St. Mary's School of Law 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 St. Mary's School of Law logo St. Mary's University


  • LL.M., Harvard University, 1987
  • J.D., Marquette University, 1982
  • B.A., St. Norbert College, 1979

License to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Wisconsin

Specialties and Courses

  • American legal history
  • Church and state
  • Constitutional law
  • Evidence
  • Professional responsibility


Ariens has taught at St. Mary's since 1987, concentrating in the areas of constitutional law, American legal history, evidence, and the American legal profession. He is the author of Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas (2011), which received several awards, and is the author of several other books. He has written a number of law review articles on a wide variety of topics. He is currently working on a book on the history of American legal ethics. He is also engaged in research on issues of religious liberty in the United States. He regularly speaks to bar associations on issues of ethics, and is often quoted on issues of constitutional law, legal ethics and governmental ethics. He served for over ten years as a member of the Ethics Review Board on the City of San Antonio.



  • American Constitutional Law and History (2d ed. 2016)
  • American Constitutional Law and History (2012)
  • Lone Star Law: A Legal History of Texas (2011)
  • Law School: Getting In, Getting Out, and Getting On (2010)
  • Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society (2002)

Articles in a Periodical

  • Confirmation Fights Have Consequences, San Antonio Express-News, Feb. 19, 2017, at
  • The Rise and Fall of Social Trustee Professionalism, 2016 J. Legal Prof. 49
  • In Memoriam—Joe E. Anderson, 48 St. Mary’s L.J. xiii (2016)
  • Sorting: Legal Specialization and the Privatization of the American Legal Profession, 29 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 579 (2016)
  • The Last Hurrah: The Kutak Commission and the End of Optimism, 49 Creighton L. Rev. 689 (2016)
  • Review of Glass Half Full, Federal Lawyer, September 2015, at 81
  • Brougham’s Ghost, 35 No. Ill. U. L. Rev. 263 (2015)
  • Book Chapter: Religion and Roman Catholicism in American Legal History, in American Law from a Catholic Perspective: Through a Clearer Lens 1 (Ronald J. Rychlak ed. Rowman and Littlefield 2015)
  • The Agony of Modern Legal Ethics, 1970-1985, 5 St. Mary’s J. on Legal Malpractice & Ethics 134 (2014).
  • Lost and Found: David Hoffman and the History of American Legal Ethics, 67 Ark. L. Rev. 571 (2014)
  • Book Review: The Texas Supreme Court: A Narrative History, 1836-1986, Tex. Books in Rev 12 (Spring 2014)
  • Book review: Against the Profit Motive, Federal Lawyer Online Book Reviews at 1 (August 2014)
  • Review of The Invention of Murder, Fed. Lawyer at 104 (July 2014)
  • Review of The Collini Case, Fed. Lawyer Online Book Reviews at 8 (April 2014)
  • Review of Mismatch, Fed. Lawyer Online Book Reviews at 1 (March 2014)
  • Review of A Death at Crooked Creek, Fed. Lawyer at 78 (March 2014)
  • Teaching American Legal History Through Storytelling, in Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives (Robert M. Jarvis ed. 2014);
  • Teaching American Legal History Through Storytelling, 53 Am. J. Leg. Hist. 405 (2013)
  • Review of The Lawyer Bubble, Fed. Lawyer, Oct./Nov. 2013, at 86
  • Review of Inside the Castle, Fed. Lawyer, August 2013, at 83
  • A Judge in Full, 75 Alb. L. Rev. 2151 (2012)
  • ‘Playing Chicken’: An Instant History of the Battle over Exceptions to Client Confidences, 33 J. Legal Prof. 239 (2009)
  • Edmund M. Morgan, Jr., in YALE BIOGRAPHICAL
  • American Legal Ethics in an Age of Anxiety, 40 St. Mary’s L.J. 343 (2008)
  • What Hath Faith Wrought?, 24 J. L. & Rel. 195 (2008-09)
  • United States v. Cruikshank, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES (Gale Publishing 2008)
  • The Storm between the Quiet: Tumult in the Texas Supreme Court, 1911-21, 38 St. Mary’s L.J. 641 (2007)
  • Religion in the 19th Century—Bible Wars, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES (2006)
  • The Ethics of Copyrighting Ethics Rules, 36 U. Toledo L. Rev. 235 (2005)
  • Church and State in the United States, 1900-2001, in NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (2003)
  • Religion in the Courtroom, in ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (2003)
  • Law School Branding and the Future of Legal Education, 34 St. Mary’s L.J. 301 (2003)
  • Forms of Legal Practice, in THE OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Oxford University Press 2002)
  • Sole Practitioners, in THE OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Oxford University Press 2002)
  • Paralegal and Legal Secretary, in THE OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Oxford University Press 2002)
  • Book Review, 16 J. L. & Rel. 249 (2001) Defining ‘Church’ in American Law, in CHURCH AUTONOMY: A COMPARATIVE SURVEY (Gerhard Robbers ed. 2001)
  • A True Crime, International Commentary on Evidence, available at (May 1999)
  • On ‘Doctrine’ and the Establishment Clause, in VOUCHERS FOR SCHOOL CHOICE: CHALLENGE OR OPPORTUNITY? AN AMERICAN JEWISH REAPPRAISAL (Marshall J. Breger & David M. Gordis eds. 1998)
  • A Short History of Hearsay Reform, With Particular Reference to Hoffman v. Palmer, Eddie Morgan and Jerry Frank, 28 Ind. L. Rev. 183 (1995)
  • Know the Law: A History of Legal Specialization, 45 S.C. L. Rev. 1003 (1994)
  • A Thrice-Told Tale, or Felix the Cat, 107 Harv. L. Rev. 620 (1994)
  • Wouldn’t You Like To Be an Expert, Too?, 18 Legal Stud. F. 221 (1994)
  • Constitutional Law and the Myth of the Great Judge, 25 St. Mary’s L.J. 303 (1993)
  • Progress Is Our Only Product: Legal Reform and the Codification of Evidence, 17 Law and Social Inquiry: J. Am. B. Found. 213 (1992)
  • The Law of Evidence and the Idea of Progress, 25 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 853 (1992)
  •  Modern Legal Times: Making a Professional Legal Culture, 15 J. Am. Culture 25 (1992)
  • Evidence of Religion and the Religion of Evidence, 40 Buffalo L. Rev. 65 (1992)
  •  Dutiful Justice, 22 St. Mary’s L.J. 1019 (1991)
  • On the Road of Good Intentions: Justice Brennan and the Religion Clauses, 27 Cal. W.L. Rev. 311 (1991)
  • Just a Bigger Fish, 15 J. Legal Prof. 329 (1990)
  • The Politics of Law (Teaching), 13 Law and Social Inquiry: J. Am. B. Found. 773 (1988)
  • Suicidal Rights, 20 Rutgers L.J. 79 (1988)
  •  A Uniform Rule Governing the Admission and Practice of Attorneys Before United States District Courts, 35 De Paul L. Rev. 649 (1986)
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