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William Mitchell College of Law

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William Mitchell College of Law
School type
Location St Paul, MN, US
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 11 (See List)

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William Mitchell College of Law is a law school located in St. Paul, Minnesota. It offers full and part-time legal education in pursuit of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. It is accredited by the American Bar Association.


The law school’s five predecessors (one in St. Paul, four in Minneapolis) were organized between 1900 and 1919 by attorneys who sought to open the doors of the legal profession to men and women, most of whom had to work full time to support themselves and often their families. The schools’ faculties were composed of distinguished judges and lawyers who taught from a sense of duty to the public and the profession.

Accredited by the American Bar Association in 1938, by 1940 the Minneapolis law schools had become one—the Minneapolis-Minnesota College of Law. In 1956, it united with the St. Paul College of Law. The new school was named for Justice William Mitchell of the Minnesota Supreme Court (18811899) whose opinions were regarded as models of brevity and sound judicial reasoning.

Despite the school’s modest beginnings, it has produced many outstanding attorneys, judges, and business and civic leaders, among them the 15th Chief Justice of the United States, Warren E. Burger ’31, and the first woman to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Rosalie E. Wahl ’67. In addition Harry Blackmun, another U.S. Supreme Court justice was an instructor there.

By 1980 William Mitchell offered daytime classes and the option of full-time enrollment.

In 1990 the law school dedicated the new Warren E. Burger law library, which houses the law school’s growing collection, affords rapid electronic access to thousands of additional documents, and provides quiet, comfortable study spaces for individuals and groups. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor attended the dedication along with Warren Burger.

William Mitchell celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2000.


William Mitchell has an informal hockey team, the mascot of which is the "Fightin' Eelpout."[1] Rumor has it the name was suggested by then Governor Jesse Ventura, who was a guest on campus. A student asked him what he should name the school's hockey team, and Ventura suggested the "Fighting Eelpout."

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Notes and explanations