|Rankings and Top 100 Profiles 3rd and 4th Tier Profiles Dean Interviews Discuss Your School TLS Stats TLS Programs International Profiles Law School Articles|
St. Louis University School of Law
Published January 2009, last updated March 2011
St. Louis University (SLU) School of Law is a solid choice for applicants looking to live and work in St. Louis, which is approximately the 15th-largest legal market in the United States. However, while there are plenty of opportunities for SLU grads within St. Louis's law firms, those wishing to leave the state of Missouri or the Lower Midwest entirely will face a much bigger challenge securing employment.
Admissions & Tuition
Admissions statistics for the St. Louis University School of Law are about consistent with what one might expect from other schools similarly ranked near the bottom of the USNews and World Report top-100 (SLU was most recently ranked 94th). The middle 50% of the full-time 2008 entering 1L class sported GPAs and LSAT scores ranging from 3.23 to 3.69 and 154 to 160, respectively. Students who are not underrepresented minorities or who do not possess exceptional resumes will likely want to fall at least somewhere in the middle of that range (roughly 3.5, 157) to feel competitive about their chances for admission at St. Louis School of Law.
SLU is a private, Jesuit institution and, as such, whether a student is applying from within the State of Missouri or not has no bearing on the admissions process. On the other hand, SLU's status as a private university means that for in-state and out-of-state students alike, the tuition is steep, especially for a law school with so little national relevance. Tuition for the full-time program is $34,180 a year, and $24,940 for the part-time program. This does not include other expenses such as cost of living in St. Louis, transportation, books, health insurance, etc, all of which could very easily make the total cost of attending SLU Law closer to $50,000-a-year. Given this level of expense, students looking to pay their way through law school by taking out loans should do a very careful cost-benefit analysis of the value of a degree from SLU Law vs. the debt with which they'll likely graduate.
However, applicants with strong GPAs, a good resume and an LSAT score in the mid-160s or higher can expect to be competitive for SLU's "1843 Scholars Program." Named after the year in which SLU Law was founded (making it, for what it's worth, one of the first 20 law schools established in the US), this is a full-tuition scholarship given for 3 years to 10 exceptional incoming students.
Bar Passage & Employment Prospects
Because St. Louis University School of Law is considered a regional law school, it is unsurprising that the majority of its graduates opt to take the bar in Missouri. The bar passage rate is a very respectable 92.1% (two points higher than the state average of 90.4%). Only 67% of graduates are employed at the time of graduation, but within 9 months, 92% of SLU Law grads find themselves gainfully employed. Again, it should be noted that it is much easier for St. Louis University School of Law grads to find work in Missouri than elsewhere, but even there, things are not always so easy:
SLU Law faces competition from the other local law school, the much higher-ranked and more nationally regarded Washington University in St. Louis. It is wise for someone considering SLU Law to consider that, even counting the large percentage of WashU Law grads who leave Missouri to work in other markets such as Chicago and DC, they will likely be the second choice of even local employers. Salary statistics seem to bear this out: The median private sector salary for a St. Louis University Law School grad is $65,000 compared to over $100,000 for those who went to WashU.
Although SLU is not an academic powerhouse like WashU, it does hold its own in certain regards. For instance, SLU Law students have the unique opportunity to study at their Center for Health Law Studies, which is considered to be one of the finest places to study health law in the nation (USNews&World Report, in its specialty rankings, puts it as number one nationwide). SLU also has a decently-regarded Center for International and Comparative Law, and several clinics including a Judicial Process Clinic and a Criminal Public Defender Clinic.
While many law schools feature cutthroat competition among the student body, SLU Law is known for a relatively collegial atmosphere, one which the school tries very much to foster. Additionally, for students interested in pursuing the study of more than just the law, they offer several dual-degree programs including the JD/MBA and a JD/Masters in Urban Affairs.
Quality of Life
St. Louis University Law School is working on a new building for the law school, the cost of which is estimated at between $30 and $35 million. Once fundraising is complete, groundbreaking is set to begin about 2010, however the extent to which these plans lack concreteness (no pun intended) implies that the new grounds should not be a consideration for applicants before groundbreaking.
St. Louis is a bustling city with much to do. SLU is located in the Midtown neighborhood which, while it has its share of problems (like much of the City of St. Louis), is also known as a haven for the arts, being home to both the Fox Theater and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Though many parts of the city are less than ideally safe, there are also plenty of safe, vibrant and exciting spots to hang out - not to mention one of the finest teams in the history of Major League Baseball and an NFL team with nowhere to go but up.
St. Louis University Law School is a good choice for anyone who is certain that they would like to live and practice law in the state of Missouri. Nevertheless, the tuition is steep for a school of its caliber and a careful cost-benefit analysis must be performed before one decides to attend.
U.S. News Ranking: 94
Mercer University Law School
Stetson University School of Law
Chapman University School of Law
Cleveland State University, Marshall College of Law
Creighton University School of Law
UNH School of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
The University of St. Thomas School of Law
University of Wyoming, College of Law
William Mitchell College of Law
Florida International University College of Law
Florida Coastal School of Law
CUNY School of Law
Campbell University School of Law
Barry University School of Law
Oklahoma City University School of Law
Regent University School of Law
South Texas College of Law
Touro College – Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law
University of the District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
University of North Dakota School of Law
Mississippi College School of Law
John Marshall Law School (Chicago)
Albany Law School
Appalachian School of Law
Ave Maria School of Law
Southern University Law Center
Southwestern Law School
St. Mary's University School of Law
St. Thomas University School of Law
Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Howard University Law School
Texas Tech Law School
New York Law School
The University of Missouri – Kansas City
Northern Kentucky University – Salmon P. Chase College of Law
California Western School of Law
Pace University School of Law
University of Memphis – Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
University of Montana School of Law
North Carolina Central University
University of South Dakota School of Law
Thomas Cooley School of Law
New England Law | Boston
Drake University School of Law
University of Akron School of Law
Vermont Law School
University of Mississippi School of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
University of Toledo (OH)
Wayne State University Law School
University of Idaho College of Law
Gonzaga Law School
The University of Maine School of Law
Golden Gate Law School
Pacific McGeorge School of Law
University of San Francisco School of Law
St. Louis University School of Law
Seattle University School of Law
DePaul University College of Law
Hofstra Law School