The St. Thomas Law Review: its ratio essendi.

AuthorWiessner, Siegfried
PositionSt. Thomas Law Review 25th Anniversary Issue

At its twenty-fifth birthday, the St. Thomas Law Review deserves a hearty round of applause for its abundant contributions to knowledge and to a public order of human dignity. Over all these years, it has stood for a vision of legal education and legal practice that emphasized not only excellence in the profession, but a commitment to the common good. It has provided the antithesis to the caricature of lawyers as attack dogs for hire or sharks out only for money, committed to winning at all cost. In contrast, St. Thomas lawyers are to be seen as true professionals, deeply intellectual, and able to fashion innovative solutions to the problems of their clients and society.

Indeed, St. Thomas University School of Law was created in this vein --within a Catholic university dedicated to the ideals of social justice, human dignity, and the preference for the poor. From Day One, our law school would live to embrace, unleash, and foster the intellectual potential of the members of our community, both faculty and students. In particular, we cherished the papers our students wrote and felt it was necessary to share their most profound analyses and solutions to society's problems with the world.

Student articles based on the innovative and liberating New Haven approach to law commanded attention. At the time of the founding of this law review, in the mid-1980s, however, there were virtually no outlets for important analyses authored by students, which, if submitted, were rejected as a matter of course, particularly if they came from outside the home institutions. Student contributions to law reviews were limited to the traditional formats of notes and comments. St. Thomas Law, as in many other ways, set a counterpoint. It believed in its students' unlimited potential and intellectual ability and published their best papers exclusively in the first three volumes of the review, to provide a forum otherwise foreclosed. Appropriately, the name of the law review in these first three years of its existence was the St. Thomas Law Forum. The belief in the quality work, indeed excellence, of our students propelled the journal's further development--always under the guiding light of our mission to, optimistically, struggle for a better tomorrow in the realm of laws, not remaining captive to sometimes questionable decisions of the past.

A prime example of this social justice mission of the St. Thomas Law Review has been its leadership in the area of federal...

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