Founded in 1879, the Law School embraces law as a calling to leadership and service. Our legal education blends theoretical and practical skills with humanitarian values to ready lawyers for that calling. The Law School is a community of learning, inquiry, and opportunity dedicated to excellence in legal education and invested in the academic and personal success of its students, preparing and empowering them to serve others and fulfill their potential in their chosen careers.
1879: Valparaiso University Law School was founded as the Northern Indiana Law School on November 11, 1879 by Colonel Mark L. DeMotte, making it the 38th oldest ABA accredited law school in the United States. DeMotte shared a populist view of education – open, affordable, and accessible for all who were willing to work hard to better themselves, regardless of gender, nationality or ecomonic or social class.
1898: Florence Higgins-Butler graduated; she was one of the first female law professors in the country.
1899: Within 20 years of opening, the Law School was the largest law school in Indiana.
1925: The University was purchased by the Lutheran University Association and the Law School was moved to the Domestic Science Building (renamed DeMotte Hall in 1959).
1929: The Law School received ABA accreditation.
1930: The Law School was admitted into the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).
1950: Hilbert Bradley graduated as the first African-American graduate of the Law School.
1964: Wesemann Hall (now renamed Kretzmann Hall) was built for the Law School on Valparaiso University’s campus.
1966: The Law Review at Valparaiso Law was established.
1967: The Legal Clinic was founded, and now includes 9 different live-client legal clinics where third years can practice law.
1986: Wesemann Hall on Old Campus was constructed as the new home for the Law School.
2004: 125th Anniversary of the Law School with guest of honor, President George H.W. Bush.
2010: Heritage Hall reconstructed as the new Lawyering Skills Center and home to the Legal Clinic, dedicated as an additional Law School facility.
WHY CHOOSE VALPARAISO LAW?
- Personalized Teaching: Teaching and learning at Valparaiso Law are personalized and collaborative. We help you succeed in your learning and your professional endeavors.
- New Curriculum: Valparaiso Law implemented a new curriculum in fall 2013. This innovative curriculum addresses the legal profession’s changing dynamics and prepares students to be practice-ready at graduation.
- Exceptional Legal Research and Writing: Among the most important skills for lawyers are writing and research. Valparaiso Law has long had a distinctive three-year program of writing and research, which distinguishes our graduates through their comprehensive skills.
- Clinics and Experiential Education: Students gain extensive professional and practical experience through nine in-house live client clinics, externships, internships, skills courses, pro bono work, and moot court and other competitive competition teams. Our graduates start their careers with confidence that grows from experience.
- Diversity: Valparaiso Law is constituted by students of every racial group, and of countless ethnicities, religions, nationalities, orientations, backgrounds, and beliefs. The diversity of the Law School is central to who we are.
- Called to the Law: We are a community dedicated to the proposition that law is more than a job, it is a vocation: a responsibility and an opportunity to serve others. Valparaiso Law School imparts doctrinal knowledge, teaches practical skills and models the commitment of our community to law as a calling.
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