Meet the Dean
Michael A. Wolff was selected as the dean of Saint Louis University School of Law in March 2013, bringing an established record of leadership to his new role, having served 13 years on the Missouri Supreme Court and as its Chief Justice from 2005-2007, and as a long-time faculty member at the School of Law.
Wolff returned to SLU LAW in fall 2011 after retiring from the Court. He served as the inaugural director for the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law & Advocacy and teaches Civil Procedure in addition to other courses.
Wolff was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in August 1998 and served as chief justice for the term of July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2007. In addition to his judicial duties, he served as chair of the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, Wolff received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. For 23 years prior to his appointment to the Court, he served as an assistant, associate and full professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, and has held faculty appointments in Saint Louis University's Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. He has also been a visiting professor at Sichuan University, Peoples Republic of China.
Wolff served as chief counsel to Governor Mel Carnahan from January 1993 to August 1994 and prior to that, as his transition director. He was special counsel to the governor from 1994-1998. He was in private practice in St. Louis from 1981 to 1982 working primarily on cases involving health care law, constitutional issues and employment law. He served as the director of the Black Hills Legal Services, Rapid City, S.D. from 1973 to 1975 and was an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver from 1972 to 1973, an attorney with Legal Assistance of Ramsey County, Minnesota from 1971 to 1972, and a law clerk in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, 1970 to 1970. He worked as a reporter for the Minneapolis Star during law school 1967-1970. Wolff is a member of The Missouri Bar, the American Bar Association, the Lawyers Association of St. Louis, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and The American Law Institute.
In 2007, Missouri Lawyers' Weekly named Wolff "Lawyer of the Year." He also received The Missouri Bar's Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award in 2007; the James C. Kirkpatrick Award from the Northwest Missouri Press Association in 2007; the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2007; the Joseph E. Stevens "Aspire to Excellence" Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association in 2006; the President's Award from the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges in 2006, and the Clarence Darrow Award from Saint Louis University School of Law Public Interest Law Group in 2004.