Jerry Organ
Liam James Doyle / University of St. Thomas

Professor Jerry Organ Named One of the Most Influential People in Legal Education

Jerry Organ, Bakken Professor of Law and co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, was recognized as one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Legal Education for 2024 by the National Jurist magazine.

“Legal education has seen dramatic improvements over the years, and our list of the Most Influential People in Legal Education represents the main people behind those changes,” according to the magazine.

Jerry Organ
Professor Jerome “Jerry” Organ

Organ is a founding faculty member at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota.

In 2009, he became associate director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, a national leader in innovative interdisciplinary research, curriculum development and programs on the topic of professional identity formation, for law students and other disciplines, becoming co-director in 2016. The Holloran Center also offers resources and training for legal educators and administrators.

The process of professional identity formation helps students in their transition from law student to lawyer – taking on the responsibilities associated with serving their clients and the rule of law as lawyers. It also puts law students on a trajectory toward meaningful employment, because while they are in law school, they are encouraged to reflect upon the law as a vocation and explore opportunities in the legal profession that will be most fulfilling for them.

Throughout his career, Organ has been an advocate for law student well-being. He was a co-investigator on the 2014 Survey of Law Student Well-Being, along with David Jaffe of the American University Washington College of Law and Katherine Bender of Bridgewater State University. It was the first multi-law school study to assess alcohol and drug use among law students, as well as prescription drug use, mental health and help-seeking attitudes. A follow-up to the 2014 survey was conducted in 2021, with additional questions focused on the extent to which law students have experienced and are burdened by their experience of trauma.   

Organ also has done extensive research and scholarship directed toward transparency in the financial aspects of the decision to attend law school, addressing scholarship programs for students, as well as analyzing enrollment, attrition and transfer trends, and employment and salary data of graduates.  

Organ was also named to National Jurist’s Most Influential list in 2012 and 2014. 

View the full list of this year’s innovators in the Spring 2024 issue of National Jurist