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Michael S. Ariens

Aloysius A. Leopold Professor of Law


Contact Information


  • 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


After graduating law school, Ariens worked as a law clerk at the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for one year. He then was hired as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Holland & Knight. He served for three years as a litigator for firm clients in state and federal courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, in both trial and appellate courts.

In addition to teaching at St. Mary’s, he was a part-time visiting professor at Southern Methodist University, a visiting professor at Catholic University Law School in Fall 1998, and a visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

He is the author of four books, and is currently writing a book on the history of American lawyer ethics. He is also the author of over thirty law review articles and book chapters, and the author of a number of shorter works. His book Lone Star Law received two awards.



  • 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)
  • Religious Liberty in Ohio, 1787-1833, in RELIGIOUS DISSENT AND DISESTABLISHMENT: CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS IN THE NEW AMERICAN STATES, 1776-1833, at 249 (Carl H. Esbeck & Jonathan Den Hartog eds., 2019)

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