Michael Wolff (’70) Named Dean of St. Louis University School of Law
MARCH 6, 2013—Michael A. Wolff (’70), a professor and co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law at St. Louis University (SLU) School of Law, has been named the school's new dean, effective immediately.
Wolff returned to SLU Law in 2011 after retiring from the Supreme Court of Missouri. He served on the bench for 13 years, as chief justice from 2005-07. During his years as chief justice, he wrote a monthly column, called "Law Matters," on Missouri's courts and legal issues, which was distributed to newspapers across the state by the Missouri Press Association.
Before joining the Supreme Court in 1998, Wolff had been an assistant, associate, and full professor on the SLU Law faculty since 1975, teaching courses in civil procedure, state constitutional law, and the legal profession. While on leave in 1981-82, he worked in private practice in St. Louis, and he maintained a limited trial practice while teaching in the 1980s.
In the years leading up to his academic career, Wolff was director of Black Hills Legal Services in Rapid City, S.D. (1973-75), an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver through VISTA (1972-73), and an attorney with Legal Assistance of Ramsey County, St. Paul (1971-72).
Wolff has been honored with numerous awards, including the Missouri Bar's Judicial Excellence Award, the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges President's Award, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association's Aspire to Excellence Award, the Center for Women in Transition's Restorative Justice Award, the University of Missouri Law School's Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award.
As a student at the Law School, Wolff worked as a general assignment reporter and copy editor at the Star Tribune, experience he later put to use writing his monthly column. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Miles W. Lord in Minneapolis.
Wolff's "Law Matters" columns are available at www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=1078. A short account of his work on Simmons v. Roper and Missouri v. Seibert as a chief justice appears on page 30 of the spring 2006 issue of Perspectives (available at www.law.umn.edu/alumni/perspectives.html).