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University of Dayton: School of Law

Deans of the School of Law

John C. Shea (1922-1935)

Norman George (Acting Dean; 1974-1975)

Richard L Braun (1975-1982)

Frederick B. Davis (1983-1986)

Francis J. Conte (1987-2001)

Lisa A Kloppenberg (2002-2011)

Paul E. McGreal (2011-)

Law Library in Albert Emanuel Library circa 1930


Our mission as a law school reflects our character and purpose, derives from our traditions, and inspires our aspirations. Our mission and our vision have important implications for how law is taught here - and how you can expect to be treated as a student.

As an integral part of the University of Dayton, a Catholic university founded by members of the Society of Mary in 1850, we share the University’s commitment to serving others and offering an education that blends theory and practice. Like the University, we also highly value the role of faculty as teachers and mentors, as well as scholars.

Central to our curriculum and our teaching is the notion of developing complete professionals. The traditional approach to legal education prevalent at law schools across the country, centering upon the case method and legal reasoning, is augmented by development of the professional skills that our students will rely upon as practitioners and an enhanced appreciation for ethics and community service that will distinguish them as lawyers and leaders in the years ahead.

As a law school with a growing reputation, we are committed to developing and offering outstanding programs of study. We continually invest in those areas most important to the education of our students - our dedicated faculty, our innovative curriculum, and the physical environment in which our students’ education takes place.

History of the School of Law

The University of Dayton School of Law was first established in 1922 as the College of Law under the direction of Hon. John C. Shea, who served as the College’s first dean. Due to the Depression, the law school encountered heavy economic issues and as a result officially closed in 1935 with the expectation of reopening when funds allowed.  Because of an increased demand for lawyers the University of Dayton School of Law finally reopened its doors in Albert Emanuel Hall in September of 1974 and became fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1974. A decade later, the school was granted membership to the Association of American Law Schools. In 1997, Joseph E. Keller Hall was dedicated to the law school and now serves as a technologically equipped environment for research and study. The School of Law is home to the renowned Program in Law and Technology and the Legal Profession Program. 

For more information...

Visit the University of Dayton Archives to gain access to

  • Publications including the University of Dayton Law Review and The Dayton Lawyer
  • Directories
  • Bulletins
  • 1994 Self-Study
  • Photographs
  • Dean
  • Faculty
  • Law Library
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