work at small, medium and large firms; excel as CEOs, in-house counsel and environmental consultants; and serve in national, state and local government organizations. SLU LAW's employment rate for the Class of 2020 was 93%, a number that has remained consistent throughout the years.
Led by three seasoned and well connected attorneys, the Office of Career Services provides career counseling and development assistance to current students and alumni to examine their individual interests and skills in order to help find the best career fit. The Office of Career Services also offers programs throughout the school year to explore traditional and nontraditional career paths. The Office maintains an online listing of jobs for students and alumni, as well as a library of a variety of legal directories, job search information, government position listings, handouts, articles of interest, employer profiles and other useful career planning information.
Academic Resources and Bar Passage
The Academic Resource Center is designed to assist SLU LAW students with the support they need to be successful during law school and in their future legal careers. Comprised of Academic Support and Bar Exam Preparation, the ARC provides resources and assistance from the first day of classes and continues for our alumni through bar prep.
Though the program at Saint Louis University School of Law is rigorous, SLU LAW provides an avenue for achieving success in learning the law. Academic Support services provide students with the advising, assistance and support they need as they enter and progress through law school. Students can find information on the structure of the first-year program as well as tips and advice on getting accustomed to the curriculum. Information is provided on times and dates of important workshops, and students can find valuable study tools. There are opportunities to learn exam-taking techniques as well as a variety of other helpful law school aids.
According to a recent ABA report, 97.96% of SLU LAW graduates sat for and passed a bar examination within two years of their date of graduation.
Tuition and Aid
|Expected Cost of Attendance||
SLU LAW awards a substantial number of merit-based scholarships to a select group of highly qualified admitted students, including 10 full-tuition scholarships through the 1843 Scholars Program. The school has a variety of ways to help students meet their financial goals. Admitted students may contact the SLU LAW financial aid coordinator with questions.
Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers
Saint Louis University School of Law (SLU LAW) seeks to admit students of distinguished intellectual ability who will bring a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to the SLU LAW community and legal profession. SLU LAW uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications.
First, we consider all information in an application bearing on the likelihood that the applicant will succeed as a practicing attorney. Second, we consider the ways in which an applicant will contribute to the diversity of the law school class. We do so on the belief that diversity will improve the quality of education and contribute to the cultural competency of our students who will one day represent diverse groups and interests in a broad variety of contexts.
The mission of SLU LAW is to advance the understanding and the development of law and prepare students to achieve professional success and personal satisfaction through leadership and service to others. Guided by the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, freedom of inquiry and respect for individual differences, the SLU LAW Admissions Committee reviews each applicant.
Based on the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, SLU LAW looks for a record of impressive accomplishments when reviewing an application. The Law School Admission Test and undergraduate grade point average, while strong considerations in the review process, neither preclude nor guarantee admission. SLU LAW strives to admit intelligent individuals who have demonstrated both leadership and a commitment to community service and social justice, who have shown tenacity when facing challenges, who have shown conviction and discipline, and who have been innovative in their responses to personal difficulties.
The Admissions Committee takes into account any number of factors that help place the academic record in context. These factors include any upward trend in grades, whether an applicant worked while going to school, is a first-generation college student, or had family care commitments, among others.
Applying the Jesuit tradition of freedom of inquiry, SLU LAW maintains a supportive environment fostering rigorous thinking and collegial discussion. Consequently, we strive to assemble a student body that not only excels in student collaboration, but also engages in intellectually stimulating and introspective debate. SLU LAW alumni succeed in various fields following graduation, and thus the Admissions Committee seeks students who will continue this tradition of excellence in a multitude of careers.
Lastly, the Jesuit tradition of respect for individual differences contributes to our commitment to seeking and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment. In creating a class, the Admissions Committee seeks individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds with differences in experiences, goals and perspectives. Every portion of an applicant’s file will be considered in evaluating candidates for admission, including work experience, extracurricular activities, socioeconomic background, study abroad experience and more. SLU LAW encourages applicants to submit information that best represents their qualifications and attributes.
Admitted Applicant Profile
25-75% UGPA Range at St. Louis:
3.24 to 3.81
25-75% LSAT Score Range at St. Louis:
153 to 161
25-75% UGPA Range at St. Louis:
3.24 to 3.81
25-75% LSAT Score Range at St. Louis:
153 to 161
25-75% UGPA Range at St. Louis:
3.24 to 3.81
25-75% LSAT Score Range at St. Louis:
153 to 161