A new era officially kicked off for the first law school west of the Mississippi River when classes began at Scott Hall, the new home of Saint Louis University School of Law, on Aug. 19, 2013. The former office building on 100 N. Tucker Blvd. in downtown St. Louis is now a stunning piece of design and architecture built to educate and challenge future members of the legal profession.
For the first time, all aspects of the school's vibrant community, including the Saint Louis University Law Library and Legal Clinics, are housed under one roof. Previously spread across multiple buildings and maze-like hallways, the new building, along with thoughtful design elements, allows for improved collaboration between students, faculty and staff and provides a true communal environment -- an attribute that has long been a source of pride for the School of Law.
From the lobby entryway to the newly created 12th-floor rooftop pavilion and courtyard, the building -- named in honor of Joe and Loretta Scott, St. Louisans who donated the building to SLU in 2012 -- is contemporary, spacious and suitable for a multitude of learning and networking opportunities. The interior spaces are adaptable to small group study and meeting sessions, diverse classroom arrangements, large events and professional skills competitions.
Greeting Scott Hall visitors from the first floor lobby (and a separate entrance on Chestnut Street), is The Docket, a new restaurant also open to the public. Operated by Bon Appétit Management Co., the restaurant offers grab-and-go breakfast and lunch options, a lunch buffet and sit-down dinner service with a focus on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. It has quickly become a popular spot for informal networking opportunities, as judges and lawyers are finding the eatery's adjacency to the courthouses a welcome addition to the neighborhood. The Docket also welcomes students from across campus and accepts the University Flex plan.
Beyond the Building
The move downtown is more than just an upgrade of the School of Law's space. It represents a new way to teach, learn and mentor. As the role of lawyers and legal education continues to change, Scott Hall shows the law school's response to this changing environment.
Located in the heart of the downtown legal and business community, Scott Hall is prominently situated next to the Civil Courts Building, a block away from the criminal courts and City Hall, three blocks away from the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Attorney's Office, and within easy walking distance to numerous law firms and government agencies. This proximity presents tremendous opportunities to create an extension of the classroom experience, allowing students more time to spend with the practicing bar and judges not just at the courthouse or attorneys' offices, but in the law school itself.
"This location provides SLU LAW students with the opportunity to fulfill the social justice mission of the law school and to learn firsthand the great responsibilities that accompany the privilege of being legal professionals," said Michael Wolff, dean of the School of Law. "We believe this high profile location and the proximity to clients and to the legal community will enhance our ability to help meet the legal needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community."
In celebration of the new location and to initiate a closer relationship with the neighboring courts, law firms, business community and the City of St. Louis, the law school created the Inaugural Year of Events series. This programming aims to solidify the School of Law's role as lawyers, leaders and citizens in the community. Events include a lecture by former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, a live broadcast of St. Louis Public Radio and a presentation by New York Times chief national correspondent Mark Leibovich.
Local businesses have warmly welcomed the 800 members of the law school community to downtown. Many of these businesses have joined with the law school to create the SLU Zone, a partnership that encourages students, faculty and staff to get out and explore their new surroundings.
With a state-of-the-art building and a prime position in the heart of the St. Louis legal community, this new chapter further strengthens the School of Law's long-standing tradition of providing students with a well-rounded legal education and a unique opportunity to see the law in action.