Vernon X. Miller, 83, who served as dean of Catholic University's law school from 1954 to 1968, and who as a professor emeritus had taught at the school until 1982, died of a heart ailment Feb. 21 at his home in Salisbury, Md.

He was president of the Association of American Law Schools in 1965, and had served on the American Bar Association's council of its committee on legal education and admission to the bar. He was a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Dr. Miller, who had lived in Salisbury for the past year, was a native of St. Paul, Minn. He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota and its law school and earned a doctorate in law at Yale University.

He came to Washington in 1925 as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler. He then taught at a number of law schools, including Loyola University in New Orleans, where he was dean from 1941 to 1951. He had been law school dean at the University of San Francisco for three years before returning to Washington in 1954.

In June 1954, he was named the first dean of the newly formed Columbus School of Law of the Catholic University of America. The new law school was formed by the merger of the old Columbus University law school and the Catholic University law school.

He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of Coif.

Survivors include his wife, the former Sara M. Singley, and a son, Dr. Timothy S. Miller, both of Salisbury, and two grandchildren.