This fall, we are hosting a traveling exhibit,"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War." Consequently, we all walk by a giant image of our state’s most famous lawyer each day. He sits there, among our students, as they read cases on their laptops, discuss legal opinions, surf the web. What must he think? When he practiced law here in Illinois in the 1840s, he rode what was then the 8th Judicial Circuit on horseback from one small town to another. Could he have imagined a lawyer representing a client in a multi-national business transaction, filing her brief electronically after a series of Skype interviews?

As Secretary of War Edwin Stanton famously said at Lincoln’s deathbed, “now he belongs to the ages.” As we consider the work of lawyers in our own age, so different from Lincoln’s in terms of technology, information, transportation, etc., it bears noting that what is not so different is the importance of honesty and integrity to the practice of law.

As lawyers and legal educators dealing with the challenges of a changing world, it might be helpful if we all paused to consider what Lincoln might think of our stewardship of his profession. We organized a series of programs this fall to expand on the themes of the exhibit, mostly focusing on wartime civil liberties. The programs conclude at the end of this month with a special screening of the new film about Lincoln at our local theater.  You can read more about the exhibit and programs and watch videos of the lectures here.


There are several new faces around the law school this fall. We are pleased to welcome four outstanding new faculty members. Read about them here.


Despite the changes and challenges facing legal education, I remain very optimistic about the future of SIU Law.  Below are just a few reasons why. For more and ongoing news about activities at law school, please visit my blog and check back frequently.

Although the number of applicants to law schools continues to decline nationally, we had a slight (3%) increase in applications. Read more here. Our admissions staff worked incredibly hard and appreciated help from alumni who joined us at recruitment events across the country.

We were pleased that the National Jurist recognized SIU on their list of “The ‘A’ Schools” in their most recent ranking of Best Value Law Schools

It would be impossible to list all of the accomplishments of our faculty here, but I do want to mention just a few of their awards and achievements.

The United Nations Association selected Professor Cindy Galway Buys as the Great Lakes Region "Inspirational Woman Leader"

The Illinois Innocence Project honored the law school with their Defenders of the Innocent Award for the contributions of our students and faculty members Bill Schroeder and Chris Behan.  Read more about the Project here.

John Erbes, Director of Clinical & Experiential Education, received SIUC's prestigious Sturgis Public Service Award

Professor Alice Noble-Allgire spearheaded  the inaugural ISBA-JTBF Law and Leadership Pipeline Program at SIU over the summer.  Thirty students from disadvantaged backgrounds participated in a week-long summer camp to introduce them to legal education.  We are grateful to the many alumni who also contributed to this very successful program.

Assistant Professor Lucian Dervan testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security last spring about his research on innocence and plea bargaining.  The Wall Street Journal published a feature article about his study on this issue this fall.  You can read more about his work at his blog.

Assistant Professor Mike Koehler has been a source for innumerable news items about the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.  

See a longer list of recent faculty publications and presentations here.


SIU Law alumni have been well represented in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin in 2012. Read these excellent feature stories, and let us know if we missed any.

The Class Without a PictureJudge Borden

Hon. Stuart P. Borden '77

When you visit the law school at Southern Illinois University you immediately see the class pictures that line the walls marking the graduating classes from the inception of the school to the present. One is struck by the fact that there is no picture for the second class that graduated from the school, the class of 1977 or, as it has been said to me on numerous occasions, the class without a picture.

A natural reaction to the void on the wall might be that the class of "77" was not a very ambitious class and didn't care enough about their Juris Doctorate degree to even gather for the commemorative class photo. However, if you actually delve into the alumni from "77", you will see that they have done exceedingly well in their legal pursuits, and have brought acclaim and distinction to the law school.

Read more

Hon. Brian T. Otwell '84
"Otwell relates to underdogs"


Elizabeth Gastelum '08
"Gastelum offers inspiring story"


Send us your news and announcements here


Medical-Legal Partnership

The Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) was named the 2012 Medical-Legal Partnership of the Year by the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. Read about the great work that Diane Goffinet '93 has done with the Partnership, and how SIU Law students benefit. Read more


Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program

SIU School of Law has partnered with the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism to administer a new lawyer mentoring program in order to advance the cause of professionalism, integrity and civility.
Please consider serving as a mentor or mentee in the program (and earn 6 hours of free professional responsibility CLE credit in the process!) You can learn more out more about the program and sign up here. line 

SIU Law Journal Symposium “Guantanamo Bay:  What Next?”

The SIU Law Journal is planning a symposium and subsequent special issue of the journal which will seek to address many of the continuing legal issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay from all viewpoints and provide a platform for legal scholars to present new research and ideas on this important topic. Read more about the Symposium here.

Faculty members Chris Behan and Lucian Dervan visited the detention facilities and military commissions courthouse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on September 27, 2012. Professor Cindy Buys had visited the facilities last year. Behan and Dervan accompanied an official Department of Defense visit to the island at the invitation of the Rule of Law and Detainee Policy section of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.   The purpose of their visit was to obtain first-hand knowledge of detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for the symposium. Read more about  their visit here


holiday card

Tuesday, December 4
222 South 6th Street
Springfield, IL
5:30 - 7:30 pm


Wednesday, December 5
1415 South 18th Street
St Louis, MO
5:30 - 7:30 pm


Friday, December 14
In conjunction with the ISBA
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
301 E. North Water Street
Chicago, IL
4:00 - 6:00 pm


RSVP to Elizabeth O'Neil: 618.453.4811 or



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