S.J. Quinney College of Law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from S. J. Quinney College of Law)
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 40°45′44″N 111°51′07″W / 40.76222°N 111.85194°W / 40.76222; -111.85194

S.J. Quinney College of Law
Sjquinney law univ of utah.jpg
S.J. Quinney College of Law Building
Established 1913
School type Public university
Parent endowment $509,095,000[1]
Dean Robert W. Adler
Location University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Enrollment 304[2]
Faculty 55[2]
USNWR ranking 44[3]
Bar pass rate 86% [2]
Website http://www.law.utah.edu/
ABA profile S.J. Quinney College of Law Profile
University of Utah horizontal logo.svg

The S.J. Quinney College of Law is the law school of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Established in 1913, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is nationally recognized for its accomplished faculty, innovative curriculum, and low student-to-faculty ratio. Utah law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is accredited by the American Bar Association.[4] The 2018 US News & World Report Law School Rankings place the S.J. Quinney College of Law at #44 in the country, making it the top ranked law school in the State of Utah.

History - The First 100 Years[edit]

Legal education in Utah, while long desired, was not achieved beyond a handful of law courses beginning in 1869, until 1883 when University President John Park created a series of law lectures, designed to turn the series into a fully established law department at the University of Deseret. The lecture series, headed by Joseph Rawlins, continued for 8 years, against significant odds, until 1907 when Joseph Kingsbury as president designated a Department of Law.

The law department was now a reality, without a home. Classes were held at the Salt Lake City and County building, which also served as the state capitol, courthouse and government offices for the city and county. The department became a school in the spring of 1912 when the Board of Regents approved a plan to add a third year to the existing two-year law program. The University of Utah (the name Deseret was dropped in 1892) had a “School of Law.” Registration was $12 and tuition cost $15 per year for one law subject, $30 for two and $40 for three or more. The first commencement was held in June, 1913 awarding degress to eight men, all from Utah.

The new law school had impressive leadership. The first Dean was Frank Holman, a 27 year old with an undergraduate degree from the U as well as a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford where he had been a Rhodes Scolar. He was a member of the Utah Bar, had his own practice and would later serve as president of the American Bar Association. He earned a massive $2,000 annully, the equivalent of $51,326.70 in 2015.

The School of Law now had a leader, 75 students, and an emerging reputation throughout the Intermountain West. What it still didn’t have was a home. Classes continued to be held in borrowed space at the City and County Building, leaving the law students largely isolated from campus life. That changed with the completion of the Administration Building (today’s Park Building) in October 1914. The law school took up residence on the third floor, and with $1,500 from the Regents, began assembling a law library.

In 1915, William Leary took over as dean and would remain in that role for 35 years, leaving an indelible imprint on the College of Law. Leary earned his J.D. from the Chicago Law School, which served as a primary role model in the formation and evolution of Utah’s law school. Armed with a total budget of $7,000, Leary immediately began pushing for more full-time faculty. But in the spring of the next year, the law school was decimated by a one-two punch. First came war. When the U.S. entered World War I in April of 1918, it pulled students and faculty alike into the fray. By the time commencement rolled around the next spring, the law school conferred degrees to just three graduates.

Next came an epidemic of Spanish Influenza. The disease killed 20 million people worldwide in 1918. A third of all deaths in Utah in 1918-19 were from influenza and its frequent complication, pneumonia. For a while, it closed the university. As the Deseret News reported on Oct. 10, 1918, “All collegiate study has been suspended at the University of Utah for the period of the influenza epidemic on the order of President John A. Widstoe.” The law school itself was on the verge of shutting down the second- and third-year courses. The armistice came along just in time, putting an end to war on November 11, 1918. On top of that, the influenza epidemic was largely contained by the next spring, and within two years, the law school had come back in force, doubling its pre-war enrollment.

Rebecca Garelick was admitted in 1921 and became the first female graduate in 1924, earning admission to the Utah bar that same year. While Garelick had cleared a major hurdle, progress for women would remain slow. By the end of the 1920s, just three women had graduated from the school. The fourth, Reva Bosone, was a true pioneer. She graduated in 1930 and went on to become the first woman elected to the bench in Utah, and in 1948 became the first woman from Utah to be elected to Congress. Another woman, Marion Gould, signaled a major milestone for the law school: she was hired—at $200 per month—as the school’s first full-time librarian in 1939. The law school was in fine form as it emerged from the Great Depression.

Then war came to campus once again, erupting in dramatic fashion with the morning raid on Pearl Harbor. Donald Zillman, a former U law professor who has written extensively about the law school, put it this way: “By Monday, December 8, 1941, virtually the entire school knew that military service would be in their immediate future.” Students flooded military recruitment offices, and the law school again found itself on the brink of closure. By 1944, there were just 25 students in the school. When the war ended in 1945, returning veterans rushed into school the same way they had rushed out. And they had money, thanks to the G.I. Bill signed into law in 1944. The influx changed the tenor of the law school. Prior to the war, the typical law student prior to the war was in his early 20s, single, and likely to be from Utah or a bordering state. The veterans who came back from war were in their late 20s or early 30s, sometimes with families. The veterans instantly created an older, more mature student body within the law school.

All of this occurred while still without a permanent home for the law school. Complaints about the Park building included noise, poor lighting and ventilation and lack of space. Now with so many students the problems were magnified. In 1957 the American Bar Association left a withering review in its accreditation inspection: “Unless adequate plant facilities be provided within the next five years, it is the intention of the Council to recommend to the House of Delegates that the school be dropped from the approved list.” The specter of losing accreditation caught the eye of University administration and the state legislature. Plans circulated to remodel Carlson Hall, originally built as a women’s dormitory. But President A. Ray Olpin was convinced that a new law building should be a priority. The 1961 legislature appropriated $1 million for the new building. Groundbreaking took place in the summer of 1962, and a year later, the College of Law had a 65,000-square-foot building to call its own.

In 2001 another accreditation report took aim at the College’s physical facilities. While the College had long maintained a national reputation for quality, the building itself had been at capacity almost from the day it opened. Complaints began to echo those that had prompted a move out of the Park Building. Changing technologies, new methods for legal education, and another difficult accreditation report in 2009 underscored the need for a better facility. Hiram Chodosh, who took over as dean in 2006, spearheaded the effort. “We are building a teaching hospital for law,” Chodosh said in a Salt Lake Tribune interview. “We are building clinical and practical training into our program, as well as the ethos of service in each and every student.”

The 155,000-square-foot building now houses centers in Criminal Justice, Law and Biomedical Sciences, and Innovation in Legal Education as well as the existing Stegner Center. It encourages collaboration between students and faculty, and allows more opportunities to further the emphasis on public service.

One hundred years are in the books. What started in borrowed office space on the valley floor will enter a second century housed in a contemporary monument to intelligent design. The original graduating class of eight local men has evolved into 2012’s class of 136 graduates—almost equally divided between men and women—representing 35 states and countries. A century of progress begets a new century of promise. It starts now.[5]

New Law School Building[edit]

On Oct. 30, 2009, Former Dean Hiram Chodosh announced to students, during his monthly "Dean's Report and Reception," that the University of Utah was moving forward on plans to construct a new law school facility in the near future. He and other faculty members formed a committee and began discussions with University administration in order to get the project off the ground and to seek funding. Dean Chodosh also reported that he was interviewing architects for the project, and that the committee had already decided on an ideal square footage and interior design for the building.

During the spring 2010 "Dean Update" Dean Chodosh updated the students on the new law school building. He announced that ground would be broken in 2013, that fundraising/lobbying was underway, and the site of the new school would be directly east of the former law school complex. The advantages of staying near the old site included the following: close proximity to Trax, within the historic and arguably most beautiful area of campus, and with the completion of the "Universe" retail/commercial/high density residential development - to be built directly west of the football stadium - the new law school would be in the heart of one of the most exciting areas on campus.[6]

The new $62.5 million[7] law building was opened on September 1, 2015, is LEED Platinum certified and includes a cafe, secured-access student study areas, a furnished and landscaped roof-top terrace with wifi access, and a 450-person moot courtroom with picture windows looking to the south over the roof-top terrace and the Salt Lake valley.[8]

The moot courtroom of the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
The moot courtroom of the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
The view from the back row of the S.J. Quinney College of Law moot courtroom. Looking to the south over the roof-top terrace and the Salt Lake valley.
The view from the back row of the S.J. Quinney College of Law moot courtroom.

Some other building features are the following:

  • law library;
  • student lounge with kitchen;
  • exercise room;
  • showers;
  • bicycle storage room;
  • nineteen reservable group study rooms, one with a children's play area attached;
  • 24/7 secure building access via card keys issued to students, faculty, and staff (floors 3, 4 and 5 accessible only to students, faculty, and staff, and portions of floors 1, 2 and 6 being open to the public during building hours);
  • on-site tech support;
  • faculty and staff offices;
  • advanced research areas;
  • a number of green features including three solar panel arrays (one above the terrace, another on the roof, and a third covering some of the parking lot).[9]


The law school building is located in the south-west corner of campus directly north of the stadium light rail station and Rice-Eccles Stadium, home of the two-time BCS bowl champion Utah Utes football team.[10]

Law library[edit]

The James E. Faust Law Library (formerly the S.J. Quinney Law Library) is completely integrated into the new law school building. It houses law and law-related material and serves as a selective depository for US government documents. The first two floors of the building are open to the public; materials located on upper floors or off-site storage can be retrieved for public patrons. JD Librarians teach the research component of the Legal Methods course in the first year.


According to the widely cited USNWR 2018 Law School Rankings, the S.J. Quinney College of Law was named a "Top Tier" Law School and is currently ranked #44 out of more than 205 law schools in the United States, making it the top ranked law school in Utah.[3] It is also ranked #7 in Environmental Law.[3] Several University of Utah law students have been chosen for prestigious internships and clerkships, including four graduates who have served as clerks to Supreme Court Justices.[11] Tyler R. Green, a 2005 graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas during the October 2009 term.[12] Utah has the 3rd lowest student to faculty ratio at 7.3:1, behind only Yale and Stanford at 7.3:1 and 8:1, respectively.[13]

Admissions, and bar passage[edit]

There were 1277 applicants for the incoming class of 2012 at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and 128 students were enrolled; the incoming class had a median LSAT score of 160 and median GPA of 3.60. The 25th-75th percentile LSAT range was 156-163, and the 25th-75th percentile range for GPA was 3.41-3.76.[14]

The overall bar passage rate in 2009 was about 85.5%, with 75% passing in February and 90% passing in July.[14]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at S.J. Quinney School of Law for the 2017-2018 academic year is $26,758 for residents and $50,816 for nonresidents.[15]

Dean Robert Adler[edit]

Beginning in July 2014, Professor Adler became the 11th Dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law, now as the Jefferson B. and Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean, after serving as Interim Dean since July 2013. Dean Adler oversaw the construction of the College of Law's new law school building and is pursuing the Building Justice capital campaign to help ensure that we can continue to provide a superb legal education for our students at an affordable cost. He is also dedicated to continuing the College's recent history of curricular reform-particularly in ways that improve real world learning opportunities and skills training for its students-to meet the needs of the next generation of lawyers.[16]


Campus organizations[17] in alphabetical order include:

  • Business Law Society: The business law society is a student organization for anyone interested in the law and business. Events focus on how the law and business intersect. These events include speakers (varying from in-house counsel to the president of a multi-billion dollar company) and visits to businesses in Salt Lake City to see how the law and business interact in the real world.
  • Federalist Society[18] - The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.[19] It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be (contrary to the common law). The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.[20]
  • Global Justice Think Tank[21] - Students who participate in the GJTT do research on contemporary global issues in a variety of service partnership arrangements. (e.g., the creation of a U.N. lustration guide for emerging democracies (October 2013); a mediation training course for Samadhan, the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre (November 2012); a study on corruption in Asia for the UNDP; and research and publication of major symposia, including The Role of Values in Counterterrorism (March 2007) and Globalizing Philanthropy (May 2007).)
  • International Law Students Association[22] - ILSA focuses on assisting students with the study, clarification and development of their understanding of international law, both public and private, and the furtherance of the school's international law programs by facilitating student access to the The Center for Global Justice at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.[23]
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society[24][25] - The JRCLS is an international organization of law school students and graduates consisting of over 65 chapters throughout the world. Although closely associated with the LDS Church, membership in the church is not required to join JRCLS. The international organization currently claims 14 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judges, 18 U.S. District Court Judges, 4 U.S. Attorneys, 6 U.S. Senators (including the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid), 9 U.S. Congressman, 17 Fortune 500 Corporate Counselors, and 85 State Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and District Court judges.[26] The Society's 2010 annual conference for students and practicing attorneys will be held at the University of Utah. Prior conferences have been held Arizona State Law School, featuring former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and Georgetown Law School.[27]
  • Jackie Chiles Law Society[28] - The University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law is home to the nation's only chapter of the Jackie Chiles Law Society. The student organization is named after the famous Seinfeld attorney, Jackie Chiles. The organization studies ways in which the law is depicted in pop culture and how its depiction has helped to change and form the law. Phil Morris, the actor who plays Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld, delivered the keynote address at the society's first end-of-year banquet in 2006.[29] Other notable speakers in recent years included Corbin Bernsen (Arnold Becker) of L.A. Law and Sam Lloyd from Scrubs (attorney Ted Buckland). The organization's website can be found at http://jackiechileslawsociety.blogspot.com/ and also has a Facebook page to keep the organization's members updated on meetings and activities.
  • Minority Law Caucus - The Minority Law Caucus (MLC), founded in 1985, is a student organization at the University of Utah S.J.Quinney College of Law. MLC promotes diversity in the legal profession in general and at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in particular. Its first end-of-the-year scholarship auction was held in the spring of 1986.[17]
  • NRLF - Natural Resources Law Forum: Open to all S. J. Quinney students, we share common interests in environmental law and responsible outdoor recreation. NRLF coordinates educational activities to serve the community and facilitates contact with leaders in the field of natural resources law. NRLF also sponsors social and volunteer activities such as tree planting, hikes, and cleanup of trails and rivers.
  • OUTLaws - The OUTLaws is an association of LGBT and allied students at S.J. Quinney School of Law. Student leadership of OUTLaws has established the following organizational goals: (1) Educate fellow law students about legal issues and challenges of LGBT community, (2) Connect with the LGBT community in Utah to understand current local legal issues, (3) Provide volunteer support to existing local organizations (e.g., Equality Utah) working to improve legal standing of LGBT citizens and families, (4) Build relationships with practicing attorneys in Utah who are active in the LGBT community.[17] Click this link to watch the OUTLAWS 2010 "Day of Silence" promotional clip.[30]
  • PALS - The Persian American Legal Society (PALS), founded by solmaz copeland in 2009, is dedicated to enhancing the awareness and appreciation of Iranian and other Middle Eastern cultural traditions in Utah's legal community.[17]
  • PILO - Public Interest Law Organization. The mission of the Public Interest Law Organization (PILO) is to promote scholarship, activism, and career opportunities for law students interested in working for the public interest.This includes local, state, and federal government, as well as non profits and other organizations with public service missions.
  • Student Immigration Law Association (SILA) - One of S.J. Quinney's newest student organizations, SILA strives to connect law students with attorneys and other practitioners in the immigration law field. With sweeping immigration changes happening on a regular basis, our country and Utah need better advocates to help individuals and families navigate the difficult world of immigration. Through meeting with attorneys and judges, participation in pro bono clinics, and other events, we hope to connect students to a career that involves the practice of immigration law.[31]
  • SIPLA - The Student Intellectual Property Law Association is open to all University of Utah students. The group is excellent for students seeking to network with local intellectual property practitioners. The group visits several law firms for lunch throughout the school year and sponsors expert panels, which allow intellectual property law professionals from the community to come to the law school, meet students, and help them gain a better understanding of intellectual property law.
  • Sports Law Club The Sports Law Club provides a forum for students interested in sports law to explore career options, network with individuals working in the industry and discuss sports-related legal issues. It also organizes social events like student trips to local sports events and the annual ping pong tournament.
  • Student Bar Association[32] - The SBA is the official student government of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. SBA plans student activities, organizes the mentor program for 1L students and many other programs to help law students. The SBA also serves as the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) and elected student government of the College of Law. As voting members of the College Council, SBA Board members serve as representatives of the student body to the law school faculty and administration. Thus, the SBA is the student voice to this decision-making body of the law school. The SBA can affect policies regarding curriculum, grades, class and exam scheduling, legal clinics, and so on. The SBA participates in faculty retention, promotion and tenure evaluations. On the lighter side, the SBA also sponsors social events, philanthropies, and intramural sports.[17]
  • Women's Law Caucus promotes interest in issues of particular concern to women, provides a forum for students on issues affecting the legal community, and provides activities that promote involvement in legal and women’s issues.

Scholarly publications[edit]

The S.J. Quinney College of Law currently publishes three legal journals:[33]

  • Utah Environmental Law Review[34]
  • Utah Law Review[35]
  • Journal of Law and Family Studies[36]


  1. ^ "2006 NACUBO Endowment Study" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. ^ a b c [1] Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c University of Utah (Quinney). https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/university-of-utah-quinney-03157. Retrieved 2017-03-21.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Approved Private Law Schools". American Bar Association. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  5. ^ https://www.law.utah.edu/alumni/college-of-law-history/
  6. ^ https://joe.law.utah.edu/secure/4skyzxw8k.html
  7. ^ "S.L. Tribune, August 22, 2015, University of Utah to debut new College of Law building". 
  8. ^ "S.J. Quinney College of Law Floor Plans" (PDF). S.J. Quinney College of Law. S.J. Quinney College of Law. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Building User Manual" (PDF). S.J. Quinney College of Law. S.J. Quinney College of Law. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Salt Lake City Named One of the "Most Livable Cities" for Workers | Utah Pulse
  11. ^ COL Graduate Tyler Green to Clerk for U.S. Supreme Court | ULaw Today | The S.J. Quinney College of Law
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ 2010 US News Law Schools leak 1 large « Above the Law: A Legal Tabloid - News and Colorful Commentary on Law Firms and the Legal Profession
  14. ^ a b Law School Profile » S.J. Quinney College of Law | University of Utah
  15. ^ https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/university-of-utah-quinney-03157.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Robert W Adler. "ROBERT W ADLER - Biography - Faculty Profile - The University of Utah". Faculty.utah.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Student Organizations | S.J. Quinney College of Law". Law.utah.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  18. ^ [3][dead link]
  19. ^ About Us » The Federalist Society
  20. ^ The Federalist Society
  21. ^ [4] Archived June 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20130629163234/http://www.law.utah.edu/org/international-law-society/. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "Global Law Program | S.J. Quinney College of Law". Law.utah.edu. Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  24. ^ J. Reuben Clark Law Society Home
  25. ^ [5][dead link]
  26. ^ J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  27. ^ J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference
  28. ^ The Jackie Chiles Law Society
  29. ^ Actor calls 'Chiles' role an outlet | Deseret News
  30. ^ YouTube - Day of Silence at the S.J. Quinney College of Law
  31. ^ "Student Organizations". S.J. Quinney College of Law. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  32. ^ http://www.law.utah.edu/documents/show-document.asp?DocumentID=53. Retrieved July 30, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  33. ^ University of Utah Academic Programs
  34. ^ Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law
  35. ^ Utah Law Review
  36. ^ Journal of Law and Family Studies

External links[edit]