Dean Emeritus Samuel S. Wilson, '61, has the distinction of being one of only two College of Law alumni to serve as dean of the law school. A native Cincinnatian, he received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1947, returning to Cincinnati to work as a reporter for The Cincinnati Times-Star newspaper. He worked as a journalist for many years, eventually serving as editorial writer for the Washington Bureau of the newspaper.
When the Times-Star closed in 1958, Wilson decided to go to law school. Upon graduation he began his legal career at his father-in-law's firm, specializing in real estate. In 1965, he joined the College of Law as assistant dean and junior professor under Dean Claude Sowle.
Wilson became acting dean of the law school four years later. After completing his first deanship in 1970, he and Professor John Murphy helped establish the Civil and Criminal Practice Clinics.
In the spring of 1973 he agreed to serve a second term as acting dean again, completing the school's spring semester. Then, in 1974 Wilson was selected as dean of the law school, a position he held for four years. During his tenure he played a leading role in setting the financial foundation for the early ‘80s renovation of the law school.