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Issue: 1200 Date: 8/22/2013
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SLU Cuts Ribbon On New Law School

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Developer Steve Smith, Mayor Francis Slay, and Father Lawrence Biondi cut the ribbon on the new SLU law school in downtown St. Louis on April 16, 2013. (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)
        With dozens of alums and current students on hand, Saint Louis University's new law school in downtown officially opened for business today August 16, 2013.

        Joe and Loretta Scott Hall - named for the couple who donated the office building where it's housed - is a stone's throw from the state and federal courthouses, as well as City Hall.

        "Our move to this downtown location is not just a change of location an upgrade, but a profound transformation in our ability to teach, to learn and to become fully integrated within the legal profession," said Dean Mike Wolff, a former state Supreme Court justice. "It presents tremendous opportunities to create an extension of the students' classroom experiences and to integrate them into the legal community of St. Louis and the business community."

        The $30 million project generated some controversy, with former law school dean Annette Clark alleging in her resignation letter that Father Lawrence Biondi, the president, did not consult school faculty before agreeing to the overhaul.

        It's also likely the last major project Biondi will oversee before he retires, and he joked that it comes close to fulfilling a promise he made when he started at SLU 25 years ago.

        "I said that we would stop expanding our SLU campus when we reached the Mississippi River. Well, we've almost there," he said, as the gathered alums, which included several local politicians and dignitaries laughed.

        The university still has not decided what it will do with the old law school facility on its Midtown campus.

The new building sits within walking distance of the state and federal courts.

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