DePaul University College of Law

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DePaul University College of Law
DePaul University College of Law (emblem).png
Established1912, formed by merger with the Illinois College of Law, 1897
School typePrivate Roman Catholic
DeanJennifer Rosato Perea
LocationChicago, Illinois, US
Enrollment720 Full-time; 130 Part-time (2013)
USNWR ranking120 [1]
Bar pass rate72% (July 2016) [2]

DePaul University College of Law is a law school located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. 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, a Big East Conference university. The College is known for its Intellectual Property Law program,[3] headed by Professor Barbara B. Bressler, and its Health Law program, formerly headed by Professor Nanette Elster. Both programs have garnered top 20 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 recent years, DePaul University College of Law has ranked amongst the "Top 100 Law Schools" in the United States by the U.S. News & World Report Graduate School Ranking.

According to DePaul's 2014 ABA-required disclosures, 58% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[4]


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.[5] In 1915, after the death of Ogden, complete ownership of the college transferred to DePaul.

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.[6]

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 25 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.[7] 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.[7]

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.[8] A year later, in 1990, the school established its International Human Rights Law Institute, the first center of its kind in the Midwest.[9]

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."

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.[9]


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 College of Computing and Digital Media (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 2017 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Rankings ranked DePaul University College of Law 111th nationally.


According to DePaul's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 45.4% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[10] DePaul's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 35.9%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[11]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for the full-time juris doctorate program at DePaul for the 2014-2015 academic year is $44,960.[12] The total cost of attendance for the part-time program is $29,220.[12] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $250,412.[13]


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

  • DePaul Law Review
  • DePaul Rule Of Law Journal
  • DePaul Business & Commercial Law Journal
  • DePaul Journal of Sports Law and Contemporary Problems
  • DePaul Health Law Journal
  • DePaul Journal of Art, Technology and Intellectual Property Law
  • DePaul Journal for Social Justice
  • DePaul Journal of Women, Gender & the Law
  • DePaul International Human Rights Law Journal

Notable faculty[edit]

  • M. Cherif Bassiouni (professor 1964–2017): Bassiouni, who held 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 taught international criminal law and served as the president of DePaul's International Human Rights Law Institute. In 2007, he was awarded the Hague Prize for International Law for his "distinguished contribution in the field of international law".
  • James Fleissner (visiting professor 2003-2005): Fleissner served 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 dean of the University of California, Berkeley 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.

Notable alumni[edit]

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 Trial and the Leopold and Loeb case, among others, was an early adjunct professor at the College.
  • Ben Alba, a remedies instructor at the College, authored a biography of comedian Steve Allen in 2005, entitled Inventing Late Night: Steve Allen And the Original Tonight Show. The 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.[19] 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.[20]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "DePaul University College of Law". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  4. ^ "ABA Standard 509 Disclosures" (PDF).
  5. ^ "DePaul University Library". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  6. ^ "DePaul University Library". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  7. ^ a b "DePaul University Library". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  8. ^ "DePaul University Library". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  9. ^ a b c "DePaul University Library". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  10. ^ "ABA Standard 509 Disclosures".
  11. ^ "DePaul University Profile".
  12. ^ a b "Tuition & Financial Aid".
  13. ^ "DePaul University Profile".
  14. ^ "Executive Profile: Andrew J. McKenna J.D." Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  15. ^ 'Illinois Book 1963-1964,' Biographical Sketch of Richard A. Napolitano, pg. 232
  16. ^ Tritsch, Shane. "Tremors in the Empire". Chicago Mag. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Anne R. Pramaggiore
  19. ^ "The Korshak Chronicles". Retrieved 2015-06-09.
  20. ^ "Seattle News and Events | News". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2015-06-09.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°52′41″N 87°37′36″W / 41.8780°N 87.6266°W / 41.8780; -87.6266