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The establishment of the department. — It has now been officially decreed that the birthday of the University of Michigan is August 16, 1817, and that the birth certificate is “an act to establish the Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania.” The author of this act was a lawyer, Judge Augustus Woodward. He provided for thirteen didaxiim, or professorships, including a didaxia of medical sciences but no didaxia of the law. Although in Judge Woodward’s fantastic analysis of the field of knowledge, in his book A System of Universal Science, he included the law as a department called themistia under the division of ethica, yet there is no evidence that in his Catholepistemiad he planned for a didaxia, or professorship, of law, much less of a department of law, in the University of Michigania.

This is not strange, for in 1817 law schools in the modern sense were unknown. At that date it was the universal practice to prepare for admission to the bar by private study, usually under the tutelage of a lawyer and in his office. Professorships of law there had been. One was held by Wythe at William and Mary, one by Wilson at Philadelphia, still another by Kent at King’s College (later Columbia), and a few others, but the first law school, if the so-called Litchfield School of Judge Reeve, which flourished from 1784 to 1833 in Connecticut, be excepted, was Harvard, established in 1817, at Cambridge. There, two professors and three students in two small rooms constituted the beginning of the first separate law school connected with a university. By 1837 the brilliant work and strong personality of Story had built up the school’s enrollment to sixty-three.

Twenty years later, on March 18, 1837, the organic act of the University of Michigan, under which the present-day University in Ann Arbor came into existence, was approved. Section 8 provided that “the university shall consist of three departments. 1st. The department of literature, science, and the arts. 2d. The department of law. 3d. The department of medicine.” It was also provided that professorships should be established in the Department of Law: “one of natural, international and constitutional law; one of common and statute law and equity; one of commercial and maritime law” (Laws, p. 102).

If before 1817 there had been no law school as part of a university, by 1837 it was quite otherwise. Of such schools still surviving there were then Harvard (1817), Yale (1824), University of Virginia (1826), University of Cincinnati (1833), and New York University (1835). But enrollments were small; nearly all lawyers still came to the bar by the office route, though here and there it began to be sensed that this was not adequate preparation. Men learned to be lawyers at the expense of their clients, law tended to be an art and not a science, lawyers to be artisans skilled in narrow and mechanical technique — pettifoggers and not scholarly lawyers and judges with broad views of their science. There were, however, many exceptions.

The very slender resources of the University delayed realization of the plans of the act of 1837. The medical profession urged vigorously the establishment of a school of medicine, but the great body of lawyers was indifferent or even hostile to the idea of a law school. And so medicine, though named third and after the law in the organic act, preceded the law by ten years in the establishment of a school.

The University Catalogue of 1852-53 differs strikingly from its predecessors. Michigan’s first president, the Reverend Henry P. Tappan, had arrived. In the Catalogue he laid down in broad outline his celebrated plan for a system of public instruction. He called for the education of teachers, preachers — by theological faculties which he hoped would be established outside the University by the different denominations — doctors of medicine, engineers, agriculturalists, followers of the mechanic and industrial arts, and, of course, those taking the traditional college course in science, literature, and the arts. He looked beyond these to the proper development of a university, as distinguished from a college — to the development of graduate and professional work, or, as he called it, a “university course,” to which the Medical Department already established properly belonged.

Strangely enough, neither in the Catalogue of 1852-53 nor in those of the succeeding years to and including that of 1859, is there any word about instruction in law, much less about a department of law. That he was not unaware of the requirement of the act of 1837 that there be a department of law we know, because in his report to the superintendent of public instruction for 1853 (J. Doc., 1854, No. 6, pp. 51, 53) he included as suggested subjects for the university course: “The Law of Nature — the Law of Nations — Constitutional Law.” He further said:

For the completion of the University thus successfully commenced, the following particulars may be mentioned as necessary:

3. The establishment of a Department of Law. This has been prescribed by statute, and ought not to be delayed any longer. Applications are frequent on the part of law students. Unquestionably a very considerable number would resort here immediately.

In his report to the Regents in 1856, President Tappan envisaged a university that, with provision “to complete its buildings, to enlarge its Library and apparatus, and to establish its Law Department … would very soon be surpassed by none.” There was, however, in the yearly University Catalogue no reference to instruction in law or to a law department until, suddenly, in 1860, the Department of Law was announced as already existing, with three professors and ninety-two students. From the Regents’ Proceedings and other sources it is learned that petitions had been presented and that a Regents’ committee had been appointed, which had made a study of existing law schools and had recommended the establishment of a law department. On March 29, 1859, the Regents acted on this report and voted that the Department of Law be opened on October 1 of that year. The next day they chose as law professors in the University of Michigan, at a salary of $1,000 each, the Honorable James V. Campbell, Charles I. Walker, and Thomas M. Cooley. These were to designate one of their number to deliver the opening address. This faculty chose Professor Campbell and elected him Dean. Cooley was chosen Secretary.

The advance announcement of the opening of the Law Department was made, not in the University Catalogue — the plans were not completed in time — but by advertisement in the papers in Detroit, Chicago, New York, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Washington, D. C. This was a notice to a national constituency, and it met with a national response which has continued to the present day. In the first year nine different states and England were represented, and by the third year students had been admitted from every New England state as well as from a number of other Eastern states, most of the Middle Western states, Kentucky in the South, and California on the Pacific coast.

By special action of the Regents twenty-four students were granted the degree of bachelor of laws (LL.B.) at the end of the first year. Attendance grew rapidly. In 1865-66, 385 were enrolled in the Department of Law, whereas there were only 335 in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. The Department of Law had become the largest law school in the country, and such it remained for many years. Incidentally, so far from being a financial burden on the University, as had been feared, it became a source of net income. The President and Judge Cooley, in their reports to the Regents, often pointed out that the fees of nonresident students more than paid the current expenses of the department.

If one considers the meager attendance at other law schools in those early days it is not strange that the Regents allowed their financial straits to delay the opening of the Department of Law. In their report they pointed out that it was predicted that the professors would lecture to empty benches. But in the light of the results it would seem that an earlier establishment of the Department of Law would have helped the general exchequer of the University. In the Catalogue of 1860 it was stated that “its success thus far has exceeded expectation,” and in 1862 that “the success of this Department has more than equaled the highest expectations at the time it was first opened.”

History and development. — An immediate need of the department was a home. At first the lectures were given in the old chapel in Mason Hall. The books of the library were placed on shelves in one end of a room in this “South College” (see Part VIII: First Buildings). The principal task of the student librarian was to feed wood to the box stove and to sweep the floor. In the week of the opening of the Department of Law in 1859 a committee of the Regents was appointed to devise ways and means for the erection of a suitable building. The surprisingly large enrollment made the quarters in the chapel very inadequate. An attempt was made at once to raise by subscription the sums of $10,000 in Ann Arbor and $5,000 in Detroit, to which the Regents were to add $5,000, but the people of Ann Arbor and Detroit failed to appreciate their privilege. The building was ordered in 1861 and was completed in 1863, but the Regents had to pay the entire cost.

The new building, erected to the north of Mason Hall, gave the Law Department a lecture room, a small room for the Law Library, and some office room — all on the second floor (see Part VIII: Haven Hall). There were a few third-floor rooms. But the whole of the first floor was occupied by the General Library of the University until a new library building was erected in 1882-83. Thereafter for the next ten years, the department was the exclusive tenant of the building, which it had already outgrown. A considerable addition on the north was made in 1893, but immediate changes in methods of instruction and rapid growth in attendance made this inadequate almost before it was occupied. In 1898-99 the addition was wrecked. The original building was given a new addition on the north with offices and classrooms, and a larger addition on the south with classrooms on the first floor and much enlarged quarters for the library above. Here the department, which since 1915 has been officially designated the Law School, remained till 1933, when Hutchins Hall, the recitation and administration building named in honor of the late President Hutchins, was erected.

The buildings of the Quadrangle were made possible by the munificent gift of William W. Cook (‘80, ‘82l), of New York City. The plans had been carefully formulated by Mr. Cook, advised and assisted by Dean Bates of the Law School and by President Hutchins. The first section of the Quadrangle, completed in 1924, is known as the Lawyers Club. This strikingly beautiful group provides sleeping rooms and studies for 160 students, a great dining hall with capacity for 300 men, a spacious lounge, and, beneath, a recreation room of the same size — these two being a social center for the members of the club. Above the lounge are guest rooms for the accommodation of visiting lawyers and distinguished guests of the University.

In 1930 a large addition was opened, named for the donor’s father, the late John P. Cook. It accommodates 117 students. In the following year the most conspicuous building, the beautiful William W. Cook Legal Research Library, was occupied. During his life Mr. Cook would not agree to have any of the buildings named for him. He died before the library was completed, and the Regents felt that his name should be recognized in this building. The library includes the main reading room, numerous research offices and conference rooms, alcoves, carrells, and book stacks with capacity for 275,000 volumes.

The final building of the Quadrangle was Hutchins Hall, the recitation and administration building for the Law School. Classrooms occupy the first and second stories. The third and fourth floors contain the faculty library and numerous offices.

Splendid as are the buildings of the William W. Cook Quadrangle, they are not so significant as is the purpose behind them. The donor caused to be carved in stone over the entrance to the Lawyers Club: “The Character of the legal profession depends on the Character of the Law Schools. The Character of the Law Schools forecasts the future of America.” He intended to create a home in which teachers, lawyers, judges, and students preparing for practice should mingle, and where in a more or less cloistered life for the period of his law study the student should live and breathe in a legal atmosphere. He also intended to establish a center for legal research and for activities designed to improve the law.

The faculty of the Law School has in many respects been a remarkable one. From 1859 until 1865 it consisted of James Valentine Campbell (LL.D. ‘66), Marshall Professor of Law, Charles Irish Walker (LL.D. ‘74), Kent Professor of Law, and Thomas McIntyre Cooley (LL.D. ‘73), Jay Professor of Law. They began to lecture in 1859, and twenty-five years later they were still teaching. Professor Charles Walker, because of ill health, had to retire from 1876 to 1879, but he lectured again from 1879 to 1881 and again in 1886-87. Professor Cooley retired from the law faculty in 1884, and Professor Campbell in 1885. The original three were joined by Ashley Pond (‘54), a practicing lawyer from Detroit, in 1865. Because of the demands of his practice he resigned in 1868 and was succeeded by Charles Artemas Kent (Vermont ‘56, LL.D. Michigan ‘99), who had been a student in the office of Professor Walker. This new professorship was named the Fletcher professorship in honor of Judge Fletcher of Massachusetts, who had made a valuable contribution to the Law Library. Professor Kent served until 1886. In 1874 another Detroit lawyer, William Palmer Wells (Vermont ‘51, A.M. ibid. ‘54, Harvard ‘54l), joined the faculty, taking Professor Walker’s place as Kent Professor of Law. He remained until 1885, and returned for the years 1887-91. In 1879 Alpheus Felch (Bowdoin ‘27, LL.D. ibid. ‘77) was made Tappan Professor of Law.

Professor Felch was succeeded in 1883 by Henry Wade Rogers, the first full-time member of the faculty. With him began a new era, though part-time nonresident professors whose main occupation was in practice or on the bench continued as members of the faculty for many years, the last one, Otto Kirchner (A.M. hon. ‘94, LL.D. ‘19), retiring in 1906. After 1894 most of the work of instruction was given by full-time resident professors.

During most of this first twenty-five-year period the department had been the largest law school in the country. The attendance grew from ninety-two to 437 immediately after the close of the Civil War. It fluctuated between three hundred and four hundred for the rest of the first period, falling to 305 in 1883-84. Changes in the entrance requirements and in the curriculum were largely responsible for a sharp decline in enrollment, to 262, in 1884-85, but this decline was quickly checked and was followed by a continuous growth to 649 in 1894-95.

In the Catalogue for the years 1860 to 1871 and in the Calendar for 1871-72 through 1877-78 it was stated in each issue: “The sole requisites for admission are that the candidate shall be eighteen years of age, and be furnished with certificates giving satisfactory evidence of good moral character.” In 1877-78 it was expected that all students would be well grounded in at least a good English education. This was an expectation rather than a requirement. No examination or test was announced. In the original manuscript “Record Book,” still preserved, each student wrote his name, residence, place of nativity, and (after 1862) his age. The word of the student seems to have been all the evidence required. Of the class entering in 1862 five were eighteen years of age, but in that and in the ensuing year many were over twenty-five, and not a few were past thirty. The average age for some time was more than twenty-three, and it was a requirement for receiving the degree of bachelor of laws that the candidate must be twenty-one. Not until 1910 were entrants to the first-year class required to be nineteen years old. That there were practically no entrance requirements in 1859 is not strange. No other law school asked more; relatively few students took a course in a law school; and in the entire Middle West at that time there were scarcely any high schools and only a few colleges where preparation might be secured (see Part I: Branches). But these conditions changed, and it would seem that the University of Michigan might well have enforced advancing entrance requirements to its Department of Law long before this was done. Experience shows that undue delay in adopting higher standards when they are warranted causes the more desirable students to go where the requirements are more exacting. Moreover, if there is a temporary drop in enrollment when changes are made, this is speedily followed by an increase. President Angell in his reports to the Regents more than once called attention to the need of higher requirements and written examinations to test the prelegal training. Although there was a large attendance of able men, such requirements would have decreased the number of the “persons who do us no credit.” In 1897 he noted with satisfaction that the requirements for admission had been materially raised, and, surprisingly, without a diminution in the number of applicants.

The Calendar for 1881-82 was the first to announce an examination of an applicant as to general education in order to determine his fitness to practice law as soon as his legal studies should be completed. No subjects were specified until 1883, and a diploma was accepted as evidence of fitness. After 1883, with the coming of full-time professors, the faculty had more time to give to administrative matters, and could know the students and their progress better. Thus, under the deanships of Henry Wade Rogers (1886-91) and Jerome C. Knowlton (1891-95) entrance requirements were gradually increased.

With the coming of Dean Hutchins in 1895 further advances were announced for 1897, and later came the announcement that in 1900 and thereafter all candidates, except those admitted on certificate or diploma, must pass examinations equivalent to those required for admission to the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, that is, the equivalent of a four-year high-school course. Examinations were given, however, not by professors in the various branches of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but by members of the law faculty, and records show that the examiners were generous in grading papers. Still, this would have reduced materially the entrance of weak students but for the fact that those who feared to try these examinations or who failed to pass them might still be enrolled as special students. There were twelve special students in 1893 before the severer tests were applied, and the number of such students increased to eighty-three in 1903 — more than 10 per cent of the enrollment. Since that date students under twenty-one, later under twenty-five, have not been admitted as special students, with the result that they have almost disappeared.

It was no doubt wise to increase entrance requirements gradually, but these advances were delayed so long that the school suffered severely — not quantitatively, for enrollment increased till the classes were too large, but qualitatively, as is shown by the fact that in 1903-4 only 207 of the total 883 enrolled had college degrees. College graduates were drawn to law schools with higher entrance requirements. A college degree is not a sure hallmark of ability, but, as a whole, college graduates are far more promising as law students than those without such previous training.

The faculty was not blind to this situation and soon after 1903 urged a forward move. Some of the Regents objected, and it was not until 1912 that admission required one year of college work. In this year there were only 203 college-degree men out of a total enrollment of 856. In 1915 two years of college work were required, in 1926 three years, and in 1928 a college degree was made a prerequisite to admission to the Law School. A combined curriculum was offered whereby a student who had attained a high standing in three full years of college work at Michigan might receive his bachelor of arts degree upon completion of his first year in law, and his law degree upon meeting the requirements for that degree two years later. The Law School had become a graduate school.

The effect of these changes upon attendance was only to bring about a desirable drop from a high enrollment of 930 in 1909 to a steady enrollment, except during the war years and the first three years of the depression, of six to seven hundred students. The amount and quality of the work required of these students would have been quite impossible with the student body in the early nineteen hundreds. The present enrollment would be much larger if all applicants with college degrees were accepted. Diplomas are no longer accepted as evidence of fitness. A detailed certificate is required, and candidates are refused if their college record does not promise well for success in law study. The Law School considers that the public needs are best served by quality and not by quantity.

The law faculties. — Of the great triumvirate — James Valentine Campbell, Charles Irish Walker, and Thomas McIntyre Cooley — which for so many years guided the destinies of the Department of Law, Professor Campbell must have been best known when the faculty elected him Dean and designated him to give the address on the occasion of the opening of the department. He was a distinguished member of the Supreme Court of the state. His position as Dean must have been largely nominal. He was never so designated in the University Catalogue, and from the beginning Professor Cooley seems to have been the active executive officer. He was elected Secretary, and the Regents in June, 1860, voted to give him $500 additional salary on condition that he would move to Ann Arbor and be resident professor. He was also to give an additional course of lectures outside the Department of Law. It was considered undesirable that he “should very much enter into a course of professional business at or about this University” (R.P., 1837-64, p. 907).

It has often been said that it was the renown of Judge Cooley’s name that drew the larger proportion of students present from other states. In later years that may well have been the case, for his decisions on the state Supreme Court, to which he was elected in 1865, his numerous treatises on legal subjects, and more especially his classical works on Constitutional Law and Constitutional Limitations made his name familiar wherever the American or English law was known. But in 1859 he had been a country lawyer in what was then the small town of Adrian, had edited Michigan Compiled Laws, 1857, the Michigan Digest, revised in 1866, and was reporter for the Michigan Reports, volumes V to XII. (Only volume V had been published prior to 1859.) This was enough to make him known to the Regents, notably to Regent Baxter, from near-by Tecumseh, who was a member of the Regents’ committee on opening a law department, but hardly to possible students looking for a law school.

But if his fame was local at the beginning, his works growing out of his law lectures and his decisions on the Michigan Supreme Court have given him a place among the immortals with lawyers here and abroad. Justice William R. Day of the United States Supreme Court, formerly one of Judge Cooley’s students, and who for a time lived in the Cooley home, said of him:

Here was a man of world-wide fame as a jurist — the author of a book which is at once the greatest authority upon the subject of constitutional limitations upon our government and a classic in legal literature — whose recreations seemed to consist in change of occupation, and whose energies seemed never to tire. (Shaw, p. 132.)

But if Cooley became best known, his colleagues were cultured and scholarly men of great ability, and they made a deep impression on the students who, in increasing numbers, sought here the fountain of their legal learning and never found it dry. As President Angell once wrote: “Never was a law school so fortunate as this was in beginning its work and continuing it for so many years under such gifted instructors” (Angell, Reminiscences, p. 233).

In 1871 Cooley succeeded Campbell as Dean, and he in turn was succeeded by Charles Artemas Kent, who had joined the faculty in 1868, and who continued as lecturer and Dean until 1886. This first twenty-five years covers an era in the Department of Law, the era of lectures by men active in practice and on the bench, who out of their busy lives gave a part of their time to the teaching of law. With 1886 came in new men and new methods.

In the second twenty-five years Henry Wade Rogers (‘74, A.M. ‘77, LL.D. Wesleyan ‘90) was Dean from 1886 to 1890, Jerome Cyril Knowlton (‘75, ‘78l), Acting Dean and then Dean from 1890 to 1895, and Harry Burns Hutchins (‘71, LL.D. Michigan ‘21), Dean until 1910. From 1910 to 1939 Henry Moore Bates (‘90, LL.B. Northwestern ‘92) was Dean. In 1939 Edwin Blythe Stason (Wisconsin ‘13, B.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘16, J.D. Michigan ‘22) succeeded to the position upon the retirement of Dean Bates.

Roughly speaking, the history of the Law School may be divided into three eras, 1859 to 1884, 1884 to 1910, and 1910 to 1940. In the first era the organization of the faculty was very loose. All three of the original members worked together to formulate policies and methods of instruction, and these were carried out with very slight change for the whole period. Toward the close changes were evidently being considered, so that when the three original members retired, almost together, plans were being laid for the changed work and methods of the second period. On the whole, Professor Cooley must be regarded as the leader in the first period.

The second era was one of gradual transition from instruction by lectures, with oral and not very rigid examinations of seniors only, the instructors being men primarily active in practice or on the bench, to instruction largely by recitations and classroom discussions based on textbooks and collections of cases and with predominantly resident, full-time professors. Examinations were written and were increasingly rigorous. At the beginning of this second period Henry Wade Rogers was the leader. He was the first full-time professor, the first who had had any training as a student in a law school, the first to come to law teaching with almost no previous law practice. In 1890 he was called to the presidency of Northwestern University and was succeeded by another full-time professor, Jerome C. Knowlton. Harry B. Hutchins was appointed Dean to head the faculty for the last fifteen years of the period. Dean Knowlton in 1895 became again Professor Knowlton and so continued until his death in 1917. Dean Hutchins had been a professor in the department from 1884 to 1886, when he had gone to the newly organized Cornell Law School. In 1895 he returned to devote the rest of his life to the University of Michigan — as Dean of the Law Department till 1910, then as President till 1920, and as President Emeritus from that date till his death in 1930.

Dean Hutchins was admirably fitted by his past experience as teacher, practicing lawyer, and college professor to carry the Law School through the transitional period from 1895 to 1910. His law lectures were prepared with care, and were characterized by sound scholarship, crystal clearness, and a phrasing and wealth of illustration that made them intensely interesting. His dignified presence and his very speech are still vivid in the minds of students who sat in his classroom. He was equally effective in the courses conducted by the use of textbooks and in the so-called case method of teaching law. He made the fields of the law of real property and of equity peculiarly his own. He edited an American edition of the classical work, Williams on Real Property, and prepared a useful casebook on equity to accompany his lectures in that subject. He was a prime mover in the establishment of the Michigan Law Review.

Under the leadership of Dean Hutchins there was built up a faculty composed almost exclusively of men who devoted all of their time to the Law School.  The entire faculty undertook a study of policies and methods of instruction, a procedure never before possible. Entrance requirements were gradually increased, the course was lengthened to three years, and the lecture system almost disappeared. Standards for graduation were made much higher, and the student body became one of the busiest on the campus.

Under the leadership of Dean Bates, in the third era, all these movements went on with accelerated pace. The basis of study in nearly all the work became collections of cases in the various subjects. Scholarship took on a new content, and independent research was fostered on the part of students and faculty. Some of the faculty were released from part of their teaching duties to devote time to special research projects, and graduate students were engaged in intensive studies in various lines.

Among those who served on the faculty for extended periods in the later years were Victor Hugo Lane (C.E. ‘74, ‘78l), Robert Emmet Bunker (‘72, A.M. ‘75, ‘80l), Grover Cleveland Grismore (‘12, J.D. ‘14, S.J.D. Harvard ‘21), Edwin Charles Goddard (Ph.B. ‘89, ‘99l), Joseph Horace Drake (‘85, ‘02l, Ph.D. ‘00), Evans Holbrook (Stanford ‘97, Michigan ‘00l), Ralph William Aigler (‘07l), John Barker Waite (Yale ‘05, Michigan ‘07l), Edgar Noble Durfee (Harvard ‘04, J.D. Chicago ‘08), and Burke Shartel (‘11, J.D. ‘13, S.J.D. Harvard ‘19).

Program of studies. — The act of March 18, 1837, section 8, provided three professorships. In 1858 it seems to have been assumed that one professor might hold all these professorships. But the Regents’ committee, in its report of March 29, 1859, recommended three — one of common and statute law; one of pleading, practice, and evidence; and one of equity, jurisprudence, pleading, and practice. To these three professors were to be assigned the general subjects of international, maritime, civil, commercial, and criminal law, medical jurisprudence, the jurisprudence of the United States, and other branches of law. The system of lectures, study, practice, and examinations was to extend through a period of two terms, the length of each term being from the first of October to the last Wednesday of the ensuing March. Moot courts were to be organized and other measures were to be taken to promote the practical knowledge and application of the principles taught. The course was to be so arranged that a student might begin with either term. The plan was adopted by the Regents. The extension of the term to nine months was proposed the second year, but a committee of the Regents reported adversely, and the six-month term continued until 1883, when, Judge Cooley favoring but other members of the faculty undecided, the term was made, like that in other departments of the University, nine months.

For almost forty years each professor was accustomed to enter in the “Record of Law Department,” in his handwriting, the lectures he was to give on each day and their subjects. This “Record” shows the following item for October 3, 1859: “Law Department Inaugurated by an address from Professor Campbell on the ‘Study of the law.’” Under date of October 5, in Professor Walker’s hand, appears: “1st Lecture. Personal Property — What? 2nd Lecture. Contracts — Definition and Classification.” The Catalogue of 1860 (p. 61) announced that the work was apportioned as follows:

first year

Professor Campbell — the Origin and History of Equity Jurisdiction; the General Heads of Equity Procedure, and Nature and Forms of Equitable Remedies; Criminal Law; the Laws of Evidence, and their Application in Legal Proceedings.

Professor Walker — Contracts; Title to Personal Property by Gift, Inheritance, Sale, Mortgage Assignment, and by Operation of Law; Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes, and Commercial Law generally.

Professor Cooley — Estates in Real Property; Title to Real Property; Easements; the Domestic Relations; Wills, their Execution, Revocation and Construction.

second year

Professor Campbell — Some Special Heads of Evidence, and Equity Jurisprudence; Equity Pleading and Practice; Jurisprudence of the United States; Shipping and Admiralty.

Professor Walker — Agency; Bailments; the Law of Corporations; Common Law Pleading and Practice.

Professor Cooley — Constitutional Law; Partnership; Uses and Trusts; the Administration and Distribution of Estates of Deceased Persons.

A moot court presided over by the lecturer for the day was to be held at least once a week, and club courts were to be organized among the students.

Such was the course of instruction, followed with slight differences for a quarter of a century. After 1865 the assignments to individual professors were omitted from the Catalogue, and in 1882-83 appeared for the first time Actionable Wrongs, which in 1884-85 became Torts. This is curious, for the “Record” of the Department of Law shows that lectures had been delivered on this subject since January, 1869, and, strangely enough, by Kent, and not by Cooley, who in 1879 published his standard treatise on torts.

The Calendar of 1883-84 makes notable announcements. Change is in the air. The old faculty has lectured ably and has given the school a high standing. As it leaves it announces an “Improved and Extended Course of Instruction.” The course has been extended to two years of nine months each. There is a “sincere conviction that the standard of legal education should be raised.” New subjects are added, recitations and examinations will be held, textbook work in the Commentaries of Blackstone and Kent is prescribed for juniors, with satisfactory written examinations thereon. Previously only seniors had been examined, and examinations had been oral. A record is to be kept, and seniors must pass satisfactory oral and written examinations on the lectures. Additional requirements are announced for admission to the department. A revolution is under way. The lecture system and the professor who is first of all an active practitioner or a judge are on the way out. Henry Wade Rogers, the first resident full-time professor, has arrived and has charge of the textbook work. It begins to be suggested that law students shall have textbooks at their rooms and shall use them. There has been no rule against a law student’s working, but henceforth the faculty will check up on him to see what he is accomplishing.

In 1885-86 Harry B. Hutchins and in 1886-87 Jerome C. Knowlton were added as full-time professors, and another innovation appeared. Previously, part of the lectures had been given in odd years, the rest in even years, and seniors and juniors listened together. Thereafter, the course was graded, all the subjects were given each year, and juniors were not allowed to attend senior lectures. More subjects were added, both to the lecture and to the textbook courses. Students were to be examined on a “Study of Leading Cases.”

In the next decade ten new men were added to the faculty, and they were resident, full-time men. There were fewer lectures and more recitation and textbook work, and there was a gradual appearance of collections of “Illustrative Cases” in various subjects. In 1895 the course was extended to three years, there were more additions to the curriculum, and the completion of all the subjects was required for graduation. Even before this date all examinations were in writing.

At the time the Department of Law opened, law schools were criticized by lawyers as being too theoretical. The three professors who opened the Law Department were themselves office trained and were in a position to know. In their first announcement in the Catalogue of 1860 (p. 63) they pointed out:

The active practitioner, engrossed with the cares of business, cannot — or, at least, as proved by experience, does not — give to the students who place themselves in his charge, that attention and assistance essential to give a correct direction to their reading … The effort here will be to make, not theoretical merely, but practical lawyers: not to teach principles merely, but how to apply them.

To this end they announced that they would conduct a moot court in which all students might participate, and that the faculty would assist the students in their club courts.

The moot courts were directed by the faculty, and from the first entry in the “Record of Law Department,” October 13, 1859, Professor Cooley presiding, to June 7, 1893, moot courts were as regularly provided for as were lectures. But on September 25, 1893, it was recorded: “The Practice Court is to be under the charge of Professor Mechem.” The moot court, which had existed so long without interruption, was displaced by the highly organized and faculty-directed practice court. This was intended to require of every senior participation in a jury case involving questions of fact and a case to be argued and disposed of as a question of law upon an agreed statement of facts. Papers and briefs were to be prepared and filed, and arguments were to be made as in an actual case in court. The following year Thomas Ashford Bogle (‘88l) was added to the faculty to have entire charge of the practice court. He was assisted by the other members of the faculty, who sat as judges to hear the cases. Under his masterly direction the practice court was vigorously developed.

As further practical training for the actual work of the law office, a course in Conveyancing was arranged. In this course such papers were drafted by the students as would be expected to be called for in actual practice. James Henry Brewster (Sheffield Scientific School ‘77, LL.B. Yale ‘79) was called to devote his entire time to this work. By these and other means the Department of Law endeavored to keep good that early promise to make the work not theoretical merely, but practical as well.

The idea long persisted that the instruction could be made more practical by having a faculty of practicing lawyers and sitting judges. As previously noted, in 1882 a change began. The first full-time professor had had very little experience in practice. For another dozen years the full-time professors were in a minority, and the advantage of having lecturers engaged in practice was stressed in the departmental Announcement. Some objected to the practice court on the ground that the practical work could be done only in a law office. Professor Bogle’s answer was: “We are doing it in the Law School.”

On account of the rapidly expanding law, the effort to give instruction in all the subjects to all the students was breaking of its own weight. No student could profitably pursue so many studies, and in 1897 election courses were established, and each student was required to elect and complete three. These electives were given as courses of lectures, for the most part by practicing lawyers who were specialists in the various fields. Ten years later most of these special courses were open to second- and third-year classes, but not required of them, and certain courses given by resident professors were made elective, each third-year student being required to complete one each semester.

With the induction in 1910 of Henry M. Bates (‘90, LL.B. Northwestern ‘92, LL.D. Kalamazoo ‘25) as Dean, a change was made. Law had become so complex that a lawyer in a lifetime could not master every subject, and it was agreed that the student could be much better prepared for practice by the requirement of certain subjects as fundamentals and by more thorough courses in fewer subjects, which he might elect. The question became, not how much law he could learn but how well he could be trained to know how to find and to apply the law as he might need it in practice. Accordingly, in time most of the second- and third-year subjects were made elective. Coincident with these changes the number of class-hours was decreased and the work was made more intensive and extensive in each subject. First-year men, just entering a strange field, spent more hours in recitation so as to have greater aid from the instructor in becoming oriented. In the next two years students were thrown more on their own. It would require six years or more for a student to complete all the courses in the curriculum, but in the three-year course in law school it was believed that he would be better grounded in the law and its practice by doing better work in fewer subjects.

The summer session. — In 1895 a summer school of law was announced, with three courses given for six weeks by three instructors. The next year short review courses were offered in nearly all the principal subjects of the first and second years in law. The term was eight weeks. These courses were commended to students who wished to review as preparation for examinations for admission to the bar or for advanced standing in the Department of Law. They also appealed to students who had been conditioned. The courses were announced as not in any sense equivalent to the corresponding courses given in the regular session.

Until 1904 the summer school was a private venture. The University furnished the building, collected fees, and paid the expenses. The balance was to pay the faculty. At first the attendance was small, the compensation slender. In 1904 the Board of Regents voted that the various summer schools should be operated under its direction and control as the Summer Session of the University of Michigan (see Part IV: Summer Session). The selection and salaries of the faculty were determined by the Regents as in the regular session. The attendance ranged from 25 in 1895 to 149 in 1909.

In 1910 the law summer session was extended to ten weeks, later to eleven, and the work offered in each subject was the same in character and amount as that given in the regular session. The effect of this was that three summers were equivalent to one year, and that by entering in a summer session it was possible for a student to graduate two years from the following September, saving practically a year of time. Many have done this, and in 1940 more than half of those enrolled were also students in the regular session. The summer session is really an extension of the regular session.

Methods of instruction. — During the first twenty-five years the method of instruction in the Department of Law was simplicity itself. The professor lectured; the student listened. Late in the term there were occasional oral quizzes of the seniors, usually in part of the lecture hour. Juniors were not quizzed or examined. Each week there were ten lectures. At the end of the term there were final examinations, oral only, of the seniors. A student of that day, who was afterward a member of the faculty, said that each senior was supposed to be asked a few questions, but the examination was largely a matter of form. No one was rejected. The men sat at the feet of great lawyers, learned men, and could learn much or little as they might elect. Graduation entitled them to admission to the bar. Other law schools of that date required no more, some less, and admission to the bar by the office route was easier still. There were few requirements. In the Department of Law there were the moot courts, and a written dissertation, or thesis, of not less than forty folios was required for graduation, “but no great stress was laid upon it.”

With the second twenty-five years the textbook appeared. Instruction by lecture continued, but some courses were given by textbook, or by lectures and cases or textbook and cases, and toward the end of this second period sometimes by the study and discussion of cases alone, with running comment by the professor. In the third quarter-century of the Department of Law, since 1915 called the Law School, instruction by lecture or textbook rapidly disappeared and was largely, but not entirely, displaced by the so-called case method of instruction. To receive credit in the second and third periods of the School the student was required to pass written examinations in each subject pursued. These examinations at first were largely memory tests, but later became tests in legal reasoning on hypothetical cases involving principles of law in the subject. Cases form the basic material in developing the principles of law, and ability to apply legal principles to the ordinary controversies of life is the test by which preparation to enter the practice of the law is measured. Thus the Law School is “practical” by teaching the law student how to use in practice the knowledge he has acquired in school.

Recently, there has been much discussion in the law schools about relating the law more closely to the present conditions of living, particularly in their social and economic aspects. Some schools have announced new approaches to the law and revised curriculums making specific provision for instruction in the law school by economists and sociologists who are not lawyers. The University of Michigan faculty has long recognized the problem of relating present-day law to the increasingly complex and ever-changing social and economic life. It has been felt, however, that the law student should secure the foundations of his economic and social background in his pre-legal college work under the guidance of trained economists and sociologists. Then, when he enters upon the study of law, he will be prepared to study and understand the economic and sociological implications of every case. It is felt that this approach can best be directed by those who are primarily trained as law teachers, but who are fully awake to and informed as to the problems of society to which the law is to be applied, and in which it finds its reason for existence, rather than by instructors primarily trained in other branches who give separate courses in the Law School. The aim in the Law School is to treat the law and the life in which it operates, not as things separate and distinct, but as one, the law existing solely for the contribution it makes to the life to which it is applied. Every recitation hour, therefore, is devoted to the law, not as an isolated thing, but as part and parcel of the conditions for which alone its existence and form are justified. Every professor in every course is an instructor not only in law but also in such subjects as economics and sociology as well.

Graduate instruction. — The student was formerly prepared to enter the practice of the law by work and observation of the law in action in a law office. He still does most of his graduate work, if any, in that manner. Today the school has almost entirely supplanted the office as a preparatory institution, but it has made slight inroads on the office for work following graduation. After eighteen or nineteen years at school the student is ready for a change, and once he is in successful practice he is not likely to leave it to return to school. Thus far, completion of a graduate course does not bring more attractive offers to enter practice.

The immense increase in enrollment in law schools, however, has brought the need for many more lawyers fitted to become teachers of law, and for that purpose legal scholarship is very important. Success at the bar has proved no criterion of promise as a law teacher. Successful practice is financially so much more remunerative than teaching that active practitioners are rarely willing to change, and very successful practitioners have often proved ill suited to the teaching of law, particularly so if they enter upon teaching after many years of practice. More and more, law faculties are recruited from lawyers with short experience at the bar, often with none at all, but with scholarly instincts and achievement. For the training of these there is a limited but growing demand for superior graduate work in law.

The first enrollments for graduate work were in the days of the two-year law course. In 1889 the Regents approved a study of one year after graduation leading to the degree of master of laws (LL.M.). Between 1890 and 1897 (the year in which the course was increased to three years) there were from six to twenty-one enrolled in this graduate year. Since that time enrollments have been few. This shows that several years before it was offered there was a substantial demand for a three-year course. When three years of study were required for the bachelor of laws degree, the degree of master of laws almost disappeared. The course was little more than an added year of law study, though some specialization was required.

In 1924 a new fourth-year course (for the degree of master of laws or juris doctor, J.D.) was announced which was not merely an added year after graduation, but called for specialization and a different kind of work. For this, new courses were offered which were open only to fourth-year students. The next year this was modified so as to provide for two fourth-year curriculums (LL.M. and doctor of juridical science, S.J.D.). These two curriculums are still in force. To enter the former the student must have secured a law degree with high rank and must thereafter pursue a fourth-year program of study in this Law School approved by the committee on graduate law instruction. This program must provide for a substantial measure of specialization in some selected subject.

More worthy still of being dignified as graduate study is the course leading to the degree of doctor of juridical science (S.J.D.). The candidate must not only have the previous record required for the course leading to the degree of master of laws and pursue an approved program of graduate study for at least a year, but he must also demonstrate capacity for independent research in law by completing and preparing for publication an approved original study upon some selected subject. This study may be submitted at any time within five years after completion of the graduate year. This year must be devoted to pursuit of seminar courses open by special permission to a limited number of exceptionally qualified third-year and fourth-year students. This is graduate work calling for independent research which requires scholarly attainment. A considerable number, many of whom are graduates of other law schools, have elected this work every year since it was first offered.

The law students. — The student body of the Department of Law from the first was cosmopolitan. In the first year nine states and England were represented. Twenty-six of the ninety-two students were nonresidents of Michigan in that year; fifty-three of 134 the second year, representing thirteen states. There were large numbers from Ohio and Illinois, and some from most of the other Midwestern states. In 1861-62 fifty-eight of 129 students came from beyond the borders of Michigan, and ten years later only 115 of the 307 students enrolled in law were residents of Michigan. Some objections to providing training for non-Michigan men were met by the President and Dean Cooley with the statement that it cost no more to lecture to a larger group and that the fees of these nonresidents paid all the current expenses of the Law Department.

During the following years two-thirds of the students, sometimes slightly less, sometimes more, came from outside the state. In 1880-81 there were 112 students from Michigan, 259 from outside; in 1890-91, 165 and 416. In recent years Michigan students have constituted about half the total number. In 1934-35 270 students were from Michigan and 268 were from thirty-six states and four foreign countries. This situation serves as both cause and effect. Because the student body is cosmopolitan, instruction must be on broad lines and not confined to narrow local law. Because the law is broadly presented, this cosmopolitan body of students is attracted here. This condition is altogether favorable at once for the study of the law and for the best preparation for practice. Once through school the lawyer has a lifetime of study and practice of local law. He is fortunate in his student days to be presented with the broader view taking in jurisdictions other than his own. Moreover, this association with such a student body, men from every state and from many foreign countries, in itself is part of a liberal education.

Student societies. — From the very beginning the students of the School have had voluntary organizations to promote activities which were of special interest or value to students of the law. The Webster Society dates almost from the opening of the department. It is said to have been founded early in October, 1859, with the co-operation of the faculty. The Jeffersonian Society followed soon after. These were literary and debating societies which held weekly meetings in rooms provided for them in the Law Building. For almost sixty years these societies flourished. When in 1887 a professor of elocution was appointed for the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts (see Part IV: Department of Speech), these law societies participated in the debating and oratorical contests held under his guidance. So keen was the interest that other societies — the Clay, Benton, Griffin, and Mechem — were formed to provide more active participation by a larger number.

As requirements for admission to the Law School were advanced to include preliminary college work, and especially after the Law School became a graduate department, the part these societies had played tended to be relegated to the college years, and in 1919 or 1920 the law societies died.

The case clubs. — To some extent, the place of the literary societies and the oratorical and debating contests has been taken by the case clubs, which were first organized in 1925. In the first year students may join one of four clubs. In each club teams of four are assigned a hypothetical case on which the students draw papers and briefs as in an actual case in court. The work is supervised by members chosen from the third-year class who act as advisers and sit as judges to hear the arguments of each team and to decide the cases, each case being argued by two men on each side. In the second year, professors sit with third-year students to hear arguments in an elimination contest to select the four students who shall appear as attorneys in the finals. These are held on Founder’s Day.

Honors and prizes. — The first prizes offered in the Law School were in the form of honors to those students standing highest in each third-year class. They were selected as student editors of the Michigan Law Review. They received not only this recognition, but also the valuable opportunity to prepare for publication studies of recent cases. Incidentally, they greatly improved their chances of finding positions in desirable offices on graduation. Law Review men are at a premium.

In 1912 the University of Michigan Department of Law joined with several other law schools in establishing the Order of the Coif, an honor society for law schools, whose members are chosen principally on the basis of scholarship (see Part IX: Coif).

The first monetary prize offered in the Law School was an award of the Howard B. Coblentz prize, paid from the income of a fund given by the parents of a member of the class of 1918 who lost his life in World War I. In 1925 a class of 1908 memorial scholarship was provided for by Guy B. Findlay of that class for the second-year student who in the previous year had attained the highest rank in his class.

The Henry M. Campbell case club award was established by the Detroit law firm of which Mr. Campbell, of the class of 1878, had been a member. It is awarded to the four men of the case clubs who win through the preliminary contests and are chosen for the final argument on Founder’s Day. Two-thirds of the prize goes to the two who win the final contest, the other third to the losers.

In 1928 the Regents established three fellowships with substantial stipends to assist graduates of outstanding ability to do graduate work and independent research. Other funds have been made available by the great gifts of William W. Cook to the Law School.

Publications. — The law class of 1894 began an “annual publication” called To-Wit. The classes of 1895 and 1896 continued it, but changed the name to Res Gestae. This contains considerable matter of historical interest. Judge Cooley contributed to To-Wit a very valuable article on “Founding of the Law Department of the University of Michigan,” with fine appreciations of Professors Campbell and Walker. An appreciation of Judge Cooley was written by President Angell. Res Gestae of 1895 contains important addresses made at the unveiling of a bust of Judge Cooley, which had been given by the class. The principal speaker was a distinguished member of the New York bar, Mr. William B. Hornblower. One feature of the publication was an article by Judge Cooley on the Webster-Hayne debate in Congress, in which Judge Cooley proceeded to present his views of the nature of the Constitution. The Res Gestae of 1896 contains a tribute to Judge Campbell, then just deceased, by Judge Cooley, the last survivor of that great triumvirate, and an article by the new Dean, Harry B. Hutchins, on “The Law School of To-Day, Its Work and Functions.” Such contributions are indeed res gestae.

Other publications deserving mention are The Brief, issued in 1925 by the first students who lived in the new Lawyers Club; Addresses, issued in 1925, at the dedication of the Lawyers Club; The Lawyers’ Quadrangle, published in 1931 when the William W. Cook Legal Research Library was completed; Dedicatory Exercises, Law Quadrangle at the University of Michigan, a book of illustrations published in 1934; and Law Quadrangle, 1934, containing the notable addresses at the dedicatory exercises after Hutchins Hall was finished.

The Michigan Law Review. — Increasingly in recent years the most valuable contributions to the law and its procedure have been made by scholarly studies which have been published as articles in legal journals. The demand for suitable vehicles for bringing such studies to public attention has been met to a large extent by law journals supported by the law schools. The Harvard Law Review appeared in 1887, the Yale Law Journal in 1891, the Columbia Law Review in 1901, and the Michigan Law Review in 1902. The last-named was under the editorship of the late Floyd Russell Mechem (A.M. hon. ‘94, LL.D. ‘12), Professor of Law, and the author of notable standard texts on various subjects of the law. He was assisted by the members of the law faculty and by ten students from the third-year class who acted as editorial assistants. The purpose was to give expression to the legal scholarship of the University and to serve the profession and the public by timely discussion of legal problems and by noting important developments in the field of jurisprudence.

The Review was made up of leading articles, comment on important cases and interesting legal subjects, notes on recent cases, and reviews of books and legal literature. The aim was to be practical and scholarly, and not so academic as to be out of touch with the legal profession. The Law Review has been edited, in turn, by Professors Mechem, Brewster, Holbrook, Drake, Stoner, Aigler, Waite, and Shartel. Student editors chosen from the third-year classes on the basis of scholarship and proved aptitude for the work have written the comments and notes. The leading articles have been furnished not only by members of the faculty but also by law teachers from other schools and by scholars who are practicing lawyers, judges, and experts in various legal fields. Student editors have not infrequently produced work of such value as to be published as leading articles. More and more the contributions to the Review have been studied by lawyers and cited by judges. They have done much to lend impetus to the widespread present-day movements for the improvement of the law and of its practice and procedure.

Founder’s Day. — Each year since the completion of the first unit of the William W. Cook Quadrangle, the Law School (in Mr. Cook’s honor) has set aside a day in April as Founder’s Day. To the exercises of this day members of the bar are invited as guests. In the afternoon the final argument in the case club contest for the Henry M. Campbell case club award is the chief feature. In the evening a dinner in the dining hall of the Lawyers Club is attended by students and large numbers of lawyers, most of whom are alumni of the Law School. The dinner is followed by an address on some legal subject by a distinguished member of the bench or bar.

Legal research. — Although research in law has always been an important field of work for members of the Law School faculty, the first definite and formal proposal to provide means for the systematic development of legal research was made in a letter to the Board of Regents, dated April 25, 1922, by a then anonymous donor who later was revealed as William W. Cook.

In that letter Mr. Cook stated that he proposed to erect a building to be known as the Lawyers Club. He said, further:  All dues and all profit from the operation of the building shall be used exclusively for legal research work, to be expended from time to time as the Governors may deem best. This legal research work will render possible the study of comparative jurisprudence and legislation, national and state, and also of foreign countries, ancient and modern. Such work should be of use in proposed legislation, and, besides leading to the production of reliable law treatises and studies, would help to systematize the law as a science. The European plan of giving leisure time to professors to pursue their studies and produce original works may well be applied in America to professors of law, who at present are absorbed too exclusively in class-room work. A legal research fund could be used to pay part of their salaries, thus giving them time for original research. (R.P., 1920-23, p. 448.)

Research work on the Lawyers Club foundation began in 1927, when Edson Read Sunderland (‘97, ‘01l, LL.D. Northwestern ‘33) was appointed Professor of Law and Legal Research. Later, William Wirt Blume (Texas ‘20, Michigan ‘27l, S.J.D. ‘28) was given a continuing research appointment. Others have received temporary appointments from time to time for the purpose of working out specific problems.

The first task undertaken with Lawyers Club funds was the revision of the legal procedure of the courts of Michigan. Soon after Professor Sunderland’s appointment as Professor of Legal Research, he was made a member of the newly created Procedure Commission of the state, and became secretary and draftsman of the commission. A completely modernized system of procedure was prepared as a result of about two years of work, presented to the profession for criticism and suggestions, and finally put into operation by order of the Supreme Court under the title, “Michigan Court Rules, 1931.”

As a result of this work Professor Sunderland was asked by the Chicago Bar Association to prepare a new and simplified system of procedure for the state of Illinois, and the Law School was in a position to enable him to devote a large part of his time for two years to this work. The new Practice Act was adopted in 1933 by the legislature of Illinois.

When the Supreme Court of the United States appointed an Advisory Committee in 1934 to draft new rules of practice for the federal courts, Professor Sunderland was made a member, and he was actively engaged in that work for nearly three years.

In 1929 the legislature of Michigan created the Judicial Council, to make a continuous study of the administration of justice in the state and to suggest to the legislature and to the Supreme Court, from time to time, such changes as might be deemed advisable. No appropriation was made for the council, and it was understood that responsibility for making the necessary studies and publishing the reports would be assumed by the Law School as a part of its research program. Professor Sunderland has been secretary of the Judicial Council from the beginning, and has published six annual reports, each containing a statistical presentation of the work of the courts of the state during the year, together with some special legal study, all financed out of Law School research funds. Among these special studies have been Condemnation Procedure, by Roy R. Ray (1931), Discovery Procedure, by George Ragland (1932), Organization and Operation of Courts of Review, by Edward O. Curran and Edson R. Sunderland (1933), Declaratory Judgments — Their Availability in Different Types of Controversies, by Edson R. Sunderland (1934), The Office of the Friend of the Court in Wayne County, by Frank E. Cooper and John P. Dawson (1935), and Pre-trial Procedure in Wayne County, by Frank E. Cooper (1936). These studies have attracted wide attention. Discovery Procedure, in an enlarged and revised form, was published as a book by the Law School, and has become recognized as the leading American treatise on the practical use of discovery before trial.

Historical studies have taken an important place in the research program of the Law School. An extraordinarily valuable mass of documents was discovered in Lansing consisting of records and files of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Michigan and of the early state Supreme Court. They cover the period from 1805 to 1860. Professor Blume devoted several years to examining and classifying this material, which includes some three thousand original files, and he selected and edited the documents which are of special historical value for the light they throw upon the character of the judicial business transacted by those courts and the manner in which it was done. Four large volumes prepared by Professor Blume have been published by the Law School under the title Transactions of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Michigan, 1805 to 1814.

A study of English chancery decrees of the sixteenth century was made by Professor John P. Dawson (‘22, J.D. ‘24, D. Phil. Oxford ‘30). During the second semester of 1936-37, Professor Dawson was engaged, while on sabbatical leave in England, in completing this study.

Research funds have also been made available for a number of other projects of more or less extended scope. Paul Gerhart Kauper (Earlham ‘29, J.D. Michigan ‘32), now a member of the Law School faculty, spent the year following his graduation in a research study of the regulation and taxation of motor carriers, under the direction of Professor E. Blythe Stason. Seven extensive papers giving the results of this study have been published in the Michigan Law Review. William Warner Bishop, Jr. (‘28, J.D. ‘31), devoted a year to research work in international law under the direction of Professor Edwin DeWitt Dickinson (Carleton ‘19, Ph.D. Harvard ‘18, J.D. Michigan ‘19), which consisted in editing the Spanish-American cases for the International Law Digest published by the University of London.

The text of the American Law Institute’s restatement of the law of contracts has been annotated with Michigan citations, in order to make it more useful to the courts and lawyers of Michigan. Professor Grismore has had charge of this work.

Invaluable work in collecting and editing materials for the use of students in a number of branches of the law has been made possible by allocations of research funds to various members of the Law School faculty. Nothing is more essential to effective teaching of modern law than the constant revision of materials for study, in order that work in the classroom may be closely correlated with the continuous changes in the body of the law and its application to new problems. The labor involved in this process of continual modernizing of teaching material is enormous, and the success of the Law School in maintaining its high standing for legal scholarship is due in no small degree to the availability of funds for this purpose.

Edwin C. Goddard
[Died August 14, 1942.]


Addresses Delivered at the Dedication of the Lawyers’ Club … June 13, 1925. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1926.
Angell, James B.The Reminiscences of … New York: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1912.
Announcement of the Department of Law [Law
Page  1034
School, 1915-] (title varies), Univ. Mich., 1859-1940.
A Book of the Law Quadrangle at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Board of Governors of the Lawyers Club, Univ. Mich., 1934.
A Book of the Lawyers Quadrangle at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1931.
Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1871-1914.
Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1852, 1860-71, 1914-23.
Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.
Dedicatory Exercises of the Law Quadrangle, the Gift of William Wilson Cook …, 1934. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich. Law School, 1935.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
The Lawyers Club. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1939 (Univ. Mich. Offic. Publ., 40 [1939], No. 62).
Michigan. Joint Documents, 1854. (J. Doc.)
Michigan. Laws [of the Session of …], 1837. (Laws.)
The Michigan Law Review, Vols. 1-39 (1902-40).
President’s Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1909, 1920-40.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1940. (R.P.)
Res Gestae, 1895, 1896.
Shaw, Wilfred B.The University of Michigan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920.
To-Wit, 1894.
University of Michigan Regents’ Proceedings …, 1837-1864. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915. (R.P., 1837-64.)

The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, Volume II, Part V, pp. 1015-1033.


Administration. — When Henry Moore Bates retired in 1939, E. Blythe Stason was appointed Dean of the Law School. At that time, Law School administration was handled by the Dean with the assistance of the Secretary of the faculty and a Recorder. In the years following World War II, however, a growing faculty and student body required additional administrators. In 1956, because of the proliferation of administrative obligations, there was a reorganization of the administrative offices of the Law School. An assistant dean assumed the duties previously carried out by the secretary of the faculty, and an associate dean assumed responsibility for research in legal education and for alumni relations and advisory functions in the recruitment of faculty and the planning of the budget.

From October 22 through 24, 1959, the Law School celebrated its hundredth anniversary. The Centennial Celebration brought more than five hundred alumni to the Law School for a program entitled “Frontiers in Law and Legal Education.” Twelve honorary degrees were conferred, and the alumni presented the Law School with a substantial cash gift. Also, in its hundredth year, the Law School published Legal Education at Michigan: 1859-1959, a history by Elizabeth Gaspar Brown.

The first year of the second century of the Law School saw the retirement of Dean Stason, whose twenty-one year deanship ended in 1960. He was succeeded by Allan Smith. Dean Smith became the Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the University in 1965. Charles W. Joiner served as Acting Dean until Francis Allen assumed the deanship in 1966. In 1971, Dean Allen resigned the deanship to return to teaching and research. He was succeeded by Theodore St. Antoine. The years between 1966 and 1971 had seen national student unrest, which significantly affected the Law School deanship. The rate of change and the physical and emotional demands on an administrator during those years led to a limited term deanship held by a younger man. Taking office at the age of forty-two, Dean St. Antoine was the first Dean of the Law School to serve under a five-year renewable term appointment.

Faculty. — In 1939, the Law Faculty consisted of fifteen professors, two associate professors, one assistant professor, one visiting professor, and two part-time outside lecturers. By 1972-73, it included forty-three professors, six associate professors, four assistant professors, four visiting professors, six instructors, and five part-time lecturers. The size of the faculty fosters diversification. Increasingly after 1960, the faculty has included scholars in other disciplines. In 1972-73, two professors of psychiatry, a professor of psychology and sociology, and two professors of economics taught regularly in the Law School; two of these held tenured appointments on the law faculty. In addition, the faculty included lawyers who had, or were in the process of acquiring, full credentials in history, sociology, philosophy, and foreign languages.

Faculty members have made numerous contributions to state and national bar associations and to other professional and scholarly organizations. They have been appointed and elected to municipal, state, and federal offices, including a mayoralty, the chairmanships and executive directorships of important state and federal commissions, and two Assistant Attorney Generalships of the United States. They frequently testify before legislative bodies and render technical assistance in drafting municipal ordinances and state and federal statutes. In the decade from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, nine major law schools turned to the Michigan faculty for their new deans.

Curriculum and Pedagogy. — In 1972-73, the Law School offered over one hundred courses and seminars, more than twice as many as it had offered in 1940-41. Traditional courses like property, torts, contracts, evidence, civil procedure, business associations, trusts and estates, and constitutional law remain an important part of the curriculum. But man’s changing attitudes toward his society, toward the function of law, and toward legal education have resulted in new offerings in new fields. As government increasingly affected its citizens’ lives, public law assumed significance in the curriculum through new, or greater numbers of, offerings in such fields as administrative law, taxation, legislation, antitrust law, labor law, regulated industries, and public policy. Statutory developments affected offerings in public law and many other fields, such as commercial law, civil procedure, and business law. New social concerns suggested legal approaches to, and offerings in, areas like atomic energy, race relations, consumer protection, and natural resources. Although basic courses in international and comparative law had been offered prior to World War II, the heightened interest in international affairs following the War resulted in offerings in subjects like Communist law, African law, Common Market law, and the law applicable to American businesses operating overseas.

Increasing numbers of offerings have dealt with the relationship of law and other fields of knowledge, such as philosophy, sociology, medicine, business, and accounting. At the same time, the law student has been given a greater opportunity to investigate his own profession and the legal system through courses or seminars in legal history, legal philosophy, professional responsibility, and legal education.

About one-third of the offerings in 1972-73 were seminars. Although seminars had been offered as early as 1925, their numbers increased markedly after World War II. The seminar provides a unique opportunity for a teacher to explore, and his students to study, a specialized field of interest. Small group instruction allows teachers to explore new teaching techniques and materials and enables students to engage in closely supervised research and writing.

Since the nineteenth century, the Law School has trained students in research techniques and legal writing through courses requiring the drafting of legal documents, courses in trial practice, moot courts, and Case Clubs. The Case Club program offers another method by which students can learn research and writing skills. In 1940, the Case Clubs were an important although voluntary part of the Law School education. By 1964, 370 of 395 first-year students participated in the Clubs.

Although the Case Clubs and many courses and seminars involved solving problems arising from hypothetical situations, the curriculum afforded no opportunity for students to help handle actual cases until 1969. In the summer of that year, the Law School offered its first clinical course, in which ten students, under the supervision of a faculty member, handled cases from the Washtenaw Legal Aid Clinic and attended a weekly seminar. This course, as subsequently expanded, provides thirty students a term the chance to interview clients, to appear in court, to prepare legal arguments, and to experience the practical problems a lawyer must face. In 1972-73, clinical opportunities also included a semester’s residence at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C.; a State Department Internship, under which students served in the Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor in Washington; and a course entitled Criminal Appellate Practice.

Technological developments have also affected legal education. They have stimulated courses in the legal problems raised by atomic energy, broadcasting, and computers. Films are used in classes as teaching aids. A closed-circuit television system, completed in 1962, allows students to observe a local court by means of a viewer in Hutchins Hall. Video equipment is available to faculty and students and a computer terminal at the Law School aids numerous research projects.

Lectures and special programs supplement regular curricular offerings. In 1946 the Law Faculty established the Thomas M. Cooley Lectureship, devoted to the presentation of scholarly discussions of timely professional topics. Inaugurated in 1944-45 and open to all members of the University, the William W. Cook Lectures on American Institutions are of special interest to law students.

In 1967, the Juris Doctor degree, which previously had been awarded only to those candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Laws who had demonstrated superior scholarship, became the only undergraduate degree offered by the Law School. Since 1967, the Juris Doctor has been awarded cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude to students who have achieved academic excellence.

In 1957, the Law School added the degree Master of Comparative Law to the other graduate degrees of Master of Laws and Doctor of the Science of Law. A gradual decrease in emphasis on graduate work as a prerequisite for teaching law resulted in fewer domestic graduate students by the 1970s. But at the same time, increased financial assistance was made available to the most promising graduate degree candidates, especially to young law teachers who desired to improve their qualifications through further study and research. In addition, growing numbers of foreign graduate students attended the Law School after World War II. In 1972-73, the graduate program brought eight foreign research scholars and nineteen foreign graduate students to the School.

The Law School has always believed that it has a responsibility for the continuing education of lawyers and the maintenance of its own contacts with the realities of professional life. Between 1939 and 1959, the School offered a number of institutes and special summer sessions for practicing lawyers who wanted to review legal developments or study a particular legal problem. In 1950, the School presented the first of a series of Annual Advocacy Institutes to give attorneys an opportunity to further their skills as trial lawyers.

In 1960 the Law School joined with the Wayne State University Law School and the State Bar of Michigan to establish the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, in order to expand the types of postgraduate programs for practicing lawyers. The Institute each year publishes approximately forty books and sets of legal material and presents approximately thirty programs, including the Annual Advocacy Institute.

Research. — The Cook gifts, and gifts and grants from numerous alumni, foundations, legal organizations, state and federal governments, and other sources, have enabled legal research to flourish at the Law School. Treatises and monographs written at the Law School have contributed significantly to the growth of legal doctrine. Faculty members have prepared casebooks and other teaching materials which are used at many law schools. In the 1950s, traditional modes of legal research were modified to include interdisciplinary efforts to analyze legal problems raised by socioeconomic phenomena situations, such as the development of atomic energy or the Common Market. Computers have aided the development of sophisticated, empirical approaches to society’s institutions. New areas of the law have been explored.

Dean Stason’s conviction that statutory law was becoming an integral part of legal institutions led to the organization, in 1950, of the Legislative Research Center to promote teaching, research, and service in the area of legislation. The Center has helped the Michigan legislature implement a new constitution, has published studies of fields of state legislation, has drafted several acts submitted to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, and has prepared memoranda on various phases of statutory law for members of the Law Faculty.

Although the Law School had teaching and research in international and comparative law since the close of World War I, a series of Ford Foundation grants beginning in 1954 recognized the School’s achievements in these areas and enabled its activities to continue at an accelerated pace. Funds from the Ford Foundation and other sources have provided for research, foreign graduate student fellowships, an addition to the Law Faculty, and travel and administrative assistance. By 1972, more than one-third of the faculty working regularly in domestic law had been engaged in some international or comparative legal research. Increased faculty involvement has led to more courses and seminars and greater student interest in these fields. Foreign scholars have taught and studied at the School, and exchange programs have been arranged between the Law School and foreign universities. With the help of the Law School, Professor Hessel Yntema founded the American Journal of Comparative Law in 1951 and served as its Editor-in-Chief until 1966. For more than a decade, Professor William Bishop, Jr., served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of International Law.

Extensive faculty research and writing contributes to legal knowledge and enables students to study under and to work with persons who are developing new ideas and new approaches to the law. In 1971-72, the Law faculty published over one hundred and twenty books and articles. Since 1939, major works resulting from research at the Law School and published by the Law School have included, for example, The Conflict of Laws: A Comparative Study, by Ernst Rabel (4 vols., 1945-58 and 2 ed. rev., 1958 — ), Atoms and the Law, by E. Blythe Stason, Samuel D. Estep, and William Pierce (1959); American Enterprise in the European Common Market, edited by Eric Stein and Thomas Nicholson (1960); Automobile Accident Costs and Payments: A Study of the Economics of Injury Reparation, by Alfred F. Conard and others (1964); Civil Code of The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic: An English Translation by Whitmore Gray and Raymond Stults (1965); Comparative Conflict Resolution Procedures in Taxation, by L. Hart Wright et al. (1968); and The Law of Negotiable Instruments (Bills of Exchange) in the Americas, by Hessel E. Yntema and Rodolfo Batiza (1969).

Students edit two periodicals which present the product of student and faculty research. Under student editors-in-chief since 1940, the Michigan Law Review has made a gradual transition from faculty to student operation and control. In April 1968, students began publication of a new journal, Prospectus: A Journal of Law Reform. Seeking to suggest ways and report efforts to improve and administer the law, this journal publishes articles by students, faculty, and outside contributors and encourages flexible and experimental approaches to legal problems.

Law Library. — The Law Library, one of the largest in the country, is a major source of legal material for the entire central portion of the United States. The collection includes published court reports, constitutions, codes, and statutes of the United States and of many foreign countries. The Law Library houses treatises on all phases of law and legal science and extensive, and often rare, collections in fields as diverse as Roman law, criminology, legal bibliography, and economics. It contains nearly complete files of the leading legal periodicals published throughout the world.

The collection has grown from 145,261 bound volumes in 1940 to 423,682 in 1972. This growth has necessitated the addition to the Legal Research Building of four floors of stacks in 1955, the establishment in Hutchins Hall of a satellite library of 15,000 basic volumes in 1972, and the construction in the basement of Hutchins Hall of a special room for rare books in 1973.

The library is administered as a part of the School by a member of the faculty who serves as Director. Hobart Coffey directed the Law Library from 1926 until 1965, when he was succeeded by Beverley J. Pooley.

Students. — The Law School regular session enrollment was 641 in 1940-41, although World War II lowered that number to 108 in 1943-44. From 1942 through 1946, the Judge Advocate General’s School used the Law Quadrangle to train 2,684 officers and officer candidates. In 1947-48, the regular session enrollment hit a postwar peak of 1,107 but declined to 706 by 1953-54. With minor fluctuations, regular session enrollment increased through 1971-72, when it reached a record high of 1,245. Although the Law School, beginning in 1868, had prepared numerous Black students for careers in law, the increasing number of highly qualified applicants in the early 1960s swept aside many qualified Blacks. In 1965-66 there were no Blacks among the more than 1,100 students in the School. This led the faculty to embark upon an innovative minority group program involving active recruitment of members of minority groups and a reconsideration of the application of mechanical admission standards to students who might have suffered cultural disadvantages. In sharp contrast to 1965-66, the 1971-72 regular session student body of 1,245 included 107 members of minority groups.

The first year that women were admitted to the University — 1870 — saw two enrolled in the Law Department. During the last decade more and more women have chosen to study law and have sought admission to the Law School.  Although the 1959-60 regular session enrollment of 873 included only 11 women, by 1971-72, the regular session enrollment of 1,245 included 128 women.

In the latter half of the 1960s, students began to take an increasingly active role in Law School affairs. In 1967 a faculty-student liaison committee was created and, by 1970, students served on most faculty committees. The Law School student government became the Law School Student Senate in 1970. A weekly student newspaper, Res Gestae, keeps students and faculty members informed about Law School life. The Black Law Students’ Alliance, the Women Law Students’ Association, and La Raza Law Students address themselves to the problems of various constituencies of the Law School.

In 1965-66, the Legal Aid Society of the Law School became active in the Washtenaw County Legal Aid Clinic. Since that year, there is also an Inmate Assistance Program, which provides legal assistance to inmates of nearby prisons, and a Legislative Aid Bureau, which provides a free drafting service for state and local governments that lack the resources to research and draft proposed statutes and ordinances.

Charles A. Lowenhaupt

The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, Volume VI, pp. 168-
Page  168-175

History of the University of Michigan

School of Law