Mission Statement

Fostering a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty from different backgrounds and walks of life is essential to WashULaw’s core mission: to train students to succeed in the modern legal profession and serve as a hub of influential research production.

To live up to that commitment, we strongly emphasize the value and importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion across all dimensions of our curriculum, administration, and institution as a whole.

A Message From Dean Russell K. Osgood

Achieving our mission statement requires more than teaching black-letter law. It requires an abiding emphasis on the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion as an integral commitment. Here are some concrete steps we have taken to successfully embody our mission statement:

  • Attracting and assembling one of the most diverse student bodies and faculties in our school’s history. Women, for example, make up over 48% of our current student body, while people of color account for almost 25%.
  • Mandating bias awareness and sexual harassment training to all in the law school community as part of our efforts to stamp out discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socioeconomic background, and more.
  • Lending pro bono legal services to a variety of diverse community members in the St. Louis area and beyond, who would not otherwise have access to solid legal representation.
  • Hosting diverse speakers from around the nation and world to share, present, and lecture at the law school.
  • Establishing a robust offering of student groups, organizations, and resources specifically for diverse students. Please see an outline of these below, with links to their home pages.
  • Directing students to the university’s bias reporting form, which may be used to report incidents of experienced or witnessed discriminatory behavior.

WashULaw also has a proud history of valuing diversity. When we opened our doors in 1867, we admitted the first two women in the nation to attend a chartered law school: Phoebe Couzins and Lemma Barkeloo. In 1886, we admitted our first African American student, Walter Moran Farmer.

However, our work from the past and present must strengthen and continue into the future. We are galvanized to continue. Please join us on this important journey.

Angela Smith, Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Assistant Dean Angela Smith helps improve cultural competency and racial justice within the law school. She works with the Office of Student Life, Career Center, and Office of Admissions to implement recommendations set forth by the Task Force and provide insight on all diversity, equity, and inclusion-related matters.

Smith previously served as director of operations and diversity in the Career Center. She has worked at the School of Law for 25 years, and we are deeply grateful for her many years of service!


University Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resources