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S.J. Quinney College of Law

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

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 44th in the country[5], making it the top ranked among the two law schools in the State of Utah.

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]
ABA profile S.J. Quinney College of Law Profile
University of Utah horizontal logo.svg


History - The First 100 YearsEdit

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 first Dean was Frank Holman, a 27-year-old with an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah as well as an additional B.A. and an M.A. from Oxford where he had been a Rhodes Scholar. He would later serve as president of the American Bar Association. His salary as Dean of the Law School was $2,000 annually, the equivalent of $51,326.70 in 2015.

The School of Law now had a leader, 75 students, and an emerging reputation in the Intermountain West. What it still did not have was its own building in which to hold classes. The faculty continued to hold class in City Hall and the Salt Lake 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. Leary earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, which served as a primary inspiration for the University of Utah's fledgling law school. With an annual budget of $7,000, Leary began pursuing an ambitious campaign of growth which was halted by two factors, the first of which was the U.S. entry into World War I on April 6, 1917, and the second of which was the Spanish Influenza epidemic which, along with Pneumonia (an endemic complication in those suffering from the Spanish Influenza), was responsible for 1/3 of all deaths in the State of Utah in 1918.

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.

. 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.[6]

New Law School BuildingEdit

A 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.[8]

The moot courtroom of the S.J. Quinney College of Law.


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.[9]

Law libraryEdit

The James E. Faust Law Library (formerly the S.J. Quinney Law Library) is completely integrated into the new law school building. . 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.[10] It is also ranked #7 in Environmental Law.[10] 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 passageEdit

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 AdlerEdit

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[16]


Campus organizations[17] in alphabetical order include:

  • Business Law Society: a student organization for anyone interested in the law and business. Events focus on how the law and business intersect.
  • 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]
  • Global Justice Think Tank[20] - for research on contemporary global issues in partnership arrangements.
  • International Law Students Association[21] [22]
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society[23][24] - The JRCLS is an international organization of law school students and graduates with over 65 chapters throughout the world. Although closely associated with the LDS Church, membership in the church is not required to join JRCLS. [25]
  • Jackie Chiles Law Society[26] – a student organization named after the famous Seinfeld attorney, Jackie Chiles.
  • Minority Law Caucus - a student organization at the University of Utah S.[17]
  • NRLF - Natural Resources Law Forum: Open to all S. J. Quinney students, with interests in environmental law and responsible outdoor recreation.
  • OUTLaws - The OUTLaws is an association of LGBT and allied students . [17]
  • 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.[17]
  • PILO - Public Interest Law 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.
  • Student Immigration Law Association (SILA) - .[27]
  • SIPLA - The Student Intellectual Property Law Association is open to all University of Utah students.
  • Sports Law Club The Sports Law Club provides a forum for students interested in sports law
  • Student Bar Association[28] - The SBA is the official student government of the S.J. Quinney College of Law. It plans student activities, organizes the mentor program for 1L students and other programs sich as social events, philanthropies, and intramural sports.. 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 respresent the student body to the law school faculty and administration. [17]
  • Women's Law Caucus promotes interest in issues of particular concern to women.

Scholarly publicationsEdit

The S.J. Quinney College of Law currently publishes three legal journals:[29]

  • Utah Environmental Law Review[30]
  • Utah Law Review[31]
  • Journal of Law and Family Studies[32]

Notable alumniEdit


  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. ^
  4. ^ "Approved Private Law Schools". American Bar Association. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  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. ^ Salt Lake City Named One of the "Most Livable Cities" for Workers | Utah Pulse
  10. ^ a b University of Utah (Quinney). Retrieved 2017-03-21.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Robert W Adler. "ROBERT W ADLER - Biography - Faculty Profile - The University of Utah". Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Student Organizations | S.J. Quinney College of Law". Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  18. ^ [3][dead link]
  19. ^ About Us » The Federalist Society
  20. ^ [4] Archived June 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Global Law Program | S.J. Quinney College of Law". Retrieved 2015-11-12. 
  23. ^ J. Reuben Clark Law Society Home
  24. ^ [5][dead link]
  25. ^ J. Reuben Clark Law Society Conference
  26. ^ The Jackie Chiles Law Society
  27. ^ "Student Organizations". S.J. Quinney College of Law. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  28. ^ Retrieved July 30, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  29. ^ University of Utah Academic Programs
  30. ^ Journal of Land, Resources, and Environmental Law
  31. ^ Utah Law Review
  32. ^ Journal of Law and Family Studies

External linksEdit