University of Utah dedicates new law school

University of Utah President David W. Pershing and S.J. Quinney College of Law Dean Robert Adler dedicated the University’s new $65 million S.J. Quinney College of Law building in a Tuesday morning ceremony.

“This new, sustainable home for the S.J. Quinney College of Law is the embodiment of the exceptional and innovative education that will be offered within its walls. It will facilitate additional clinical programs, experiential learning, collaborative research and community engagement, while providing an impressive gateway to the U campus,” said Pershing in a press release.

The new headquarters for the state of Utah’s only public law school, is directly across the street from the Stadium TRAX station at the northeast corner of the South Campus Drive and University Street intersection.

The new law building was built according LEED Platinum certification requirements and replaces the 50 year-old former law building next door.

According to the University of Utah the new building includes:

  • Increased student space for learning and collaboration
  • Advanced research areas
  • Expanded library
  • Sustainable design
  • Universal design and accommodation
  • Office/conference rooms

The five-story, 155,000 square foot structure has a reduced setback from the sidewalk to the south.   The open design of the first floor helps with street engagement.  The University of Utah intends for the new building to be apart of the neighborhood and will include both a ground-floor cafe and coffee shop that will be open to the greater community.  The project also includes a 450-seat conference center that will be used for university and community events.

Large windows on each floor will allow light from all directions to enter the building, helping to lower energy use.  The windows are solar-screening low-emissivity and insulated glass which will help regulate the indoor temperature.

According to a University of Utah spokesperson, the project has won several awards.  Lead architect Sean Thompson of the VCBO/Smith Group architecture team received a Community Justice Award from the Disability Law Center for the building’s universal accessibility design.  Energy engineer Steve Connor from Coleman Engineering was also a finalist for the Governor’s energy innovation award for using groundwater from a campus well to help air condition the building.

The University of Utah has identified the area surrounding the Stadium TRAX station as an important transit node for the school.   Under the current master plan, the university plans to make the main campus more urban by making the university more compact with larger buildings taking up less space,  improving bicycle and pedestrian access and by building developments around each TRAX station that encourage ridership and make each station a better gateway to campus.

The Stadium TRAX station serves as the main gateway into the university, but currently riders must cross through a large parking lot to get to the main campus.  The station is heavily used by students and university staff and patrons of events at the adjacent Rice-Eccles Stadium.  The school has considered building housing and retail adjacent to the station to make that corner of campus more pedestrian friendly and to break up the large parking lot that separates the station from the school.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at