Hon. Michael A. Wolff

Professional Experience:

Hon. Michael A. Wolff is an attorney, former Missouri Supreme Court judge and chief justice, and professor and dean emeritus of Saint Louis University Law School. His current practice involves select matters related to litigation, governmental affairs, and public interest law. Wolff served for 13 years on the Supreme Court of Missouri, 1998 to 2011, including two years as chief justice 2005 to 2007. He returned to the faculty of Saint Louis University in 2011 and became dean of the law school in 2013, serving until 2017. His honors include Lawyer of the Year (Missouri Lawyers Weekly), the Missouri Bar’s Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award; the William J. Brennan Jr. Memorial Lecture on State Courts and Social Justice, New York University; Benjamin N. Cardozo Award for Judicial Courage and Excellence (Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers), and the Donald P. Lay Champion for Justice Award from the National Employment Lawyers Association, Eighth Circuit. Wolff’s legal career has included a wide variety of practice, litigation, academic, governmental and judicial experience. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Wolff worked during law school as a reporter and copy editor for The Minneapolis Star Tribune and graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1970. He served as a federal court law clerk and legal services lawyer before joining the St. Louis University faculty in 1975.

While on the law faculty Wolff taught courses in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Criminal Sentencing, Legislation, State Constitutional Law, Trial Advocacy, Health Law, Legal Profession (Ethics) and the Lawyering Process. He was principal author of Federal Jury Practice and Instructions, (Devitt, Blackmar, Wolff & O’Malley) used throughout the country by judges and lawyers in the federal courts, as well as numerous other publications. Wolff engaged in full time law practice with a litigation firm in 1981-82 while on leave from the university and thereafter had a limited trial practice primarily in cases on health care, constitutional issues and employment. He served as chief counsel and special counsel to the governor in the 1990s and was chair of the state employees health plan.

Wolff is active in the American Law Institute, serving as an advisor on the Model Penal Code Sentencing Project. He serves as a board member of the National Courts and Science Institute (NCSI), which is devoted to providing science education to judges. He is a member of The Constitution Project and serves on two of its committees. In St. Louis Wolff is on the board of trustees of the Missouri Historical Society (Missouri History Museum in Forest Park), and the board of trustees of the Saint Louis Public Library Foundation.

Professional Affiliations:

• Missouri Bar Association
• Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
• Lawyers Association of St. Louis

 

Education:

• University of Minnesota Law School
J.D. (1970)

 

Licensure:

• Missouri (1970)

 

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