Recalling (and Rehearing) Howard Eisenberg

Posted on Categories Marquette Law School, Marquette Law School History

Howard B. Eisenberg

Howard B. Eisenberg, dean of Marquette Law School from 1995 to 2002, died nineteen years ago today. That number may not have independent significance or resonance (unlike, say, 18, in Jewish tradition as I understand it, or 20, for a round number), but we may agree that it is now some time ago. Yet no one will doubt that Howard’s spirit—indeed, legacy—lives on here at the Law School, even in Eckstein Hall, opened more than eight years after his death.

Our Office of Public Service, which we created in 2006 and now house in the Howard B. Eisenberg Suite, has been our most significant institutional effort to ensure his legacy of “doing good,” as Alan Borsuk noted as recently as a week ago, in this Marquette Lawyer article. In light of this evidence surrounding us all, there seems no need to post at length on his yahrzeit. “Si monumentum requiris, circumspice,” one is tempted to say (well, I am, anyway).

Yet I wanted to use this blog to mark the anniversary, pointing anyone interested to two previous posts: one by me, twelve years ago today, whose virtue is that it contains a link to the wonderful 2002 special issue of the Marquette Law Review, remembering Howard in so many different ways (and through so many different eyes); and the other a decade ago, by our longtime colleague, now-retired Professor (and Justice) Janine P. Geske, whose welcome advantage is that it enables you to hear Howard’s very voice on a special topic: “What’s a Nice Jewish Boy Like Me Doing in a Place Like This?”

May his memory be for a blessing.

Author: Joseph D. Kearney

On July 1, 2003, Joseph D. Kearney became the ninth dean of Marquette University Law School. Dean Kearney has been a member of the Marquette faculty since 1997. Prior to coming to Marquette Law School, Dean Kearney practiced for six years at Sidley & Austin, Chicago's largest law firm. He served as well as a law clerk to the Honorable Antonin Scalia, Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to the Honorable Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dean Kearney is an accomplished teacher, scholar, and lawyer. His teaching focuses on civil litigation, including courses in Civil Procedure and Advanced Civil Procedure. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Columbia Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Marquette Law Review, among other journals. They variously focus on regulation of industry (particularly telecommunications), civil litigation, and judicial selection. His background as a practitioner is in appellate and telecommunications litigation, and he has argued cases before the Wisconsin and Illinois Supreme Courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and has been the primary draftsman of winning briefs on the merits in the United States Supreme Court. Dean Kearney is an honors graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

3 thoughts on “Recalling (and Rehearing) Howard Eisenberg”

  1. Well said, Dean Kearney! Despite Dean Eisenberg’s premature passing several years ago, I continue to be inspired by his timeless exhortation that all of us fortunate to be associated with Marquette Law School should “do well and do good.” Nineteen years ago, we lost a wonderful man who offered me the opportunity to join the Marquette faculty and serve as his associate dean for academic affairs. Although I greatly regret not being able to do the latter (and that he died before the Cubs won the 2016 World Series), it is comforting that his inspiring legacy and spirit continues to exist in our hearts and minds.

  2. Dean Kearney, thanks for your thoughts on a great Dean who came to Marquette long after I graduated, but found a way to connect and motivate grads from before his time. Howard left a fantastic legacy. Thank you for carrying it forward. Also, thanks for making his talk available though Justice Geske’s article. Howard’s lunch time talk is more important today than when he gave it.

  3. I was in law school when I heard that Howard Eisenberg was named Dean. I didn’t know him and being young and full of MULS hubris thought, “couldn’t they have found someone who graduated from MULS?” Well, it was after Christmas and I went to the mall to buy some 50% off calendars. And in comes this guy wearing a Cubs jacket and it was Howard Eisenberg. That was when I knew he was okay.

    After he passed I saw a list of the appeals he had done. It was like 20-pages long. Later, I looked at some of those appeals and they were very complicated. He was truly a gifted appellate lawyer. A great guy too. He took over after I graduated but I am glad to see Joe Kearney keeping his memory alive. That is the MULS spirit of giving and caring.

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