The Southern Illinois University School of Law’s mission to serve the public good began in 1972, when it was established by the Illinois state legislature. Its first class started in August 1973. Presently the school resides in the Lesar Law Building, named for its first dean Hiram H. Lesar. The School of Law offers the Juris Doctor degree, Master of Laws degree, and Master of Legal Studies degree in both full-time and part-time programs.
Amongst other specializations, the School of Law offers a specialization in Intellectual Property (IP) Law.
According to SIU Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 70.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at SIU Law for the 2014-2015 academic year is $35,152 for Illinois residents and $57,802 for out-of-state students.
The Health Law Program at the Southern Illinois University School of Law was developed in the early 1980s to advance education and research regarding critical issues in health law and public policy and medical ethics. After dedicating more than twenty years to teaching, research, and service activities addressing healthcare regulation, patient safety and medical liability, bioethics, public health, mental health, and food and drug law, the SIU School of Law formally established the Center for Health Law and Policy in 2004.
The School of Law offers its students the opportunity to join an array of student activities such as Law Journal, Moot Court Society, and Trial Advocacy Society. There are also a number of student interest groups.
The Southern Illinois University Law Journal is a student-edited journal that publishes articles designed to assist the legal community and to stimulate critical discussion of current legal, policy, and social issues. The Journal publishes three issues per year.
Journal of Legal Medicine offers in-depth discussion of topics related to legal medicine, health law and policy, professional liability, hospital law, food and drug law, medical legal research and education, and a broad range of related topics. The journal is published quarterly by the American College of Legal Medicine in cooperation with the Southern Illinois University School of Law.Civil Practice/Elderly Clinic
The Civil Practice/Elderly Clinic provides a full range of civil legal services to those 60 and over. These services include the drafting of simple wills and powers of attorney, assistance with securing public benefits and entitlements including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Veteran's benefits. In addition, the clinic handles family law (divorce, etc.) matters, consumer problems, and public utilities problems.Domestic Violence Clinic
The Domestic Violence Clinic provides legal representation to victims of domestic violence in Jackson, Williamson and Union counties. In an average order of protection case, students will interview the client, prepare the client for a hearing, appear before the court in a contested or uncontested hearing, prepare an order for the court, and follow through with the necessary steps to make the order enforceable.Juvenile Justice Clinic
Students enrolled in the Juvenile Justice Clinic work with an experienced clinic attorney and perform legal services and duties to minors for whom the clinic attorney has been appointed guardian ad litem.
As of 2015, SIU School of Law is ranked 149 in the US News Rankings of Best Law Schools. This places SIU in "the top three-fourths of the law schools that were eligible to be ranked."
In 2012, National Jurist ranked SIU School of Law as one of the best value law schools in the nation with a grade of "A-."William Enyart - United States Representative (D-12th)
Rich Whitney - Illinois Green Party politician, civil rights attorney
Sue E. Myerscough - District Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
Matthew F. Hale - White supremacist leader, and convicted felon