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Elizabeth Pendo, J.D.

Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law
Center for Health Law Studies
William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law

Courses Taught

Bioethics, Civil Procedure I, Civil Procedure II, Disability Law, Health Care Ethics, Health Care Law


Professor Pendo earned her Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English Literature from the University of California, where she was a member of the Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa, and a Regents and Alumni Association scholar.  After earning her law degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law, she clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced at a litigation firm and in the Employee Benefits / ERISA group at MetLife.  She is a member of the State Bars of California and New York.

Practice Areas

Professor Pendo is a specialist in disability law, bioethics and the law, and health law and policy. Her work advocates for greater access to adequate health care, health insurance, work opportunities, integration in the community, and full participation in society for people with disabilities. She is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and symposia, to the legal profession, and to community groups.

Research Interests

Pendo is a nationally recognized expert in disability law and health care law. Her scholarship focuses on the difference disability makes in places in our society such as the health care system and the workplace, with a particular interest in legal and social meanings of disability.

Publications and Media Placements

Professor Pendo has written numerous law review and other scholarly articles on disability disparities in health care, health reform, private and employer-sponsored insurance, and obligations of providers, health care institutions, and employers under federal and state antidiscrimination laws. Her work has been published in law reviews and peer-reviewed journals including Health Affairs, New England Journal of Medicine, Yale Journal of Health Policy and Ethics, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Wake Forest Law Review, U.C. Davis Law Review and Utah Law Review. She is one of the authors of the leading casebook Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems, 8th ed. (American Casebook Series, West) and Bioethics and Law in a Nutshell, 2nd ed. (West). Many of her publications are available at her SSRN author page.

Publication List

Honors and Awards

Professor Pendo was named Joseph J. Simeone Professor of Law in 2015. She is the recipient of the YWCA Leadership Award in recognition of leadership in the Saint Louis University community, the Eileen H. Searls Service Award given by the Saint Louis University School of Law Women Law Students’ Association, and the Women’s Justice Legal Scholar Award awarded by the Saint Louis Daily Record. She is also the first recipient of the University Student Government Association Faculty Excellence Award for Diversity and Social Justice.

Professional Organizations and Associations

Professor Pendo is active in national organizations designed to serve scholars in her areas of expertise, legal education, and the legal profession. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Association. In 2017, she chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care and began a three-year appointment to the ABA Commission on Disability Rights.

Community Work and Service

Professor Pendo embraces the mission of the University and School of Law to serve others and to promote social justice. Before joining the School of Law, she was on the faculty at Saint Thomas University School of Law in Miami, FL, where she chaired the Florida Managed Care Ombudsman Committee, a statewide program that provides individual assistance to Florida residents in understanding and navigating the managed care grievance process. While at the School of Law, she developed service-learning projects with her students, and was commissioned as lead author of the Disability and Health Report, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the CDC Foundation.  She also served as the Vice Dean and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Law, and chaired the Personnel, and Faculty Recruitment, and Learning Outcomes Committees, among other contributions.