Many of us on the Marquette Law School faculty were saddened to learn of the death earlier this month of Professor Julian Kossow. Julian had a long and varied career, primarily in academia and real estate. As he recounted in this blog post, Julian went to law school because of his frustration as a developer in dealing with lawyers. Once in law school, though, he found that he was fascinated by the law as a field of study. Legal academia was so much to his liking, in fact, that he returned to it as a professor after graduation and a clerkship on the D.C. Circuit, joining the Georgetown faculty in 1970. Later, he practiced as a real-estate lawyer and then resumed his career as a developer.
Julian could not resist the call of law-teaching indefinitely, though. In the 1990’s, he began a second career as a law professor, teaching at St. Thomas and Stetson in Florida, and then landing at Marquette in 2004. We were delighted to have him as a faculty colleague for the next decade.
Julian had a warm smile, a hearty laugh, and a treasure trove of colorful anecdotes from his professional work and extensive international travel. One couldn’t leave a conversation with Julian untouched by his infectious good cheer. Julian also impressed with his passionate commitment to teaching. He set high standards for students, and occasionally bemoaned how much “softer” legal education had become since his own time as a student in the 1960’s, but all of this reflected his sense of what would best prepare students for success in the practice of law.
After his decade at Marquette, Julian returned for another stint at Georgetown, but remained in touch with a number of colleagues and former students in Milwaukee. It was a treat to see him when he returned for visits to Eckstein Hall. He will be missed by many in the Marquette Law School community.
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I am so sad to hear this news. Professor Kossow was one of the best professors I had at any level, and he was an even better man. I am so thankful for the impact he had on my life. He will be greatly missed!
Julian was a gentleman. He taught several courses in the evening throughout his MULS years, sharing his scholarship, insight, and gentlemanly ways with numerous part-time evening students. One of those students (graduated 2016) told me recently how much she enjoyed the dinners he arranged at local restaurants throughout the semester–small groups of first-year students who then got to know each other better and, of course, got to know their professor better as well.
Now a confession: Julian Kossow is the only faculty member in my nearly 17 years at the Law School whose academic apparel I would pick up and then IRON for the May Hooding Ceremony. (I hate ironing.) Julian would fly back from D.C. for the Saturday evening event to help celebrate the students’ accomplishments and I would bring the freshly ironed apparel to the Milwaukee Theatre. Remember that Julian was well over 6 ft. tall so that was one giant robe I ironed.
Faculty: I loved you all but only for Julian Kossow would I have ever ironed academic apparel.
Julian Kossow taught me Contracts Law at Georgetown. He endeared himself to all of the students with his good nature and real-life legal examples.