The School of Law was first established as the University of Dayton College of Law in 1922 under the guidance of Dean John C. Shea, the former first assistant director of law for Dayton. The college’s first class included two women and one African American. Economic issues during the Great Depression led the law school to close its doors in 1935.
The school offers its students the option of pursuing a J.D. at an accelerated pace. Students may earn a law degree in two years by beginning in May and going to school full-time including summer terms.
In 1989, the law school created the Program in Law and Technology (PILT), one of the first programs of its kind in the country. PILT offers courses in patent law, copyright and trademark law, business dimensions of intellectual property law, cyberspace law, entertainment law and the impact of technology on the practice of law. Collaborations with Emerson and LexisNexis provide hands-on experience in areas of data security and privacy, product liability, regulation and developing new legal products and services.
Through a partnership with the University of Dayton's Human Rights Center, law school students and faculty can work to protect the rights of vulnerable citizens across the world. The collaborative features a course on human rights and joint-research projects between the law school and the center.