University of Oklahoma College of Law
|University of Oklahoma College of Law|
|Motto||Ministri iuris fideles|
|Dean||Joseph Harroz, Jr.|
|Location||Norman, Oklahoma, USA|
|Bar pass rate||95%|
The University of Oklahoma College of Law is an ABA-certified law school located on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Oklahoma. Currently, the College of Law has an enrollment of 527 law students.
The College of Law was founded in 1909 by a resolution of the OU Board of Regents. It opened at the beginning of the next school year in September 1909. The first dean was Professor Julien C. Monnet of The George Washington University Law School. The College of Law initially shared space in the Science Building before moving to the basement of the Carnegie Building.
In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Okla. that Oklahoma could not bar African American students from its, at the time, all white law school. This was a landmark case in the early American Civil Rights Movement. A garden, located between Jacobson Hall and Carpenter Hall, now stands in honor of this milestone.
In 2002, the current location of the law school, Andrew M. Coats Hall, was renovated and expanded. It is named after the then-current law school dean, who is an OU Law graduate.
The College of Law has progressed quite a bit since Julien C. Monnet founded it and in 1909. From its humble beginnings of Dean Monnet, two faculty members, and 47 students, the College of Law has grown to become the preeminent legal institution in the state. In 1914, thanks to the incessant lobbying of state legislators by law students for funding its construction, the college moved into its first permanent home, Monnet Hall.The 47,000-square-foot Law Barn, as it was affectionately known, was home to the college for 62 years. As the home of the College of Law, it was witness to many events in Oklahoma (and American) history, including the admission of then-future OU Regent Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the first black woman admitted to the College of Law, in 1948. Other notable graduates include former US Senator and current OU President David L. Boren, former Oklahoma Governors Frank Keating and Brad Henry and former Oklahoma County District Attorney and current Dean Emeritus Andrew M. Coats.Despite the additional square footage built onto the rear of Monnet Hall, the Law Center, which the College of Law and its associated entities came to be called in 1971, outgrew the building, forcing a relocation to its current home on Timberdell Road in 1976. But it didn't end there. Adding the American Indian Law Review to complement the established Oklahoma Law Review, expanding clinical legal education, and generally striving to meet the increasing demands of legal education in the late 20th century caused OU Law to once again outgrow its facilities.In October 1999, ground was broken on a $19 million construction and renovation project which ultimately added 80,000 square feet to the facility, featuring the 58,000 square foot Donald E. Pray Law Library and the 250-seat Dick Bell Courtroom. The new library features the Chapman Reading room, modeled after the reading room in Monnet Hall, with a parquet floor reminiscent of the floors in the Louvre. The Donald E. Pray Law Library, which is open to the public, boasts the largest law collection, public or private, in the state. The Dick Bell Courtroom is one of the largest and most technologically advanced courtrooms in the region, if not the nation, and hosts live trials from the various courts in central Oklahoma. The Bell Courtroom has hosted appellate cases from both the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (including a death penalty appeal) and the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, as well as civil trials from the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
The early law professors made OU Law the premier law school in Oklahoma and perhaps in the Southwest. In its 2014 publication, U.S. News & World Report ranks the College of Law 58th among the nation's law schools.
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- "Enrollment Summary, University of Oklahoma, Spring 2011". University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "University of Oklahoma College of Law, ABA Law School Data" (PDF). LSAC. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- "U.S. News & World Report, Rankings - Best Law Schools". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
- Long, Charles F. (September 1965). "With Optimism For the Morrow: A History of The University of Oklahoma". Sooner Magazine.