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History of the College of Law

​​​​​This timeline covers significant events and milestones in the history of DePaul College of Law. It was developed by staff and administration of the College’s Rinn Law Library. 

Illinois College of Law; Founded by Howard N. Ogden (1864-1915), is established as a local proprietary law school designed to address efforts to raise the educational requirements for admission to the bar. Originally located at 160 W. Washington St.; by 1904 increasing enrollment required a move to a larger facility at 301 Erie. St. It was a thriving local bar school with a scholarly post-graduate program. Illinois College of Law is the only law school not on the east coast at the time, offering both day and evening instruction. It prospered for 15 years.

Leadership during this period:

Howard H. Ogden (College of Law Dean, 1910-1915)

Francis X. Busch (College of Law Dean - Evening Division 1913-1915, College of Law Dean, 1915-1925)



Illinois College of Law acquired by DePaul University. Both schools were experiencing declining enrollments, due to a fluctuating economy, and the merger proved to be beneficial to both institutions. The university’s enrollment doubled to approximately 400 students. Howard Ogden became the first non-Catholic trustee of the university and dean of the College of Law.


College of Law day division moved to North side campus building at Webster and Kenmore. Francis X. Busch (1879-1975) named as dean of the evening division, which remained at a separate downtown location (First, 301 Erie St. then 207 South Wabash Ave.)


On January 28th, Howard Ogden died. The law school passes to the university- Day and evening divisions merge under Dean Busch. Both divisions (along with the College of Commerce) relocated to the Tower Building at 6 North Michigan Ave.


Eleanor Blanche MacCarthy, the first woman to enroll after the merger, graduates with an LL.B. and a Ph.D.

New York Board of Regents recognizes DePaul College of Law, allowing graduates to practice in New York.

College of Law enrollment continues at approximately 200 student per year.

Leadership during this period:

Francis X. Busch (College of Law Dean - Evening Division 1913-1915, College of Law Dean, 1915-1925)

William Francis Clarke (Dean of the College of Law, 1925-1940)




DePaul College of Law accredited by the American Association of Law Schools.


DePaul College of Law accredited by the American Bar Association- Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Enrollment climbs to 532.