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DePaul University College of Law

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DePaul University College of Law
Established 1912
Location Chicago, IL, US
Enrollment 887 (full time)
260 (part time)
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 1 (See List)
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DePaul University College of Law is located in Chicago, IL

DePaul University College of Law is a law school located in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Founded in 1897 as the Illinois College of Law, the school became part of DePaul University in 1912 and is one of the academic colleges of DePaul. The College is known for its Intellectual Property Law program[1], headed by Professor Barbara B. Bressler, and its Health Law program, headed by Professor Michele Goodwin. Both programs have garnered top 15 placements in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in recent years. In 2004, the school established the International Aviation Law Institute, the first of its kind in the United States. In 2007, DePaul University College of Law was ranked 91st among the "Top 100 Law Schools" in the United States by the U.S. News & World Report Graduate School Ranking.


The College of Law, Lewis Center

DePaul University College of Law was formed in 1912 when the Illinois College of Law (founded in 1897) affiliated with DePaul University. In 1912, DePaul awarded an LL.D., its first honorary degree, to the founder and then president of the Illinois College of Law, Howard N. Ogden.[2]. In 1915, after the death of Ogden, complete ownership of the college transferred to DePaul.[3]

In 1958, the College of Law moved from 64 East Lake Street to its new and current home in the Lewis Center at 25 East Jackson Boulevard. The 18-story Lewis Center, formerly known as the Kimball Building, was given to DePaul in 1955 by the Frank J. Lewis Foundation and was at that time the largest gift to the university.[4]

In 1972, DePaul purchased the Finchley Building, which was renamed the Comeford J. O'Malley Place in 1980, in honor of Comeford O'Malley who served as president and chancellor of DePaul for many years. "O'Malley," as it is known by students, is located at 23 East Jackson Street, adjacent to the Lewis Center, and served to increase downtown campus space by 20 percent. That same year (1972), the College of Law opened its Legal Clinic.[5]. A year later, in 1973, the school undertook a $2 million renovation in order to increase space by 50 percent, remodel both its buildings, and double the size of its law library collection.[6].

By 1981, the school had awarded 8,670 J.D.s. That year, DePaul designated the Lewis Center and O'Malley Place as part of its official "Loop Campus." Today, the Loop Campus includes the College of Law and a number of programs and buildings not related to the College, including the DePaul Center (acquired in 1991 and connected to the Lewis Center and O'Malley place by a pedestrian bridge), home to DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

In 1985, DePaul established a Health Law Institute, the first of its kind in Chicago. The institute offered a master's degree in health law. Then, in 1989, DePaul completed its Lawyer Skills Center, which provided the college with a facility for teaching students trial practice and negotiation skills.[7]A year later, in 1990, the school established its International Human Rights Law Institute, the first center of its kind in the Midwest.[8]

In 1992, the College received a $1 million commitment from alumnus Robert A. Clifford, a prominent personal injury attorney in Chicago. The gift represented the largest gift in the school's history and was used for the establishment of the "Robert A. Clifford Chair in Tort Law and Social Policy." Today, the chair is held by Professor Stephan Landsman.

In 1994, the College began a $6 million renovation to its law library which was completed in 1996 and represented the largest construction project in the College's history. [9]

In 1999, Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni was nominated for the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts behind the establishment of the International Criminal Court.[10]


In addition to offering a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, DePaul University College of Law offers joint degree programs with DePaul's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business (J.D./M.B.A.) and DePaul's School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems (J.D./M.S. and J.D./M.A.), as well as joint degrees in Public Service Management and in International Studies.

Students pursuing a J.D. have the option of earning a certificate in a particular area of law. Such certificates are analogous to an undergraduate academic major, typically requiring the student to complete a given number of courses and maintain a minimum overall GPA in those courses. Certificates are available in the following areas: Criminal Law, Family Law, Health Law, Public Interest Law, International & Comparative Law, Taxation and Intellectual Property Law. Intellectual Property Law certificates are further sub-divided into: Information Technology Law, Arts & Museum Law, Patent Law, and a General Certificate.

The College also offers Master of Laws programs in Intellectual Property Law, Health Law, General Information, and Taxation.


The College currently publishes the following primarily student-run journals:

  • DePaul Law Review[11]
  • DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal[12]
  • DePaul Journal of Sports Law and Contemporary Problems[13]
  • DePaul Health Law Journal[14]
  • DePaul Journal of Art & Entertainment Law

Notable faculty

  • Roberta R. Kwall (Professor): Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor of Intellectual Property Law and Founding Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law & Information Technology. Professor Kwall has written many articles on numerous facets of Intellectual Property law which have been published in law reviews such as Texas, Southern California, and Vanderbilt. [15]
  • Cherif Bassiouni (Professor 1964-Present): Bassiouni, who currently holds the title of Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul, was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for his work on behalf of the International Criminal Court. He currently teaches International Criminal Law and serves as the President of DePaul's International Human Rights Law Institute.
  • Alberto Coll (Professor 2005-Present): served under George H.W. Bush as the principal deputy assistant Secretary of Defense, where he oversaw the Defense Department's strategy, policy, and resources in the areas of special operations forces and "low-intensity" conflict, including counter-terrorism. Coll also chaired the Strategic Research Department of the Naval War College in Richmond, Virginia. At DePaul, Coll teaches courses in the areas of international law, international human rights, international trade, and Latin American studies.
  • James Fleissner (Visiting Professor 2003-2005): Fleissner currently serves as deputy to Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in the Justice Department investigation into allegations that one or more government officials illegally disclosed the identity of a CIA agent. He also is a professor at Mercer University School of Law in Macon Georgia. While at DePaul, he taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence.
  • Erwin Chemerinsky (Assistant Professor, 1980-83; Associate Professor, 1983-1984): is a nationally known professor of Constitutional law and federal civil procedure, currently teaching at the Duke University School of Law. At DePaul, he taught courses in: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, and a Seminar on Law and the Mass Media. He was recognized by DePaul as an "Outstanding Teacher" in 1983.[16]
  • Judith Gaskell (Assistant Professor & Director of the DePaul Rinn Law Library 1983-2003): in 2003, Gaskell, also a DePaul Law graduate, was named librarian of the Supreme Court of the United States. Gaskell is 10th librarian of the Court, and only the third woman ever to hold the position. She met with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia as part of the interview process.[17]

Notable alumni

The following is a list of notable DePaul College of Law graduates, with degree conferral dates in parentheses:


  • Clarence Darrow, a criminal defense attorney known for the Scopes Monkey Trial and the Leopold and Loeb case, among others, was an early adjunct professor at the College.
  • Ben Alba, a legal writing instructor at the College, authored a biography of comedian Steve Allen in 2005, entitled Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen And the Original Tonight Show. Current "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno provided a forward for the book.
  • Sidney Korshak (1908-1996), an attorney best known as a liaison between the Chicago Outfit crime syndicate and corporate Hollywood, was a DePaul College of Law graduate.[18] He is the subject of numerous biographies and articles. Korshak, was widely considered to be a power broker in Hollywood and was reportedly one of the inspirations for Robert Duvall's character in The Godfather.[19]
  • Professor Brian F. Havel's father, Miroslav Havel, was the former Chief Designer at Waterford Crystal, and the subject of a biography written by Brian in 2005, entitled The Story of Miroslav Havel, Maestro of Crystal.[20]

External links