Let Us Introduce You: Michael Wolff

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Former Missouri Supreme Court Justice brings experience to SLU 

Michael Wolff Candra Johnson / Staff Photographer

The Saint Louis University School of Law has seen some of the best and brightest professors walk through its doors, bringing experience and knowledge to the classroom to benefit aspiring lawyers. However, Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law and Advocacy and professor Michael Wolff brings experience to the classroom that few can match.

After serving for the Missouri Supreme Court, Justice Wolff has returned to the classroom as an integral part of the University community.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1967, Wolff matriculated to the University of Minnesota to obtain his Juris Doctor. While earning his law degree, Wolff served as a general assignment reporter and copy editor for The Minneapolis Star.

Wolff has been a part of SLU since 1975, beginning as an assistant professor working in the SLU School of Law. He taught at the University for 23 years, making his way up the ranks and becoming a full professor until his appointment to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1998.

“I have been teaching off and on, mostly on, throughout my career. I like it at SLU,” Wolff said.

Wolff has had extensive experience in the legal field, aside from the Missouri Supreme Court and academia. Wolff worked in private practice while on a teaching hiatus in 1981 and 1982, and worked alongside former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan as his chief counsel from 1993 to 1994 before becoming Carnahan’s special counsel until 1998. While on the bench, Wolff still managed to teach a course at  SLU Law.

“It was a complementary part of my role as a judge. It gave me a real sense of what was going on inside and outside the classroom,” Wolff said.

Wolff was voted into office for a 12-year term in the November 2000 Missouri General Elections. However, Wolff retired from his position as a justice in August of 2011, a year before his term was set to expire. He chose to return to SLU Law to serve as the director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Study of Law and Advocacy, a program that allows current and future lawyers to gain knowledge and skills for the court room.

“The program is mainly interdisciplinary now, but in the future we want to bring in more advocacy into the program. It is a great program to be in,” Wolff said.

Wolff cited the character of the SLU community as one of the reasons he was drawn to the University, where he teaches a course on civil procedure.

“SLU has a sense of community, which is one of the reasons why I like it here. The values are right and the students are engaged and socially conscious,” Wolff said.