Law school dedicates new Annex

(June 2, 2010) The School of Law Annex is now open less than a block from Sullivan Hall. 

The School of Law Annex, at 1215 E. Columbia St., just a half-block from Sullivan Hall, opened June 1 after a dedication in late May. The 20,000-square-foot Annex houses several programs that are key to the experiential legal education provided at the law school: The Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic, the Externship Program, the Seattle University Law Review and the Seattle Journal for Social Justice. 

Eva Wescott, a May ’10 graduate, talks about the importance of the experience she had with student journals and the clinic, while President Stephen Sundborg and other law school supporters listen. Behind them are sliding glass doors that can close to provide a more intimate meeting space separated from the larger multipurpose space. Exposed beams and tall ceilings create an open, light-filled space. Photo by Chris Joseph Taylor.

It also includes two large high-tech classrooms, seminar rooms, and a multipurpose space that can be closed off with sliding frosted glass doors for smaller meetings. The remodel opened up the building in the public spaces, exposed the original wood and finish where possible, and provided up-to-date formal finishes in the classrooms and faculty offices. A glass bridge connects the two sides of the second floor, leaving the main floor open and light.   

"This gorgeous space is the perfect symbol of Seattle University's deep commitment to our students, faculty, clients, and this community, and to the critical importance of clinical legal education," Clinic Director Lisa Brodoff said. 

The Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic offers 13 different clinics in which students apply what they've learned in their substantive courses and in legal writing to the representation of real people with real and often critical legal problems that go to their access to food, shelter, housing, health care, protection from abuse, and denial of human rights.  The Externship Program allows students to work in judicial chambers or other supervised practice settings to gain invaluable work experience before graduation.

University President Stephen Sundborg , S.J., said the School of Law Annex is further evidence of the law school's growing stature. He and Interim Dean Annette Clark offered special thanks to the family of Ronald A. Peterson, for whom the clinic is named. Peterson was an attorney who taught in the business school, who established both the undergraduate alumni relations and admissions offices, and who was one of the early founders of the St. Thomas More Society in Seattle. Peterson was instrumental in urging the university to include a law school among its colleges and schools.  

"Nobody was prouder than Ron Peterson when SU acquired the law school over 15 years ago," Clark said. "We are both proud and humbled to carry on the Peterson legacy and Ron's and his family's commitment to social justice. " 

The environmentally-friendly Annex was designed to meet LEED Gold certification. Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects designed the building, and Sellen Construction was the contractor. 

You can view the construction from start to finish.

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