Welcome from the Dean | School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Welcome from the Dean

Interim Dean Cindy Buys

Welcome to the SIU School of Law, where we are transforming our students into the lawyers and community leaders of tomorrow, empowered with the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of their clients and communities.

In 1973, the Illinois legislature established the SIU School of Law in the public interest to serve the public good. Our faculty and students remain true to this mission of public service by providing more than 4,000 hours of free legal services each academic year through pro bono work. We offer multiple clinical programs in which students represent real clients seeking orders of protection from domestic violence or veterans who need assistance applying for benefits. SIU clinical faculty and their students also act as guardians ad litem representing the best interests of children who have been abused or neglected. In addition, these faculty and their students draft wills, health care powers of attorney, and other important legal documents for elderly clients.

SIU students participate in award-winning moot court programs, organize and produce topical law journal symposiums, and travel to foreign countries to engage with the global legal community. They volunteer their time with many community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Immigration Detention Project, and the Women’s Center. And they have fun playing intramural football, holding trivia contests, and singing karaoke.

Our faculty are caring and dedicated teachers as well as nationally and internationally-known scholars who improve the law through their innovative scholarship and advocacy on issues of criminal justice, gun rights, immigration, health care, disability rights, and much more.  SIU Law’s intellectual community is further enriched by annual lecture series, including the Hiram H. Lesar Distinguished Lecture, the John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist-in-Residence, the Gene and Katy Simonds Lectureship in Democracy, and the Beatty Jurist-in-Residence.

We are incredibly proud of our alumni who are partners in major law firms, in-house counsel, politicians, leaders of nonprofit organizations, diplomats, JAG Corps officers, hospital administrators, wealth managers, and so much more.  As a further point of pride, the SIU School of Law has produced more than 120 judges in just the past 40 years.

We hope you will visit us and learn more about the great things happening at SIU Law!

Cindy Galway Buys
Interim Dean and Professor of Law