The Founding of the Marquette Law Review Was a Significant Event in the Law School’s History

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The following essay is based on remarks delivered at the April 2011 Marquette Law Review banquet that marked the 95th anniversary of the journal.

In December of 1916, Volume 1, Issue # 1 of the Marquette Law Review rolled off the presses. The new publication announced itself as “A Journal Published Quarterly during the School Year by the Marquette Law Students.” The cover price was 35-cents per number, but an entire year’s subscription could be had for one dollar.

(By way of comparison, tuition and fees for students in 1916 were $60 for day students and $40 for those enrolled in the evening division. Relative to today’s tuition rates, that would be equivalent of $200 for an individual issue and about $600 for a year’s subscription. As current students have probably noticed, the cost of law school has gone up a good bit since 1916.)

Why Did the Marquette Law Review Appear in 1916? Continue reading “The Founding of the Marquette Law Review Was a Significant Event in the Law School’s History”

More on Marquette Football

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In a comment to my earlier post marking the 52nd anniversary of Marquette’s final varsity football game, Nick Zales asked why Marquette decided to terminate its 78-year-old football program in 1960.

The explanation given at the time was that a competitive football team was too expensive for Marquette to maintain in light of the university’s plans for further expansion. (Plans for a 10-year, $30 million fund-raising campaign to pay for additional campus improvements, higher faculty salaries, and more student financial aid had just been announced.)

In revealing the plan to shut down the football and track-and-field programs at the end of the 1960-61 academic year, President O’Donnell stated that the University Athletic Board had, at his request, voted to terminate the two sports because of the university’s “reasonable unwillingness to accept the financial hardships imposed by these two sports in light of the other needs of the university.” The football team had reportedly lost $50,000 over the course of the fall 1960 season and had run at a deficit for several years.

From the perspective of more than a half century, it is hard to evaluate the wisdom of O’Donnell’s decision. The decision to end football was certainly unpopular with students, alumni, and Marquette fans at the time. Shortly after the announcement, an estimated 3000 students marched from the campus through downtown Milwaukee chanting, “We want football. We want justice.” Continue reading “More on Marquette Football”

Remembering Marquette Football

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Today (Nov. 13) is the 52nd anniversary of Marquette’s final varsity football game. The tradition-ending contest pitted Marquette against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats before a crowd of 13,000 at the long-disappeared Marquette Stadium at Merrill Park on November 13, 1960.

Marquette had begun the 1960 football season with great enthusiasm. After losing the first seven games of the 1959 season, the rebuilding Warriors won their final three games with victories over North Dakota State, Cincinnati, and Holy Cross. In the three games, Marquette outscored its opponents, 113-46.

The 1960 season began with more successes, as Marquette defeated Villanova 23-13 at home in the season opener and then travelled to the West Coast where it blanked Pacific, 20-0.

However, the winning streak came to an end the next week in Madison when the Warriors fell to the Badgers 35-6. (Marquette played Wisconsin 28 times in football over the years, and, somewhat bizarrely, all 28 games were played in Madison. In those games, Marquette was only 4-24, raising questions as to who did the scheduling in those days.)

Marquette returned to its winning ways the following week when it eked out a 13-12 home victory over arch-rival Boston College. Continue reading “Remembering Marquette Football”

George McGovern Was Once a Marquette University Professor

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George McGovern, a long time Congressman and Senator from South Dakota and the 1972 Democrat Presidential candidate, was briefly a member of the Marquette University faculty.

In the spring of 1996, McGovern held the Allis Chalmers Chair in History at Marquette University. In that capacity, he taught a course on the History of American Foreign Relations.

McGovern’s long service in Congress was not his only credential for such a position. After serving as a bomber pilot during World War II, he graduated from Dakota Wesleyan College in his native South Dakota, and later earned a PhD in American History from Northwestern University. Even before completing his PhD, he returned to Dakota Wesleyan as a professor of History and Political Science. He remained at Dakota Wesleyan until 1956 when he was elected to Congress from South Dakota’s First District.

Prof. McGovern’s course was quite popular with Marquette students, and his lectures were delivered in the auditorium in Cudahy Hall. In addition to the regularly enrolled students, the audience for the lectures always included a large number of “auditors” from across the university. In my first year on the law school faculty, I attended many of these lectures. Continue reading “George McGovern Was Once a Marquette University Professor”

An Interview with Professor Jack Kircher

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[Editor’s Note: This blog is the third in a series of interviews with faculty and staff at the Law School.]

A member of the Law School faculty since 1970, Professor Kircher teaches torts, insurance, products liability, and seminars in advanced issues on torts. He received the Marquette University Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 1986 and the Marquette Law Review Editors’ Award in 1988. In 1993 he received the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section’s Robert B. McKay Award for distinction in the teaching of torts and insurance law. Before coming to the Law School, he practiced law and subsequently was Research Director of the Defense Research Institute. He has chaired the Wisconsin Judicial Council and the Wisconsin Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners. He is coauthor of Punitive Damages: Law and Practice. Professor Kircher is a member of the Editorial Board of the Defense Law Journal, and was Editor of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Quarterly.

Question:  How did you first become interested in insurance and tort law, and what do you find most intriguing about those areas of law?

My interest in the two subjects started in law school, most probably because they were taught by my favorite professor, Jim Ghiardi. It developed in my first three years after law school due to my work in a defense firm that handled cases in those two areas. It developed further and faster thereafter when Jim asked me to join him as his second-in-command at a legal think tank, the Defense Research Institute, that concentrated its work in those two areas. Also the two subjects are interesting to me because the law constantly changes. In fact, by the time I left the Law School the Wisconsin Supreme Court had changed about 25 percent of what I learned in first-year Torts. I would expect that most of the law I learned in my other courses has remained nearly the same.

Continue reading “An Interview with Professor Jack Kircher”

Welcome to the Class of 1912

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Like their counterparts of a century later, the Marquette Law School class that entered in the fall of 1912 was the third class to begin law school in a new building. Whereas the Class of 2012 was the third class to start in Eckstein Hall, those who entered in 1912 had a similar claim in regard to the Mackie Mansion, a former residence purchased by Marquette University in 1910. From 1908 until the acquisition of the new home for the school, law classes were held in the still-standing in 2012 Johnston Hall. However, within two years, overcrowded conditions necessitated a separate law school building.

The Mackie Mansion was located on the corner of 11th Street and Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue). It was set back from Grand Avenue and was situated in the spot occupied by the southern half of Sensenbrenner Hall in its current form, as viewed from 11th Street.

The 1912 class consisted of 36 full-time day students and 28 evening students. All 64 class members were males, and all but four were from Wisconsin. The four out-of-state students included day students from Menominee, Michigan and Waseca, Minnesota, and night students from the distant locales of Franklin, Indiana, and Shellyville (not Shelbyville), Kentucky.

Continue reading “Welcome to the Class of 1912”

Remembering the 1912 Law School Commencement

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As the members of the Class of 2012 make their way into the legal profession, and memories of this past May’s Commencement ceremony begin to fade, it is an interesting historical exercise to look back at the Law School’s 4th Commencement in June of 1912.

In 1912, there were two commencement ceremonies at Marquette University: one for the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Law, Music, and Economics and the other for Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing. (In 1913, the two ceremonies would be combined into a single event held at the Milwaukee Auditorium.)

The 1912 Commencement for the College of Law was held on Friday evening, June 21, at the Pabst Theatre [sic]. Continue reading “Remembering the 1912 Law School Commencement”

Former Packer Who Attended MULS Receives PhD Degree

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Among those receiving degrees at the 2012 Marquette commencement was former Green Bay Packer linebacker George Koonce. Koonce, who took several classes at the law school while a graduate student at Marquette, received his PhD degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Koonce’s doctoral dissertation was entitled “Role Transition of National Football League Players: Using the Grounded Theory.” The dissertation was directed by Dr. John Cotton of the School of Business Administration.

Between 1992 and 2000, Koonce played nine seasons in the National Football League, all but the last with the Green Bay Packers. (His final season was with the Seattle Seahawks.) The graduate of East Carolina University ran back two interceptions for touchdowns and made over 500 tackles during his NFL career. He was also a member of the 1996 and 1997 Packer teams, which played in Super Bowls XXX and XXXI.

During his graduate school years, Koonce was advised at different times by Marquette law professors Matt Mitten and Gordon Hylton.

A recent story on George Koonce from Milwaukee Magazine can be found at this link.

George Koonce’s recent guest column for the ESPN NFL Blog, entitled “Surviving Life after the NFL,” can be found here.

Black Lawyers in the 1930s

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African-American lawyers were a scarce commodity in 1930.

A recent post on the ConLawBlog posed the question of how many African-American lawyers there were in the United States in 1930.  This is a subject that I have been studying for some time, and thanks to a heads up from Professor Idleman, I was able to answer the question.

According to the U.S. Census, in 1930, there were only 1247 black lawyers in the entire United States in 1930, out of a total number of 160,605 lawyers.  Of the 1247, 1223 were male and only 24 were female.

Even though the Great Migration had begun after World War I, the bulk of the African-American population still lived in the South in 1930. However, thanks to racial prejudice and limited economic opportunities below the Mason-Dixon line, a significant majority of black lawyers lived outside the South.

The largest concentrations of black male lawyers was in Illinois, which had 187 male African-American attorneys. Continue reading “Black Lawyers in the 1930s”

Oldest Living Marquette Law School Graduate Passes Away, Excelled in Law and Sports

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Frank Zummach, thought to be the oldest living graduate of the Marquette Law School, passed away on April 30, in his hometown of Sheboygan at age 101.

In addition to a long career as a member of the Wisconsin bar, Zummach also played and coached basketball at Marquette, and from 1939-1942, he served as head coach of the Sheboygan Redskins of the National Basketball League, a forerunner of the NBA.

Zummach, a Milwaukee native, attended Marquette High School, and enrolled as a college student at Marquette in 1929. He began playing basketball for Marquette in 1930, and he entered the law school in 1932, with one year of varsity eligibility remaining. Continue reading “Oldest Living Marquette Law School Graduate Passes Away, Excelled in Law and Sports”

Falk: Walker’s Values Are Not Wisconsin’s Values

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The almost-certain upcoming recall election for governor will be a chance for Wisconsinites to re-assert what their values are when it comes to government, Democratic candidate Kathleen Falk said Wednesday at Marquette University Law School.

That, in her view, means the election will lead to the defeat of Gov. Scott Walker, the Republican who “has so torn this state apart and exercised such an extreme far right agenda.” The values that underlie Walker’s actions since he became “aren’t our values,” Falk told Mike Gousha during an “On the Issues” session at Eckstein Hall. The event can be viewed by clicking here.

The recall election could be coming quickly, depending on how soon the state’s Government Accountability Board acts, and the Democratic field has not yet fully taken shape. But Falk has drawn the most support so far of those Democrats who say they intend to run.

The most highly publicized part of Falk’s campaign has been her pledge to veto any state budget bill that does not restore the collective bargaining powers of public employee unions that were taken away last year in action spurred by Walker. Her pledge earned her endorsements from major unions but criticism on the editorial pages of some state newspapers.

Falk told Gousha and the audience that it wouldn’t be effective to introduce a bill to reverse last year’s action that stripped public unions of almost their powers. Calling a special session of the Legislature wouldn’t work either. Republicans are very likely to remain in control of at least the Assembly and they would block any action by those routes.

That makes taking a firm stand to veto the budget unless it restores union powers the only realistic path she could take as governor, she said.

“The only bill that has to pass every two years – there is only one – is the budget bill,” Falk said. “That is why Gov. Walker eliminated collective bargaining by the budget bill. That’s how you have to restore it. And if you are not willing to go to the mat and say truthfully how you will do it . . . then you are not honoring the million people who signed that petition (to recall Walker) and it isn’t being open and honest. I thought campaigns were about telling people what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.”

Gousha asked her whether such a stand could be bring deadlock over the budget. “Those Assembly Republicans will see that the vision they had has been rejected by Wisconsin citizens, and I believe they will be in a more compromising mood, and that is what a budget bill is about,” Falk said.

Falk said she was successful as Dane County executive in running a government that was frugal with money and willing to change as financial circumstances changed. She said she worked well with people of all political views and was able to get unions representing Dane County workers to make concessions by convincing of them of the need for “shared sacrifice.”

She emphasized her personal story, including her childhood living in Milwaukee and Waukesha County, and referred to herself several times as “the granddaughter of a bus driver from Milwaukee.”

Gousha said at the end of the conversation that the Law School policy is not to take political sides and major candidates for major offices from both parties have been invited to “On the Issues” sessions. He said Walker has had an open invitation but has not accepted the offer since taking office 14 months ago.

Why the Law Degree Is Called a J.D. and Not an LL.B.

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Professor Greipp’s fascinating post on Lois Kuenzli Collins, an early female graduate of Marquette Law School, made reference to Ms. Collins’ law degree being upgraded to a J.D. in the late 1960s. That was actually a fairly common occurrence at that time, as thousands of American lawyers in the 1960s found themselves the possessors of a newly styled doctoral law degree. Between 1964 and 1969, at the encouraging of the American Bar Association, most American law schools (including Marquette) upgraded their basic law degree from the traditional “LL.B.” to “J.D.,” to reflect the by then almost universal postgraduate status of the degree. For good measure, most also made the change retroactive, subject to the graduate returning his or her old degree for a new one.

An American Bar Association committee had recommended that the law degree be called the juris doctor as early as 1906, and a small number of law schools, most notably the University of Chicago, had long called the basic law degree the J.D. However, until the late 1960s the vast majority of schools used the designation of LL.B. or B.L. which suggested that the law degree was an undergraduate degree (as it still is in most places in the world).

What is much less well known is that in an earlier era, some law schools simultaneously offered both the LL.B. and J.D. degrees. While the original law degree awarded by Marquette was the LL.B., between 1926 and 1943, Marquette offered its students the option of earning either an LL.B. degree or a J.D. degree. This innovation apparently originated with Dean Max Schoetz, but was continued after his untimely death in 1927.

Continue reading “Why the Law Degree Is Called a J.D. and Not an LL.B.”