Law Schools

Interim SLU law dean says he resigned because of his big mouth; new dean is named


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Thomas Q. "Tom" Keefe Jr. Photo courtesy of Thomas Q.
Keefe, Jr., P.C.

Updated: The interim dean of Saint Louis University School of Law says he wasn’t cut out for the job.

Tom Keefe Jr. announced his resignation from the post on Monday. “I’m a plain-spoken, ambulance chasing plaintiffs lawyer,” he told the St. Louis Business Journal, and that fact alone caused consternation among the law school faculty. But Keefe cited other problems as well.

“I resigned because my mouth was too big,” Keefe told the Business Journal. The problem, he said, is that he is “just too politically incorrect.” Keefe made similar statements in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The articles highlight some of the statements that generated controversy. Keefe told Missouri Lawyers Weekly last August that he would be independent and would not be the university president’s “butt boy.” He also had remarked that he had gotten “drunker than 10 big Indians.”

The law school announced later Tuesday that Saint Louis University law professor Michael Wolff, a former Missouri Supreme Court justice, had been named the school’s new dean.

“The landscape of legal education is changing, and SLU LAW is at the forefront,” Wolff said in a press release (PDF) announcing his selection as dean. “We have such a vibrant student body, talented faculty, dedicated staff and supportive alumni community. I look forward to moving the school downtown and integrating the educational experience of the students with the legal community, which will serve a vital role in our education and justice mission.”

Updated at 4:55 p.m. to include the naming of the new dean.

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